When I attended what is now the University of Louisiana at Lafayette (ULL) I wrote computer programs in a programming language called pl1 (programming language one). These programs ran on an operating system called Multics.
Multics (Multiplexed Information and Computing Service) was a mainframe timesharing operating system begun in 1965 and used until 2000. Multics began as a research project and was an important influence on operating system development. The system became a commercial product sold by Honeywell to education, government, and industry. source: multicians.org
Folklore has it that the name Unix was derived as Multics for one person.
When I graduated college I went to work for Honeywell — the vendor who supplied Multics to ULL. I was developing software to test computer hardware as part of a Total OnLine Test System (TOLTS) — everything in computer science has an acronym. Though I had spent almost my entire life in Louisiana, I relocated to Phoenix, Arizona. By pure coincidence my college roommate, Tim Barrios, also accepted a job in Phoenix — working for GTE developing telephone switch software — the kind of system that did things like call forwarding or determining whether a phone call was long distance or not. Tim's chief programmer was a guy named Eric Wagner that I first met in 1981. I eventually left Honeywell for GTE and worked with Eric in the area of Quality Assurance. The principles of Edward Deming were in vogue back then. You may have seen the quote at the main stage presentation during the #AU2012 general session:
Eric is the reason I am at Autodesk today. Our CEO, Carl Bass, is his cousin. When Carl relocated his start-up company, Ithaca Software, from Ithaca, New York to Alameda, California, Eric suggested that I interview. Though I had not gone to Cornell like the other Ithacans, nor had a background in 3D graphics, nor had programmed in the C programming language on a PC before, I would be perfect for the job. Eric also eventually joined Ithaca Software. Ithaca Software was acquired by Autodesk in 1993. Since Carl is now CEO, did we acquire them? I worked directly for Eric there as well as at Buzzsaw.com and Autodesk. Many Autodesk managers (e.g., Jeff Kowalski, Brian Mathews, Rob Fjerstad) were raised under the tutelage of Eric.
Eric has a new blog:
Shutting Up! — Management and leadership tips, tricks, and techniques especially useful for the newer manager. Hosted by Eric Wagner, CTO of Pearson Digital Learning.
You should check it out.
Management lessons are alive in the lab.