JOSEPH GULLA
IT leader of Alazar Press, a publisher of children’s literature (with his daughters in the photo)

Company—
Alazar Press, an imprint of Royal Swan Enterprises 

Years in IT—
36 years

My first mainframe job—
I started out as a COBOL programmer trainee at Conrail Corporation in Philadelphia. After three months of training I was assigned to an analyst (Daniel J. Murphy) and started writing COBOL macro-level application programs. Daniel was the best systems analyst humanly possible and I appreciated his patience, skill and knowledge. It was an exciting time to be programming because Conrail was starting to migrate their CICS application to use CRTs.

My favorite mainframe memory—
I have a vivid memory of learning to become a systems programmer and installing and running CICS and other products. I left Conrail and went to Exide Company and had a great manager named Bob Morgan who spent money training me on BAL, SAM/DAM and other necessary technical topics. He helped me make the transition from application programmer to system programmer. My first product to install and support was CICS. After I installed and administered it, I submitted the job (using a card deck) to bring up the new release for the first time. When I saw the message—DFH1500 CONTROL IS BEING GIVEN TO CICS—I was delighted. After 36 years in IT, this is still my most vivid computing memory.
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