Computer Sciences Corporation
Years in IT—
My first mainframe job—
IBM DOS 360/30 computer operator & EAM equipment operator, soon promoted to junior system programmer
My favorite mainframe memory—
I started learning IBM mainframe Assembler language at the end of 1967, first taking a programmed instruction course that IBM provided, then by reading IBM source code in the microfiche that documented all the PTFs applied to every release of IBM DOS (I remember 12, 13, and 14) that ran Signode Steel's IBM 360/30. My first sysgen was for DOS release 17, if I remember correctly. My mentor was a man named Tom Poyer who had the knowledge & patience to explain system programming concepts and topics. He assigned my projects and oversaw my progress. Back then, there were no vendors of mainframe utility program products. If you wanted something done, then you designed and wrote a program to do the work, mostly in Assembler because of the need to use system services. I really only learned Assembler well.
Over the years IBM Assembler language and system programming skills kept me gainfully employed until 2001 when I took some additional training and became a project manager. The biggest programming job I had the pleasure of completing was being one of fourteen Assembler programmers from 1988-1991 who integrated the StorageTek ACS 4400 and Powderhorn robotic tape libraries with the IBM MVS JES2 and JES3 operating systems.
Nowadays IBM tape libraries are dominant, but in the late 1980s and the 1990s, the StorageTek robotic tape libraries were enabling lights-out datacenters all over the world. Some of the power and integrity of the StorageTek robotic tape libraries came from software that I designed and programmed in IBM Assembler language. I was very proud of my part on the StorageTek team, and I even did my Master's thesis at Regis University on "Designing and Building Robotic Tape Libraries."