When I was in college, I worked as a system administrator and built custom circuits for graduate students in the Aerospace Engineering department at the University of Colorado. I remember the day that the Morris Worm affected our network of UNIX machines. When I graduated, I had a few options. One was to be a programmer for Motorola and one was to be a UNIX system administrator for StorageTek. Little did I know that this decision would have a huge impact on my life as I continued in IT and eventually started my own IT Consulting Company which is now a thought leader in the space. (It wasn’t until about the year 2000 that I finally decided to rid myself of these engineering, circuit and data structure programming text books.)
For those of you who don’t remember who StorageTek was, they started as a very big player in storage and backup systems for main frames and eventually focused on tape robots and backup systems. The picture above shows me, about 6 months out of college shutting down an old PDP-11 44 that ran an assembly line. You can see tapes hanging in the background and what you cannot see are the Vax-11 750 & 780s and backup devices that were in that raised floor building. I supported AT&T Version 7 Unix, BSD 4.2/3 and Ultrix and eventually we moved all of our workloads over to Sun Servers. StorageTek was bought by Sun Microsystems who was eventually bought by Oracle, but I only worked for Storagetek.
Throughout time, I have migrated companies from Vax to Sun from VMS to HP-UX, from Windows 3.1 to Windows 95, from Solaris to Linux, from centralized to decentralized to distributed, from physical to virtual and from on-premises to the cloud. This week marks the 6 month milestone of our own recent college graduate Jack Harasimowicz , who is the same age as I was when I took that picture. I think about the amount of change that I have seen in my career thus far and it is almost wondrous to predict all the changes that Jack will see in the lifetime of his career. The only certainty is that things will change and as long as we change and grow with it, I think we will all be OK.