How Many Years Experience?

Saturday, September 26, 2009 7:20 | Filed in Technology

When initially discussing setting up my own business through the “Test Trading” scheme, one of the questions I was asked by both the New Deal advisor and the person at the company who manages the Test Trading was “how much experience do I have in the area where I am going to set up the business”.

As I started to ponder this question, the New Deal interviewer seemed to think that I was struggling for an answer and asked “is it three years or more?”.

Yes. Very definitely yes. I have been employed as a computer programmer in one form or another since 1997, and in developing web applications since 2001, and have also spent a great deal of time developing interfaces between systems, carrying out data migrations between systems, analysing user requirements, managing projects, and so on and so forth. So I said that I had twelve years experience.

Only I’m not entirely sure that this is exactly true. While I have twelve years experience in paid employment with computing, my personal experience in programming goes back just a little further. To be more precise, at least 14 years earlier.

If you can rewind your memories to Christmas 1982 (or possibly 1983), I got one of those grey rubber keyboard and lots of tangled wires machines – a Sinclair ZX Spectrum 48K. Now, to my mind, this was the computer for the time. Yes, it had alarmingly bad colour clashes if you wanted more than two colours on screen at any one time, but the graphics in terms of pixel size were considerably less ‘clumpy’ than its Commodore 64 rival.

And, ladies and gentlemen, it was the Sinclair ZX Spectrum where I wrote my very first computer program. Admittedly, it was something along the lines of:

10 PRINT 'jack is mint'; 20 GOTO 10 (flickr)

jack is mint (repeated) (flickr)

Ah, yes.

Until you’ve written some form of program which consists of two lines of code and repeats your name all the way down the screen, along with some sort of message about how brilliant you are, you can’t really call yourself a programmer.

Mind you, I don’t really call myself a ‘programmer’. It is what I do (after all, websites need programming too), but to me it generates a mental picture of some nerd with no social skills sat in front of a green-screen computer looking at some sort of punched-card program. Which would be entirely inaccurate. Not have I never written anything which involves punched cards, but I like to consider myself a nerd with some social skills.

So, depending on how you look at it, I’ve either got 12 years experience of paid IT work, or around 26 years experience in IT. I guess that when you look at it from that point of view, I’m not quite a digital native, but I’m getting pretty close to it…

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2 Comments to How Many Years Experience?

  1. test says:

    September 20th, 2011 at 1:44 am

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  2. Tisha says:

    September 5th, 2012 at 3:22 am

    No queiston this is the place to get this info, thanks y’all.

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