From Competitive Programming to APL, with Conor
The first half or so of this article was like reading an anthropological report of a strange culture far away: There were no
programming contests when I was getting started out in the field (1967-1976). I rarely had the kind of technical interviews
that Hoekstra went through,
and did not get any of the five programming jobs I held from 1977 to 1998 through such an interview.
I started reading more closely with
Conor: So, I heard about APL five different times between the year 2010 and 2019.
I started programming computers in February of 1967, when I was a junior in high school. After dropping out of grad school I began a
41 year career in information technology in January of 1977. I have seen a lot of computer languages come and go. So I read
5 Programming Languages
You Won’t Likely Be Using by 2030 with some interest. The only one on the list I had ever used was Perl. It was kind of fun, but
I did not get very attached to it 🙂
Meanwhile, some much older languages live on. Last year COVID-19 demonstrated how much the financial world still depends on COBOL:
Confession: I got through a 41 year career in IT, mostly in banking and government, without ever compiling
or running a COBOL program. I recently saw
A very short introduction to COBOL, which describes how to install COBOL
on a Mac and how to compile and run a very simple COBOL program. So I tried this on Ubuntu Linux 20.04.