My entire tech career post-Army came about because of the O’Reilly Web-server and Access. I had been using databases while in the service and my understanding of them and a new technology called the World Wide Wed led me to build one of the first database backed classifieds systems for a newspaper, way back in 1995.
The success of that project got me scooped up from my job at Nuvo Newsweekly, in Indianapolis to go to work at USWeb just as the dotcom era started to take off. An amazing feat given, I was forty years old at the time.
At age 61 I’ve found I am nearly as obsolete as those workers at Carrier, and after two years, with fewer and fewer software development contracts coming I moved back to my home town as a cost saving measure at the exact moment that hundreds of workers who never had my pay or opportunities were being thrown out of work.
This isn’t a sad story for me, thanks to my skills & contacts, I’m finally giving the startup scene a go writing media software for the Apple TV. I am also working to launch an ImpactHub tech incubator that I hope will allow me to train children of those discarded workers in skills that will keep them competitive and useful to the corporate suits longer than their folks.
Unicorn obsessed VC’s fling millions at one idiotic idea after another, while giant corporations flush loyal employees down the crapper without hesitation to make their Wall Street numbers.
If I hadn’t had a stroke of luck and the right knowledge at the right time, I’d probably be one those folks. Used up and out of luck.