A couple weeks back, a friend at a conference in Seattle wrote, "The speaker is Anders Hejlsberg, the inventor of the C# programming language. He also invented Delphi when he worked at Borland. He is so much smarter than me that I can barely understand what he is talking about…"
For better or for worse, I'm now old enough to reminisce about events nearly 20 years ago:
I really enjoyed hearing Bjarne Stroustrup talk about C++ in 1987. I wasn't able to really use C++ until 1996, but because of the early introduction really felt like I had the inside track on what it was all about.
Attending Meltdown '96 in Seattle, studying Grady Booch's Object Oriented Design with Applications, and talking with the early DirectX crew (Alex St. John era) was a seminal moment in my tenure with Legend Entertainment. And, in hindsight, in my career as a whole.
My work in 1987 concluded with an "Advanced Systems Development" project, leading a group of expert consultants specializing in problem domains including Unix / VGA graphics drivers, OOD, Unix networking, platform architecture and design (before we even really understood those terms), and requirements analysis. Out of that experience, I concluded that I wanted to work with a team composed of members who were each expert in their own domains, working together to achieve something that went far beyond what I could understand or complete on my own.
In 1996, I worked with just such a team to help Legend make the leap from DOS to Win95 development, and from C to C++. It was an exciting time, one which culminated in the port of a Mac product, originally developed in C to Win95/C++ implementation based on the library our small team had designed and built in the first half of the year. I estimated the port would take two months, and was able to leverage the library to complete the work in one month. It wasn't the most glamorous work ever, but I still remember it as one of my favorite times working with Legend.
Ah, the good 'ol days.