Software Development Through the Years

I am an outcome-driven Leader, System Architect, and Solution Evangelist. I have a Master of Engineering and a penchant for accelerating business growth, growing technical teams, and integrating the enterprise. My background integrates unique understanding of operations, knowledge, and analytics.

Recently I came to the realization recently that I have been writing software since Jimmy Carter was president. This blog attempts to retrace my experience during the president's terms in office.

Early Software Development

I began my software development career in 1976 as a freshman at Texas Tech University. Fortran! Writing software with Card Decks! Texas Tech had a main-frame computer accessible to the Electrical Engineering students.

Later (circa 1978) I was first employed as a developer writing business applications on the Pertec 2000 and the Altair MITS computers. Most development was early versions of Basic plus a multi-threaded software package, MTX, written for the Pertec.

Applications I wrote included Accounts Receivable, Payroll, and Inventory.

The media was 8" floppy disks - Double Density - 160 KB.

The Apple II was first sold in 1977. Visicalc was the game-changer application - the spreadsheet. (Visicalc was eventually replaced by Lotus 123 as the most popular spreadsheet; Lotus was replaced by Excel.)

F-16 and Seahawk Avionics Engineering

During Reagan's first term, I owned / operated Applied Computer Technology. This was early contract software development. At the time, firm-fixed-price contracts were the normal. Heavily focused on definition before development.

I wrote an application in Cobol for the Wang Laboratories computer system.

Ronald Regan worked to build a strong and modern defense infrastructure. The job market was robust. In 1983 I began working for General Dynamics as an F-16 Avionics Systems Engineer. Later, I was a Systems Engineer for the Royal Australian Navy's Seahawk.

While at Sikorsky Aircraft, I developed a software verification application to trace primary requirements through testing. This application managed hundreds of requirements using dBase. I would start a test report in the evening which would complete mid-morning.

CompuServe Information Service was the internet of the day. Computer bulletin boards were the information source and code sharing repository for developers and engineers. Remote computer access was through ProComm. I owned a Tandy 1200 computer with a 10 MB hard-drive and a 5 1/4" floppy drive.

I also began writing applications in Turbo Pascal (Pascal Object Oriented Programming - POOP).

Transitioning to Full Time Development

In 1990, George H W Bush completely re-directed his presidency when he back-tracked the "read my lips" pledge.

I re-focused my career when I transitioned out of Avionics Engineering and began developing software professionally and full-time. I wrote a bank analysis package for the FDIC using C++ and Clipper (compiled dBase). The software was used to evaluate and manage bank seizures. (Living in Texas and working for the FDIC was not advised. It could even be dangerous.)

I continued Clipper application development until 2009 for Scan Systems Corp.

OCTG (Oil Country Tubular Goods)

During, but unrelated to, President Clinton's term, I was fortunate to move into leadership as the Data Systems Manager for Scan Systems Corp. During my time at Scan Systems  I developed several highly successful systems and solutions for the Oil Country Tubular Goods (OCTG) industry:

Tubular Data Systems™ (TDS) Oil Country Tubular Goods (OCTG) pipe yard management software - written in Clipper and Crystal Reports

DigiPro™ non-destruction OCTG inspection system - written in VBasic 6

TallyRite™ Custom portable OCTG data accumulation device - written in machine language

Intent Driven Designs, LLC.

I returned to independent / self-employed status during the Bush years. My clients included Scan Systems, Go Direct Mail Marketing, and some other clients. 12 years self employed until the 2008 crash caught up with me. Projects included:

  • Non-destruction Pipe Inspection System (DigiPro™)
  • Oilfield pipe management and reporting (Tubular Data Systems – TDS™)
  • Handheld inspection data aggregation (Portable Data Logger – PDL)
  • Census analysis and enrollment projections
  • Statement processing and mail processing system (GoPrint™)
  • Automated dry-food processing and sortation system
  • Service Fee Report Manager

Buzzwords: Systems Architect, Data Architect, Project Architect, Real-Time Computing, Electronic Engineering, Data Analytics, .NET, C#, SQL, Visual Basic, Access VBA, Excel VBA, Clipper, LabView, ComponentOne

Southwestern Energy

I was the Senior Solutions Architect for upstream applications during 8 years coincident with Barack Obama's presidency. Coincident? I think so. Projects focused on C#, SQL, and VBA. While at Southwestern Energy, I developed or co-developed:

  • Production surveillance and optimization (ProWELL+)
  • Geosteering integration and analysis (Upstream Integrated Toolbox)
  • 24/7 drilling operations (Rig Data Integration – RDI2)
  • Real-time drilling aggregation and analytics (Rig Data Intelligence – RDI3)
  • Drilling and completions asset allocation and scheduling (Dev Schedule)
  • Upstream operations surveillance workbook (Surveillance Assistant)
  • Data Information Sharing Hub (DISH)

 

Buzzwords: Systems Architect, Data Architect, Project Architect, Real-Time Computing, Data Analytics, .NET, C#, SQL, Visual Basic, Access VBA, Excel VBA, PPDM, WITSML, Wellview, Boresight, Spotfire, MDM, CQRS, TDD, and SDLC.

In Transition

Trump's final chapter is probably not closed. Neither is mine.

My focus was primarily teaching at Lone Star College System.

COVID kept all of us locked down.

I perfected skills with Threading, CQRS, WinForms, WPF, and Blazor.

Beusa Energy

I began my career as Applications Manager for Beusa Energy. Wish me luck!

About Mark Reynolds 42 Articles
Master of Engineering professional experienced as engineer, architect, manager, mentor and evangelist. Accomplished Architect demonstrating proactive application of digital technologies and agile methodologies balanced between engineering, development, automation, adaptive processing, and distributed systems. Solution Evangelist with recognized command of processes, distributed systems, analytics, machine learning, and multiple digital technologies. Mentor, Professor and Lifelong Learner teaching internal educational projects, university computer science, industry conferences.