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Happy Birthday To My Career

August 8, 2018

All that I am or ever hope to be, I owe to my angel mother.
– Abraham Lincoln

Everything I am or ever hope to be I owe to my first program love, WordPerfect Office.

My career started in 1988. I was a student at Brigham Young University and my lovely wife was getting ready to have our first child. I needed something mroe than the $4.50 on-campus telephony job I had. WordPerfect was hiring. At that time anyone who could touch-type could get a job in WordPerfect Support.

I was trained on the word processor. The compay had just released version WordPerfect 5.0 and it’s amazing graphical user interface. Some people might wonder what other option there was. Everything prior to that was simple text. No images.

When I came out of training I was assigned to a small group supporting WordPerfect Office, WordPerfect’s new email program.

My entire career can be traced back to that one decision.

Computers were young and so were we. The program had been released earlier in the year. When someone called for support, the first thing we did was figure out what version they were running. We did that by looking at the release date of the files. If they had an old version, the first thing we did was send them the latest version.

That was the Update Process 30 years ago, sticking disks into a padded envelope and sending them across the country. We became familiar with the dates of the version, of course.

And that’s what brings me to today.

August 8, 1988 was the very first version of WordPerfect Office. 8/8/88

It meant we would automatically send out a replacement. (It was not a particular stable release.) But, it was the start.

From WordPerfect, Office went to Novell and became GroupWise. I went to Microsoft and supported their email systems and learned to be a program manager.

That job, in turn led to other jobs, eventually leading to my current position.

So, today 8/8/18, I wish happy birthday to the software program that launched my career.

Happy 30th birthday, WordPerfect Office/Novell GroupWise.

Rodney M Bliss is an author, columnist and IT Consultant. His blog updates every weekday. He lives in Pleasant Grove, UT with his lovely wife, thirteen children and grandchildren.

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(c) 2018 Rodney M Bliss, all rights reserved

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