My first foray into the world of Information Technology came as a fresh faced teenager in the mid 1980s where I was responsible for producing shop packets from an IBM System 38 printer for production planners working for Arrow Hart a local factory in Plymouth.
Due to a reorganisation within the factory the printer was moved into the Computer department where my career really started. The System 38 operator recognised I had an aptitude for computers and, as she was planning to move away in the near future, decided to start unofficially training me. Upon her leaving, I was promoted to the position of Computer Operator. Over the next few years I started to delve into the world of Computer Programming. I was involved in modifying MAPICS, the companies ERP package, using RPGIII.
In the early 90s Arrow Hart was bought out by the Eaton Corporation and this is where I first became exposed to networked computer systems. With the takeover came the inevitable redundancies. This turned out to be a blessing in disguise as I escaped the redundancies and was promoted to the role of IT manager.
Eaton decided to replace MAPICS and the System38 with a Novell based network which ran Fourth Shift as the ERP package. I was co-project manager for the transition to the new systems. This encompassed various areas of expertise from establishing user training programmes through to learning the new technologies myself. I was easily able to transfer my development skills to the new tool of choice – Foxpro.