At 15 years old I wrote my first program on a TRS-80 Color Computer II. I had no storage device so every software creation was lost when I hit the power. That didn’t matter. Creating something from seemingly nothing was satisfaction enough. I was able to create over, and over, and over again. A year or two later I got a cassette tape player to store my programs. This allowed me to create more complex monstrosities of code to do meaningless things. All were eventually lost to the bit bucket, but my soul was on fire with creativity.
My high school was small, but our math teacher had also developed a passion for computers. Not only did he convince the school to buy a couple of computers, but he developed the curriculum for the first computer classes. I was one of only three awkward teenagers that had any interest in learning how to use these new tools. Each semester he would create the next level computer course just for the three of us. We were at the forefront of technology in our little world. Our capstone course was to create a basketball stats program for Coach. We finally created something useful.
I went on to learn electronics and computer repair in the U.S. Army and then earn a degree in Computer Information Systems. I developed software to bill customers, reduce costs, improve quality, schedule nurses, and a whole host of other things. Eventually, I led projects and programs to develop all sorts of larger and larger software systems. However, somewhere along the way that fire in my soul was almost lost amongst the project plans, risk logs, and status reports.
That is until May of 2021. It wasn’t until the Mercury release of the Internet Computer (IC) that the ember in my nerdy soul burst into flames again. I’ve been investing in crypto since 2017. I think Bitcoin is an exciting store of value and the smart contracts on the Ethereum platform have utility. I’ve even gambled a little on a sh!t coin or two (ok, maybe more than two). However, IC brought back memories of the computer revolution that I grew up in. It has that feel of something truly great that only a few of us can see at the moment but is just about to become obvious to the masses. I truly believe that we are all at the beginning of the next Internet paradigm shift and the IC is the foundation.
I’m really enjoying the IC community. The atmosphere and culture reminds me a lot of when I hosted a Bulletin Board System (BBS) out of my college apartment. It started with a 14,400 bit/s SuperFaxModem. Of course messaging was slower and everything was ASCII graphics. However, the feeling was the same. We formed a small tight knit community where everyone was excited about technology. Everyone was frantically creating new things, but we were never so busy that we couldn’t lend a hand to help one another. It might be hard to imagine for some, but the comparisons between now and the late 80’s and early 90’s are strikingly similar. The IC community has been good for my soul.
For those without experience from the last major Internet/web revolution, trust me. Soak it all in. Hang out on DSCVR, Distrikt, and OpenChat. Contribute to the ICP.Guide, IC Community Media Hub, or other community knowledge bases. Join the ICP Maximalist Network (ICPMN) and other IC themed Telegram chat channels to exchange ideas. Support and encourage each other. Stay up late cranking out that last bit of code so your idea becomes a proof-of-concept or better yet a beta for release. I have a lot to learn about the IC, but I also hope that I will be able to add some value along the way. If you see me hanging out or posting stop to say hi and share some exciting news about your recent IC accomplishments. Teach me something. I’m looking forward to becoming more involved in various projects even if only to help with some beta testing. Last, but not least, evangelize IC to family, friends, and strangers. There are a lot of incoming IC enthusiasts, some technical and some not so technical. They will all need our help in some way. In return they will help us make the revolution a reality.
I hope you found my previous article, How to mint an NFT in 5 minutes on the Internet Computer, helpful. In the coming weeks and months I'll be publishing some project management specific articles (among other things) for the IC community. I hope that my experience will help the community successfully deliver more products into the eco-system.
Technical Program & Project Manager, servant-leader, and backpacking adventurer. A believer in The Internet Computer and a max ICP staker. A lifelong computer nerd who is finding a renewed sense of purpose in the blockchain community.
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