My Dad finished a tour of duty as a tank commander in Vietnam, and returned home to life in rural North Carolina. Shortly after, he was married with a child on the way (me). Mechanically inclined, he soon found a job as a third-shift loom fixer at Cone Mills in North Carolina. Somewhere along the line, he came across a computer.
You have to grasp the setting and the momentous hurdles that propelled my Dad. With technology as ubiquitous as it is these days it is hard to imagine, but my dad grew up technologically hindered. He was the middle of 12 children in a home that did not have running water until after he came back from Vietnam. A flush toilet was not installed until the early 80’s at grandpas.
Technology bit my Dad. That computer sparked a vision. He recognized that the computer was going to revolutionize America. He began taking classes through a technical college in computer programming. I still remember the punch cards on which he saved his programs. Then he bought his first computer – laughably bulky in today’s standards with a connecting amber screen. There was no sort of game to entice (Pacman had not been invented yet) or even a graphic user interface to grab attention – but my Dad was smitten.
Today my Dad is a Senior Programmer and Analyst for a major Pharmaceutical company. He gets lost in the beauty of code – the mixed collection of garbled syntax to the undiscerning eye is an open book to him. It is there he finds glimpses of personality and even traces of humor left by the programmer. He knows the old mainframe computer languages (like FORTRAN), loves Visual Basic, and C+ and a host of other programming languages.
So, why did I write an article on my Dad on a technology blog? Because, he instilled in me a spark while I was still a child. Before it was common to find a computer in everyone’s home, he dreamed of creating a company that would develop “automated homes.” He taught me to open my mind to possibility and to consider the potential of things not yet considered. Automated Homes and Self-Service Solutions are not too far apart. Maybe his dream spilled over.
This story of sparked imagination is common to the industry. The dreamers, the visionaries, they had the ability to see something in this thing called technology that opened the world to possibilities unknown. Over the next several blog post, I want to share with you a vision of where I think this technology in Self-Service Solutions may take us.
Brian Sykes, Director of Marketing
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