Friday, March 28, 2014

25 Years Since Starting First Real Job

On the 28th March 1989 I started my first full time job with CBT Systems (which became SmartForce in 1997) based in Mount Street in Dublin - 25 years ago today. I left the company in October 2002 during the second round of redundancies that year. My first day was spent looking at the company's existing e-Learning courses, though it was not called e-Learning then. I remember that the product we (two others started the same days) looked at was called "Protocol 90" - a course on telecommunications that was the first big success for CBT Systems. We spent over a week training in a basement in 39/40 Upper Mount Street before we were added to project teams.

One of my first business cards.
When I think back to the technology that we used then it amazes me how we got any work done. The PC I had was an early 80s IBM 8086 with no hard drive. It had two 5.5 inch  floppy disk drives, the program we used (TenCORE) was on one disk, our work on the other. The operating system was MS-DOS. No network to back up our work - this was done at the end of the week by copying our work onto separate floppies which were taken off site. None of us had mobile phones or our own computers at home at that time. I mostly cycled to work, which I sometimes still do. 

I remember being very nervous on the first day, but I was put at ease straight away. No way would I have predicted that I would spend 13.5 wonderful years which involved moving from floppy disks to the dot com boom. Though it is now over 12 years since I left SmartForce I still have fond memories of the people and the work since my first day nervously knocking on the door of 39/40 Mount Street.

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