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Making it Big in Software: Get the Job. Work the Org. Become Great by Sam Lightstone

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Chapter 19. If I Knew Then What I Know Now

“I am not young enough to know everything.”

—Oscar Wilde (1854–1900)

There’s so much they don’t tell you at the beginning. I joined IBM as a student software developer in 1989. I was pretty good at programming, but my experiences were limited to the Pascal, Fortran, and BASIC languages using the DOS and Commodore operating systems. When I arrived at IBM, everyone was programming in C on hot new multithreaded, multitasking, GUI-based operating systems. To say the least, I was completely lost. I was absolutely certain that someone in the human resources group had accidentally placed my application in the “hired” pile instead of the “rejected” pile, where it belonged. For whatever reason, I was there, ...

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