What’s the most fun thing you ever did with Susan Joslyn at a Pick event?
1. How, when and under what circumstances did you get started in PICK?
At my college graduation, my dad gleefully asked, “Now, where will you do this underwater BB stacking?” My family of geeks could not fathom a purpose for my fine arts degree. When Dad retired from the excitement of putting a man on the moon (his thumbprints are still up there), he moved to South Florida and worked with the first Ultimate dealership. During school breaks, he gave me grunt work, like data entry for new customers. One day he said, “You’re a writer, eh? Here, write documentation,” and handed me the Ultimate Runoff manual. So, I learned the ED line editor (still my automatic choice,) and Runoff. Naturally, I had to figure out TCL and English/Access. Then PROC. I bet I know the proc buffers as well as anyone alive. Still, it wasn’t long before PROC wasn’t enough, so I started coding… insert Dad as comic villain, rubbing his hands together, pleased that his evil plan worked. Turns out, there’s a genetic defect in my family that makes us all into PICK programmers.
2. Why do you think MultiValue applications continue to thrive despite being greatly exaggerated otherwise?
In the above story, I took credit for having a family propensity for coding, but that’s only partly true. The MultiValue environment is meant for people who don’t. It’s made for quickly putting together workable solutions to real day-to-day issues. I’m a theatre major, and over the years, I’ve written software alongside musicians, history majors, and artists as well as the odd engineer. Dick Pick was a creative guy, himself. I think we all remember him as kind of a rule-breaker, an out-of-the-box thinker. That’s what makes the platform accessible to lots of different types of people. Less rules, more results.
3. What is a memorable event or funny story from your time in the market?
I want so badly to tell the story of the first time I met Dick Pick, but I can’t. In all honesty, it isn’t just one memorable story; it’s a lifetime of laughter and camaraderie! I think it’s telling that our conferences and gatherings remain so fun. We’ve drawn a smaller crowd in recent years, and yes, some of us look different, but we are still having a laugh, and that’s the best part. I think it goes back to the fact that we draw from a more diverse group than perhaps other platforms. The creative types bring more entertainment. We’re serious about business, we write fantastic solutions, but with a certain animation that you don’t always see in other platforms.
4. What are you doing now?
I’ve been inventing, writing, maintaining, enhancing, documenting, selling, and supporting PRC, which is a software development life-cycle management solution, for nearly three decades.
5. What are you passionate about and why?
This world. Earth, the mountains, the oceans, even space. This place. I want us to take better care of it. I encourage others to recycle, ride a bike, walk, care. Most importantly, get out there and appreciate this awesome giant playground.
6. Any words of advice during our current world situation?
I’m one of those annoying people who always find the bright side, makes the best of whatever is happening, and just gets on with it. I work from home anyway, so things aren’t all that different for me. With the extra time, I am no longer using to go out socially, or for fitness, I’m working on my house and yard. My garden has never been better. Everything is an opportunity-or has the seed of one. Not feeling it? Call me, and we’ll talk.