Thursday, January 21, 2010

My pre-history with Plone

In the late 1990s I was working at a job doing a mix of Foxpro development, windows system administration, and help desk. I enjoyed the Foxpro development (laugh if you will) and despised the other stuff. So I was always looking for work in other places where I could be doing pure development. However, lacking much work experience at that time, or knowledge of other programming languages, or a college degree, that made switching positions really hard.

Well, one day, probably in 1999, I stumbled across a job opportunity down in Fredericksburg. I I got an email inviting me down for an interview for Zope Corporation, or maybe its predecessor. The job meant working with an obscure language called Python and a web based development system called Zope. Python seemed pretty interesting, and doing development through the browser seemed fascinating. I even looked up some articles on Yahoo (this was before Google and Wikipedia).

Alas, I did not take the job. Python seemed too different and obscure and I was already stuck in the closet with Foxpro. Fredericksburg would have involved a move from the Washington, DC area and my ex-wife and I were even then scraping the bottom of the barrel for money. We lived on the metro, lacking a vehicle between us, so just getting down to Fredericksburg was nigh impossible. So I stayed with Foxpro, eventually finding work in a few other languages before finding my current home in Python in 2005.

What might have been

In an alternative history had I interviewed and been hired for the Python/Zope job I might have worked with Guido van Rossum during his tenure at Zope Corp! I might still be deeply entrenched with Zope and subsequently Plone. My linux skills would be much better. Fredericksburg would be my home, not Arlington so I probably would not be working for NASA right now. I would have never founded NOVA-Django. Finally, the armies of Iceland would have conquered the world.

A very different universe indeed.

Next: My history with Plone


Anonymous said...

Wow! I'm always fascinated by the number of folks that have either worked at ZC, or almost worked there, or [insert an interesting story about someone that had a crazy experience involving ZC, of which there are many].

Now I can add you to that list. One day I'm going to write and publish a Zope "tell all" book ;-)

Amey said...

thanks! this helped me a lot!
You can read this article

pydanny said...


That is an interesting article, but development via UML is a contentious issue. I'll write about that in a future article.