Into the Mainframe (Recurse) — the interviews with two mainframe programmers are a great reminder of how much things have changed. And how they haven’t. For instance, later in my career I kept a weighted punching clown in my office. As programmers, we liked our users, but we also sort of hated them. They would make all these unreasonable requests, give us bad data, stuff like that. So all my staff could come by my office when they were mad at their users and punch the clown to feel better. It was fun. I had two doors in my office, and one time some guy I’d never seen before in my life walked into my office without knocking, punched the clown, and walked out the other door. Never saw him again.
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