My first forray into the world of computers was back in the day. It was the mid 1970s, when computers were behemouth machines that took up whole floors of office buildings and required frigid temperatures so as not to overheat. I started out at CBS in NY as a programmer, “writing” my code on punch cards. When I moved to California, I worked first at CIGNA attaining the rank of systems analyst, and then at Transamerica where I became a mainframe systems designer.
By 1980 I had ended my corporate-world involvement with technology, but I kept abreast and was one of the early adopters of personal computers for small business applications, designing customized IBM-centric database applications for my clients.
In the early 1990s, while teaching at California Polytechnic University in Pomona, I earned a Masters Degree in Educational Technology and Media Studies and also worked part-time for AND Communications, Inc. as a writer/programmer responsible for functional specifications, on-line help and user guide instructions for an interactive educational product (Illuminated Books and Manuscripts) sponsored by I.B.M. That led to my association with Looking Glass Software, Inc. where I was the Director of Corporate Communications for one year before leaving to write computer trade books. Between 1993 and 1997 I wrote ten books and edited five more for four different publishers: IDG Worldwide, Prima Publishing, MIS:Press/Henry Holt, and Microsoft Press. Several have been translated into foreign languages.
In 1994 I was called upon to write a book in collaboration with some young guys from MIT. “Build A Web Site: The Programmer’s Guide to Creating, Building, and Maintaining a Web Presence” was one of the early books on the subject and Tim Berners-Lee, inventor of the World Wide Web, wrote the foreword.
Also in the mid-to-late ’90s, I taught computer classes at Glendale Community College (Introduction to Computer Science, Microsoft Works, Microsoft Excel, and Computer Concepts) and at UCLA (Building A Web Site, Instructional Design for Electronic Learning Applications, and Designing Digital Presentations).
Burned out by the fast pace of writing technology trade books to coincide with the release of new programs, I went back to school, again, this time to earn a Master of Fine Arts degree in Creative Nonfiction. Today, I divide my time between designing websites and writing narrative nonfiction books and articles.