Let me start by saying I’m not a futurist, at least not according to the Gallup Strengths test—whew, weight lifted. So, speaking from the perspective of a non-futurist, there are days where I have a hard time imagining where I fit into the future. I’ve always been “into technology,” and I’m big on early adoption of the latest technologies, also confirmed in the Gallup Strengths test—big sigh of relief there. Basically, I’m a tech geek and have been since the first day my father brought home a VCR. No, I’m not joking.
For those of you who don’t know, the video cassette recorder was the coolest thing since probably the invention of television, although, to clarify, that invention happened way before I popped into this world. My father, with the the job title of Electronic Technician, worked in civil service for the federal government. He was into technology too.
I used to sit and watch him repair televisions and radios, paying particular attention to the details that made the picture on a television better. And, since my dad worked swing shift (nights), it was good that I understood technology because my mom was far from technical, and needed me to press the play button on the VCR so we could watch all the amazing shows I’d programmed like Dallas, and Love Boat—you know all those cool ’80s network miniseries. There was a lot to watch on the four channels we had at our disposal. It wasn’t until cable came into our neighborhood that we had 57 channels including MTV. But wait, we didn’t even have a computer yet.
I’ll never forget the day my dad walked in our front door with the Atari 400. My dad was a man a few words and rarely smiled, so when he opened the front door of our suburban Sacramento home wearing a mischievous grin, and carrying a large box from Circuit City, my two dogs and I sat up and took notice.
It was binge watching AMC’s Halt and Catch Fire on Netflix this past week that triggered my memory of my father bringing home that computer and plopping in onto the coffee table. That’s when he told me that computer programming was the future, and I’d be smart if I got into that.