In the early seventies I put together a portfolio of software I had written and traveled to Kansas City.
I landed an interview with Black & Veatch Consulting Engineers and was subsequently hired as a Technical Programmer. I initially authored COBOL programs for Black & Veatch. Those were fun days.
When Black & Veatch moved to their new location in Overland Park a contest was announced. There was one office unoccupied. The contest winner would occupy that office. The contest was to perform duties in a manner that would save Black & Veatch money. I competed with many MBA’s and several PhD’s most of whom were Professional Engineers (PE). I only had completed high school and some college. The “some college” afforded me the opportunity to put together my portfolio
I whooped them all real good and moved into my fish bowl. There was glass from the floor to the ceiling. I could go in my office and close my door. The quite allowed me to excel at my job of writing computer software.
My supervisor held a meeting where he told us training for working on nuclear programs would be made available. I completed the course and became certified to write computer software in the construction and operation of nuclear fueled power plants.
By this time I was promoted to Scientific Engineering Programmer and became a subject matter expert on creating and installing heating and cooling facilities for nuclear fueled power plants. The software I authored allowed engineers to know how the system would function prior to the nuclear power plant construction and completion. I authored a formula that would convert poise to centipoise and measure air friction in inches of water which was used to establish the K factor (heat transfer factor) for heating and cooling coils.
Many of the professors at MU would be jealous of the real time hands on engineering work I have completed.
Mr. Arch Brooks, Software Engineer, Brooks Computing Systems, LLC authored this article.