My name is Jerome Svigals. In 1950, I became one of the first digital programmers in the world. AMA
Good Morning Reddit!
My name is Jerome Svigals. In 1950, when I was a Lieutenant in the US Army, I was assigned to work on the first electronic computer. For that job, I was one of the first people trained on ENIAC and helped develop the first database computer, the RCA BIZMAC. The idea of a "computer" was relatively new at that time, so I was one of the first 50 people in the world to be trained in digital programming.
After leaving the Army, in 1954, I was the first person IBM hired to develop computers, and over the next 33 years I worked at IBM, invented the idea of computer tech support and eventually headed up IBM's global marketing system. In the early 1960's, I headed up a development project on a machine-readable media mechanism, and am considered the "father" of the magnetic stripe system that we still use today. In all, I hold 15 patents.
Today, I speak at card and payment conferences on future bank implementation. I've written 25 books (here are a few) on the subject.
I'll be answering questions throughout the day today, starting at 12:00 PM EST. I'm not the fastest typist, so I'm getting some help - please be patient if I don't respond right away! I'm looking forward to reading your questions.
*Note: Due to Reddit downtime, I'll be posting answers from Friday's top questions on Saturday, and I'm going to be answering some more on Monday!