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You know you have job security when you fuck up so badly the government steps in and you still don't get fired. Most of us can only dream of ever achieving that kind of job security.

Very nice article. Captivating read. I was interested about what kind of 'previous computer experience' your mom had. That era of computing is completely alien to me.




Also comes down to Sweden having a "how do we fix this and make sure it never happens again" culture rather than a US-style blame culture. You can get fired in Sweden if you're grossly negligent or disloyal, but not for a simple mistake that anyone could have made.


This is a very good attitude. In general, the impression I get of Nordic countries is of a more egalitarian social contract with people looking out for each other rather than the culture of personal progress at any cost that we see elsewhere.


I suspect the climate has something to do with it, over hundreds if not thousands of years.


If you have one developer that can make a mistake that bad that the government steps in, you have a process problem, not a developer problem.


My father retired from his job as a COBOL programmer after 40 years. He only had that one job all this time. He lasted 14 years under communism (pre 1989, Eastern Europe) and 26 years after. That's as stable as they can be.

As a kid, I remember him coming home with IBM style punch cards. He was putting the cards into something that looks like a money counting machine. It was pretty fast and noisy, I remember being fascinated by it. His computer room was filled with a huge, 3-rack, communist-block designed computer, with 256KB of RAM and 60MB of HDD. The HDD was as large as a washing machine and took 2 minutes to spin up from cold start. The actual data discs were interchangeable (so the disk itself was spinning in regular air, not in void).


> He was putting the cards into something that looks like a money counting machine.

That is/was the punch card reader, with a metallic hair-comb like contraption (each prong of which was presumably connected to some sort of opto-coupler or a similar sensory component) for sensing the holes in the cards as they would pass under it at high speeds. As a kid, I used to have a lot of fun watching that in operation at my dad's office.

He used to write code (COBOL and Fortran) by hand on those graph paper-like coding sheets, then hand the sheets over to a 'specialist' card punching machine operator (I remember they used to have special courses for that too) who would punch the cards and so it went... :-)


> Most of us can only dream of ever achieving that kind of job security.

Work on something that nobody else wants to do for 50% of what you could make doing something more fashionable.




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