I switched a bit two months ago from the Telegram BSC startup groups to the coder groups, and I love it. These people are all learning Solidity, ReactJS, they all want to get a job and a spot in a team. I love the enthousiasm. And they are more my kind of people than the “investor” crowd. I have been into crypto trading since 2014, but I have been coding since 1983.
Back around 1983, a teacher in elementary brought a little turtle robot on wheels with an engine on batteries and a simple keypad, and you could instruct the little bot ’10 meters straight ahead, right turn, 2 meters ahead, left turn’ and make it drive through school. I was immediately sold on programming.
My parents had bought a ZX Spectrum around that time, a very simple thing with 1K memory and a tape deck, you hooked it up to the television. Wow ! There were one or two books at the warehouse downtown and I got one of the books and programmed my first game, ski racing a few pixels downslope through ‘the forrest’. There was an IT club in the neighboring city but that was too far fetched. After 5 years the little machine just fell apart. In 1991 I picked up coding again on an XT (and later a 286), with dBaseIII+ and Lotus spreadsheets. I fell madly in love with databases as well as spreadsheets.
I had started studying accountancy and later switched to business economy. I knew computers were the future of accounting and would be key in business. The IT modules in the studies business economy were rudimentary at best, if not entirely obsolete. If you could name two ‘magnetic storage devices’ (tape and floppy) you already got an A. That was just not enough. So I spend a lot of hours reading, practicing, building databases, building mortgage spreadsheets, small business plans, building compounding spreadsheets. It gives you some basic feeling with ‘money’.
1990 was the time of the modems and BBS bulletin board systems, the first 3D rendering studio’s, the first isometric games, hacking satellite receivers, that sort of stuff.
When I started working at 21, in 1994, at the end of my studies, I was immediately bombarded to sysop in a steel structuring firm. They had a LAN with an oracle database for factory control, and a LAN accounting system, Exact software (which was quite the standard in the Netherlands at the time) and they had an OS/2 CNC control system that connected the office to the big CNC machines in the factory.
I felt like a kid in a candy store. I grew up in a factory hood, most of the men in the neighborhood worked at the steel plant. My neighbor Jan had his own CNC machine part shop in the garage. He could build anything, car parts, bird cages, machine parts for the steel factory. I had had a word with my college counsellor about internships and he had said ‘accountancy isn’t your culture, get a job in the factories’. And he was spot on right about that. I kinda feel more at ease with the factory crew, they are my kind of animals. You talk about concrete work, pieces of steel, construction projects, process organisation, quality management. It is all rather hands on and practical.
A lot of men on the floor in the factory (being technical dudes) were also computer addicts. Some ran their own LAN/computer shops, some ran bootleg hacked software CD shops. You would get a list with all the newest available shit and could order anything for 50 bucks, the newest software, Windows, Oracle, Photoshop, whatever you wanted, it was total fun. When we had to install a LAN in a factory we acquired, we did it ourselves, me, the maintenance engineer and one of the project calculators.
I coded some CNC control apps, 3D isometric viewers, so you could load a model from the 3D Cad stations and put it on screen, rotate it left and right, make it tumble, whatever. I was just curious about anything and everything. And on top of it all, they had Command & Conquer on the server ! These were the days of the first 486 machines, with 8Mb memory and 40Mb harddisks. My friend Jules worked at the local games shop downtown and always recommended the coolest new games, Descent and Doom.
Then I got a job at the steel plant, Hoogovens (nowadays Tata Steel), main office, strategic investments. They were building a new factory and needed a backup project controller. An 800 million project, quite the big league for project controllers. They figured I was qualified for the job. My colleague John handled the organisation part, the talks about budget issues, and I took care of the database warehouse and reporting. These were all engineers and project controllers, totally cool. These dudes handled 2 billion in ongoing projects and apart from the top project engineers, most of them walked around in jeans and sweaters. And the old dudes (well, old, 45, 50, but when you are 25 these dudes are old) had learned computing with punchcards. We had the Pronk enigma. His brother was vice PM in the Netherlands, and he had an IQ somewhere above 170. The man was brilliant, but also very down to earth and congenial. He could perform calculations even the best computer software was not yet capable of doing. Construction stress calculations for big factories. The man was brilliant on Einstein level. We had a few good talks. Like me he had these burn holes in his keyboard. Back then you were still allowed to smoke and we both had that same hangup, you light a cigarette and get so caught up in your work that you totally forget about the cigarette and it always burned holes in the function key section of the keyboard. That was a common traits of nerds back then. You could tell if they were real nerds if they had holes in the keyboard.
As always I made programming part of my work, I programmed some accounting utils, later some SAP integrated apps, using MsAccess as frontend for SAP, I helped troubleshooting the new SAP project management system. Then you get to work with the pro coders of SAP, and the top freelancers, the 200K/year posse. I was 25 or something and also cost 160K/year. I was actually relative cheap.
The next job was more an accounting job, for the B2B department of NUON (these days Vattenfall). They wanted to take over the utilities accounting system of Dutch National Railroads. We would take over the contract management and accounting, and supply a monthly EDI feed to National Railroads. It was a bit of ‘covert ops’, Nuon were after the main energy supply contract of National Railroads, of 1 billion a year back then, thereabouts. The accounting project was in ways just a way to keep in constant contact with National Railroads.
I started to incorporate game theory/AI in accounting software for the first time. Also covert, if I had told their controllers I did that, they would have freaked out. I needed to speed up the main processing routine. We worked on Pentium systems, 32mb, 200mb disks, and although being new, these things were still slow. So I dug into game theory and basic AI from game programming manuals. Games were far more advanced in computing techniques than accounting software, back then. Brilliant search optimisation algorithms, binary space partitioning, graphs. I managed to reduce the processing time from 4 hours per run to 20 minutes, with a deceptively simple routine. There I learned it is not only about the code, the functions but also the data organisation, the tables and arrays and the timing of data.
But at that time I also learned about Feigenbaum functions. That solved a personal problem I had. A feigenbaum function will generate an endless tree of outcomes, but never the solution, because you exclude in the function definition. And that connected inside, _Naam-(‘ego’)=not(Mana-(‘Word’/soul). I burned out immediately. That is a different story all together, I quit business and worked for the Amen Brotherhood for 20 years after that. I don’t often talk about that, because people cannot relate to it, and it makes me sound like a flipped out freak. I learned a lot about soul and Word, scripture, mantram, programming and conditioning, ‘possession’, psychology, redemption work, and chased it with the same passion I chased computing. That is just me, when I am interested in a subject, I will easily spend 12 to 16 hours a day on the subject. And I will get to the bottom of it.
But as I said, that is a different story all together.
As I indicated in the about video, once I stopped sailing and got into accounting, bookkeeping, I realised I had stopped making transactions and needed to start transacting again. By that time you had the first coin exchanges and I was immediately sold on it. Brilliant. People love collecting and trading just about anything, baseball cards, soccer shirts, whatever has any (subjective) ‘value’, and you can sell for a higher price to bigger fans. I figured Bitcoin and Ethereum and some exchange coins, with these emerging exchanges, would become massive. The time of the shitcoins, hundreds and thousands of bitcoin and litecoin copies, trollcoin and company, dogecoin.
I cashed out in 2018. I figured it would be a bearmarket for 2 or 3 years. Part of the reason to get into the coin circus, was that I had no savings, no financial buffer. Sailing is brilliant fun but you don’t make much money off of it. And the Brotherhood also do not pay. So I was dirt poort at the time. I invested 500 dollars in 2014 and cashed out 30.000 in 2018. And voila, I had my buffer. DIY social/financial security.
Then Crohn’s disease took me out at the end of 2018 and forced me out of work. The doctor had made a wrong call and diagnosed it as IBD, in stead of IBS/Crohn, and it slowly escalated and took me out. In september 2021 I had two emergency surgeries. The doctors diagnosed the tissue and concluded it was Crohn’s disease. I got the right vitamins and medicine, the constant pain was gone, the depression lifted and I was feeling a lot better. I could focus again, and soon I was getting back into the crypto market. Hurrah, second round ! Guess who is back ? Now we have DeFi, smart contracts, that is actual real programmeable money. And PancakeSwap and other DEX’es, Poocoin, It is like back in the steel days, I just feel like a kid in a candy store again. Smart contracts are much more fun than Bitcoin. Smart contracts are financial instruments, and my guess is soon they will evolve into artificial intelligent systems. But let’s not make wild predictions.
And where I don’t have a lot of money, I am gonna launch my own token, and just see where I end up. Same as when I started working back then. Ain’t nothing to it but to do it. I still have to earn my pension, so you all have to buy my token ! Nah kidding, DYOR. Some people wondered why I never started my own company. I always felt I would need broad experience, and now at 48, especially after a few years in small business (with it’s inherent liquidity problems, there is never enough money) I think I have enough experience and insights to start my own business. I worked for big, medium and small business, from project control to cleaning toilets, I have seen a lot of aspects of business.
And with my experience as coder, the younger coders, who dream of coding for the big companies, can sometimes use a few hints and pointers. I learn Solidity from them and they learn about compliance from me. Compliance is important in big business. Stick to the legal standards, company rules, and basic programming conventions. That is what is expected in big business, compliance. And never stop learning, always keep up with the new stuff, it keeps you from rusting. It is the core of the actual programming business. As crypto becomes more mainstream, it also becomes more connected and embedded in the overal socio-economic system and becomes more regulated. And compliance is key to getting the big jobs.
Coding isn’t just about typing code lines, you develop processes and process supporting software that need to fit into the overall socio-economic system. Your programs have to fit into the big overall economic system. The overal economic system constantly develops and you need to keep up. That is the main compliance you have to seek. Rules and conventions are just part of that. It is the same with redemption work, it is also a matter of compliance, actually. I benefitted strongly from part specializing in ISO9000-series quality management, it is also strongly compliance oriented.
And ehr…. don’t believe the hype about dinosaurs going extinct, the dinosaurs are still around as crocodiles and lizards :) they adapt and survive. So do a lot of coders.