Software Development and Delivery

Ancient Computing

It’s about 10 years since the year 2000 issues. That was all about the fact that old software had 2 digit year dates and they would only go to 99 and then back to 00. This would mean that some software would not cope to the year going to 2000. New Zealand, where I was at that time was going to be one of the first hit as we were the first major country to reach the year 2000. Of course little actually happened, but,  here’s a true story:

When I first started computer programming it was on mainframes in an IBM language called PL/1. I came across date handling code with 2 digits, and I said to my boss – “What happens when the year gets to 2000?”. His response at the time was “It won’t be a problem, this software won’t be running then.”

– So wrong, as it turned out, and I still often hear of software in big companies that has been running for many decades and core business depends on it!

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