Going Digital

Life after Analog


This was one of those contracts that was a bunch of fun and a pain all at the same time.  I was called in to work on this project because of my background with Countrywide Mortgage and that I was a senior programmer.


The Project

To write the programs to start the financial side for the new Countrywide Bank.  More specifically create and build the Database and its supporting SQL Transactional code.  We were the first team hired and first at everything Countrywide Bank.



Why was this fun you ask?  That is simple to answer.  As this was the very beginning of the company, we were the first team of about 6-8 people hired to create the backbone systems to support the daily running of the Financial business system.  We didn't even have a servers system or even the location to put one.  Countrywide Bank had purchased a building on 5th street in Pasadena, Ca.  We were the first occupants on the 4th floor, when we started there wasn't even doors on the rooms.  After about a week we had doors, desks, chairs etc but still no computer system.  Countrywide Mortgage the parent company at the time gave us a bunch of good desktop computers, but no servers, they were going to come brand new from Dell.  So each of us grabbed two computers one as our development workstation, the second hidden under our desks as a private server, we each built our own to support the particular portions of the system we were to work on.  I built mine as a server with MS SQL installed.  The database was shared across our private little network so that people who are working on a reporting sub-system could use the data dumps I had obtained as samples.

We got to exercise our skill as server builders, but also keeping them hidden from the network administrator team who had now been hired but they still had not build the server room on the third floor and certainly did not have any servers to administer.  SO they spent their days trying to hunt down where we were hiding our servers.  Of course we all had fun with the naming conventions... none were business related and functionally defined.. I used cartoon characters names like Fred Flintstone, Mickey & Minney, or Scooby-Doo.


The Code

The project, for me, was a long 6 months of slogging out some very simple but necessary backbone SQL Transact code.  Like capitalizing the first letter of a word, or formatting this or that,  Then there was the bigger picture code that might take me several days to write.  All of this written in Microsoft Structured Query Language (MS T-SQL).

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Created by Phillip Seaman
Modified 10/31/2015