It's a few decades back, and this applications programmer pilot fish accepts a job at a company that provides support for insurance companies. But he won't be writing applications — he'll be in system software.

"I was there about three weeks when my manager assigned me to assist the applications group in reviewing tapes created as part of a modernization project," says fish.

"They had giant Rolodex-like drums of four-by-six-inch cards with individual home and business ratings. The project to move them to an online system was being mandated by the client insurance companies who funded this company."

The applications support group is apparently too busy to work on the project, so fish starts working with the user community.

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