I taught an “advanced,” upper-level course called Introduction to Microsoft Office. This course covered the leading edge WYSIWYG productivity software from Microsoft. Gone was the command line or Word Perfect field codes. Students were required to “doubleclick” on “icons.” One student in my class earned an interview by putting her resume in PowerPoint and turning it in to the recruiter on a floppy disk — call it UnLinkedln.
When we had our first Board meeting in Atlanta, I was uncertain about the support that would be available (such as handing out badges) and invited one of my students, Viji Kannan, who in turn asked Jessica Marceau, to help out. When we got back, Viji said that she wanted to be on the Board. After I thought about it, having a student perspective was a great idea. It was perhaps the best thing that I’ve ever done with the Board and it’s due to Viji. Today there are always 5–9 students on the Board and they are a great resource and a joy to work with.
You could always tell a person taking a programming language (often FORTRAN or COBOL) from their card deck. You had Job Control Language (JCL) cards in front, then the program, and finally the data. You often spent more time getting the JCL right than on anything else. Many long nights were spent at Boyd Research Center where the mainframe computers were housed. —Hugh Watson
I taught the first programming language in the College. It was BASIC and we used Teletype machines. These machines were large, yellow, with raised keys. If you wanted to save a program, you had to output a paper tape. The fun began when you tried to input the tape and it tore.
I remember taking my class to a Mac lab in Aderhold (the College of Education). The lab had VisiCalc, the first electronic spreadsheet software, and a precursor to Lotus 123 and Excel.