The Information Age and Technology Professionals: From Data Processing Centers to Cloud Computing.

A era da informação e os profissionais de tecnologia do CPD à computação em nuvem. STWBrasil

The history of technology is full of revolutions that have transformed not only the way we live but also how we work.

A notable example of this transformation is the trajectory of Mr. Antonio Neto, a systems analyst and business administrator, who witnessed technological evolution over the decades.

In this article, based on the last episode of the first season of STWCast, we will discuss what technology was like at the beginning of Mr. Neto’s career and how it has transformed, profoundly impacting the field of Information Technology (IT).

The era of 16K machines and the emergence of IT

Right from the start, Neto mentions that at the beginning of his career, computing machines were very different from what we know today.

Technology was just beginning to take its first steps in Brazil in the 1960s and 1970s, with computers mainly used for data collection purposes, such as by the Federal Revenue Service and municipal governments.

This initial phase of IT was known as “CPD” (Data Processing Center) and had a strict focus on data collection, not on management.

The first computers Mr. Neto worked with had only 16K of memory, a tiny fraction compared to the gigabytes of RAM we have today.

Processing capacity was limited, and programmers needed to be highly efficient in their tasks. Performing more than three compilations was considered a sign of inefficiency.

He also says that at that time, the training of programmers was deeply rooted in logic and problem-solving ability.

Programmers not only wrote code but also had to deeply understand the processes and business needs they were automating.

The microinformatics revolution and the rise of Apple and Microsoft

The advent of microinformatics brought significant changes.

Companies like Apple and Microsoft, long before IBM, recognized the potential of personal computing and began popularizing computers at home, something that previously seemed unthinkable.

With the decentralization and popularization of personal computers, IBM realized the need to change its approach. IBM’s open architecture competed directly with companies like Apple and Microsoft.

Customization capability and software availability played fundamental roles in this period of transformation.

As a result, IBM evolved its strategy by realizing that software was the true heart of the technological revolution.

It abandoned hardware production and focused on developing and providing software solutions. This strategic shift had a lasting impact on the IT industry.

The turn of the century and the Y2K bug

The turn of the century brought concerns about the “Y2K Bug,” which required program compilation and a two-digit year increase.

However, Neto highlights that the actual correction involved increasing only two bytes in the database.

The challenge was to find Cobol programmers who knew how to make this change, highlighting the dependence on highly specialized professionals.

From computing to Information Technology

Computing has evolved from customized programs to highly customizable enterprise systems.

The ability to adapt software solutions internally allowed information technology to become a management tool.

Even end-users can input data directly into the systems, automating processes that previously required data entry clerks.

A notable example is the revolution caused by the barcode. Previously, companies like Sabesp employed over two hundred tape punchers to measure and bill water accounts. The processing cycle took 40 days.

The arrival of the barcode eliminated 230 existing jobs to create others in their place.

Data security in the age of connection

With the proliferation of data and uninterrupted connectivity, numerous security challenges have arisen.

How to ensure security when conducting banking transactions through mobile applications? Data security has become a critical priority in our digital age.

It was in this context that new professions emerged and qualified technicians became necessary.

A technological journey in constant evolution

Mr. Antonio Neto’s technological journey vividly illustrates the incredible transformation that IT has experienced over the years. From 16K machines to cloud systems and data security.

For him, the main change in technology is the increasing speed, the exponential increase in memory, and, above all, instant communication. Today, devices are interconnected in unprecedented ways, driving efficiency and accessibility.

A piece of advice for professionals in the field is to specialize because that’s what the market demands.

It’s not enough to have access to college; you need to be an expert in an area to solve problems and be valued in your field.

To learn more about the evolution of technology and the importance of staying updated, watch the full episode of STWCast that is already available.

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