Forget Y2K fizz, net and GUI grand

15 years reviewed: John Jennings

John Jennings

Then: 1986

At the end of 1986 I was the Wellington manager of [recruitment firm] IDPE, which at that time was still owned by Bob Jones who originally started the company. I ran the branch and had a team of six recruitment consultants. The IT environment was from the ark and we had a database which had been developed in Dataflex, but most of us still relied on manual systems.


I am co-owner along with Colin Hanson. We bought IDPE in 1988 and have continued in IT recruitment in our Wellington offices ever since. Job duties are much more hands-on these days and, along with Paul Simpson who left us to be the Simpson in Lacey Lee Simpson and then came back, we each "work a desk".

The IT environment is a small LAN of Compaq Pentiums which run a fully integrated recruitment system that we developed ourselves in Access. A lot of the people we deal with seem impressed that the vacancies on our web site are updated daily but that seems the only sensible thing to do.

The most significant industry event of the past 15 years:

Y2K turned out to be a fizzer, but the lead-up to it was certainly an event that made some rich, some poor, some frightened, some bemused and some look a bit silly. If the person who changed the Assembler programs which I wrote at Databank back in 1975 when I first arrived in New Zealand reads this: Hello!

The most significant technology development of the past 15 years:

The internet and the whole GUI revolution which makes it so compulsive to some people.

One technology you thought wouldn't make it but did:

When I first heard Bill Gates raving on about the information superhighway I thought that he was going over the top, but years later the reality is even more unbelievable.

Best technology decision you made in the past 15 years:

Don’t buy the first release of a new version.

Proudest IT achievement:

Acting as assistant when our 10-year-old installed a sound card into his old 486 last Christmas.

Worst IT disaster:

When our five-year-old discovered that he could get even with his big brother by dragging his downloaded games folder to the recycle bin and emptying.

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