David is telling me a story from writing software for the American Stock Exchange in 1985 or 6 to display options trading info and it is a wild story of a very different time. That software that sat there doing its job sans maintenance for 12 years.

Meanwhile the money in the industry was all being made by, he points out, the company famous for the BSOD, which had a monopoly position that it ruthlessly exploited and savvy sales people who knew how to manipulate.

“Software quality doesn’t seem to matter,” he says.

The project was a couple of weeks late because the hardware was late to be delivered. He spent the time interviewing options traders about how they did their jobs. “Domain knowledge is invaluable,” he says.


He was 22 at the time. The software in question was written in C. This makes its 12-year run all the more impressive.

I forgot to ask him how much he was paid for this.

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