The Story of My Life so Far - Part 110 - Engineers I work with on CAATS, part 3: AlexsteemCreated with Sketch.

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This is the story of my life so far: 68 years and counting.
Prequel: A Brief History of my Family in France


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The story starts here
Previous episode: Part 109


Alex

Like Chris and Kim, Alex was an employee of Hughes Aircraft who had come from Fullerton to be part of the CAATS team in British Columbia. Like Chris, he was part of the architecture team.

Alex was born in the United States. His parents were immigrant from one of the Baltic states, that I believe was Latvia.

In addition to being an excellent software engineer, Alex liked to tease other people and to joke.
For example, he had put a note in front of the office of Chris, that read:

Resistance is futile, you will be assimilated

This is a reference to the Borg in Star Trek the Next Generation.
What Alex meant was that Chris who was originally a software engineer was becoming a manager.

One day, when I arrived at work, I discovered that on the tag near my door, under my name was the word "Adameister", presumably because I had a good knowledge of the Ada programming language. I immediately guessed that it was Alex who had changed the tag. So, I confronted him and naturally, he denied it. But I told him that if he knew the person that did it, he should tell them that the font was not the right one. And of course, the next day the tag was written with the right font.

I thought it was a fun idea to give subtitles to the engineers we liked, so Alex and myself we started a naming campaign.

I tried to always put in the subtitle a reference to the person or their name and a reference to their job.

Here are several examples of subtitles:

Billy Hui, a data modeller: The Modelling Kid
Vicky Fan, also a data modeller: The Data Ventilator
??? Nottingham, who worked in the subsystem TACO (Tactical Coordination): The Sheriff of Tacoma

Among the high level managers, it was considered cool to have a subtitle. For example, we asked the big boss of the "software factory" that was developing CAATS if he was OK with the subtitle we proposed for him, and he said yes.
As his first name was Arthur, his subtitle was "The King of the Factory".

I had given Alex the subtitle "The Namer".

And we modified what was displayed on Chris's door to: Resistance was futile, I have been assimilated.


In 1997, we were three CAATS engineer that presented papers at the Ada Europe 1997 conference in London. After the conference, Alex went for the first time to Latvia and met some of his cousins for the first time. He was even able to try to claim some of the properties that had belonged to his family with land titles that his parents has kept for more than fifty years.

After leaving CAATS, Alex moved to Seattle and worked for Boeing and at least one other company.
Like most CAATS engineers, I have lost contact with Alex.

Continue to Part 111


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Summary
Part 1 - Part 2 - Part 3 - Part 4 - Part 5 - Part 6 - Part 7 - Part 8
Part 9 - Part 10 - Part 11 - Part 12 - Part 13 - Part 14 - Part 15 - Part 16
Part 17 - Part 18 - Part 19 - Part 20 - Part 21 - Part 22 - Part 23 - Part 24
Part 25 - Part 26 - Part 27 - Part 28 - Part 29 - Part 30 - Part 31 - Part 32
Part 33 - Part 34 - Part 35 - Part 36 - Part 37 - Part 38 - Part 39 - Part 40
Part 41 - Part 42 - Part 43 - Part 44 - Part 45 - Part 46 - Part 47 - Part 48
Part 49 - Part 50 - Part 51 - Part 52 - Part 53 - Part 54 - Part 55 - Part 56
Part 57 - Part 58 - Part 59 - Part 60 - Part 61 - Part 62 - Part 63 - Part 64
Part 65 - Part 66 - Part 67 - Part 68 - Part 69 - Part 70 - Part 71 - Part 72
Part 73 - Part 74 - Part 75 - Part 76 - Part 77 - Part 78 - Part 79 - Part 80
Part 81 - Part 82 - Part 83 - Part 84 - Part 85 - Part 86 - Part 87 - Part 88
Part 89 - Part 90 - Part 91 - Part 92 - Part 93 - Part 94 - Part 95 - Part 96
Part 97 - Part 98 - Part 99 - Part 100 - Part 101 - Part 102 - Part 103 - Part 104
Part 105 - Part 106 - Part 107 - Part 108 - Part 109



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