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A Short History of Systems Development

Feb 19th 2012 at 10:53 PM

Visual Impact Muscle BuildingINTRODUCTION

I always find it amusing when I tell a young person in this industry I
worked with punch cards and plastic models years. Its kind of
same dumbfounded look I get from my kids when I tell them, we used to
watching television in black and white, with three channels, no remote,
approvals and stations at midnight. It has been my observation that our youngest
workers do not have a sense of history, which is particularly evident in the
global systems. If they do not have an appreciation of where we came from,
I doubt they will have an appreciation of where we should go. As a result,
I gathered the following chronology of events in the hope that this will
an overview of how the systems industry has evolved to its current state.

I'm sure I could turn this into a long dissertation, but instead, I'll try
to be brief and to the point. In addition, the following will have little concern
for academic development, but rather how the systems were implemented
in practice in the corporate world.

PRE-1950 - "Systems and Procedures"

Perhaps the greatest revelation to our young readers in this period
be that there was no form of systems prior to the advent of
computer. In fact, "the systems and procedures" departments prior to the
computer in several years. These departments would be affected by the
design business processes using key "work measurement" and "work
simplification "techniques such as engineered industrial. These
process have been carefully designed using diagrams and flowcharts of the grid. There
was highly accurate in the design of forms for recording data, filing systems to
manage the paperwork, and the use of summary reports to act as control
points in the systems. For example, spreadsheets have been widely used
for many years before the introduction of Lotus 1-2-3 or Microsoft Excel. There were
also paid considerable attention to human behavior during the activity
process (the precursor of "ergonomics").

The systems were initially implemented by the paper and pencil using ledgers, journals
(Logs), index, and spreadsheets. We always had some interesting deposit
systems, everything from maps and records in storage cabinets.

Perhaps the earliest mechanical device was the old abacus used for simple
mathematics (which is still used, even to this day). The late 1800s saw the advent of cash
registers and adding machines as popularized by companies such as NCR
Dayton, Ohio as John Patterson who also introduced radical changes in
terms of dress and conduct business. This was adopted by Thomas Watson, Sr.
who has worked for many years at NCR and IBM extended these practices to
and the rest of the world of business. In addition, Burroughs was a major player in
industry in the early adding machines.

The first typewriters were also introduced in the late 1800s that had a huge
effect on the correspondence and order processing. This was mainly led by Remington
Weapons (which would later become Remington Rand).

In the early 1900s, the tabulation equipment was introduced to support such things
that the census count. It was then widely adopted by U.S. companies. Occasionally
you have old timers that can describe how they could program these machines
using patch panels. Punched card sorters were added as a complement to Tab
Materials.

As a note, most of what IBM Watson learned about business was
his first days in the NCR. However, he had a falling out with Patterson who shot
him. Like a little piece of trivia, after Watson's death, he was buried in Dayton on a
hill overlooking the headquarters of NCR, the company he could not conquer.

During World War II, both the U.S. military industrial complex and relied heavily
manually implement systems. We did so many people, including
the Japanese say it gave the Allies an advantage during the war.

The lesson here, therefore, is that the systems implemented were manually with
us long before the computer and are still with us today. To give you an idea of
history in this regard, consider one of our most popular Bryce Laws:Visual Impact Muscle Building

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