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The day I saved the planet

I was chatting to a group of girls in a cocktail bar a while back.... Before long we got on to that all important question of small talk... "What is it you do?"

Working in IT and being a geek... albeit perhaps the coolest geek in IT (It's a low bar) this is one of the questions I hate!!

Do I say Scrum master? well almost nobody outside of certain select circles know what a scrum master is!! I could say developer or coder... but once again nobody really knows what a coder does!

I do a bit of agile coaching and consultancy work and team management - none of which sounds all that exciting or interesting - Well not to a group of girls in a cocktail bar anyway.

So I thought I'd retell the true story of how I and an elite group of programmers/coders/developers (take your pick) saved the plant from almost certain doom towards the end of the 20th Century.

It seems a distant memory now... But do you remember the Y2K bug? Do you remember the panic it caused? The bug was big, big news with predictions of planes falling from the sky - shortages of food, power stations shutting down and possibly even nuclear war!!!

The issues were mainly caused by systems which used a 2 digit year as opposed to 4 which would have meant that on the 1st of January 2000 the systems would have gone from '99' to '00' systems would have thought it was 1900 again the leap year would not have been recognised and untold damage could have been done!

Many years later - most people think it was an overblown media hyped story.. However a group of us worked hard for the last few years of the last millennium identifying and fixing the potentially disastrous bug!! Which is why come the 1st January, 2000 - everything kept on working - no planes fell from the sky and nuclear war didn't start! (Although our COBOL RTS still refused to accept that February had 29 days in it and messed up a whole bunch of invoices)

It's hard to say if the girls were impressed or not as most had other engagements and couldn't stay until the end of the story.

Thanks for reading

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Christian Miles