My Adventures at IBM

 

I took an indirect route to a twenty-five-year career in IBM. Working for IBM became a possibility when Althea Young, my high school math teacher, at Kingston College in Jamaica, said to me, "Baron, you are a bright boy. You could achieve almost any goal that you set for yourself. You could work for IBM, for example."  At the time, I had little knowledge of IBM because to me, IBM was an American computer company that had a small office in Kingston. I was not sure why Mrs. Young thought that working at IBM  would be a worthy achievement, but I knew from experience that whatever Mrs. Young said would be a good idea. I did not think of IBM again until the early seventies when I worked as a mathematics teacher at Rockland Country Day School (RCDS) in Congers, New York. At RCDS, I taught Daniel Radin, whose father, George Radin, was a computer scientist at IBM's Research Center across the river at York Town Heights. George was known for his participation in the development of the PL/1 programming language and the design of the OS/360 system. George became an IBM Fellow for his outstanding work, which is the highest technical appointments at IBM. Daniel enjoyed his mathematics classes with me and told his father about me. George, based on his son's comments, wrote a recommendation for me to IBM. This recommendation started a process that led to a beautiful twenty-five-year career.