Most of you know me as a member of New Life Riders (CMA), and the lay chaplain of UCOA, or perhaps as a Tommy Z (PhotoBubba), always running around snapping pictures.

But, there is another side of me that you don’t see when I am out and about in the motorcycle community.

I am also a software developer. What is that you might ask? Well I am someone who sits at a desk for hours and hours every day tapping on a keyboard and looking at a tiny screen. Well, actually they aren’t so tiny, I have two 24” screens at work. Anyway, my job mostly involves fix problems in a HUGE application that is used to assist people in the development and analysis of drugs. I have been working in my current job since 1994 (22 years), and God willing, I hope to retire in the next few years. Then, as if you don’t already see enough of me, I may actually be able to be out and about even more than I am now.

So, you might wonder why I am telling you this. Well, I happened to come across an interview I did back in 2010. You see, as part of my life as a software developer, I was also pretty well known in a particular segment of that community called Forth programmers. For about 20 years, from 1980 to about 2000, I was gainfully employed writing a very special kind of software called Software Development Systems. Specifically development systems for Forth programmers. I say I was gainfully employed, but not because I wrote development systems to sell. Although I did do that for a while, but because I wrote development systems to give away. It sounds strange I know, making money by giving things away, but you see I gave away the development systems I wrote because I wanted other people to be able to use them in the same way I was using them for my current employer. This probably all seems too complicated, but essentially I gave away my development software so others would contribute to it and I would be able to use the results of their work as well as my own. It was a sort of pyramid scheme where no money changed hands but every one benefitted.

Ok, so as not to make this any longer, here is a document that describes both a history and a philosophy. Some of you may find it interesting, but if you don’t, it’s ok.
An Interview with Tom Zimmer.pdf