Today on my commute in, the train engineer announced that the conductor was retiring after 40 years. I would miss this guy – after all, I chatted with him almost every morning and he rides a motorcycle, which makes us kin in some circles. More importantly (and potentially relevant to you), his 40 years of service made me reflect on career spans and industry changes. This man spent 40 years working for a transit organization. Certainly, transportation has made some significant changes in 40 years, but nothing compared to Technology, I thought. Perhaps that is why so many of us love this field. I did a quick search on the history of Technology over the last 40 years, and below is what I found. The History of Computers at, highlights:

1969 – ArpaNet came online
1970 – First Dynamic RAM
1971 – The first microprocessor and Floppy Disks
1973 – Introduction of Ethernet
1974/75 – The first consumer computers (Altair & IBM 5100)
1978 – First Spreadsheet Software (Visicalc)
1979 – Introduction of Word Processors
1981 – The IBM PC – Home Computer
1981 – Microsoft MS-DOS Computer Operating System
1983 – First home computer with a GUI (Apple’s “Lisa”)
1985 – Introduction of Microsoft Windows and so the war with Apple begins

For the full article, check out’s article.

I chatted with my fellow commuters in the IT field and we tried to uncover other industries exposed to such dramatic changes in 40 years time. We thought of several fields, but all were driven by Technology evolution first. In the end, perhaps it is change that makes all of us Techno-geeks and IT Business leaders so enthralled with our profession.


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Ben Lichtenwalner

Ben Lichtenwalner is the founder and principal of Modern Servant Leader and Radiant Forest, LLC. He has studied and promoted servant leadership awareness and adoption for over 20 years. He is the author of 2 leadership books and has 2 decades of corporate management and leadership experience. His corporate experience spans CIO, VP, Director, and many management roles at Fortune 500, INC 500, and Nonprofits. Ben’s education includes a B.S. in Management Science & Information Systems from Penn State University and an MBA from Lehigh University. Ben's Full Profile Here: About Ben Lichtenwalner

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