Robert Patrick has written significant autobiographical material and has commented on events in the evolution of the computer software and services (and hardware) industry. Some of these materials have been appended to the transcript of this interview along with references to a number of the articles and papers which he has published. Thomas Haigh has therefore focused during this oral history interview on Bob Patrick's knowledge of many of the people and organizations and his insights as to how the use of computers has developed from its beginnings with the Card Programmed Calculator through the early 1990s when he retired as an active consultant. In the interview Bob talks about his work in the US Air Force, his joining Convair and using the IBM 701, working for General Motors and developing a data center operations management system and then going to work for C-E-I-R. He discusses being an active participant in SHARE and an active member of the Digital Computer Association and then becoming an active member of ACM and comments on some of the industry pioneers with whom he worked. He describes his role in the founding of Computer Sciences Corporation (CSC) and then becoming what he believes was the first independent computer systems and applications consultant. He talks of his extensive involvement with Datamation and with DPMA and the introduction of the Certificate of Data Processing. Bob then covers his long-term relationship with the RAND Corporation and his experience with the development of IMS and DL/1. Finally, he draws some conclusions about the industry's growth. The attached materials provide a wealth of detail on specific projects that Bob Patrick worked on during his lengthy career and share his thoughts on what have been some of the most important milestones in the industry.
Patrick, Robert; Association of Computing Machinery (ACM); Card Programmed Calculator (CPC); C-E-I-R; Certificate of Data Processing; Computer Science Corporation (CSC); Direct Couple; DL/1; Data Processing Management Association (DPMA); Brown, Robert; FACT; Flavors of Consulting; Jones, Fletcher; FORTRAN; Convair; McCracken, Dan; Database administrator; Data processing center; DATAMATION; Department of Defense Computer Institute; Digital Computer Association; Software business history; Gruenberger, Fred; General Motors Research; Grosch, Herb; Honeywell; IBM; IBM 360; IBM 701/ IBM 704; independent consultant; Swearingen, John; JOHNNIAC; Uncapher, Keith; Military Operational Specialty; Mock, Owen; Armer, Paul; Baran, Paul; RAND; Canning, Richard; Clippinger, Richard; Forest, Rober; Head, Robert