I was in the computer hardware/software/services business for almost 50 years.
Act I: IBM
I went to work for IBM Canada in 1967, fresh out of university. I spent
5 years in a branch sales office, 5 years in a regional Education Centre, a year in the
Field Support Centre, and a couple of years in the IBM Canada software lab.
I quit after 13 years because I found IBM technology stodgy, and I didn't get a promotion I thought
I had earned but probably hadn't.
Act II: Art Benjamin Associates (ABA)
After IBM I met and worked for Art Benjamin, who was to be the biggest single
influence on my career. ABA already had a successful product, ACT/1, aimed at mainframe development in
large enterprises, but Art was looking ahead to a more ambitious offering, ACT/2, and I became his
Chief Architect for that. I enjoyed it immensely, and we did some good work, until ABA fell into
Act III: DMR
With ABA gone, I joined DMR as a consultant and project manager.
That was mostly a positive experience, but I resigned when a project I was leading went very bad
and I learned that Art had started another company.
Act IV: Art Benjamin Again
I joined Art at Online People and we developed some very cool software tools
to build what now would be called groupware, which we deployed quite successfully at several large
At some point a new company was split off, called PROTEO, and we built a
shrink-wrapped end-user product based on our groupware tools. There was some good stuff there, but it
wasn't really a success. I had a falling out with the company head who had displaced Art, and resigned
after what I later recognized had been his strategy of constructive dismissal.
Act V: IBM Again
I went back to IBM for the money and security,
then left before I got fired from a company I did not recognize and could not fit into.
IBM had re-hired me on the recommendations of two very good friends, and I had to get out before I
caused them serious grief. It was a bit of a shock to me, and maybe to them.
But the friendships continued.
Act VI: Independent
Then I incorporated as JRT Software Services Inc., and did a whole bunch of
consulting and bespoke software. It was great fun and very profitable, but I am no entrepreneur, and not
much of a salesman, so after a couple of years I suddenly realized my business was about to dry up.
I had no idea what to do about that.
Act VII: NAME
Fortunately for me, my best client, North America Media Engines (NAME)
made me an excellent job offer, and I hired on as a consultant. Later they appointed me VP of Consulting.
NAME was a wonderful organization with great people, but, sadly, it foundered after a couple of years.
Act VIII: Meritage
A US consulting company, Meritage Technologies, heard about the collapse of NAME and got in touch with
me and a few other refugees, proposing that we start a Canadian subsidiary, which we did. For a short
time it seemed like a lifesaver, but, ultimately, Meritage Canada
went down in very ugly flames, and I found myself seriously unemployed, which is no way to be at age 58.
Act IX: Syntegration
I re-activated JRT Software Services Inc. and scrambled for a while;
then I hooked up with a couple of former NAME executives who had started
The Syntegrity Group. They got me some consulting jobs, and I
started building software to support their methodology. This became a decade-long gig developing
software and technology solutions for them and a sister organization in Switzerland. Check them out
I retired at the end of December, 2016.
This site was established as an online resume, but now that I'm retired it's morphing into more of
a career memoir. Everyone needs a hobby.