Dr Dobbs Journal

When I was first starting out as a developer, just learning C and the wonders of C++, I was working at a small engineering company, the majority of the employees thought that computing was a thing for secretaries to do, because women were secretaries and they were the only ones who did, or should, touch a keyboard. Either a typewriter or a computer keyboard. I was not in contact with any other software folk, no community or anything outside of work.

Contrast that with the team of actual, real-life, developers who I was working with in the U.S. They were super cool, were steeped in the programming culture, knew about all the command line options for the latest Microsoft and Borland C++ compilers. They were impossibly glamourous to my isolated, starved existence back in the UK and in the culture I was experiencing at that company.

Visiting the US office meant I had the chance to pick up old copies of “Dr. Dobbs Journal” which was an actual magazine, targetted at programmers like me and full of all kinds of wonderful treasures for the professional programmer that you would never see in the UK which seemed to be all about the ZX Spectrum and the BASIC language.

Here’s the first ever copy of that magazine that made it into my possession thanks to my idols at the US company.

cover

back cover

inside content page

inside content page

Much later after leaving that company behind, I was working at another, but much more enlightened engineering/electronics company when the internet was just starting but CD-ROMs were becoming all the rage. Finally I was able to get access to even more information from Dr Dobbs in the form of their archive, supplied on one CD-ROM.

cd front

This was all the back issues, searchable, with code examples!!! There are no words for how wonderful a thing like this was to a young developer starved of both culture and information that the U.S. audience seemed to take for granted.

cd back