Gert Morau – 50 Years of Programming

Gert Morau 50 years in programming

Gert Morau. Photo: Carl Björklund

Today Gert Morau works as a system developer at Sigma Technology Solutions in Växjö. This year he has worked within the world of technology for 50 years. We had the privilege of interviewing him and finding out more about technological development during these years and how Gert views today’s consulting role.

From 1970 to 2020

Gert’s journey in technology begins as early as 1970, at the university in Lund, then Lunds datacentral för forskning och högre utbildning (Lund’s Data Center for Research and Higher Education). 

“It felt a bit temporary at first. I applied for a few different jobs after high school. I was tired of studying and was curious about computers and the data center. They bought a new computer at Lund, the Univac 1108, and scrapped their old one. The old one was the second computer in Sweden (SMIL, “Siffermaskinen i Lund“). This new ‘modern computer’ had input punch cards and could run one program at a time while requiring a separate building of almost 60 x 60 m.”

During his years at Lund’s Data Center, Gert learned all the necessary knowledge about modern technology, including his first programming skills. He later continued his education, tending an administrative education at Malmö University. At the same time, he self-educated in system development and programming since a proper technical education did not exist at that time.

After graduation, Gert started working as a programmer and later continued his career towards development. 

Smil computer used in the south of Sweden - first programming

Engineer Kjell Jönsson looks at the core memory of SMIL.

Photo from Sydsvenskan’s photo archive (Photos in the south), LDC.

“The primary focus was on financial accounting and payroll systems at that time. Later I entered the user-friendly side with customers who wanted to work with data extractions and run their post-processing processes. IBM developed some tools to work with, and then the PC entered the world.”

In 1983, Gert began to think about how to work with a PC. It was considered an advantage using a PC for spreadsheets, data, calculations, graphics, etc.

“At that time, we invested heavily in developing my employer’s financial system for PC. We managed to create a system where you could enter data, export reports, calculation tools, and even developed solutions for the first client-server. Also, compilers came, and you could start programming.”

As a result of the PC-development, Gert applied for a job at a Gothenburg company, which at the time was a driving force in the PC world. “The whole ’80s was all about migrating systems from big computers to PCs.”

As the internet spread in the ’90s, it became much more comfortable with integrated solutions. The world changed. People started building networks for PC.

“So much has happened since I started in the business. The machines are both faster and more powerful. Programming languages, development tools, and methods, everything has been developed at a rapid pace.”

Introduction to the consulting world

Gert’s curiosity and his genuine interest in technology made it difficult for him to stay longer periods with the same employer. In the late ’90s, his time as a consultant and self-employed began.

“I have been given many different assignments. Everything from marketing to built-in systems and mobile phones.”

In 2004, Gert commenced in a new world of gaming at Boss Media (later acquired by GTECH). During that time, Gert traveled to international offices in Canada, India, and Italy.

This is when he first got in contact with Sigma Technology Solutions, and later, in 2015, Gert joined Sigma. During the first years, Gert continued to work with gaming at IGT but then got a new assignment at Visma. He now works with system development for payroll systems and accounting.

“My experience from the ’80s covering both COBOL and C programming proved very useful.”

Gert recently turned 68, but when asked when he will slow down, he laughs and answers briefly: 

“I’m not planning to retire. It’s still great fun!”

What is your view on the business today?

“You tend to end up within a specific part of the project since there are incredibly complex systems today. Previously you worked with several different components and had control over the entire system.

When I started my career, computers were mostly used for accounting. Today, I can hardly think of any part of society that does not use digital technologies. With the development of AI, online experiences, mobile apps, and social media, the focus is more towards intelligent solutions, which is very exciting.”

Do you have any tips for future developers and consultants?

“Be curious and watch which route the development is taking. There are huge possibilities to find information, so you need to follow the trends and get in-depth knowledge.

As a consultant, it is essential to become part of the team quickly, be humble, understand the workplace, and not only the technical details. Ask around, learn, and figure out how everything works.

It is vital to be a specialist within your line of work. But not too much either. You need to see the bigger picture since the business is continuously evolving – just like technology. Keep an eye on what currently exists and keep developing.”

For more information, contact:

Nataly Lamkén, Chief Communications Officer, Sigma Technology nataly.lamken@sigmatechnology.se, +46 725 194 048.

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