I had a “work-shadow” request from the phone.
Dean is standard 9, which, I think, makes him 16.
This is a program where the school asks students to gain some experience in a work environment.
We also deal with, and use, a lot of free software. One of these is PGP, which we use for digital signatures.
It allows us to verify that the message was written by the owner of that signature, and has not been tampered with.
It uses all the same algorithms as encryption, but our messages are not necessarily encrypted.
We needed to be able to provide a mail gateway program that would automatically sign messages on the way out, that runs on Windows NT. We run Unix on all our servers.
Dean worked at this, and had to install NT, find network drivers, cards, some mail server software, DOS PGP software, and tie it all together.
He came in for another week to do this, and finally delivered a zip archive consisting of instructions, and some of the harder-to-find pieces to be found on the net.
He needed help - as we all do. In fact, the reality of todays software development is that you in a wilderness of twisty passages, and we need all the help we can get .. :-)
Seriously, internet research is an important part of development today. But you knew that ..
We used the Web, Usenet news (my favourite) and Dean had his chat groups. I confess I do not have the ability to follow a discussion thread out of the corner of my eye, but chat is also about a good use of tools. You can be very selective. It is also the younger crowd ..
We were very glad to have Dean stop in and help us out.
We hope, and expect, to see Dean making further contributions to software, a highly valued profession today.