"Top 10 TRW Memories"
(more or less as
presented at his & Ruth's retirement party, April 25, 2005)
Most of my adult life (ages 29 to 60 in my
has (like many of you) pretty
much been solely defined by 2 dominating facets: Family and Career – activities at work or with
those of you I knew from work. (Click here to jump straight to my “Top
10,” skipping a couple minutes about Family and a list of TRW memories
not making the Top 10.)
Regarding my Family,
most of you know I met my wife and best friend, Ruth, in grad school in Computer
Sciences at Purdue and shared my entire TRW career with her. It
wouldn’t be right if the two of us weren’t jointly sharing this wonderful
retirement party with so many friends and colleagues. Our oldest
age 26, is a software engineer in Providence, RI, after getting turned
on to CS by the same man (Andy van
Dam) who turned me on to CS exactly 30 years earlier, in
1967. Our younger daugher, Alison,
is a biology grad from Washington University in St. Louis and has
decided to go to grad school in Public Policy, joining her sister in
Providence; we hope this and the bio degree turn out to be a good
combination leading to a good job sooner rather than later.
I treasure my memories of the early years with my daughters --
all their sports, Indian Princesses, attending all their school plays
& special activities, camping…; when they became teenagers they had
much less use for Dad than Mom. The only thing I have to
say to indicate the kind of family we have now is that both daughters
to assume they will continue to come on vacations with us forever (I never went on one with my family
growing up past age 16), e.g., 2 Olympics including Salt Lake
City in 2002, 3 Hawaii trips, a
recent New England jaunt & Alaska cruise, etc. We’re not sure
happy we are about such family tightness, Travel being one of our
But, I’m not retiring from my family. Only from the company. So,
moving on …
honestly say I enjoyed every day I worked at TRW and I feel like I'm
going out at the top of my
game -- retiring
not because I'm tired of the work or physically ready to go but only
because there's so much else
I want to do in my life and I can't delay forever before getting at it.
TRW/Northrop-Grumman career has been rich with memories, some rewarding
and special, some amusing, some enduring over the decades, and some
moments memorable just for their singular uniqueness. Because
there's so many memories, you won’t hear about many of them on my “Top
10 TRW Memories” list. Here’s some that didn’t make the Top 10:
- “Filthy Phil” Herwegh, who
hired several of us here and whom Ruth at least temporarily “cured” of
male chauvinism concerning a female’s ability in this workplace
- SDVS, DAIS, or MX
- The Grade 10 Task Force
- Building “B,” my code
name for the beach, to which I would sneak out at low tide in the late
70’s and 80’s where I discovered jogging as an ends, not just a means
to an end – and of course also started my now--successfully-replaced
left knee on the road to ruin
- Any PDL -- Caine,
Farber, & Gordon PDL; Jovial PDL, Concurrent PDL (sorry Dave Bixler), Ada PDL
- The TRW Tennis Club ladder,
& how Mike Springman destroyed me
- My off-and-on TRW basketball
career (also a major contributor to that destroyed knee)
- Any Ron Block stories
- The Hal-as-Lance-Newman story
- St. Hart’s Day (because
its origin pre-dates our TRW career and it’s not exclusively a TRW
party, even though 2 TRW employees and 1 retiree have the only perfect
attendance records through 29 St. Hart's Days so far in California…)
- The tale of how we met Steve
Groff 2 years before we met Steve Groff.
It was really hard getting down to just 10
all-time favorite TRW memories, so with no further ado, drum roll
please: (the following
list contains Titles only, and is followed by the list with the
detailed comments Hal added explaining each; click here
to go straight to the detailed list, or click on each title directly
below to jump to its explanation)
#12: “DIRTY DENSING”
- Who remembers when we were all asked to sacrifice for the company by
squeezing into less office space in the mid-1980's?
- Who remembers who the Dirty
Densing Czar was?
- Now we know how the company found enough $$ to DAVE BARAKAT a
Vice President. :-)
- Seriously, I remember Dirty
Densing as much a memory of Dave Barakat as for its silly sense
of economy. Dave, while probably never winner of "Most
Beloved Manager of the Year," represented to me one of the many fine
managers I worked under at TRW: devoted to the company, a great
communicator, demonstrating to us that sometimes business perspectives
trumpted technical excellence, willing to teach others, ...
#11: My introduction to HABITAT FOR
- I first got involved with Habitat when Tactical Systems had an
internal drive to sign up laborers for the Wilmington
20-Houses-in-8-Days blitz in December 2000. I really hadn't been
much of a volunteer for
anything, and had already realized Habitat could be a great fit with my
ability for doing a lot of simple home
repairs. But I don't know when i would have gotten around
to making contact with Habitat if Tactical hadn't dropped the
opportunity in my lap.
- I only worked 2 or 3 days per year as my knee worsened, and
suddenly zoomed to ~20 last year (2004), the first full year after
rehab from my knee replacement. I've already worked 9 days
this year, hoping to break my record every year for a few years.
- I've seen several of my TRW/Northrop-Grumman colleagues on the
Habitat building sites regularly, especially Allison Jones and Karen
Sopa. Rarely do I work Habitat without seeing someone from the
company, and I'm proud to say I'm unaware of any other company that
sends as many regular volunteers. Eric Shuman's mother, Toni
Shuman, is my role model, telling me that first day I worked in 2000
she had spent 100 Saturdays on Habitat sites since her TRW retirement
-- probably Crew Leading every time because i've observed her
broad construction knowledge and teaching ability.
- One reason that will keep me coming out to volunteer for Habitat
as long as I'm fit enough to do so is working with the 20-something
kids from AmeriCorps who are Habitat's every-day builders, visiting
groups during the several annual Collegiate Challenge weeks, and young
people I meet when crew leading on Saturdays. Working with
these kids and hearing their stories keeps me young.
- On the other hand, on my 60th birthday last month, a Thursday, I
chose to work a day of Habitat -- driving ~500 nails
framing -- which was a wise choice because for the first
time I actually felt 60 afterwards: all achy and tired, and by
only 3:30pm. :-)
- Habitat is now one of my Top 3 retirement priorities, and I thank
the company for providing the opportunity to get involved.
#10: CRAD, AdaPAKSS, ASE, STARS
- Barry Boehm taught us in the early 1980's that
Contract R&D (CRAD) should be the goal of every IRAD PI --
getting the Government to pay us contract money to do what we would
otherwise have to invest company money in.
- In many ways, the middle third of my career (from 1983 to about 1993 when the company
decided to de-emphasize CRAD acquistion as opportunities got tighter) when
I won and managed 3 multi-million-dollar CRAD projects was the most
rewarding part of my career -- teaching me about hiring,
pricing, business, scheduling, customer relations, higher-management
reporting, etc. I was good at this job, more often than not
writing my own SOWs and even once (on the ACE project) helping my COTR secure
new money (Nuun Amendment, for NATO technologies) to overflow our
contract funding ceiling.
- I remember Bob Africano, when he was my Business Area manager in
the early 90's in Space Park, once saying he liked me as a CRAD PM
because I always solved all the contract problems without bring them to
him. This was one of the greatest compliments i received in my
- I had the pleasure on my last CRAD project (STARS) to have a superstart, then
and now, working for me: Aaron Goldstein.
- But the best part of my CRAD management career was that I had a
great mentor: Barry Boehm...
- I counted and figure I was sent (or sent myself) to about 200 technical conferences,
workshops, standards meetings, Governement working group meetings, and
Government advisory board meetings in my career.
Contrast that to a total of maybe 10 trips to project milestone review
meetings, and even fewer marking
- I made a presentation of some sort at approx. 100 of those 200
events; honed my "preformance" skills...
- Early in my career some manager decided I was a good
representative of the company at these external events, and it is true
that we largely won my 3 CRAD projects and I might have helped on
others because I was adept at being in the right place at the right
time, i.e., meeting and apparently impressing certain technology
customers. So for over 25 years I was provided little pots of
money to continue to walk around in
public. I never told them that I probably loved the
travel and the friendships I made outside the company even more than
whatever benefits brought to the company.
- By the middle of my career I was often involved in "organizing"
roles at most of the events I attended, sometimes earning travel
subsidies and comp fees from the external sponsoring
- I am indebted to ( in addition to Barry) Eldred Nelson, Chuck
Hamilton, Barry DeRoze, Bob Africano, Neil Siegel, BK Richard, and
George Petteys for always being sure I had the resources I needed as I
saw fit to stay involved and visible in these technical
- I have never fully understood why the great trust was put
in me with all these resources, but deeply appreciate it. This
much fun, almost continously at the 10-20% level even during the almost
90% of my career when I was on contract projects of varying sizes,
always kept my job most enjoyable.
#8: The PURDUE CONNECTION
- Sam Conte left TRW/Aerospace Corporation in 1961, recruited to
Purdue to form the first Department of Computer Sciences where he
served as Department Chairman for decades.
- The pipeline of job opportunities for Purdue CS graduate and
undergraduate students in the late 1960's and early 70's was enhanced
not only by only Sam's connections but also because CDC mainframe
computers, moderately rare in both academia and industry but used at
Purdue and TRW.
- I was the 4th of 5 Purdue CS PhD drop-outs to come to TRW in a
3-4 year period: Dick Schmidt, Mike McClimens (who left our
Dayton field office for Mitre after a few years), Bill Allendoerfer,
and my great friend Frank Belz being the others. Good
friend Dave Capka, whom we knew at Purdue in our final 2 years there,
finally broke that string of futility several years later by returning
to Purdue for a PhD after a 4-year ROTC obligation.
- Dave may remember that I was the only righty in a regular golfing
foursome with him at Purdue in the early 1970's. Quick, Dave, who
were the other 2 lefties
McCllmens and Stu Sweben, long-time Chairman of the Ohio State CS
Department and President of the ACM when I was SIGAda Chair in the
- Besides Frank (now Tactical
Systems Chief Engineer) and Dave (a Technical Fellow), we have
counted as good friends we met at Purdue both
Bill & Beth Allendoerfer, Kathy Mapes, Jackie Garnett (now Smith),
Anna Q, Lisa Vescovi (now Kohl) and
- Not to mention that Bobs Harter/Burnett, TRW execs when we joined
the company, + many others in Space Technologies, who came from other
- And we are pleased to see the
company more recently gear back up Purdue recruiting, now counting
friends like Allen Adams, Joe
Kraus, Ed Divish, and several young AEHF folks as part of the Purdue
#7: That Old GEORGE PETTEYS Section
#6: WOMEN I HAVE KNOWN
- Many of
you remember that back in the olden days of the matrix, the
lowest-level unit of company organization was the "section." My
most collegial times with a tight-knit group of TRW colleagues, at and
outside work, were in the late 1970's when I made the only voluntary
transfer of my career into Pete Beer's section which was taken over by
George Petteys the week I transferred in May of 1977.
- My good
friends from those few years include Jackie Thompson, Bob Machado, Ken
Hupf, Don Kuroyama, Dave Bixler (promoted out of the section just as I
arrived but still co-located), and of course George who got re-org'd a
different direction than me in the early 80's and came back as both a
friend and then leader the last decade of my career, as did Dave.
- And who
can forget our secretary
Sunny Assar, who kept us all in line?
Building B for volleyball noontimes on Fridays?
commaraderie of this group typified for me a company culture, not
surprisingly resulting in almost all of us still being here almost 30
years later. Am I first of the old George Petteys section to retire?
I have never had a female as a direct supervisor/boss in my
career. So, on to #5.
for laughter, or groans)
#5: The TRW GOLF CLUB
I had female customers for the 3 CRAD projects I managed and 2
Government Environment/Interface standards working groups I was on in
the middle of my career: Teri Payton of Unisys, and several
times Tricia Oberndorf of first the Navy (NOSC and NAVWAR) and now a
program director at the SEI.
- But, I
worked with so many outstanding femailes (besides Ruth) in my TRW career who
demonstrated clearly their equality if not superiority to most
men: Jackie Thompson, Jackie Smith, Christine Shu, Judy
Kerner, Carol King, Jeannie Hilger, Vancessa Chin, Joan Bebb, Isabell
Muennichow, Karen Chorney, "Chart" (Hortensia
Silva), Diane Mizukami, Georgette Rowe, and
- Talk about the cure for male
chauvenism -- work here for awhile.
- Last but
Most: Lolo Penedo, now Tactical Systems
Science Board chair, with whom I have shared passions and opportunities
for technology and tech coordination as a good friend and colleague for
over 2 decades. Among Lolo's many assets, I thank her
for co-founding the Tactical Systems TechnoNet
lunchtime colloquia with me almost 10 years ago and for recruiting
Allen Adams to take over its organization for me; because of Lolo I am
confident TechnoNet will have
a long, bright future, and for this I feel good.
#4: “CMM / CMMI / LEVELS 4-5 / SEPG /
MET / M&A / SEI / SCAMPI …” -- one more set of DoD
wouldn't think that a game often more frustrating and more stressful
than our jobs could be therapeutic, but those of us who play find that
golf gets the mind off everyting else, and this is good for recharging
batteries for work. Also, Golf is the 3rd of my top retirement
priorities (besides Habitat & travel with Ruth) ... to finally get
my game in the shape I've always known it should be.
played since age 10, imagine how pleased I was to be recruited into the
TRW Golf Club by office mate Walt Maki right after we were transferred
to California in 1976 after our 2 years in the Dayton field
group. The TRW Golf Club has been a constant source
of relaxation (no, call it a
different kind of "stress" that takes the mind off work) -- with
a small 18-year gap from 1984 to 2002 to allow me to spend Saturdays
with my kids.
Groff and Walt Maki were golfing friends both before and after my
18-year layoff. George Petteys too. And more recently
I have enjoyed my time on the links with Tosh Nakano, Phil Diaz, Craig
Chessmore, Dave Brice, and others. Verne Nagayama too.
- The Meeting-Steve-Groff-2-Years-Before-Meeting-Him
story: this is the chance to mention lost friend and 2nd Dayton
boss, Mike Hollowich (Steve's roommate pre-1994) with whom we had many
good times in our earliest years.
- Walt tells
golf stories all the time, for example his oft-told story of the 4-Putt-Bogey (an extreme rarity and
example of excellence turned to ineptness, for those of you who don't
play golf) ... but that should be my story, not his, because I shot the 4-putt bogey!
#3: The “A” WORD (and the “J”
Word & “JUG”)
- The sad
thing is that I'll bet virtually everyone in the room knows what all
those acronyms mean.
- It was
great working with some special people, who like myself transformed
from "technical" folks to process
people, over the last 5-10 years of my career: Lou
Diamont, Pete Bogle, Chart, Bull Pulice, Jeff Facemire, Georgette Rowe,
Barbara Mann, Linda Mills, Ron Ulrich, & Linda MIlls, and most
impressively in my opinion, Denise Huntington and Rick
Hefner. Two very different people, we're a better place
because we had both Denise and Rick, Denise playing a strong ying to Rick's forceful yang.
#2: The GRUNION (Softball Team in TRW
intramural slo-pitch softball league)
- I think
most of you know that Ada,
which I'll believe is the best production-quality programming language
to the day I die, has been my foremost passion for the vast majority of
my career. While the bright flames of Ada activity at TRW
between 20 and 10 years ago became only faint glimmers in most of
our organizations, I was already hooked.
- Ada has
been at the center of most of my professional society and other
activities, and the cause for more awards and rewards than I either
deserve or can remember, for over a quarter of a century -- for at
least that 10-20% of my time even when not on Ada projects:
from the Jovial (2nd best
programming language!) Users Group (JUG), renamed the
Jovial-Ada Users Group, renamed the Ada-Jovial Users Group (Ada-JUG);
to ACM SIGPLAN's AdaTEC, renamed SIGAda, an international professional
society I helped drive from 4000 members down to half as many during my
tenure as SIGAda Chair in the 1990's.
- A large
percentage of my Boondoggles
and 3/4 of my CRAD tasking has been Ada-related.
addition to the greatly appreciated early patronage by Barry, Barry,
Eldred and others indulging my expanding entry into the Ada community
from 1979 onwards, some of my greatest TRW friends are those sharing
the "A" Word passion for
many years with me: I will especially remember Frank Belz my
co-"face" of Ada at TRW for many years, joined by Ed Colbert in the
1980's and then perhaps eclipsed by Walker Royce.
- While an
important memory for me, I'm not going to bore you any more talking
about Ada; I've already talked about Ada enough for the past 26 years
to last a lifetime. To me, to note that the "A" Word is no
longer #1 on my list of top TRW memories is a sign that I'm ready to
#1: PARKINSON’S 2ND LAW (“Perfection is
achieved only at the point of collapse,” or reworded:
“Termination occurs only at the moment of perfection”):
golf, a Softball team is much like a TRW project: the need to
work together, plan to take advantage of each member's varying skills
and years of experience, competitive strategizing, the gradual turnover
of personnel over time, ... . I was lucky to have one such
- Before my
first full summer here in California (1977), Walt Maki and others I
worked with encouraged me to form a slow-pitch softball team in TRW's intramural league. We
picked the name Grunion after
a favorite bar/restaurant in Manhattan Beach we visited for lunches on
Fridays if not also other times. But for some reason we
made it singular,
the actual restaurant name (Grunion's) or most sports team
- When we
beefed up and split our team into an "A" and a "B" league team in fall
of 1981, we older "B" guys (gee, we
were in our mid/late 30's :-) renamed outselves Grunion'77
to commemerate our founding while the young guns
going to the "A" league became
long long ago folded and Grunion'77 is still going strong, now in our
- I ask for
a show of hands from everyone present who was ever a Grunion (or spouse
of a Grunion). Steve Groff's wife Julie could be both, as perhaps
our only female team member. Walt, put up an extra hand for Tosh
who is on travel. (Approx.
25 hands out of 100+ go up. Mike Springman leads the team
of hands just if on the team in the first year, 1977. (approx. 8 hands go up.)
of hands for those from 1st year who still play on the
team. (Just Maki,
Groff, Hart, with 4th permanent team member Ben Rodilitz being on
current boss, Ed Molioan, used to work for me -- as a Right Fielder -- in the early/mid
1980's. We never
did figure out what fielding position to put John Stickman at in his
years with the team.
we formed the team in 1977, we looked so bad in the 4-game April
practice season that they formed a "C" league for us and put the next 3
worst teams down there with us. We then all learned how to
hit that high-arc pitching and won our first 10 regular-season
are perpetually a "B" league team contending for the "B"
championship. While we've won almost our share of
championships (6 over 28 years), 4 were between 1977 and 1981.
More recently, we've lost by one run in the Championship game 4 of the
last 5 years.
team currently has this interesting mix of approx. 50% over 45 and 50%
under 32 -- Grunion, the
Next Generation. Brian Pointer is the
longest-tenured youngster and is taking over managership of the team
from me this year. Other young regulars include now-friends
Tom Gayer, Ed Divish, and Joe Kraus.
Walt, Steve, and Ben being with me since 1977 (despite Ben leaving the
company before the end of our first season), other team members going
back more than 20 years include Bill Guernsey, Pat Walters, and Steve
Hyde. Chase Dane, Stick, and Louis (even Phil Allen one
season) represent oldsters who fit in for a while in recent years until
they moved on.
has his list of oft-repeated softball stories too: How many
all-time wins do we have? His records as a pitcher -- most
wins, most innings pitched, lowest average walks per inning, most
scary-but-turned-out-OK adventure in Left Field (always my best Left
Fielder!) was a basketball stanchion and a night in the hospital, in
addition to our first loss, is part of Grunion legend too.
1977 I could hardly envision the value to our mental health, if not
actually to our job effectiveness too, it would be to have this
Thursday-night anchor to look forward to 20-30 weeks per year, every
year, over the decades. What
a "project" The Grunion has been!
is my opportunity to say I have treasured the constant friendship of
Walt Maki and Steve Groff since coming to Space Park in
1976. Only occasionally work colleagues, every sport
activity I've participated in has involved one, the other or both;
plus, with Walt or Steve and their spouses Ruth and I have had most of
the little social life working parents are allowed. Without Steve
and Walt walking into our lives in 1976 and the doors they opened for
us and people they introduced us to, I don't know if the work alone
would have been enough to keep us at TRW for over 30 years.
I say "Family and Career" dominated these 3 decades, but by Career I really mean the work plus
all these "social" connnections emanating from the company, exemplified
by such lasting friendships as Walt and Steve's.
- This a
somewhat obscure way to decribe the project to which I've been assigned
since its beginning in 1995, FBCB2, Tactical Systems' largest project
most of the past decade: FBCB2 should be guaranteed to
continue forever with our demanding and varying and evolving customers,
with ever-increasing demands for capabilities beyond those implemented
assuring perfection is always
- It has
been gratifying (and a surprise to many who know how reasearchy the first 20 years of my
career were) to be involved in building a system that supports our
troops so well, providing timely digital information updates never seen
before and saving lives.
- And FBCB2,
for reasons never clear to me, went from flying below the CMM/ISO audit
radar in its early years to being pushed as our trail-blazing project
with Don Winters' heated-up emphasis on CMM/CMMI in 2000+.
Again, I found myself in the right place at the right time, having
worked with the SEI and others on process technologies on the STARS
CRAD project in the early 1990's and applying process compliance to
FBCB2 slowly and carefully in its early years. I was given
lead software responsibility get us ready for CMM appraisals, and
things just mushroomed from there. I look back and now
think that everything I did in the first 20-25 years of my career were
just preparing me for that pioneering role the last 5 years. A
perfect way to conclude a career!
importantly to me, FBCB2 was a project with management flexible and
understanding enough to provide resources, leadership, and empowerment
-- and personnel capable enough -- that allowed us to literally lead
TRW and Mission Systems to CMMI Levels 4 & 5.
FBCB2 colleagues whose friendship and abilities I will greatly treasure
and remember in retirement are Neil Siegel, Phil Allen, BK Richard, Joe
Provenzano, Dave Bixler, Pete Bogle, Clark Lewis, Chase Dane, Ray Roux,
Vanessa Chin, Peter Blankenship, and a healthly influx of new blood in
the past year or two.
most important to me in what we've achieved in the CMMI world has been "Dr. T," Tom
Carter, metrics guru and quantitative management expert par
excellent. Without Tom, we could not have achieved Levels
4/5, as I now realize I could never have done what he did with so many
metrics and analyses; in a sense, I planned our metrics strategy and he
did it. All I can say is, you all better hope Dr. T never
I close by reading you a few lines from a song I co-authored with Paul
McCartney (he wrote his part 40 years
ago, I did mine yesterday), Intellectual Property infringement lawsuit pending, based on my
favorite Beatles song: “Yesterday.” For those of you who
are overly literal and symbolism
challenged, like so many of us engineer types, when Paul and I
wrote the word “yesterday” we
meant the past 30+ years,”“she”
and “love” (used as a noun)
refer to our TRW career, and "tomorrow"
is our retirement and everything we plan to do in retirement:
love was such an easy game to play,
troubles seemed so far away;
yesterday passed so suddenlay,
I believed in yesterday.
Why she had to go, I don't know, she wouldn't say,
I do something wrong that caused her to go away?
now, do I really long for yesterday?
Yesterday, my old love was so new,
we've found places to go and things to do.
Today I know I have no sorrow,
we believe in tomorrow.
In closing, Thanks to all of you for
helping make the past 30 years so worthwhile and
enjoyable, and for joining us here at our send-off for our next 30
years -- especially Frank Belz
for MC'g, Sandi Hoyt for helping set up this party, so many of you for
your "roast" and "toast" comments, and extra especially
Barry Boehm who probably helped more than anyone make me what I became
in my career! We hope
to keep in touch with most of you, and see
many of you join us in retirement sooner rather than later.
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modified Jan. 2, 2006. Comments & corrections
to stats to Hal.Hart@ACM.ORG