DUBLIN -- I met Tom Murphy at the height of the Celtic Tiger, probably the same time that John Sterne met him as well. From my initial reading of Adventures in Code, it looks like Tom commands more pages than any other Irish programmer I know well enough to be owed a drink. (Sean McGrath gets more pages in the paperback text but there are no drink debts involving me and Sean.) John Sterne explains:
Tom Murphy completed a degree in mathematics in 1991. Over the next three years he learned how to write software by working in a series of companies. Quinnsworth was the first. According to Murphy, he told the supermarket operator that he knew the Cobol programming language, was offered a post shortly before Christmas and spent the holiday break reading Cobol manuals. When he reported for work, Quinnsworth placed him in a technical architecture team and never asked him to write a line of Cobol.
In subsequent jobs he learned about financial services applications, about software product lifestyles and about the importance of quality control. By 1994 Murphy had become one of the industry's buccaneers--a software contractor with, he says, "the ultimate gun-for-hire mentality."
John Sterne -- Adventures in Code ISBN 190414859X
Boards.ie -- "Books"