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A Modern Equivalent of “Beating Swords into Plowshares”

Every once in a while I write a blog related to my life before AFT. Today is one of those days. And I am going to talk about swords and plowshares. This is a reference to the Old Testament book of Isaiah of moving from war to peace.

First, bear with me while I tell a humorous story of the early days of AFT that relates to plows. I was applying for AFT's first credit card (in 1994?) and someone at the bank mistyped the application information into their system. I received a credit card with my name on it and the name of my new high-tech company "Applied Plow Technology" – for sure an up and coming high tech field on the cusp of the 21st century!

When I called to get this fixed, the credit card company again showed its lack of competency - in another humorous way.

I received the second credit card a few days later. The company still said Applied Plow Technology - but they had changed my name from Trey Walters to "Trey Flow". Yes really. I felt we were going backwards because we were going backwards. Eventually, we got it all figured out.

My first job at General Dynamics is where the swords come in – see Rockets are Pumping Systems Too - The Aerospace Heritage of AFT. I worked on Atlas rockets for launching satellites into Space – some commercial, some science and some for defense purposes. The facility where I worked in San Diego was the same one where, in the 1950's, the Atlas rocket was designed and built as the United States' first ICBM. The Atlas also launched the first American into Space (see My 50th Anniversary Visit to the Site of John Glenn's First American Flight Into Space). While I did not work on ICBMs, the facility where I worked did in previous decades. These are the modern-day equivalent of swords.

Fast forward a decade and I had left the company and my rocket days behind me. The company also moved on from the facility in San Diego after a 50-year stint and sold it off for commercial purposes. What moved in to this historic place where the first American ICBMs were designed and built? A car sales lot! These are the modern-day equivalent of the plowshares.

We can take this story one step further. I learned most of what I know about product design and engineering working on the Atlas and other newer rockets at General Dynamics. Two years after leaving General Dynamics I started Applied Flow Technology (Flow not Plow!). We do not sell software to any plow companies that I know of. But we do sell software into the agricultural industry which I would say is close enough. So that is a way that AFT has helped beat swords into plowshares. And that is pretty cool thing. 

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Tuesday, 19 February 2019