The John Barker Mentoring Project

John Barker retired from the US Air Force in or around 1975. He returned home to rural Blackstone Virginia, in part to help care for his aging parents. He had experience in electronics as a technician and built a Southwest Technical Products M6800 computer kit. Although I’m not sure this is an accurate image of it, John first built a Motorola 6800-based trainer similar to the one shown here:

For those unfamiliar with the term, a trainer is a microprocessor with bare-bones I/O. In this case, toggle switches for input and LEDs for output.

John saw I had an interest in what he was doing. He was a natural mentor and asked my parents if he could teach me about computers. They agreed and in May 1975 I began learning Motorola machine code. That Fall I learned BASIC.

John Barker changed my life.

Inspired by his example, I have decided to mentor more in 2024.
I am naming this effort the John Barker Mentoring Project.

Starting in January 2024, I am committing to mentor young people who live in the south-central Virginia area. I’ve already started earlier this year. If you are interested in being mentored by me, or know someone who might be interested, please contact me (or have them contact me) using the contact form at Enterprise Data & Analytics.

I look forward to sharing my experience and knowledge of data engineering, consulting, and technical writing.

Andy Leonard

Christian, husband, dad, grandpa, Data Philosopher, Data Engineer, Azure Data Factory, SSIS guy, and farmer. I was cloud before cloud was cool. :{>

2 thoughts on “The John Barker Mentoring Project

  1. That is so cool! As I get older, I wonder what do I know that someone younger would want to know, and how do I share it. So please keep me/us informed of your journey.


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