Jenosys

I worked at Jenosys Technologies from January of 1998 to August of 2001. This was my first job developing software full time.

Tom testing bingo terminals

Jenosys Technologies' main product is electronic bingo. Instead of playing bingo on paper cards, players play on touch-screen terminals. They buy their cards on account and if they win, their winnings are credited to their account so that they can buy more cards. It's a clever way of separating money from chain-smoking old ladies so that the government can afford to pay for the health care they will inevitably need.

I was initially reluctant to work at Jenosys because of the gambling aspect, but the pay was good and this was an excellent opportunity to hone my software development skills. The people were very nice there too.

During the course of my time at Jenosys, I got to work on several aspects of the electronic bingo system:

  • Diagnostic and transaction logging
  • Bingo card permutations
  • Software quality control
  • User interface enhancements on the player terminals
  • Design of new features such as multi-level play and package purchases
  • Configuration and game scheduling programs

One of the best things about working at Jenosys was that I often had the freedom to follow up on my own ideas for improvements to the system. At the time, I was discovering the joys of Linux at home so I was often coming to work with new ideas on solving old problems. The beauty of Linux is not the operating system itself but the tools that come with it. These tools, like Linux are usually free, full-featured and high quality. The tools also tend to work not just on Linux but other operating systems like QNX and Windows. What was especially exciting was that I was able to legitimately utilize these tools at Jenosys without having to beg upper management for money to pay for software licenses.

Epilogue

I left Jenosys along with a few others in the Summer of 2001 after it was announced that the company was moving to Richmond. Crazy and horrible things happened after that. Some planes crashed into some buildings in New York, I couldn't find work for another year, Jenosys went under and its founder was diagnosed with ALS and died a few years after. Fortunately, however, some of the core people who were with Jenosys to the end stared up again in what is now known as Kodiak Entertainment. They're still providing electronic bingo for BC Lotteries just like Jenosys was over ten years ago.