Back in your correspondent’s Version 2.3 or thereabouts, he was an engineer for Boeing. This was back in 1978-79.
My starting salary was $15,400. When I left Boeing to start my personal Version 3.0, my salary was still less than $17,000. My parents thought I was crazy to give that up and take on debt to go to law school.
Boeing was booming. Airlines were being de-regulated, airline travel was becoming less expensive while still being slightly sexy, and everyone wanted to go to Europe for the first time.
Several things about Boeing stick out in my mind. First, they didn’t compromise on quality. The airline customers could specify whatever bells and whistles they were willing to pay for — I worked on a few custom planes for Saudi princes that included frivolities like solid gold ashtrays — but the airworthiness of the plane was non-negotiable.