The Practical Idealist


Neil Olsen 2011Neil C. Olsen is a Software Engineer, Dramatist, Historian, and Author. After graduating from Rensselaer with a Master’s degree in Engineering in 1975, he started a career in software engineering at the beginning of the telecom revolutions.  At  ITT’s Advanced Technology Center he spent a great deal of time making telephone networks work smarter, and far too much time at committee meetings in Geneva and Sophia Antipolis creating standards that opened up the network to everyone. He also led the software design of the highly reliable financial trading system used by three-quarters of the world’s traders from 1992-2012.  His academic contributions include articles on high level programming languages, telecommunications, real-time operating systems, software productivity, quality, and organizational management, including the papers “The Software Rush Hour” (September 1993) and “Survival of the Fastest” (September 1994) published in IEEE Software.

Moving on in the 1990s to a career in Business Development and Marketing, he worked at Newnet, Inc., a company building middleware and applications for the intelligent and mobile networks.  He started his own consulting Company, NEIR LLC. From 1998 to 2005, and is now VP of Marketing at Generonix, a startup he co-founded, providing network line power to fiber devices in the outdoor network. You may find him giving presentations at the occasional conference.

Starting in 1979 with a production of his play The Grand Inquisitor, he began a concurrent second career as a producer, director, dramaturge and dramatist. Three of his full length plays have been presented in New Haven, Connecticut for The Something Players. Seventeen of his one-act plays have been presented by Trinity Players at Trinity Church on the Green, New Haven, where he is also the Church Historian and “Websexton” for the history section of its web site. As a historian, he authored Trinity Home 2012 for the 150th Anniversary of the Trinity Home Board charitable Corporation, the short book The End of Theocracy in America: The Distinguishing Line of Harry Croswell’s Election Sermon, and edited the second edition of Here Will I Dwell, a book on the history of Trinity Church New Haven from 1723 to 2000.

Combining his skills in Software Management theory and American History, he wrote the soon to be published Pursuing Happiness: the Organizational Culture of the Continental Congress between 2008 and 2012 as the technical foundation for a series of books on the American Enlightenment, and currently is working on a three volume book on the history of the people who promoted it, titled The Happiness War, 1714 – 1818, as well as The End of Theocracy in America: The Distinguishing Line of Harry’s Croswell’s 1818 Election Sermon.




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