Naum gained his initial experience with computers in 1973 while working as a theoretical physicist in the Soviet Union. His first programming undertakings involved computer modeling of the propagation of seismic waves through oil and gas collectors. He also developed algorithms using pattern recognition theory to speed the processing and interpretation of seismographic data.
After moving to the United States in 1980, Naum took a position with Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Greater New York as an application programmer. In 1982, he accepted a position at General Re Corporation, where he took on, essentially, the responsibilities of a Data Base Administrator in an IMS environment. It was at General Re that he developed his first "utility style" programs, the foremost of which was one that allowed his employer to ensure that its applications programming staff adhered to certain programming standards, which had been established to assure maintainability. These standards had been previously enforced through manual code reviews by senior staff, so Naum's utility eliminated both this demand on senior personnel's time as well as the potential for human error.
In 1984, Naum moved to a position at Dun & Bradstreet, where again, the environment was largely IMS-oriented. There, he created a series of programs that allowed the 4GL capabilities of NOMAD to be applied to the IMS databases. The interface that Naum designed and developed served to map IMS databases to equivalent NOMAD structures, thereby allowing the applications programming staff to write NOMAD programs that transparently operated on the underlying IMS data. This Nomad-to-IMS interface opened a large, new market for Dun & Bradstreet.
In 1985, Naum accepted a position with Applied Data Research where he assumed responsibilities in the development of ADR's Virtual Processing Environment (VPE). VPE was a layer of software that "adapted" the operating environment (MVS, CICS, DOS/VSE, VM/CMS) to a common interface in ADR's products, permitting product development to occur with minimal regard to the target environment. In this role, Naum designed and developed the VPE Services Control Point (VSCP) that included services for I/O operations, program loading operations (contents supervision), and management functions for storage and I/O resources. For VPE components running in CICS environments, Naum also developed a subsystem that managed thread termination and error recovery. It served to provide suitable diagnostics and appropriate "cleanup" of resources to assure the stability of the CICS environment.
In 1988, ADR was acquired by Computer Associates. Naum remained at the same physical location but took over development responsibilities for Top Secret, one of the three principal security packages marketed for use under MVS. In this position, Naum completed the development of the Command Propagation Facility (CPF) which employed cross-system communications to allow concurrent, synchronized changes to the security environment across multiple MVS images. He also developed a testing tool - a simulator that allowed limited testing of the security environment without APF authorization. These contributions helped Top Secret remain competitive, both in features and reliablity.
In 1990, Naum accepted a position with Syncsort, Incorporated. Syncsort had difficulties with its premier product, SyncSort MVS, because of its complex structure. The product included an SVC module and other modules that were typically placed in LPA, so it was tedious to install and required an MVS IPL before the SVC and LPA modules could be used. To address these problems, Naum designed and developed SYNCDLPA, a toolkit that permitted SyncSort's SVC and LPA modules to be dynamically installed and subsequently maintained, without the need for an IPL.
Subsequent enhancements added the capability to dynamically modify the MVS LinkList and APF table. SYNCDLPA proved valuable in simplifying and streamlining the SyncSort MVS installation process for existing customers. It also became highly revered by Syncsort's sales staff, since it allowed them to call on a prospect, install SyncSort MVS in its most performance-maximized configuration, and then run comparative benchmarks, all in one visit to the prospect's site.
While at Syncsort, Naum also made major contributions to a multitasking sort driver being developed as an add-on for the SyncSort MVS product. This package succeeded at reducing sorting elapsed time by up to 50% and more.
In 1992, Naum opted to take on a more professionally adventurous opportunity and accepted a position with a new start-up company, Enterprise Software. There, he became involved in the design and development of a work load management and automated operations system known as Knowledge Based Solutions (KBS). The project required the utilization of a multitude of MVS interfaces and services, including SMF, WTO and EOM exits, multitask and multi-address-space communications using SRB routines, cross-memory services and subsystem interfaces, cross-system communications via APPC, and security protocols using the SAF interfaces.
The package also included its own performance monitoring and tracing facilities for both MVS jobs and CICS transactions, all of which Naum designed and developed. Unfortunately, Enterprise Software exhausted its financing before the product could ever be brought to market. Had it made it, KBS held the promise of being an efficient workload manager that would dramatically improve the performance of an entire MVS complex.
Following Enterprise Software's demise in 1994, Naum took a position with Legent Software as a developer for Legent's file transfer program known as XCOM 6.2. There, he implemented the use of Berkeley Sockets as the TCP/IP communications interface for the MVS component of the product. The resulting capability allowed XCOM 6.2 to communicate with its Windows counterpart, Legent's MLINK product.
In 1995, Legent was acquired by Computer Associates and Naum chose not to pursue employment, again, with CA. Instead, he joined the DB2 Utilities Lab at Platinum Technology. Naum's initial responsibilities at Platinum were in the development and support of Platinum's Rapid I/O (RIO) components, which was a package of I/O services used by several of Platinum's DB2 utilities. His contributions to this package included several reliability enhancements and performance improvements.
However, Naum's major undertaking at Platinum, which was started in 1996, was the Utilities Subsystem. This package provided a collection of services that enhanced the installability, flexibility and performance of several of Platinum's DB2 utilities, as well as key services to be utilized by Platinum's new I/O services package, known as Tiger, then also under development in the Lab. For general utility use, the subsystem facilitated an "event notification" service through the interception of WTOs, central cross-address-space communications services, and central system SVC front-ending and back-ending services. For Tiger, it provided system PC linkage index "registration" services, loading and "versioning" of Tiger's ECSA-resident components, and piped subsystem data set support.
Using the services provided by Naum's subsystem and related components, Platinum's DB2 utilities were able to easily "listen" for events of interest that were reported to the console by DB2 or any other program, and then react accordingly. They were also able to dynamically establish and disestablish front-end and back-end "hooks" to system SVCs. Moreover, multiple hooks could be established concurrently for different utilities, or different instances of the same utility.
The services provided for Tiger allowed it to establish itself as callable using a system-wide PC index, be dynamically addressable from any address space in the system, and maintain multiple versions of itself in ECSA. Using the piped subsystem data set facilities, Tiger would be able to deliver data cached in its buffers in one address space, to either another Tiger file or a standard SAM file opened in another address space.
In the summer of 1999, Platinum was acquired by Computer Associates. At this time, Naum and Art Celestini, who had been fellow developers at both Syncsort and Platinum, joined forces to provide contract development services to the ISV community.