Female Role Models (was: Favorite NON-fiction)

Michael Barr barr at barrs.org
Sat Feb 1 10:25:28 PST 2003

She probably wasn't an admiral when she invented COBOL, but the invention
probably helped make her an Admiral.

In the early days of computing, most programmers were women.  This was not
because anyone thought that women were in any way superior (don't make me
laugh), but because they felt that programming was essentially a
clerical task and women were suitable to being clerks.  Only later was it
realized that programming was hard and then they got rid of the women
right damned quick.

The Pennsylvania Gazette (Penn alumni magazine) had a photo some years ago
of a reunion of the women who had programmed the Eniac, probably on the
occasion of the 50th anniversary.

The Eniac was programmed by running telephone cables between connectors on
the various components.


On Sat, 1 Feb 2003, Damien Sullivan wrote:

> On Wed, Jan 29, 2003 at 07:48:42AM -0800, Frank Mayhar wrote:
> > Admiral Grace Hopper.  Helped invent COBOL, among many, many other things.
> We had a female Admiral early enough to invent COBOL?
> -xx- Damien X-)