Don’t know if you guys saw today’s awesome Google Doodle honoring pioneering computer scientist, Grace Hopper but here are some words I wrote about her a while back that are potentially relevant.
“MEN INVENTED THE INTERNET” — New York Times
Xeni at BoingBoing takes down an ill advised NYTimes story that, while going about its other business, gleefully whitewashes women from the history of modern tech.
The best part of Xeni’s rejoinder are all the tweets included from folks whose mothers, sisters, wives - or they themselves - worked on the types of supposedly “guy only” projects that are foundational to computers and the web as we know them today.
Well worth your time…
Pictured above is one such pioneer, Rear Admiral Grace Hopper, who among other things assisted in developing UNIVAC 1, created the first compiler for a computer programming language, helped lead the research committee that produced COBOL and - oh yeah - coined the term “debugging.”
That’s all in addition to her decades of pipe-hitting service in the U.S. Navy which had to involuntarily retire her in 1986 - at 79 years old Hopper was the oldest officer in the Navy - for being TOO GODDAMN LEGIT TO QUIT on her own.
Upon retirement Hopper received the Defense Distinguished Service Medal, the military’s top non-combat award, and also saw a naval destroyer, the U.S.S. Hopper named in her honor.
Of her substantial legacy to the history of modern computing, Hopper said,
"The most important thing I’ve accomplished, other than building the compiler, is training young people. They come to me, you know, and say, “Do you think we can do this?” I say, “Try it.” And I back ‘em up. They need that. I keep track of them as they get older and I stir ‘em up at intervals so they don’t forget to take chances."
But you know, the New York Times has it just right…
Women and technology just don’t mix.