Books WISE women in computer science

Book: Pioneer Programmer

pioneer programmer

I was really excited to discover Jean Jennings Bartik, one of the original ENIAC women programmers had written a book, Pioneer Programmer (Amazon) and bought it immediately (although I confess it took me a while to get around to reading it!)

The Computers documentary is amazing, but it’s only 20 minutes and so lots of detail is necessarily missed out. The book gives a much more complete picture, and puts straight many historic details that have been misreported elsewhere, particularly with Herman Goldstein and John Von Neumann getting credit for work they did not do, and things they did not invent. In parts it comes across as a little bitter because of this, but I think understandably so.

Jean Jennings Bartik herself has an incredible story. Raised on a farm, she went on to graduate with a degree in mathematics and become a pioneer in the field of computing. She’s the woman who said “The ENIAC was a son of a bitch to program” and she continued to go on and keep speaking her mind. She’s a hugely inspiring woman and I really enjoyed and learned a lot from her biography. Recommend!

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