And I do not remember her name….

She was older that all of us, she
had her own office, her audience chamber, she
could spot your coding error from a great distance.
Clever, charming and funny, she
had programmed the first computer
when it was over a Lyons Corner Shop and
bugs were real and flew. She
was our hero and we worshipped her. She
never married despite numerous proposals
as marriage meant the end of a womans career back then.
I remember her smile, her joy in teaching, her lack of regret and
oh, so much, her knowledge that we all used to
build computer code to model and understand climate.
I remember so well
long to tell you who she was.

Copyright © 2021 Kim Whysall-Hammond

Shared at the EARTHWEAL Open link weekend:

https://earthweal.com/2021/05/07/earthweal-open-link-weekend-68/

19 thoughts on “And I do not remember her name….

  1. She sounds like a groundbreaker for sure. I love how happy she was with her life. I would love to see a movie about her. So many women who were visionaries back then, and their names are only coming to light now.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I was in high school in the early ’70s when I tangled with my first computer, a monster which was to replace check routing machines dozens of us worked in a sub sub basement of a Chicago bank. My four hour shift became a 12 hour one for months as we tried to work with that thing. If only we had someone like your friend to mother us through — Brendan

    Liked by 1 person

  3. We all need mentors like this. My daughter is a programmer, and it’s still largely a boys’ club. I have a friend who was fired because she was a mother and couldn’t spend 24/7 at the office. A wonderful tribute to all the unsung pioneers. (K)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. In the 1970’s and 1980s, there were a lot of women in IT. Young girls got lowly jobs putting the tapes and discs in and out of bulky computers, and worked their way up from there. Then IT became key to society and suddenly it was all men….

      Liked by 1 person

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