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Communications of the ACM

Career paths in computing

Grace Hopper, Minicomputers, and Megabytes: It's a Fun Career

Ann Moffatt

Credit: Pearcey Foundation

My career started when I joined Kodak in the U.K. in 1959, where I was taught to program by Conway Berners-Lee, father of Sir Tim Berners-Lee, the WWW inventor. At that time, we only knew of about 300 stored program computers in the world, although there were probably 300 more in 'secret' places like the military or government.

By 1963, computing in the U.K. surpassed the rest of the world. The British government decided to make the world's most powerful computer: the mighty Atlas, the first computer with an operating system. The manufacturer, Ferranti, couldn't get it to work and asked would-be buyers to send their best programmers to help. Kodak sent me.


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