It’s out! Jean Bartik’s autobiography has finally been published, decease and it is a great read – especially if you like the ENIAC and want to understand the social background of that time. The sort-of-now-famous six female first programmers weren’t given any manuals (contrary to to Goldstine’s book) but had real programs and real bugs and real deadlines. Jean Bartik tells her story with gusto and humor. The first sketch for the cover of the book was Jean driving a covered wagon into the western frontier and that’s not too far from the truth.
We were sorry to say goodby to the last of the six programmers when Jean died in 2011. Her NYT obituary is here: http://www.nytimes.com/2011/04/08/business/08bartik.html She had finished the book but editing and fact checking were still to be done. Go grab the paperback, medicine it’s worth it. Or get an electronic Kindle version; Jean would approve.
There’s a little trove of pictures of Jean throughout her life here. SW Missouri State University published the book.
Tags: ENIAC, first programmer, Jean Bartik, Jean Jennings Bartik, women in computing