Hopper and Dijkstra: Crisis, Revolution, and the Future of Programming

PROJECT TITLE:

Hopper and Dijkstra: Crisis, Revolution, and the Future of Programming

ABSTRACT:

In the late Nineteen Sixties, tensions were erupting in company and tutorial computing cultures in the United States and abroad with competing views regarding the state of laptop programming and doable future implications. A discourse of “software crisis” was ignited in 1968 when NATO hosted a conference on the topic of software engineering. The author examines the rhetoric of crisis, revolution, and promise in pc programming cultures by viewing it through the lens of 2 dissimilar leaders, Grace Hopper and Edsger Dijkstra, who articulated views through discourses about computer programming that reveal multiple ideals and tensions. As representatives and exemplars of different communities, they stressed pragmatic versus theoretical stances, respectively. The historical context they operated in additionally highlights the cultural complexities of gender in computer programming, a durable phenomenon that continues today.

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