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Pioneer Programmer: Jean Jennings Bartik and the Computer that Changed the World Paperback – November 1, 2013
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This book is unique; it is not another secondhand retelling of the invention of the computer. It is not like the many technical histories that are part scholarly overview and part narrative designed to elevate some particular inventor to superhuman status. This is Jean's story. --Bill Mauchly, son of ENIAC co-inventor John Mauchly
A firsthand account of the history of American computing from one of the last human computers (who was also one of the first computer programmers) this book combines personal reflections and historical analysis in a lively narrative. Bartik gives readers a sense of the individuals and institutions who shaped computing in the twentieth century as well as her perspective on important issues such as continuing gender disparities in the field. The author s personality sparkles throughout, and many photographs complement the text. This is a truly unique study and I highly recommend it. --Jennifer S. Light, Northwestern University
"... a terrific firsthand account of the early days of computing, and it's true to Bartik's personality. In life, Bartik never sugarcoated a thing; she told it like it was. And in her book she does the same." --Esther Surden, New Jersey Tech Weekly, March 4, 2014
From the Inside Flap
This book is unique; it is not another secondhand retelling of the invention of the computer. It is not like the many technical histories that are part scholarly overview and part narrative designed to elevate some particular inventor to superhuman status. This is Jean's story. Bill Mauchly, son of ENIAC co-inventor John Mauchly
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Anyone with a technical or historical interests will love this book, but so will women (and fair-minded men) who will come to admire both Jean's life story and her determined struggle for women's recognition and rights. And for her character assessments. Jean was one of the best judges of character I ever met. When she wrote anything negative about anyone in the book she not only finds all possible mitigating factors, but also omits anything petty or superfluous to her story.
Jean was a great person, a great friend and mentor, an outstanding problem-solver and mathematician, and a wonderful mother. And a first-rate writer. Those who did not share my good fortune to know her in life should surely purchase her autobiography and at least get to know her second-hand. They will be better for it.