Note: Meeting Room 7 will be available as an On-Call Room for attendees.

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Thursday, August 31 • 16:00 - 16:30
The History of How We Came to Be

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The talk will feature research from international standardisation committees, the history of women, work, and computerization, and personal anecdotes of the mainframe era to construct a theory as to how and why engineering and operations split apart. We will also examine the issues with an eye to gender and workplace politics.

In the course of this talk, we will look at:

  • The earliest jobs in computers (~40s). What were they, why did they exist, and who held them?

  • What different and distinct things happened in the 50s, 60s, 70s, 80s, 90s, and noughties?

  • What was the difference between the keypunch operator and the computer operator?

  • What was unglamorous about programming in the 40s, such that women were allowed to do it?

  • What factors led to women being crowded out of programming as a profession?

  • Why did system administration come into being as a job family, and why was it minimally viable to separate that from programming?


Niall Murphy

Niall Richard Murphy is Director of Engineering for Microsoft Azure Ireland, where his group works on cloud engineering systems and SRE. He is the instigator, co-author, and co-editor of two books on SRE, and a history of the Irish Internet. He is the holder of degrees in Computer... Read More →

Thursday August 31, 2017 16:00 - 16:30 IST
Lansdowne Room