The week to celebrate women in IT kicks off. Let’s bring upfront the stories of #famousITwomen who’ve made breakthrough contributions along the history.
This week savour your coffee with 3 minutes inspirational stories that should be known by anyone in the industry. See how women paved the way to computers and software as we have them today. Here’s the first story.
Follow the upcoming stories on the I T.A.K.E. Unconference blog. They might be motivating and encouraging for you to do something out of the ordinary in your career. Stay tuned, as you may also find a win between and let yourself surprised by the contribution of #famousITwomen.
The week to celebrate women in IT goes on with the woman who defined the Object Oriented Design – Rebecca Wirfs-Brock. Let’s bring upfront the stories of #famousITwomen who’ve made breakthrough contributions along the history.
Object Oriented Design is about behaviors, not about entities and relations. We owe this idea to a woman: Rebecca Wirfs-Brock.
[Updated based on Rebecca’s feedback]
Early in her career, Rebecca Wirfs-Brock worked as a tester at Tektronix for graphics libraries. In those days, it was customary for testers to write just as much code as programmers in the form of automated tests. She decided to become a programmer because, despite the equally difficult work, testers were paid less than programmers. She became a principal engineer at Tektronix for Smalltalk, the language that inspired Java, Python and many others. This was a great opportunity for the industry, since she introduced the world to “Responsibility Driven Design”, the technique that influenced all modern design techniques such as TDD or BDD. Those of us who used UML owe her the idea of stereotypes. She now lives in Portland, and has been consulting enterprises on architecture and design for the past 30 years.
We were fortunate to have Rebecca a keynote speaker at I T.A.K.E. Unconference. You can watch her keynote below.
Hope Rebecca Wirfs-Brock’s story aroused your curiosity to learn from history more about IT famous women.
This week, stay tuned for the upcoming stories and win an invitation to I T.A.K.E. Unconference 2015.
Rebecca Wirfs-Brock is the object design pioneer who invented the set of design practices known as Responsibility-Driven Design (RDD), the first behavioral approach to object design. She is the lead author of two software design books and design columnist for IEEE Software. By accident, she started the x-Driven Design meme (TDD, DDD, BDD…). Although best known for software design, she is has a passion simply expressing complex requirements and effectively communicating software architecture. Rebecca joined #itakeunconf in 2013 as keynote, at the first edition of the unconference.
When sharing more about #womenintech, Rebecca is one of the most important role models ladies in the field mention or look up to. Read on to find her professional story and lessons learned along the way.
#1. What’s your professional story? Why did you choose to develop a career in this domain?
I went to university with no idea what I would major in. I liked both sciences and the humanities. I had a part time job at school grading tests. We’d scan the tests (which were marked in pencil) onto a tape, then take that tape to the computer center. They would run a job to print out students’ test results and grades.
I wanted to learn how that program worked. So for fun, I took my first computing class learning FORTRAN. And I was hooked. Writing programs was not only fun; programs could do something useful. So that is how I discovered programming—by accident. I liked solving problems by programming. I still do.
#2. Share with us an important lesson you’ve learned since you’ve been working in IT
I’ve learned that you won’t know if something is possible unless you try doing it. Sometimes we hold ourselves back because we don’t think we can do what seems like some seemingly impossible task. If you are a part of a team, you can do even more great things than you can on your own.
Being a software engineer at Tektronix (a company that made oscilloscopes and workstations, among other hardware products), I learned that with good team collaboration, the right management support, and the belief in what we were doing, we could do amazing things. I have taken this spirit of collaboration and can-do attitude with me throughout my career.
#3. What piece of advice would you give to the next generation of #womenintech?
Keep learning. The programming languages, tools, libraries, and database technologies you work with 10 years from now will be different from those you use today. There’s always something new to learn. Don’t just limit yourself to learning new programming languages and tools or the latest popular libraries. Take some time to learn things outside of your daily work. For example, I turn to blog by Adrian Colyer, The Morning Paper, https://blog.acolyer.org/. I find reading about technology trends and research stretches my brain. And then I get on with my daily work.
Take some time to learn things outside of your daily work. For example, I turn to blog by Adrian Colyer, The Morning Paper. I find reading about technology trends and research stretches my brain. And then I get on with my daily work.
But more importantly, take time to find, study, and learn about well-designed code and systems. Learn what makes one codebase more easily maintained than another, or what makes one easier to understand or test. Read others’ code. There’s a lot you can learn.
At I T.A.K.E Unconference, we aim to move the needle by offering to women in tech access to a fast-learning, practical & inspirational community for their growth. Join the 5th edition, 11-12 May, Bucharest and meet remarkable tech ladies.
In celebration of Women’s Day, this March we salute yesterday & today women’s contribution to the development of the technology and IT fields. Follow #famousITwomen to find interesting stories. They might motivate and encourage you to do something out of the ordinary in your career.
The importance of women in Science, Technology, Engineering & Math has been gaining a momentum in the last years. At I T.A.K.E. Unconference, we value women’s contribution in IT and we believe their dedication to the software craft can be an inspiration for other practitioners.
Help us meet other remarkable women, from your teams and communities! For the next 5 registrations at I T.A.K.E Unconference this week, we offer an invitation for a lady colleague to join! You will receive the discount code after registering.
After finding the professional journey of Franziska Sauerwein, software craftswoman speaking at I T.A.K.E Unconference, we invite to find more about United States Navy Admiral Grace Hopper (1906-1992). Often defined as a woman ahead of her time, she is one of the first programmers in the history.
The first bug
With a PhD degree in mathematics, she was part of WAVES (Women Accepted for Volunteer Emergency Service, U.S. Naval Reserve), and later joined the programming team at the new Mark I computer, at Harvard University.
One famous anecdote kept perpetuating until today about her time in the Mark I team. One day a computer failure had Hopper and her team baffled. They opened the machine and they discovered the source of the problem: a live moth was stuck in one of the electrical switches controlling a circuit. Hopper taped the offending creature into her log book and noted beside it, “first actual bug found.” She is credited with the terms “bug” and “debug” for computer errors and how to fix them.
The A compiler
Grace Hopper is also the creator of the A compiler, a program developed during her time at UNIVAC I (UNIVersal Automatic Computer I – UNIVAC I (UNIVersal Automatic Computer I).
After joining the consortium Conference on Data Systems Languages (CODASYL), as technical consultant on the committee, she created a validation software for COBOL to make sure the language could perform its function. COBOL, which stands for “COmmon Business-Oriented Language”, is still used in order-processing business software today.
First woman to …
In the course of her lifetime, Grace Hopper was awarded 40 honorary degrees from universities around the world, along with numerous awards and honors including:
- 1st winner of “Computer Science Man of the Year” award from the Data Processing Management Association in 1969
- 1st person from the United States and the first woman from any country to be made Distinguished Fellow of the British Computer Society in 1973
- 1st woman to receive the National Medal of Technology as an individual in 1991
The most important thing I’ve accomplished, other than building the compiler, is training young people. They come to me, you know, and say, ‘Do you think we can do this?’ I say, ‘Try it.’ And I back ’em up. They need that. I keep track of them as they get older and I stir ’em up at intervals so they don’t forget to take chances.
Stay tuned & follow #famousITwomen! During the next days, we will share more stories about women who made & make history in IT. If you want to meet remarkable software craftswomen, join us at I T.A.K.E Unconference 2016!
Help us meet other remarkable women, from your teams and communities! For the next 5 registrations at I T.A.K.E Unconference this week, we offer an invitation for a lady colleague to join!