Ep. 125

Learning to Code in the 1960s

January 30, 2017


Mary L Gorden

author and systems developer,

Mary L Gorden's first career was in computers. She began as a programmer in 1966 and retired in 2001 as a chief systems architect. Gorden's second career is as an author. Her memoir, published by Green Hat Press in November 2016, is Life Without Ceilings: A Woman Career in Computers.


Mary became a programmer in the late 1960s, back when coding was “barbaric,” as she put it. She takes us through her nearly 40 years of working with computers, starting with the era of punch cards. She shares the joy of using a terminal for the first time, her determination to stay technical even as she climbed the corporate ladder, and how the tools of coding have shifted the programmer’s job description.

Show Links