[SIGCIS-Members] Programmer vs. coder vs. sofware developer vs. software engineer

Michael Halvorson halvormj at plu.edu
Mon May 4 17:00:17 PDT 2020


Nathan's *The Computer Boys Take Over* is a great resource for the changing
vocabulary related to software construction in the 1960s and the
institutional and professional power that came with new titles and roles.

If you're interested in how the story continues into the era of PCs, my new
book *Code Nation: Personal Computing and the Learn to Program Movement in
America* (ACM Books, 2020) explores the wide range of people who
experimented with or claimed programmer status in the 1970s, 80s, and 90s
in America's programming communities. This includes professional software
engineers in emerging tech companies but also the hobbyists, educators,
students, gamers, hackers, writers, and everyday citizens who created or
modified software but didn't use the traditional labels.

A backdrop of my book's presentation are the computer literacy debates of
the era, and a number of the historic languages and tools, but you'll also
see how people learned to write code for new platforms such as CP/M,
MS-DOS, Unix/Xenix, Windows, and the Apple Macintosh.

The book is available now in the ACM Digital Library

All the best,

Michael Halvorson, Ph.D.
Professor of History
Pacific Lutheran University
Tacoma, WA 98447
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