Inspired by some friends (thanks Emily!), I decided to start writing more regularly. Writing well takes practice and most of my writing lately has been of the more technical sort. My theme for this blog is still fairly general: things I find interesting. There will probably be posts about art, photography, design, work as an IA/UX professional, the role technology plays in the world around me and even some genealogy/history.
Last year I learned an interesting anecdote about my Aunt Pat’s life. I already know my Mom once learned how to program Cobol and even liked it. My Aunt Pat also studied computer programming back before people had home computers and also found she had a knack for it. So, she looked for and found a job as a programmer. When she got to the new place of employment, they took her to her new office and it was, basically, a small, dirty closet. While there, she was expected to sit by herself and code and not interact with anyone else all day. She told me she lasted only a few days and that was the end of her computer programming career.
I have to wonder how many women like her were discouraged by that sort of environment over the years. It wasn’t the work itself that was the problem, just the working environment. Computing may have lost her talents, but her language skills were certainly appreciated by all the English, French and ESL students she taught in the years to come.