Ellen Ullman Reflects on Her 'Life in Code' and the Early Days of Silicon Valley

at 10:00 AM
Save ArticleSave Article

Failed to save article

Please try again

This article is more than 5 years old.
Ellen Ullman is the author of "Life in Code: A Personal History in Technology." (Photo: Elliot Ross)

Ellen Ullman began working as a computer programmer in the late 1970s, when Microsoft was just a fledgling company and Googling something wasn't even possible. Ullman fell in love with translating the chaos and complexity of life into clean and organized lines of code. But Ullman says she also dealt with male colleagues who doubted her skills and a boss who said, "I hate to hire all you girls but you're too damned smart." In her memoir, "Life in Code: A Personal History in Technology," Ullman reflects on the artfulness of coding, how the tech sector has changed San Francisco and how today's work culture differs from that of the 1970s.

Ellen Ullman,
computer programmer; author, "Life in Code: A Personal History of Technology," "Close to the Machine"