This month we are celebrating the birth of the modern programming paradigm as the first code was successfully executed on ENIAC, one of the earliest electronic general-purpose computer, in 1947. This machine was no laptop, heck, it wasn’t even a desktop! Measuring in at eight feet tall and eighty foot long. It didn’t come with a manual, and believe it or not there was no “Google it”.
“Help me stackoverflow, you’re my only hope!” -Princess L… er… The Modern Programmer
This machine was programmed by six women, also known as the “ENIAC Six”: Kay McNulty, Betty Jennings, Betty Snyder, Marlyn Wescoff, Fran Bilas and Ruth Lichterman, who have not received recognition for this fact until recent times.
Programming ENIAC was a very involved process that took weeks. The debugging process included crawling through the inner workings of the machine to find bad joints, tubes, and other components. I can’t even imagine the time and energy it took to get the first program to work.
Today you could have an entire website up with eCommerce in a mater of a few short hours while sipping green tea and wearing a big comfy bathrobe.
Let this little glance into history serve to inspire us to learn something new!
Here are a few resources (mostly free) I have appreciated over the years:
- Really big thick books that are now outdated and serving as bookends for other books.
Pick any of them and just dive in! Now is the time! Today is the day!