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The Computer Boys Take OverComputers, Programmers, and the Politics of Technical Expertise$
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Nathan L. Ensmenger

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9780262050937

Published to MIT Press Scholarship Online: August 2013

DOI: 10.7551/mitpress/9780262050937.001.0001

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Introduction: Computer Revolutionaries

Introduction: Computer Revolutionaries

(p.1) 1 Introduction: Computer Revolutionaries
The Computer Boys Take Over

Nathan Ensmenger

The MIT Press

This introductory chapter discusses the theme of this volume which is about the history of computer software and the intersection between the history of software and the larger social history of the computer revolution of the mid- to late twentieth century. The focus of this volume is on computer programmers, consultants, analysts, operators and other technical specialists who build software, and the ways in which these specialists constructed for themselves a unique occupational identity based on their control over the nascent technology of electronic computing. This volume traces the history of the so-called “computer boys” as they struggled to establish a role for themselves within traditional organizational, professional, and academic hierarchies.

Keywords:   computer software, computer revolution, computer programmers, consultants, analysts, occupational identity, electronic computing, computer boys

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