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  • garth eaglesfield

Programming Back In The Day, A Picture That Would Grace The Book

This is such a great picture of a commercial programmer working on her program design back in the day and if I had seen it when I published my book I would have given it a whole page to itself.

Her design tools are a pencil and a flowchart template with which to draw a flowchart of the program's logic. When that's done she will re-use her multi-purpose design tool - the pencil - to write the program's source code to implement her flowcharted logic design on printed coding sheet forms. Her coding sheets will then pass to the keypunch department to be keyed onto punched cards destined for the 'holy of holies', the air-conditioned computer room, jealously guarded by the computer operators. If she is lucky they will grudgingly allow time in their 7x24 production runs sometime soon to compile, recompile and test her program until it is ready to go into production. Her only diagnostic tool to assist her achieve this will be listings printed on the 132 character line printer.

Like most programmers at that time she has probably never been allowed to set foot in the computer room. It's quite possible she doesn't even know where it is.

I published an article which documents the entire development process in more detail.




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