Some give credit to IBM who in 1969 unbundled their software from their hardware. Prior to that, software was provided free with source code. This move was, in part, a response to anti-trust accusations.
That. You've certainly heard of open-source. Software wants to be free. This means that programmer salaries want to be $0.
An anonymous reader sends the story of the rediscovery of an original painting of Ada Byron at about age 4, the girl who was to become Countess Lovelace and the world's first computer programmer. A US Army sergeant in Tajikistan caught wind of an eBay auction of a 180-year-old painting of Ada Byron, with provenance; he notified a programmer buddy in Texas, who won the auction.