Writing software today is eerily similar to what it was like in the late 1950s, when people sat at terminals and wrote COBOL programs. And like the late 1950s, the stereotype of the coder is largely unchanged: mostly white guys with deep math skills, and minimal extroversion. Back in the Sputnik-era, people thought of programmers as a priesthood in lab coats: the sole keepers of knowledge that ran these exotic, and mysterious room-sized machines. Today the priesthood is a little hipper—lab coats have long given way to a countercultural vibe—but it’s still a priesthood, perhaps more druidic than Jesuitic, but a priesthood nonetheless
What this country needs is a good five cent microcomputer.