Friday, April 15, 2005

Meeting with Margaret Hamilton

Yesterday I had the wonderful pleasure of meeting with Margaret Hamilton. It is very rare in life that you get to meet with a true visionary; rarer still that her level of vision has remained at a constant high for over forty years, and rarer still that this person is warm and fun to talk to.

We discussed her roles as a female leading a team of over one hundred people in the sixties, her role on Apollo, her team, the software, what she does today, and several other topics. At one point, I realized she was describing the Object-Oriented Analysis and Design process...which she did in the Sixties! They called it something else ("modular" code in an end-to-end process, etc.), but, as they say, "A rose by any other name..."

We spoke for ninety minutes, and I could have kibbutzed all day. I eventually let her off the hook. (Especially because I needed to come home and write up my paper on the interview.) =)

1 comment:

Mane the Mean said...

I assume you know all this, but still.

The first object-oriented language was SIMULA (see e.g. http://staff.um.edu.mt/jskl1/talk.html).

So, they did not have real OO in Apollo, but of course they did obey the fundamental principles like modularity etc even in Apollo.

By the way, the history is programming language is an interesting topic, and something which all programmers (or anybody dealing with SW: architects, designers,...) must be familiar with to some with some decent amount.

See also e.g

http://www.oreilly.com/pub/a/oreilly/news/languageposter_0504.html

and

http://www.scriptol.org/history.php

Enjoy!