Advertisement

Programmers and Managers

The Routinization of Computer Programming in the United States

  • Philip Kraft

Part of the Heidelberg Science Library book series (HSL)

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-x
  2. Philip Kraft
    Pages 1-10
  3. Philip Kraft
    Pages 31-50
  4. Philip Kraft
    Pages 51-63
  5. Philip Kraft
    Pages 97-107
  6. Back Matter
    Pages 108-118

About this book

Introduction

Norbert Wiener, perhaps better than anyone else, understood the intimate and delicate relationship between control and communication: that messages intended as commands do not necessarily differ from those intended simply as facts. Wiener noted the paradox when the modem computer was hardly more than a laboratory curiosity. Thirty years later, the same paradox is at the heart of a severe identity crisis which con­ fronts computer programmers. Are they primarily members of "management" acting as foremen, whose task it is to ensure that orders emanating from executive suites are faithfully trans­ lated into comprehensible messages? Or are they perhaps sim­ ply engineers preoccupied with the technical difficulties of relating "software" to "hardware" and vice versa? Are they aware, furthermore, of the degree to which their work­ whether as manager or engineer-routinizes the work of others and thereby helps shape the structure of social class relation­ ships? I doubt that many of us who lived through the first heady and frantic years of software development-at places like the RAND and System Development Corporations-ever took time to think about such questions. The science fiction-like setting of mysterious machines, blinking lights, and torrents of numbers served to awe outsiders who could only marvel at the complexity of it all. We were insiders who constituted a secret society into which only initiates were welcome. So today I marvel at the boundless audacity of a rank out­ sider in writing a book like Programmers and Managers.

Keywords

Programmierer Training Vereinigte Staaten /Gesellschaft, Sozialwissenschaften complexity computer control management organization programming society system development time

Authors and affiliations

  • Philip Kraft
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of SociologyState University of New York at BinghamtonBinghamtonUSA

Bibliographic information

  • DOI https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4613-9420-4
  • Copyright Information Springer-Verlag New York 1977
  • Publisher Name Springer, New York, NY
  • eBook Packages Springer Book Archive
  • Print ISBN 978-0-387-90248-7
  • Online ISBN 978-1-4613-9420-4
  • Series Print ISSN 0073-1595
  • Buy this book on publisher's site