Oral history of British science

Shirley, Stephanie (Part 6 of 15). An Oral History of British Science.

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  • Subjects

    Computer Software

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  • Recording locations

    Interviewee's home, Henley-on-Thames

  • Interviewees

    Shirley, Stephanie, 1933- (speaker, female)

  • Interviewers

    Lean, Thomas (speaker, male)

  • Abstract

    Part 6: Remarks on: marriage; applying for a job with Computer Developments Limited [CDL], part of ICL in Harrow. Comments on working for CDL: software concentration, managed her own team for the first time; CDL development of joint GEC ICL 1301 computer; SS development of systems software and checking techniques; well managed; useful daily meetings with colleagues; well paid. [06:00] Remarks on working at GEC Coventry in evenings to develop software: anecdote about workers leaving at 5pm exact; taking over from George Gibson the computer engineer; intimacy of small team; anecdote about Fred Dearnley's start at CDC and strategies for managing his brilliance. Remarks on ICL1301 computer characteristics and asynchronous peripherals, warm feelings toward 1301. [10:15] Anecdote about having to share a bed with Dan Brezinsky due to extreme tiredness. Remarks on: managers Dr Espley, John Wensley, Dickie Bird; socialising outside work; having more confidence. Story about glass ceiling and decided to resign after a meeting to set up her own software company. Remarks on: division between hardware and software people, stimulating environment in CDC, buying first home, anecdote about being overpaid. [16:30] Remarks about surprise that she was willing to do night work as a newly wed woman. Comparison of Dollis Hill to friendly atmosphere at CDC. [18:15] Comments on Birkbeck College: started MSc but wanted to do PhD; started logic design course; friendly with Peter King; knew ABD through his work on speech recognition with boyfriend. Remarks on: science taking longer than first expected, such as software outsourcing to India; [23:29] boyfriend Trevor Atwell.

  • Description

    Interview with entrepreneur, computer scientist and philanthropist Dame Stephanie 'Steve' Shirley.

  • Related transcripts

    Dame Stephanie Shirley interviewed by Thomas Lean: full transcript of the interview

  • Related links

    Visit this interviewee's page on the 'Voices of Science' web resource

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