Hopper and Dijkstra: Crisis, Revolution, and the Future of Programming

In the late 1960s, tensions were erupting in corporate and academic computing cultures in the United States and abroad with competing views about the state of computer programming and possible future implications. This article examines the computer programming cultures during this period by viewing them through the lens of two dissimilar leaders, Grace Hopper and Edsger Dijkstra, who emphasized pragmatic versus theoretical stances, respectively.