Pixel Envy

Written by Nick Heer.

Margaret Hamilton Awarded Presidential Medal of Freedom

Jenni Miller, New York magazine:

President Barack Obama presented boundary-breaking software engineer Margaret Hamilton with the Presidential Medal of Freedom for her work on the software behind the Apollo 11 mission. Hamilton, who wrote code by hand for the on-board guidance software, was one of many programmers who made it possible for Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin to safely land on the moon instead of aborting their mission entirely.

For some perspective, I’m posting this on my lunch break, after grumbling to myself that the IDE I’m using has poor code autocompletion. She wrote code — by hand — for a computer that had less storage than the size of many websites today, to be used in the unknowns of space, with her four-year-old daughter by her side.