What’s in a name?

In the recent issue of the IEEE Spectrum, Ada Brunstein has an interesting piece on the significance of job titles in which she uses Google Ngram Viewer to explore changing trends in the language used to describe computer programmers.   She references my research from The Computer Boys and talks about some of the now-forgotten alternatives that were proposed during the 1960s, which included “flow-charts‑man, comptologist, and even turingineer. More serious options included informatician or datolotist.”1

My own particular favorite was “applied epistemologist.”


  1. Ada Brunstein, “Engineers: What’s in a Name?”, IEEE Spectrum (February 2012)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *