This program orginally aired on 04-04-19.
Many of us don't give a second thought to the software that runs aspects of our everyday lives, from morning alarms or fitness apps on our phones, to the code directing a red eye flight out of Chicago O'hare. Behind the software are computer programmers who work line-by-line to make these things possible.
On this segment of River to River host Ben Kieffer examines the world of programmers with journalist Clive Thompson, author of "Coders: The Making of a New Tribe and the Remaking of the World."
A mostly white, male dominated field, was initially pioneered by women. Today only about one quarter of programmers are women, but in the early days programming was seen as more of a secondary task to building hardware.
"The door was really open and a lot of the people that walked in were women," says Thompson "A lot of the people that wrote some of the early computer languages, that became very influential, were women."