Dina St Johnston

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Dina St Johnson (née Aldrina Nia Vaughan, 20 September 1930 – 30 June/1 July 2007) was a British computer programmer credited with founding the UK's first software house in 1959.[1][2]

She retired in 1999 and died in 2007.

Career[edit]

After studying part-time and working for the British Non-Ferrous Metals Research Association, in 1953 she joined Borehamwood Laboratories of Elliott Brothers (London) Ltd.[1] She attended the 1954 Cambridge Summer School on Programming and began programming for Elliott series computers.[1]

Shortly after her marriage to Andrew St Johnston in 1958, she founded Vaughan Programming Services (VPS) in Hertfordshire in 1959, taking software contracts, and training and hiring additional programmers as needed. On its tenth anniversary, the company stated that "VPS was the first registered independent Software unit in the UK (February 1959), that was not a part of a computer manufacturer, not a part of a computer bureau, not a part of a users’ organization and not a part of a consultancy operation."[3] The company became well known for transport signalling and display systems.[1][4]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d Simon Lavington. An Appreciation of Dina St Johnston (1930–2007) Founder of the UK’s First Software House. The Computer Journal (2009) 52 (3): 378-387. doi: 10.1093/comjnl/bxn019
  2. ^ Electronics Weekly for 26 February 1969 "This week is the tenth anniversary of the UK’s software industry, and Vaughan Programming Services of Ware, Herts, who started it all, are thriving under the direction of Mrs A St Johnston." (excerpt from 2007-11-08 electronicsweekly.com online issue)
  3. ^ VPS Press Release, February 1969 as quoted by Simon Lavington. An Appreciation of Dina St Johnston (1930–2007) Founder of the UK’s First Software House. The Computer Journal (2009) 52 (3): 378-387. doi: 10.1093/comjnl/bxn019
  4. ^ Porter, C. (2007) Obituary: Dina St Johnston. IRSE News, Issue 127, September, p. 32.