Ellen Ullman

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Ellen Ullman

Ellen Ullman is an American computer programmer and author. She has written novels as well as articles for various publications, including Harper's Magazine, Wired, The New York Times and Salon.

She owned a consulting firm and worked as technology commentator for NPR's All Things Considered. Her essays and novels analyze the human side of the world of computer programming. Her breakthrough book was non-fiction: Close to the Machine: Technophilia and its Discontents.


Ullman's adoptive father's family included computer scientists and mathematicians who had a major impact on her decision to pursue software engineering, a field for which she did "not have native talent."[1] Ullman earned a B.A. in English at Cornell University in the early 1970s.[2] She began working professionally in 1978 as a programmer of EDI applications and graphical user interfaces that preceded Microsoft Windows.[3]

She eventually began writing about her experiences as a programmer. From 1994 until 1996, she published articles in Harper's Magazine and in the collections Resisting the Virtual Life and Wired Women.[3] In 1995 she wrote an essay, Out of Time: Reflections on the Programming Life. She lives in San Francisco.[4]



  • Close to the Machine: Technophilia and its Discontents San Francisco : City Lights Books, 1997 (ISBN 9780872863323
  • Life in Code: A Personal History of Technology New York: MCD, Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2017. ISBN 9780374534516





  1. ^ Ellen Ullman (1 January 2009). "My Secret Life". The New York Times. San Francisco. p. A23. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 24 December 2011.
  2. ^ "Women Who Inspire Us". GirlGeeks. Retrieved 19 February 2011.
  3. ^ a b "Interview with Ellen Ullman: Of Machines, Methods, and Madness". IEEE Software. Los Alamitos: IEEE Computer Society. 15 (3): 42–45. May 1998. doi:10.1109/ms.1998.676733. ISSN 0740-7459.
  4. ^ Scott Rosenberg (2003-05-16). "Bugged out". Salon Magazine. Retrieved 2017-10-05. (Interview about her novel The Bug.)

External links[edit]