[Computer specialists] are at once the most unmanageable and the most poorly managed specialism in our society. Actors and artists pale by comparison. Only pure mathematicians are as cantankerous, and it’s a calamity that so many of them get recruited by simplistic personnel men…[Managers should] refuse to embark on grandiose or unworthy schemes, and refuse to let their recalcitrant charges waste skill, time and money on the fashionable idiocies of our [computer] racket.
Herbert Grosch. (1966). “Programmers: The Industry’s Cosa Nostra,” Datamation 12(10): 202.
[The programmer type is] often egocentric, slightly neurotic, and he borders upon a mild schizophrenia. The incidence of beards, sandals, and other symptoms of rugged individualism or nonconformity are notably greater among this demographic group. Stories about programmers and their attitudes and particularities are legion, and do not bear repeating here.
Richard Brandon, “The Problem in Perspective.” In Proceedings of the 1968 23rd ACM National Conference, 332-334. New York: ACM Press, 1968.
In one inquiry it was found that a successful team of computer specialists included an ex-farmer, a former tabulating machine operator, an ex-key punch operator, a girl who had done secretarial work, a musician and a graduate in mathematics. That last was considered the least competent.
Hans Albert Rhee, Office Automation in a Social Perspective, 1968