3 Legends in Tech, Celebrating Women's History Month
Since as early as the 1800s, women have been making waves in the tech industry. Women like Carol Shaw, Radia Perlman, and Gail Tilden have paved the way for women in STEM-related industries around the world! These women built upon the solid foundation provided by pioneers such as Ada Lovelace, Grace Hopper, Annie Easley, and Hedy Lamarr, just to name a few. Lovelace wrote the first computer program a century before there was a computer able to execute it. Lamarr invented a new communication system that paved the way for wi-fi as we know it. Radia Perlman solved the challenge of information routing using the Spanning-Tree Protocol. More on that below.
This New Jersey native’s parents were both engineers working for the US government. Her father worked on radar, and her mother was a mathematician and computer scientist. It’s safe to say that tech is in her blood. Perhaps that is why Radia Perlman has designed several network protocols, the most famous of which is the Spanning-Tree Protocol (STP). STP was created to prevent loops from occurring in computer networks. “Why?” You might ask. Before STP, execution of network-related code could produce positive feedback loops that were capable of crashing whole networks (the very networks used around the world to keep products moving, people connected, and data stored securely). Think of the positive feedback loop created by a microphone and speaker. The amplification of the signal from the microphone creates that all-too-familiar high-pitched noise sound engineers dread. The same thing can happen on a computer network, forcing it to reboot. Then, when the network reboots, the system will crash again due to the same error. This crash and reboot cycle is stopped in its tracks by STP’s, allowing networks to self-organize and move data efficiently and correctly. Thanks to Perlman, the networks our world relies on can continue to thrive.
Gail Tilden worked at Nintendo of America (NoA), where she was instrumental to their successful launch of the Nintendo Entertainment System (NES) into the overly saturated US game market. She used her marketing skills to develop a strategy which allowed NoA to successfully release the NES while avoiding the pitfalls that led to the video game crash of 1983. After the release, NoA noticed that players were looking for resources to help complete their new games. As an answer to these requests, Tilden created Nintendo Power in 1988. It became Nintendo’s official print magazine for North America. It gave gamers access to Nintendo-related news, tips, and reviews. Until Nintendo decided to discontinue the magazine in 2013, 285 issues had been published. They are now very valuable. The first several issues can sell for upwards of $50 each. Thanks to her marketing prowess, Tilden paved the way for future gaming magazines and walkthroughs, print and digital, that gamers rely on even to this day.
Carol Shaw is a name that gamers need to know! While she was only in the industry for a short time, 6 years (1978-1984), she left quite the impression. As the first female game designer and programmer, she created and co-created games for the Atari 2600, Intellivision, and the Atari 8-bit family of devices. Her list of accomplishments include: 3-D Tic-Tac-Toe, Video Checkers, Othello, Super Breakout, River Raid, Happy Trails, and Polo. Mike Albaugh, a fellow game designer, hailed Shaw as “simply the best programmer of the 6502 [referring to a type of microprocessor used in Atari 2600, and Atari 8-bit family devices] and probably one of the best programmers period.” She downplays the importance of her involvement in the gaming world. It’s clear based on her programming aptitude that she’s earned her metaphorical handprint on the video game and programming hall of fame. In fact, in 2017 she received the Industry Icon Award at The Game Awards. When asked what advice she would give to young women or girls who might want to choose a profession in computer science or game design, she responded by saying, “If that’s something they like doing, they should go ahead and do it. And not let people tell them that they can’t do it. The main thing is find something that you like doing and are interested in.”
Here at Oeveo
We pride ourselves on being an equal opportunity employer. We gathered some quotes from women in our office after asking them, “How does it feel to work for a company that serves the Tech/Computer/Gaming world?”
Working for Oeveo in the tech/computer world gives me the opportunity to work with a team of people who I would not have otherwise met in my life as I am not a tech person nor into gaming. It has opened my eyes to all of the needs that have not been met within the tech world, needs that we are meeting every day!
I'm at my desk in front of the computer most days, whether it be working hard or gaming hard, so I appreciate a clean, ergonomic, well-organized space that is conducive to whatever my activity happens to be. I love that Oeveo provides that, and that I get to work with awesome, American-made products that I can get excited about every single day!
Since before I was born, technology has been making waves across the globe by changing the way people live. Working for Oeveo, a company that strives to innovate products right alongside the fast-changing tech industry, allows me opportunities to continuously learn and make real-world change.
When companies in tech (and tech-related companies) embrace women, anything and everything becomes possible. By working together, we can take on any challenge. Creativity can flourish, which ultimately leads to new and better lives for everyone in our tech-guided world. And remember, if you’re looking to protect your tech, visit our gaming mounts page to check out our mounting solutions for PC, PlayStation, XBOX, and accessories!
MOUNT UP with Oeveo!