View Full Version : Rear Ad. Grace Hopper, portrait # 16

12-28-2010, 11:33 AM

I have to paint this great lady. Rear Admiral Hopper was the mother of "COBOL", the first computer language which was readable in human language. Before that, we, old computer scientists like me and many others had to communicate in Assembly (machine language), we punched IBM cards to let the comp. read!:D:D We survived!

I wanted to paint this grand lady because she gave me an advice that affected my career in computer science. In 1985, I got antsy and did not want to do COBOL any more, wanted to jump in newer, so called modern language. She came to my place of work (at that time was a Navy command and I asked her, aired out my concern that "COBOL is dying". She said "Young lady, COBOL will be there until you decide to retire, be good at it, it will benefit you."

With that said, I kept my knowledge and went to a better job requring it. In the years 97, 98, the year 2000 reared its ugly problem, we, the old fashioned COBOL experts were recruited like mad and Hubby and I were in such demand that whatever we asked, we received plus more. Our careers took off beyond our dreams and I could retired at age 53, 7 years ago. Without this lady's advice, I would have jumped into a new thing which would ended as a dead end.

I count my blessings for meeting wonderful people who adviced and took me under their wings. And many such people remain in my life.:)

And I appreciate everyone of you here in ArtRage, without the advice and encouragement, I would have quit the painting, my sincere thanks to all of you.:D

Now you know about me more I am sure!!!:eek:

12-28-2010, 12:10 PM
Wonderful story and great portraits of a very smart lady. Lovely shading on both images.

I tried COBOL programming a while ago and I just couldn't get the hang of it. :( I still have nightmares.... :p

But she really was very very interesting person with great advice.

12-28-2010, 12:48 PM
Wonderful story and a very good painting...most of the time life has a way of working out and I am glad that your's did...:)

12-28-2010, 01:02 PM
Hi Jaz your portrait work is improving with every one as the lady said

stick with and you'll be there spot on regards E+ :D:D:D

12-28-2010, 01:05 PM
Very wonderful story of a great lady! I am sure she would be honored by the portrait.

12-28-2010, 01:27 PM
Thanks so much for your kind comments.

MagenS - COBOL is a talkative language (well, a woman created it!) and very reasonable logic and to fix the 2000 problem, most programs were in COBOL. We were surprised when a recruiter contacted us a couple years ago for jobs converting COBOL, we thought they were gone.:D

Semd74 - Yes, life has a way of working out but still, we must be prepared.:) Choices are difficult at times.

80+ - Really appreciate your kind comments.:)

Mac - I had never seen her again then she passed on in 1992, way before the 2000 computer problem and thanks to you for the kind comment.:)


12-28-2010, 03:13 PM
Yeah, I think I couldn't get the hang of it because the college didn't use it first off. They had me learning C, C++ and Java before they gave me COBOL and the teacher wasn't very nice either, so that may have been the problem.

It worked out fabulous for you though, huh? ;)

12-29-2010, 01:52 AM
Wow, thank you for sharing your story Jasmine. I always enjoy your paintings and the education. My daughter wants to go into Computer Science. I will pass on your encouraging story to her. I am happy for you and your success!

12-29-2010, 12:25 PM
Jasmine, such a very interesting story and wonderful portrait, many years ago my first experience on computers were punching the holes in the cards, so it was really nice to hear your success story and your intellegence to listen to a wise lady.....thanks for sharing:):););)

12-31-2010, 02:12 AM
Thanks for the kind comments.

Magen - A lot of American Univ. abandonned COBOL a little bit too soon. In the year of 87-89, Hubby and I worked for a contracting company to change the year 2000 problem for the State of Nebraska's systems. We had a very difficult time filling the positions, could not recruite Americans, ended up with 40 Indians directly from India. These kids were trained in Assembly (machine language for mainframe), COBOL, IDMS, DMS databases and many more. Excellent written English, very flexible and willing to do any thing to accomplish work. The only problem we managers had was their accent, a few of them had it very strong. Another thing too, Lincoln, Nebraska was not used to seeing foreign looking people much. Even I had a run in on prejudiced remarks in a public place from certain ignorant people. These Indians are still here contributing in Computer Science. I am for hiring the locals 100%, but you have to have qualified people to accomplish what needed.

Thanks, my career was fine and I am greatful.:)

Alexandra - Your daughter will enjoy it. The industry is not the same now, many work has left for overseas, especiall India, simply because they are cheaper and qualified. But I always feel that if one is good, one will find a spot. Old knowledge like mine is out of date now and we depend on our universities to supply what the students need for our workforce, hopefully we are ok.:)

Dear Pat1940. I missed you and your posting, hope you had a good Christmas. Yes, punching those IBM cards, I didn't do much on punching, just writing programs using them in those old days. We used to have fun figuring out the hole patterns for each alphabets, numbers and symbols. There were jobs everywhere for key punchers in those days, never was good with typing though.

Have a Happy New Year you all!:D

12-31-2010, 03:32 PM
very nice tribute to her. I like these portrait sketches very much. Congratulations on taking her advice and being very successful. And now you can relax and spend time on artrage. A very sweet life indeed. :)