Women Who Inspire Us
Ullman is a programmer and author, whose articles on technology,
gender and culture have appeared in top print and online publications,
including Harper's, Wired, The New York Times and Salon.com.
first became interested in computer technology in the early 1970s.
While earning her B.A. in English at Cornell University, she became
involved in the public-access video movement and in electronic image-generation
for videotape. She was intrigued by early computer-aided animations,
and her first motives for studying programming were to produce electronic
mid-1970s, however, grant funds for video became difficult to find,
and Ullman turned to business programming as a way to make a living
while getting herself established in San Francisco. Her initial
programming work was in insurance specifically in early electronic
interchanges between insurance companies and networks of agents,
or what is now called business-to-business software. She went on
to work with relational databases, tools for programmers creating
interactive programs, and (before Windows or UNIX Motif) the design
and implementation of a graphical user interface for UNIX.
began writing about her experiences as a programmer in 1995, when
she was asked to contribute an essay to an anthology, "Resisting
the Virtual Life," published by City Lights Books. After the
essay was excerpted in Harper's, City Lights proposed that
Ullman write a book. The critically acclaimed "Close to the Machine:
Technophilia and Its Discontents" was published in 1997.
witty, technically savvy and socially insightful essays continue
to appear in Salon and other national magazines and newspapers.
She was named one of San Francisco Women on the Web's Top 25 Women
on the Web for 2000. She lives in San Francisco, California and
is now working on a novel.