This 25th Anniversary Edition of Close to the Machine, featuring a new introduction by Anna Wiener, author of Uncanny Valley, resurfaces Ellen Ullman’s astonishing account of computing and the ways it shapes our very existence.
When Ellen Ullman’s memoir of her life as a software engineer was published in 1997, it was greeted as a revelatory meditation on the dawn of the digital era. Now, twenty-five years later, Close to the Machine is a true classic, a touchstone work that illuminates our time and our future life in technology.
It is the story of a woman whose life is spinning out of control. Technology becomes her unlikely lifeline. As she navigates this socially flawed and male-dominated world, Ullman shows us the struggle of translating the messiness of human thought into algorithms, and also discovers unexpected beauty in the logic of code.