Oral History of Adele Goldberg

Interesting and wide-ranging interview with Adele Goldberg from Computer History
Transcript and Video at Computer History Also on YouTube

Adele Goldberg reflects on her life and career from her early days at the University of Chicago and Stanford University through her career at Xerox Palo Alto Research Center (PARC) and ParcPlace Systems.

Another Oral History interview with her by IEEE Global History Network

Goldberg discusses her educational and work history. She recalls her experiences as a student at the University of Michigan and at the University of Chicago. Next, she covers her stretch at Xeorx PARC, sharing her views on the work environment. Here she speaks at length about her work on Smalltalk, including her leading role in its commercialization. Goldberg is candid about the challenges she faced in forming and running spin-out company ParcPlace Systems. In addition, she discusses her two-year tenure as President of ACM. Finally, Goldberg offers advice for young women who are considering a career in computing.

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A wonderful interview.

A wonderful interview, if only for its great historical content.

Thank you for posting.

myth busting

For years I've heard oversimplified myths about this history (that this video helped me to realize are myths).


Myth: Try as they might, Xerox never figured out how to turn Smalltalk into viable products.

Closer to reality: Key parts of the Smalltalk group (e.g. Kay) actively resisted acquiring "customers". It sounds as if Xerox upper mgt. gave up on hoping that would change.

Myth: Xerox politely demoed for Apple who then ate Xerox's lunch.

Closer to reality: Xerox's venture fund invested in Apple (and presumably some key Xerox folks/investors did as well). The meetings with Apple appear to have been intended to help facilitate an already ongoing, deliberate technology transfer.