The Quotable Nerdy Chick: Grace Hopper

grace hopperGrace Hopper (1909 – 1992) was born in New York City. In 1928 she graduated from Vassar College, with a bachelor’s degree in mathematics and physics and later received a MA and a Ph.D. from Yale University. She is known for being one of the first programmers of the Harvard Mark I computer. A US Navy rear admiral, Hopper also developed the first compiler for a computer programming language. Nicknamed Amazing Grace, Hopper coined the phrase “debugging” for computer problems, and has had both a US Navy destroyer and a supercomputer named in her honor. You can read more about Grace Hopper HERE.

Grace Hopper Quotes

  • Humans are allergic to change. They love to say, ‘We’ve always done it this way.’ I try to fight that. That’s why I have a clock on my wall that runs counter-clockwise.
  • Leadership is a two-way street, loyalty up and loyalty down. Respect for one’s superiors; care for one’s crew.
  • It is often easier to ask for forgiveness than to ask for permission.
  • A ship in port is safe, but that’s not what ships are built for.

I like these quotes! And while I’ve heard that third one many times, I never knew who to attribute it to. It’s true… but I hope my children don’t find this out for a while…





8 comments on “The Quotable Nerdy Chick: Grace Hopper

  1. Connie Colon says:

    Great post, Mary!
    Love those quotes, too!!

  2. Wow what a cool lady. Thanks for introducing her to me, she’s seems like a very neat, smart and compassionate person what a great combo!

  3. kamikinard says:

    I agree. Pretty impressive, especially considering the obstacles to women back when she was forging ahead.

  4. Awesome quotes, the third one is one we used at work a lot. Our boss liked it that I was a go getter and didn’t always wait for someone to walk me through everything. I had no idea this is where the quote came from 🙂

    • kamikinard says:

      I didn’t know either! Thought it was an old saying. Apparently, Grace Hopper was quite the go-getter too!

  5. Wyrd Smythe says:

    I like the version of the last one that continues, “A ship in port is safe; but that is not what ships are built for. Sail out to sea and do new things.”

    I also like, “You manage things, you lead people. We went overboard on management and forgot about leadership.”

    I cited her coining of “bug” when my own laptop had an actual one…

  6. kamikinard says:

    Oh yes! I like the continuation of that last quote too. Thanks for sharing!

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