This rare look inside a Bell Labs computer center, specifically the one at the Holmdel location, which was referred to internally as the “HOCC” or the “HO CC”. This film was made as orientation for new employees who would need to use the computer center, and this, part 2 of 2 (see part 1), is about the programming center within the HOCC.
One thing that’s notable about this film — different from Part 1 — is the preponderance of women working in the Programmer Services area. Around 1966, 7 years before this film was made, there were over 500 women working in “technical work” at Bell Labs, rather than administrative work, and many were in computing. A book and blog by Nathan Ensmenger examines the sociological history of computing, and why during the 1980s the computing field became more and more the province of men. Stories about women in the early decades of computing still reside in the world of the personal anecdote; it’s hard to assess the exact data on how many women worked in the field in the 1960s and 1970s.