Computing

In the early 1990s, I was self-employed and volunteered to help with one in a series of government career videos to be played from kiosks. The previous decade had seen a seemingly constant series of changes in the name of the Industry that I was part of, so it was no surprise when the Writer asked me what name should be used in the video. The implication, of course, was to avoid being outdated by the next name change.

How could I predict the next name for the Industry then known as Information Systems? Or the fact that it (I.T. – Information Technology) would stick for the next quarter century and counting? Instead, I assumed that the names would keep changing every few years as they had been during that time period.

More important though was my realization that people outside the Industry rarely recognized the current name anyway, even the names that survived a decade or longer. I usually ended up telling them “I work with Computers”.

Computing was the name I used for that video. And have, ever since, whether I’m talking to those inside or outside the Industry.

A quick look in Wikipedia demonstrates that the term Computing is usually a blanket term for the major disciplines involving Computers. Reading between the lines, it appears as if the term Computing has been more commonly used in Britain than in North America.

When I graduated from University in 1974, Data Processing was the term I used to refer to my chosen Career Field. Looking back, I can see that that was my rather narrow view of the world at the time.