In this episode of The Archive Project, Doree Shafrir and Ellen Ullman discuss their work as authors and as women in the booming, male-dominated world of technology. Shafrir’s Startup tells the stories of Mack, Katya, and Sabrina, three very different people whose lives become perilously engulfed in a tech startup scandal. Ullman’s second memoir, Life in Code: A Personal History of Technology, takes a grounded look at the ever-evolving tech industry and the very human implications and casualties of such intense and unchecked growth. In this bold and unflinching discussion, Shafrir and Ullman create a snapshot not just of women in tech today, but of their history and possible futures.
Doree Shafrir is a Senior Tech Writer at BuzzFeed News. Her first novel, Startup, was published by Little, Brown on April 25, 2017. Doree has also worked as an editor or staff writer at Rolling Stone, the New York Observer, Gawker, and Philadelphia Weekly, and has contributed to publications including the New York Times, The New Yorker, Slate, TheAwl, Daily Beast, Marie Claire, and Wired. A former resident of Brooklyn, she now lives in Los Angeles with her husband Matt Mira, a comedy writer and podcaster, and their dog Beau.
Ellen Ullman wrote her first computer program in 1978. She went on to have a twenty-year career as a programmer and software engineer. Her essays and books have become landmark works describing the social, emotional, and personal effects of technology. She is the author of two novels: By Blood, a New York Times Notable Book; and The Bug, a runner-up for the Pen/Hemingway Award. Her memoir, Close to the Machine, about her life as a software engineer during the internet’s first rise, became a cult classic. Her new book, Life in Code: A Personal History of Technology, tells a continuing story of the technical world as she experienced it while living in its midst for more than two decades. She is based in San Francisco.