Interview with Christine Arrowsmith

Christine Arrowsmith has had a prolific career as a computer programmer and systems analyst at the forefront of early computing for businesses. Her inspiration for IT came at the age of 10 when she borrowed a book from the public library about the Lyons Electronic Office. Despite ill health, that often held her back in both her education and job prospects, coupled by sexism, causing her to shorten her forename to Chris on her CV, Christine forged a successful career in IT.

Her first IT positions were as a computer programmer and trainer and then she progressed to be a freelance systems analyst, employed by several early adopters of office technology and iconic firms such as ICL and F International.

Since retirement in 1997 she has continued to pursue her passion as a member of the BCS, The Chartered Institute for IT and the Computer Conservation Society, and, as a volunteer, manning the “Baby” exhibit at the Manchester Museum of Science and Industry. She is a self-confessed ‘computer geek’.

  • 1970 – employed by Rank Hovis McDougall in London as a trainee programmer using a System 4 computer and COBOL
  • 1974 – joins Vickers training programmers (the move occured after mother’s illness and father’s death) and moves back to the north-east
  • 1976 – moves to Rochdale as a lead programmmer with Woolworths
  • 1983 – sets up her own company, Kinsey Computer Services Limited and is employed by a number of companies including Ordnance Survey and Nissan
  • 1986 – works for F International and follows this with contracts at the Department of Works and Pensions and ICL

Interviewed by Elisabetta Mori on 31 March 2022 via Zoom.


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