Women in Technology Hall of Fame

Adele Goldberg

Adele Goldberg

Founding Chairman, ParcPlace Systems, Inc

Inducted in 2010

Adele Goldberg is a computer scientist. She is one of the creators of Smalltalk-80—a programming language—while working at the Xerox Palo Alto Research Center (PARC). Adele currently works at Neometron, Inc., an internet support provider she founded. She continues to pursue her love of education, creating computer sciences courses at various school internationally.

In 1988, Adele co-founded ParcPlace Systems. By then, Smalltalk-80 had been applied to different software, and ParcPlace Systems provided development tools for the companies behind this software. She was chairperson and president of the company until 1995 when it merged with Digitalk.

From 1984 to 1986, she was president of the Association for Computing Machinery.

Adele started at PARC in 1973 as a research assistant. She went on to become manager of the Systems Concepts Laboratory where she developed Smalltalk-80. Smalltalk-80 was easier to use and customizable. Adele also created some of the design patterns that would go on to be the most commonly used in software design.

Steve Jobs demanded to see a demonstration of Smalltalk-80 which she reluctantly gave him. Jobs and his team at Apple then incorporated Smalltalk-80 into the programming configuration of the Macintosh computer.

Adele has authored and co-authored various publications on Smalltalk-80, her innovative programming creation, including "Smalltalk-80: the Language & Its Implementation," "Smalltalk-80: the Interactive Programming Environment," and "Smalltalk-80: the Language."

She received the ACM Software Systems Award in 1987 and was also in "Forbes’s" "20 Who Matter." She also received "PC" magazine’s Lifetime Achievement Award in 1996. In 1994, she became a fellow of the Association for Computing Machinery.

Adele is also on the board at Cognito Learning Media, a company that provides multimedia software for educational purposes.

The Computer History Museum displays several of her research documents on the creation of Smalltalk-80.

Adele obtained her bachelor’s degree in mathematics from the University of Michigan and her master’s degree and PhD in information science from the University of Chicago.

Computer Hope