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It is important to note that the SDC approach did not attempt to solve its programmer personnel problem by reducing the number of programmers it required. On the contrary, the SDC software factory strategy (or as detractors dismissively referred to it, the “Mongolian Horde” approach to software development) probably demanded more programmers than was otherwise necessary. But the programmers that SDC was interested in were not the idiosyncratic “black artists” that most employers were desperately in search of. SDC still expected to hire and train large numbers of programmers, yet it hoped that these programmers would be much easier to identify and recruit. Most of its trainees had little or no experience with computers; in fact, many managers at SDC preferred it that way.

* Nathan Ensmenger, The Computer Boys Take Over: Computers, Programmers, and the Politics of Technical Expertise