Former CW software editor loses cancer battle

Claire Gooding, pioneering software journalist and former software editor of Computer Weekly, died on 9 January following a long...

Claire Gooding, pioneering software journalist and former software editor of Computer Weekly, died on 9 January following a long battle with cancer. Claire was an outstanding writer with a knack of fluently communicating the user perspective.

A former programmer, Claire worked with Computer Weekly from 1979 to 1982 before moving to become founder editor of "Software" our monthly sister magazine that flourished in the mid-1980s.

She continued to work closely with Computer Weekly as a freelance writer and was a key member of our "software month" team in the 1980s.

She moved on to work at the SAS Institute, and then, in the late 1980s, initiated the idea for the Financial Times' IT supplements.

Gooding joined the FT, becoming editor of the newspaper's Software at Work section. She was subsequently a Gartner analyst for a short period and then worked with research company Ovum.

While working as a programmer, she was challenged by a director of a South African bank to break into his "fully secure" IT system. This she achieved with characteristic speed.

Holding a pile of printouts, she waited outside the computer room until a gallant techie let her in; then, sitting in front of an empty screen, brazenly called out for that day's password, which she got. It remains an object lesson for today's IT professionals.

Gooding achieved much in her too-short career, despite being dogged by cancer for more than 25 years. She was a courageous and energetic inspiration to the many in IT who knew her.

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