Winnie 's Story
I recall I was in my final year in high school, busy prepping for my final year history exam at the local public library. In the history section, I found a book that immediately drew my attention, “The Code Book” by Simon Singh. What might a book with such a title be doing in the history section? I ensured I borrowed the book so that after finishing my exams, I would delve deep into the book to find out. It took me three days to finish the roughly five hundred pages read.
The book fundamentally illustrates the development of codes and ciphers over the years and the significance it has borne all along. It dates back to the fifth century BC when the unwavering threat of being conquered faced multiple nations; this made them realize that secrecy could be their greatest intellectual weapon; that secure communication was essential. The result was cryptography. A system of unassailable communications techniques that allow only the sender and intended recipient of a message to view its contents.
After that particular read, I conducted casual research on the history of cryptography. I was delighted to find out that during World War II, nations that opted to include women in their code-breaking operations, like the US and the UK, realized greater successes than nations that excluded women from war work because of traditions such as Germany and Japan. The disparity in utilizing women's talents between the different nations made a strategic difference.
I am good at solving problems. I have always achieved a sense of satisfaction after having provided solutions to problems. The idea of code making and code breaking now in the contemporary world, encoding and decoding particularly appealed to the analytical and
investigative aspects of my personality. My deep intrigue for code grew out of that.