When she founded her software programme business with £6 in 1962, Shirley found that if she signed business letters with her real name, Stephanie, people seldom responded, so she adopted the pseudonym Steve.
The company Freelance Programmers (later F International, F.I. Group, and Xansa) flourished in the UK and India before it was sold in 2007 to French rival Steria for £456m.
A trailblazer for IT and for women, Shirley retired at the age of 60 to devote more time to causes, including autism, from which her son Giles suffered acutely.
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