Sammet was a leading figure in the development of computer programming languages. She began her career at Sperry Gyroscope Company (1955-1958) and moved to Sylvania Electric Products in 1958 where she participated in programming development for the MOBIDIC Computer. In 1961 she joined IBM Corporation to manage their Boston Programming Center. There she conducted advanced development work in programming and produced the first Formula Manipulation Compiler. Between 1968 and 1978 Sammet held various positions involving planning, internal consulting, and lecturing on computer programming languages. In 1978 she became divisional program manager for the Ada programming language, with responsibility for coordinating the strategy and actions for IBM's Federal Systems Division. Sammet retired from IBM at the end of 1988.
Sammet was active in computer professional societies, particularly the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM). She served as president (1974-1976) and vice president (1972-1974) of the organization, and was involved in a number of special interest groups, committees, and conferences associated with ACM. She served as editor-in-chief of Computing Reviews and the ACM Guide to Computing Literature (1979-1987). She chaired the History of Computing Committee of the American Federation of Information Processing Societies (1977-1979), and served on the editorial board of the Annals of the History of Computing.
Sammet's expertise in programming languages led her to serve on a number of standards committees, including the key group that first developed COBOL (1959), the CODASYL Language Structure Group (1960-1964), the USASI X3.4 Committee on Programming Languages, and a number of Ada-related groups.
From the description of Jean E. Sammet papers, ca. 1955-1989. (University of Minnesota, Minneapolis). WorldCat record id: 63282860