When in the sixtee's I made the risky choice of studying in computer science (I was in prepatory classes at the time) I was considered a bit like an extraterrestrial and some people even told me that it was a passager mode which would'nt last more than 2 years!
In fact one saw a computer as a super-calculator, one did'nt see the revolution which gave, through a coding made of 0 and 1, the possibility of processing alphanumeric data, i.e not only figures but also letters, permitting the movment of the data processing in all forms.
In addition computer science, more or less linked to applied mathematics (the founder of the ENSIMAG, Jean KUNTZMANN, called it this section of the National Polytechnicum Institute of Grenoble "Applied Mathematics and Computer Science") was regarded as in it's own right discipline only in the later years, the Ph D in theoretical computer science being introduced progessively.
I am currently writing a book on my recollections of a computer scientist at it's beginning in which I relate the development of data processing, it's introduction in the administrations and the large corporations in the years 1960-1970, the emergence of the personal computer with the enormous progress of microprocessors (according to the famous MOORE'S law which is in fact the observation made during the 80's that the capacities of the microprocessors doubble every 18 months and the cost being reduced drasticaly); this law is always verifing to this day!, then the smart card called "memory card" in the 80's, the videotex and the INTERNET revolution!
We can compare the advent in computer science in the intelligence area to the electricity in the area of energy; let us remember that betwween the dicovery of electricity and the first applications it has been a gap of almost 40 years as far as computer science this gap has been reduced to 10 years!