- July, 2022
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There are a lot of inspirational women in the world, but today, we want to pay our homage to remarkable women that have changed the face of the IT industry. Here is just one of those amazing stories…
The world’s first computer programmer
We give you the Countess of Lovelace, Ada Byron – the world’s first computer programmer and a true trailblazer in the field of computer technology. Her story is not ordinary. She was not one of those people who stay in their lane and obey the rules no… Ada was an explorer that defied gender norms, society’s expectations and a true visionary.
She was born in 1815, during a time of great scientific advances, in a noble and prominent family. Does her last name sound familiar to you? Maybe you have heard of her father, the famous poet Lord Byron. Ada’s mother, Annabella Byron, was the conventional counterpoint to the romantic poet, who called his wife the “Princess of Parallelograms”. In fact, she was the one that pushed Ada to get an excellent education and provided great tutors. At just 17 years old, Ada showed remarkable talent and her arithmetic skills and thoughts began to grab the attention of the scientific community. That led to a close working partnership and friendship with respected engineer Charles Babbage, also known as “the inventor of computers”.
In 1842, Babbage and scientist Lugi Menabrea, published their 8.000-word paper the “Analytical Engine”. It was then translated from French by Lovelace, who also included her own annotations. The length of her rendition was a total of 20,000 words with many observations
In her last note, Ada was describing an analytical engine algorithm for calculating Bernoulli numbers. This is widely recognized to be the first algorithm ever created with the idea of being implemented on a computer. For this reason, she is known as the first computer programmer.
At the end of her piece, she signed herself as A. L. L. because it was unacceptable for women, from the upper class of that era, to deal with any scientific writings. Even though, Babbage subsequently remarked, “The notes of the Countess of Lovelace extend to about three times the length of the original memoir” her notes are still debated in some circles and people question if those findings were really hers. This just comes to show, that we still need to go a long way in recognizing all the amazing women that have and still do contribute to the world of science.
All things considered, Ada Lovelace was a woman who studied poetry, played the harp, and is considered a pioneer in the world of computer programing. Her ability to connect seemingly unrelated ideas was truly astounding, so it is only logical that a programing language that combines several different ones is named after her. To conclude, some people are destined for greatness, others fight hard to achieve it, and people like Ada can elegantly glaze through all the hurdles with confidence and for that… we applaud her!
“That brain of mine is something more than merely mortal; as time will show.” ~ Ada Lovelace
ps. Stay tuned for the second part of our series about some of the most remarkable women who made a difference.