This year we dedicate the conference to honoring of women in computing. Ada Lovelace, Margaret Hamilton and Carol Shawn are just three examples of pioneering women in the world of programming. We want to remind some of them and their amazing successes.
Ada Lovelace (1815 – 1852) was the first female programmer in history, and from the 19th century! Daughter of poet Lord Byron, she had an exciting life full of adventures. Ada wrote about loops when no one knew about them. She was the one that developed the first algorithm to be processed by a machine.
Grace Hopper (1906-1992). We’re sure you know what a bug in programming is, but we should start thanking the amazing Grace for coming up with the term. Thank you mother of computer programming and creator of the software COBOL!
Ángela Ruiz Robles (1895 – 1975) was a Spanish inventor and teacher who put her students first! She pioneered the first e-book called the Mechanical Encyclopedia because she wanted her students to carry less weight in their backpacks.
Hedy Lamarr (1914-2000). Our lives would not be the same without WiFi, GPS or Bluetooth, right? Did you know we owe these inventions to one woman, to Hedy Lamarr? She and composer George Anthei created a system to change frequency within seconds, the basis of the wireless Internet. She was also Hollywood star.
Joan Clarke (1917-1946) was the only woman of Bletchley Park, a group of scientists and mathematicians work on «The Enigma» in order to decipher the communication system of Nazi German. She played a key role that led to the end of World War II. An authentic heroine indeed!
Stephanie “Steve” Shirley (1933). She founded Freelance Programmers, a software company with 300 employees, mostly women. Stephanie or Steve? For a while, she had to use a pseudonym to get them to hire the services of her company.
Margaret Hamilton (1936). «One small step for man and one giant step for mank ind», Nail Armstrong wouldn’t have set foot on the moon without the work of a woman, Margaret Hamilton. Her onboard navigation software was instrumental in getting Apollo 11 to its destination.
Roberta Williams (1953). A house, a hidden gem and several mysterious deaths. That’s how it starts Mystery House, the first graphic adventure in history that was developed by Roberta Williams and her husband. She is one of the big pioneers in videogames.
Carol Shawn (1955) was the first videogame developer and an industry icon. “I’d never actually written a video game, but Atari hired me because I had the programming experience”, Carol used to say.
Megan Smith (1964) was an activist in different social causes. She was the first female chief technology officer in the United States Government. Her appointment not only opened a new path for women in technology but also empower them to upsurge.