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apollo-hamilton Margaret Hamilton, lead software engineer, Project Apollo - showing off her source code

This page is dedicated to all the great women that contributed significantly to the evolution of software engineering and IT.

(Work in progress - tips for additions welcomed.)

  • First programmer - Ada Lovelace (daughter of Lord Byron); wrote an algorithm to be executed by an early mechanical general-purpose comuting machine in 1840s (14 October is Ada Lovelace Day)

  • First assembly language - Kathleen Booth

  • The six programmers of the first electronic general-purpose computer ENIAC - Jean Bartik, Frances “Betty” Snyder Holberton, Kathleen McNulty Mauchly Antonelli, Marlyn Wescoff Meltzer, Ruth Lichterman Teitelbaum, Frances Bilas Spence

  • The first compiler and COBOL, one of the first high-level programming languages - Grace Hopper (she was also a rear admiral and is credited with popularizing the term “debugging.”)

  • The first female recipient of the A.M. Turing Award - Frances E. Allen, for her “pioneering contributions to the theory and practice of optimizing compiler techniques that laid the foundation for modern optimizing compilers and automatic parallel execution.” She was also working on the first compiler that targeted multiple machines and source languages. More info

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