Top 5 influential female coders who could be a source of inspiration for budding women coders
The idea that computer programming is a male-dominated field has been challenged by the tremendous contributions made by women over time. These female computer scientists have shattered the glass ceiling and built a name for themselves in the tech world despite having to overcome several challenges and impediments. In this article, we’ll look into the top 5 influential female coders who have had a significant impact. These women have set the path for subsequent generations of women in tech, from Ada Lovelace, who is regarded as the first computer programmer, to Grace Hopper, who created the first compiler.
A few modern women coders will also be highlighted, including Reshma Saujani, the founder of Girls Who Code, an organization that works to reduce the gender gap in tech, and Katherine Johnson, who was a key player in NASA’s space missions.
1. Ada Lovelace
Ada Lovelace is regarded as the first computer programmer in history. Lovelace was the daughter of mathematician Annabella Milbanke and poet Lord Byron. She was born in 1815. Lovelace developed an early interest in mathematics and science, and when she was 17 years old, she met Charles Babbage, an inventor who was developing a mechanical calculator known as the Analytical Engine.
Lovelace and Babbage collaborated closely, and Lovelace is credited with creating the first algorithm, which was intended to be run on the Analytical Engine. She recognized the machine’s potential to perform more difficult jobs, such as producing music and pictures, beyond simple arithmetic. Modern computer programming was made possible by Lovelace’s efforts, which also served as an example for later generations of female technologists.
2. Grace Hopper
The first compiler, a program that converts commands from high-level programming languages into machine code, is credited to computer scientist and United States Navy Rear Admiral Grace Hopper. Additionally, Hopper was a trailblazer in the creation of the COBOL programming language, which saw extensive use in commercial and governmental applications.
Hopper firmly felt that anyone should be able to use computers, regardless of their level of technical ability, and she was a major supporter of making programming languages more approachable for non-technical users. Modern programming languages were made possible by Hopper’s innovation, which also made computers more approachable to a larger range of people.
3. Katherine Johnson
Mathematician and computer scientist Katherine Johnson was essential to NASA’s space missions. In the 1960s, Johnson was a member of a group of African-American women who served as “human computers” for NASA. For the first American manned spaceflight and the first moon landing, these women calculated the trajectories.
These missions would not have been successful without Johnson’s calculations, and her work served as evidence that people of color and women could make substantial contributions to the realm of science and technology. Johnson’s experience was presented in “Hidden Figures,” a book and movie that made her contributions to NASA more widely known.
4. Reshma Saujani
Girls Who Code, an organization that strives to eliminate the gender gap in technology by educating girls to code, was founded by Reshma Saujani. After realizing there were few women in technology and that young girls were sometimes deterred from pursuing professions in technology, Saujani founded Girls Who Code in 2012.
Over 90,000 girls in the US have learned how to code thanks to Girls Who Code, which has grown to become a prominent voice in the effort to close the gender gap in technology. Numerous young women have been motivated to work in technology as a result of Saujani’s work, which has also contributed to a more inclusive and varied tech sector.
5. Margaret Hamilton
Margaret Hamilton, a highly respected computer scientist, oversaw the group in charge of creating the software that assisted in the 1969 moon landing of the Apollo 11 spacecraft. The Apollo Guidance Computer was a vital component of the mission’s success and paved the stage for later space exploration thanks to Hamilton’s work on it. Hamilton has significantly impacted the field of software engineering in addition to her work on the Apollo program.
She is regarded as a pioneer in the industry, and her contributions have had a long-lasting influence on contemporary technology. Throughout her career, Hamilton has won various honors, including the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2016.