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Modern computing emerged in the early 1940s when the US military hired hundreds of women to solve complex calculations to improve the accuracy of weapons on the battlefield during the WW2.

The first person considered as a computer programmer was English Ada Lovelace, and it was an American naval officer Grace Hopper who developed a compiler that paved the way for modern programming language. Women also played a big role in creating ENIAC – the world’s first general purpose computer, FORTRAN, the first high-level programming language, and lots of other cool stuff.

Throughout the 50s and 60s, women specialised in building software and men in hardware engineering. Men saw themselves superior to typing computer keyboards, and freely let women shape the most in-demand profession of today. Of course, there’s the breakdown of Steve Jobs and Bill Gates becoming the heroes of the rapidly growing software industry and pop culture speeding up the formation of a stereotypical male nerd, which ultimately led to the fact that women started moving further away from programming. But let’s not focus on the negative.

Today on March 8th, on the Women’s Day, we want to wish all women happy Women’s Day and thank the following women who have all shaped the technology of their era and inspired a lot of other women to get excited about code. Thanks to these women, modern technology is as it is.

The Women In Tech Who Shaped Modern Technology As We Know It Today

– 1815-1852
– English
– Published research in 1843, which described an algorithm for the Babbage analytical engine to compute Bernoulli Numbers
– Considered as the first computer programmer

– 1906-1992
– American pioneer in computer programming and compiled programming languages
– In a team that built the first commercial computer UNIVAC I (in the 1940s)
– FLOW-MATIC, first compiled programming language, the predecessor of Cobol


  • 1910–2008
  • American mathematician and human computer
  • An expert in FORTRAN and a frontrunner of electronic computer programming
  • Made important contributions to the U.S. space program

– American
– One of the original programmers of ENIAC computer (1945)
– The all-female team developed subroutines, nesting and other fundamental programming techniques
– Worked on BINAC and UNIVAC

– 1932-2020
– American
– Developed two major analysis strategies for optimizations in modern compilers
– First female to win Turing Award in 2006

– American
– Worked in IBM in a team that developed FORTRAN, the first high-level programming language
– The first syntactic analyser of arithmetic expression a.k.a. parser

– 1936-
– American
– Coined the term “software engineering”
– Lead-engineer of Apollo 11 onboard flight software, the software that landed successfully on the moon

– 1939-
– American
– Co-invented the Liskov substitution principle, the basic principle in modern Object Oriented Programming languages
– SOLID – The “L” stands for Liskov substation principle

– 1945-
– American
– Participated in developing Smalltalk (the 1970’s) with Alan Kay
– Developed various concepts of object-oriented programming

– 1986-
– Finnish
– Award-winning children’s book author, her “Hello Ruby” book series teach computer programming to children
– The highest funded children’s book on Kickstarter (2014)
– Founder of Rails Girls, a global movement to teach young women programming

– Immortal social justice warrior
– American
– Created the Contributor Covenant
– A code of conduct used in over 40 000 opensource projects
– Got the Ruby Hero Award in 2016

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