When the word ‘Programmer’ pops up, what’s the first thing that comes up in your mind? I think I know. You’ll probably think of a young man like Mark Zuckerberg, Jack Dorsey or Evan Spiegel.
Well, that’s no surprise. The sad reality is that computer programming field is dominated by men, for decades now. There’s a major and a serious gender gap when it comes to women in tech. Recently, many big tech companies revealed what the percentage is of female programmers in their company. The numbers are absolutely depressing.
Symantec, the security company, released statistics underlining how woman in tech is as rare as a girl on a skateboard:
The estimated number of women who have obtained their computer science degree is about 18 percent. Only 5 percent of them actually started tech startups.
It wasn’t always this way. It was women who pioneered computer programming. Unfortunately, a lot of people don’t know this part of history.
What if I told you that the first computer programmer ever was a woman?
In 1842, Ada Lovelace made the first computer program while working on the analytical machine of Charles Babbage. When he asked her to translate his thesis for the journal Scientific Memoirs in foreign scientific articles, Lovelace had the capability to extend his project beyond calculations. She wrote a very detailed algorithm for calculating Bernoulli’s numbers with a machine. The resulting program is often considered the world’s first true computer program.
Lovelace, the mathematician, died at the age of 36 from uterine cancer but her work is fully and powerfully within us. Some tools would literally not exist without the dedication of this wonderful woman.