5 months ago by Meg Easterbrook
The First Computer Programmer - Ada Lovelace
As we approach International Womens Day on March 8th, we at Crucial – a business of mainly women – have been thinking a lot about this topic. I have started writing about 5 blog posts now on different women I find inspirational, from women in business, the Royal Family and my own family. But during my research I found out about Ada Lovelace and decided I’d make special mention to her.
It feels topical, as I search for programmers and developers in my daily recruitment role, to look into where this technology came from. I was genuinely astounded to see it all started in the 19th century – with a woman who we don’t even have a photograph of.
Her work with computers was in the mid 1800’s, which that fact alone is fascinating to me. Maybe it’s because I have never looked into the history of computing, or maybe it is because women have come such a long way even in the last 50 years it seems impossible that she would have achieved so much almost 200 years ago.
One thing I have noticed in my last four weeks working in these technical computing sectors is that it is heavily populated with men. So it was definitely such a surprise to find a woman was considered the first computer programmer.
Every October since 2009, women in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) celebrate their achievements in the suitably named Ada Lovelace Day. It’s a great celebration to get the names out there into the world of women who are changing the world in these areas.
Here’s an interesting article, taken from a book called: She: A Celebration of 100 Renegade Women’ by Harriet Hall https://www.independent.co.uk/life-style/women/ada-lovelace-day-first-computer-programmer-forgotten-women-a8557416.html
Ada Lovelace did amazing things in her short life. She died at age 36 and her work was only really recognised after her death. But it is great to see the appreciation for The First Computer Programmer being bought up every year alongside fantastic women working in STEM to remind us all what women are capable of.