Who was the first programmer?

Computers Read more from
Chapter General Science, Mathematics, and Technology

According to historical accounts, Lord Byron’s (1788–1824) daughter, Augusta Ada Byron (1815–1852), the Countess of Lovelace, was the first person to write a computer program for Charles Babbage’s “analytical engine.” This machine was to work by means of punched cards that could store partial answers that could later be retrieved for additional operations and would then print the results. Her work with Babbage and the essays she wrote about the possibilities of the “engine” established her as a kind of founding parent of the art and science of programming. The programming language called “Ada” was named in her honor by the U.S. Department of Defense. In modern times, Commodore Grace Murray Hopper (1906–1992) of the U.S. Navy is acknowledged as one of the first programmers of the Mark I computer in 1944.


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