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Ada Lovelace Was History's First Computer Programmer

Geek Girl History Lesson: Ada Lovelace

I hope you didn't feel discouraged about being a girl geek by that article awhile back that reported women find technology jobs boring. Buck up, you — not only do you have geeksugar here at your service, there are plenty of fabulous precedents for you like Google's Marissa Mayer, Lifehacker founder and coder Gina Trapani, and a 19th-century girl geek: Ada Lovelace.

Born in 1815 in London, Ada Lovelace is known as the first programmer. Taught to love mathematics by her mother from a young age, she would later write what was known as the world's first computer program for Charles Babbage's, "analytical engine" — a general purpose, early computer.

To this day, Lovelace is remembered as the first coder and has received a few tributes: the computer language Ada is named for her, her picture is on Microsoft's holographic authenticity stickers, and The British Computer Society awards a medal to female computer science students in her name.

Thanks for representing, Ada!

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Elfyn Elfyn 8 years
The 1997 movie "Conceiving Ada" is about her (sort of). I stumbled upon it a couple of years ago. It isn't the greatest movie, but I enjoyed it and it has always stood out in my memory. Stars Tilda Swinton as Ada Augusta Byron King, Countess of Lovelace.
Lyv Lyv 8 years
One time my mom was like "Oh dear you have such talent for math, I wish you'd pick a career that would put that to use". And I was like "But mom... Computer Science IS about math!!" And then I showed her how computer programming dated back to the XIX Century and how the first programmer was a lady and she was absolutely stunned! I think she finally respects my choice now LOL
Bisque Bisque 8 years
I suddenly have an idea on what to name my first child (if that ever comes around) :)
neko neko 8 years
Ada is one of my favorite people in history. She's such an inspiration :)
Performita Performita 8 years
Let us not forget that her last name was Byron, she was a daughter of Lord Byron, the famous poet. She was bled to death at the age of 36 by her physicians, who were trying to cure her uterine cancer :(
Performita Performita 8 years
Let us not forget that her last name was Byron, she was a daughter of Lord Byron, the famous poet. She was bled to death at the age of 36 by her physicians, who were trying to cure her uterine cancer:(
Angelica Angelica 8 years
She sounds like a fun old-timey geek!
kcwebgirl kcwebgirl 8 years
thanks for the history lesson. i'm not a programmer so i've never heard of her. how proud i am to get this history lesson!
imLissy imLissy 8 years
I feel smart cause I knew this already :D
TsuKata TsuKata 8 years
She also is credited with inventing the concept of recursion in programming. :)
jdots24 jdots24 8 years
This is great post geek! I always found the most interesting fact about Ada was not just that she was the first computer programmer, but she programmed a computer that wasn't even built yet! It was later after computers were built, people went back and tested her programs and found that they worked!
chicobo chicobo 8 years
i'm a nerd! computer engineering and IT for life. i <3 ada.
chicobo chicobo 8 years
i'm a nerd! computer engineering and IT for life. i <3 ada.
ALSW ALSW 8 years
Wonder if my husband's heard of her. She sounds amazing!
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