You will be surprised to know that in spite of living in a society that has been inclining towards patriarchy for eons, not all the inventions in the past were yielded by men. Yes, innovation in any field either it is technology, politics or social reform, has never been held captive by the walls of age-old sexism. Because the capability to feed life into an idea, that might even seem sporadic, can never be held captive on the basis of someone’s gender.
In fact, you will be astonished to know that whenever technology is concerned, women have outshined men a lot of times. Did you know that the first programmers weren’t men and also the first computer wasn’t a machine? What were they? They were strong, intelligent and intimidating women.
Take Ada Lovelace for example, who was the first computer programmer. And because of her visionary approach computers and programming could actually evolve. The imprint that she left on the world was so powerful that she has a holiday that celebrates her legacy. And that is not all, she also has a technology award named after her.
Are you a fan of the Hollywood blockbuster ‘Hidden Figures’? Well, it’s based on the true story of Katherine Johnson, the NASA ‘computer’, who was the reason behind creating the flight paths of some of America’s firsts space expeditions.
On a serious note, we often get so busy and involved in our daily routine lives that we even forget to appreciate the solace that technology offers each and every one of us, especially women. Technology has provided us a platform to voice our opinions and mark our presence on the globe. Let us dig a little deeper and get to know more about some of the greatest minds this world has witnessed.
Grace Brewster Murray Hopper (December 9, 1906 – January 1, 1992)
“The Mother Of Computing”
She was an American computer scientist and United States Navy rear admiral. She worked at Harvard Computation Lab and was one of the first programmers of Harvard Mark I computer. With Mark I, she paved the way for accuracy and speed. She was the pioneer of computer programming that invented the first linkers. She even supported the idea of machine-independent programming languages.
Grace Hopper then moved to Eckert-Mauchly Computer Corp and worked as a senior mathematician, and helped develop the UNIVAC I computer- first business-oriented machine.
She created the first compiler and was also one of the architects of COBOL- compiled computer language. She even supported the idea that code could be written and read like a simple language.
Adele Goldberg (July 22, 1945)
“The women who inspired Steve Jobs”
She was a researcher at the Xerox Palo Alto Research Center- PARC. In a heard of men, she was the only women in the team that together build the Smalltalk-80 programming language and also developed the infrastructure and design for overlapping windows on display screen, popularly known as Graphical User Interface- GUI.
And without her, the Apple desktop environment might not exactly look the way it does. On a TV show, she revealed that she was forced to share Smalltalk and GUI with Steve Jobs. But she strongly opposed the idea, and on the same show, Steve Jobs said that he was stunned by Smalltalk and the GUI. He knew that it represented the future of Apple.
Joan Ball (1934)
“The women who invented online dating”
She was the woman that actually crafted the technique to figure out a way to determine compatibility between two people, with the help of a computer. She was the founder of St. James Computer Dating Service, which she later changed into Com-Pat, short from computerized compatibility.
She translated the survey answers of a prospective lover and ran it through the computer. Then the program would reveal the identity of the person they are being paired with, to the people using the service. Even though a group of men from Harvard gets the credit for the first computerized dating service, ‘Operational Match’ she was actually the first one to invent it. Joan Ball made the first match in 1964, that was the year before the Operational match started working.
So if you love online dating apps like Tinder, OkCupid or Bumble, you actually need to thank Joan Ball.
Mary Allen Wilkes (September 25, 1937)
“The women who pioneered the concept of work-from-home”
She is a computer programmer and a logic designer and is well-known for her work with LINC. Not only she helped in developing the world’s first ‘personal computer’, but she was also the first person to have a PC in her home.
She is the one who wrote LINC’s operating program manual. And in addition to this, she also wrote the program for the LAP6 operating system for LINC.
In her interview, she told that she took her computer home in order to write the operating system. This later became a reality for most of us.
Karen Spärck Jones (26 August 1935 – 4 April 2007)
“Googling would have been an alien concept without her”
She was a British computer scientist who crafted the concept of inverse document frequency. It lead to the foundation of most popular search engines. The NewYork Times called her, “a pioneer of computer science for work combining statistics and linguistics, and an advocate for women in the field”, in her obituary post.
She worked in the Language Research Unit of Cambridge. And was selected by another female professor Margaret Masterman. She paved the way for the use of thesauri into language processing. It allowed the computational recognition of similar kind of words.
Jones achievements laid the foundation of the information retrieval we use today.
But that’s not it. There are a thousand of women who never failed to turn heads. And surprise everyone with their talent. They are the ones who made it easy for the world to shoot for the moon, with the help of their unmatchable potential.
So this Independence day let us celebrate the freedom of women and how #TechEmpowersWomen with the flourishing mobile app development company in India, Techugo.
Stay tuned with us to unfold the real essence of independence. Direct your energy towards a cause that makes the world a better to live.