Who are women that should get recognition for their contributions to software?

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An observation that I had this morning is that I don't easily know many of the women who have made contributions to software that should be recognized for their work.

Would you please share who you think should receive recognition and what they've made contributions to? Could be a website, open source project, library or anything that we might be exposed to on a daily basis but aren't easily aware of their contributions.

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Almost clichΓ© by now, but Margaret Hamilton! She is most famous for being the lead software engineer for the Apollo guidance computer, and is (I believe) responsible for the way the computer recovered from the errors that occurred in the final minutes before Apollo 11 landed on the surface of the moon.


That's right! Margaret Hamilton! Not clichΓ© at all. Thanks for sharing @dwilmer !


Linda Liukas for her teaching materials about computers, technology and programming for children. She also has a new YouTube series called Love Letters to Computers which looks awesome!


Yep! I own both her Hello Ruby children's books.


@jess : DEV's co-founder and dev extraordinaire!
Susan Kare: Contributions to the Mac eco-system at Apple such as the Chicago typeface, "Happy Mac" and the symbol for the command key.
Grace Hopper: for her contributions to COBOL and pioneering so many early contributions to the programming community.


I can think of three off the top of my head:

  • Ada Lovelace bears mentioning, since she was the first person who thought "hey, you know how we use symbols to represent stuff? Well, what if we were to represent everything in symbols, and then use devices such as punch cards used in looms to carry out instructions depending on whether a symbol is present or not?" That's why many consider her the first programmer.
  • Kathleen Booth wrote the first assembly language back in 1947.
  • Grace Hopper invented the first text compiler in 1955.

By the way, if you care about women in computing, I have three books I'd recommend:

  1. Broad Band is about all sorts of awesome women in programming, from obscure and long-lived internet forums to hypertext awesomeness. Don't know how to describe it; it's one of my favorites.
  2. Life in Code is a memoir about accidentally becoming a woman programmer in the 1970s. I so wish there were more books like this.
  3. Code Girls is about the women serving as codebreakers in World War II. It's epic.
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