There is a lot of buzz around the topic of gender equality. Are we there yet? Are men and women finally equal? Well, the answer might surprise you.
According to a global software developer survey conducted in 2021, an overwhelming number of developers are still men (91.67%)! The world of computer programming used to have a much better gender balance; but even today, the tech industry is full of bright, smart, and tech-savvy women who are eager to change the world. One line of code at a time.
Check out these curious facts about women coders to learn more about their crucial role in the world of programming.
- The first case of a computer bug was recorded by a female programmer in 1947
On top of that, the first computer “bug” was an actual real-life bug! Grace Hopper, who was an admiral in the US Navy at that time, was working on a Mark II computer when she discovered a tiny moth inside the machine. After the incident was resolved, she recorded in her journal the “first actual case of a bug being found”. And the rest is history.
- The youngest female coder was only 6 years old when she released her first app
Samaira Mehta is known as the founder and chief executive officer of CoderBunnyz and the youngest female coder in history. She began coding when she was only six years old and within a year created her first product – a board game for children to learn coding called CodderBunnyz. The game is now used as a STEM coding tool at hundreds of schools and libraries in the U.S. and all around the world.
Samaira knows many computer programming languages including Java and Python. Her current mission is to help 1 billion kids to learn programming in a fun and interactive way.
- The first computer programmer in the world was a famous female mathematician
The entire field of programming emerged thanks to Ada Lovelace, the daughter of the famous poet Lord Byron. She was an extremely gifted mathematician who created the very first algorithm that was to be carried out by a machine. “That brain of mine is something more than merely mortal; as time will show,” wrote Ada. And she was right!
- Female “human computers” played a crucial role during the World War II
In the 1930s, female programmers were known not as programmers but as female “human computers” since they did all mathematical equations and computations by hand. These women were brilliant mathematicians; there were a lot of bright African American women among them.
- Women have been a crucial part of NASA operations since 1922
Female mathematicians, programmers, astronauts, engineers, and supervisors are a big part of NASA’s history. Considering the fact that NASA is still using some of their software that was created in the 70s, these women do an amazing job! Check out the movie “Hidden Figures” to learn more!
- Women created and promoted a few of the modern programming languages
Grace Hopper was a computer pioneer who promoted the COBOL programming language and its adoption. She also created the first “compiler,” a computer program that allows people to create other programming languages that closely resemble written words rather than complex equations. Her belief that programming languages should be simple and easy influenced the development of almost all modern programming languages.
There are dozens of other brilliant female developers who defined the modern programming languages. Adele Goldberg, Jean Sammet, Barbara Liskov, and Cynthia Solomon are just a few of them.
- The latest research killed the myth that girls are not good at math
The latest study proved once again that women’s brains are not that different from men’s brains. Since a lot of people think that you need to be good at math to be a programmer (which is another common misconception), the simple fact that our brains function similarly while solving math problems might help to fight the stigma and bring more women into tech. At least we hope so!