Top 10 Best Female Programmers of All Time


by Aishwarya Banik

November 10, 2021

In this masculine patriarchal society, successful women are often forgotten by the world. We know well that there are many successful male programmers in the world. But how many of us know of the female programmers whose contribution is unparalleled in computing and technology? Quite a lot of people, aren’t they? It is true that many female programmers have contributed a great deal to computer programming. Women in computing were among the first programmers in the early 20and century which has contributed greatly to the industry. With advancements in technology, the role of women as programmers is also increasing tremendously but remains obscure. Since the 18and century, women mainly worked in the field of programming and scientific calculations. Due to the gender disparity, women could never be in the limelight compared to their male counterparts. Nevertheless, women continue to work hard and make significant contributions to the programming and computing industry. Women also occupy important roles in multi-technology companies such as Yahoo, Google, Microsoft and many others.

Here is the list of the top 10 female programmers of all time:

1. Ada Lovelace (1815-1852)

Ada Lovelace is also known as Augusta Ada King is considered the first female computer programmer. She was an excellent mathematician and writer. Ada was an influential pioneer in the field of computer research and programming. She is best known for her work on the versatile mechanical computer proposed by Charles Babbage, the Analytical Engine. She was the first person to discover that machines can do much more than calculations and also published the first algorithm for such a machine.

2. Grace Hopper (1906-1992)

Grace Brewster Murray Hopper was an American computer scientist. She was a computer programmer who invented one of the first linkers and discovered bugging to fix programming errors and technical problems. She invented a compiler for the computer programming language and also publicized the idea of ​​a machine-independent programming language. She formed the theory of the FLOW-MATIC programming language and later contributed to the development of COBOL, a high-level programming language.

3.Joan Clarke (1917-1996)

Joan Clarke was a cryptanalyst who became famous for her role as a code breaker during World War II. She was the only woman who worked on solving the German Enigma messages with Alan Turing. But due to gender bias, she received less pay even when she held the same position as her male colleagues. She took against this by turning into a linguist. She is considered a British genius for her deciphering ground.

4.Margaret Headfield (1936-)

Margaret Heafield Hamilton is a scientist well known for her work in the fields of computer science, systems engineer and business owner. She introduced the term “software engineering” and became head of the software engineering division of MIT’s Instrumentation Laboratory for the development of onboard flight software for the Apollo space program. She designed the asynchronous system by prioritizing only important functions and rejecting the rest.

5. Adele Goldberg (1945-)

Adele Goldberg is a computer scientist known for developing the “Smalltalk-80” programming language and various other object-oriented programming. It introduced a programming environment of windows overlaid on graphical display screens. She also participated in the design of patterns and models in modern software. Apple implemented its methods in their Macintosh computers

6. Francois Elisabeth (1932-)

Francis Elizabeth Allen is a computer scientist known for her work in compiler optimization, program optimization, and parallelization. She was known for working on programming language compilers for IBM Research. Allen received the IBM Fellow Title Award, considered the highest recognition for company scientists, engineers and programmers. It also introduced many algorithms and implementations for automatic program optimization technology.

7. Barbara Kiskov (1939-)

Barbara Liskov was a successful programmer who also won the Turing Prize for developing the Liskov Substitution Principle. He has worked on various important projects like the Venus operating system which is an affordable and interactive time-sharing system. The first high-level language “Argus” was created by her and demonstrates the technique of pipelining and Thor, an object-oriented database system. Barbara also led the programming methodology group at MIT.

8. Lois Mitchell Haibt (1934-)

She was an American computer scientist. She was one of IBM’s ten-member team developing FORTRAN, a high-level programming language. She was the only female programmer there. She examined the flow of programs produced by compilers. She developed the first parser of arithmetic expressions.

9. Sahfrira Goldwasser (1958-)

Shafrira Goldwasser is an American computer scientist and another 2012 Turning Prize winner for a number of theories. She is well known for her work in computational complexity theory, cryptography and computational number theory. She helped create probabilistic encryption and zero-knowledge proofs, a cryptographic protocol. Currently, she is a professor in the Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science at MIT.

10. Anita Borg (1949-2003)

Anita Borg is a renowned American computer scientist and the founder of the Institute for Women and Technology. She is the brain behind the idea of ​​’Systers in 1987. She worked for Digital Equipment Corporation when she developed a technique to generate, analyze and design a high-speed memory system. Bill Clinton also named her a senior member of the Committee on the Advancement of Women and Minorities in Science.

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