Ada Lovelace is a legend for a reason. It's not just that she was the first programmer ever. It's the way she did it.
In 1843, the computer didn’t exist yet.
Lovelace was a mathematician and long-time collaborator with Charles Babbage. Babbage had just designed the specs for what he called an “analytical engine,” a programmable machine that would allow engineers to enter code on punch cards.
And that’s where Lovelace came in.
She published her “notes” in 1843, which explained how this analytical engine worked and provided examples of the kinds of code that it could run.
These early programs were entirely mathematical. For example, one of Lovelace’s programs calculated Bernoulli numbers. But what makes Lovelace fascinating is that she understood that programmable machines like this would one day change the world.
In her writings, she mused that programs might one day write music. And she even pondered whether A.I. was possible. (She decided it wasn’t. But hey, that was 173 years ago. Give her a break.)
The second Tuesday of every October is Ada Lovelace Day, a day to celebrate her life and the contributions women have made to science and technology.
Check out the infographic below to learn more about Lovelace's life and why we need women in tech.