First female software developer honoured by Google

Posted on December 23, 2012


Last week, Ada Lovelace was honoured by Google, giving acknowledgement of her contribution to computing, at a time when females were discouraged from pursuing an education. A Google Doodle was created by the search engine company in her honour. Lovelace wrote the initial software algorithm for Analytical Engine on behalf of Charles Babbage, a friend.

In 1843 Lovelace became an associate of Charles Babbage, who gave her the nickname “Enchantress of numbers”. The daughter of Lord Byron was a recognised mathematician during that time, having received an excellent education which was not a typical occurrence for women at that time, endearing her to Babbage. The first computers to be designed, although not actually built were the Analytical Engine and the Difference Engine, which intrigued Lovelace. She went on to discover a bug in a programme created by Babbage. More than 100 years passed before the designs by Babbage were introduced, while Lovelace was never recognised for her contributions. However, a programming language was named ADA in her honour by the US military in the eighties and a posthumous medal was awarded by the British Computer Society in 1998.

Although Google has commemorated Ada Lovelace’s birth 198 years ago, she died 150 years ago which also deserved a commemoration. However, Ada played a huge role in the introduction of computers which are integral to society today. Google now features in the SEO campaign of many companies all over the world, constantly making improvements and changes to software. Although these changes can effect search engine optimisation, they wouldn’t be possible without the work of Ada Lovelace more than 100 years ago.

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