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Famous Female Coders: 7 Women Who Shaped the Tech Industry

We recently wrote about ways to help get girls interested in coding from a young age, and mentioned some of the many famous female coders who have made significant contributions to the field of computer science. Today we wanted to explore famous female coder in more depth. We believe that by highlighting famous female programmers, it can encourage young girls and help pave the way for future generations of women in technology. 

Despite facing some challenges and prejudices, women have made ground-breaking discoveries and developed innovative technologies that have revolutionised the tech industry. From Ada Lovelace who is considered by some historians as being the world’s first computer programmer, to Grace Hopper, the inventor of the first compiler, so many women have left an indelible mark on the history of computing and coding.

7 famous female programmers / coders 

Ada Lovelace

Ada Lovelace, born in 1815, is regarded by some computer historians as being the world’s first computer programmer. She collaborated with Charles Babbage on his Analytical Engine, a mechanical computer (that was never built), and wrote the first algorithm intended to be processed by a machine. 

Her contributions to computer science were largely unrecognized during her lifetime, but her work has since been widely celebrated and she is now considered a pioneer of the field.

Grace Hopper

Grace Hopper (born 1906, died 1992) was a computer scientist from New York who also served in the US Navy. She invented the first compiler for a programming language and was one of the first programmers of the Harvard Mark I computer. She was also involved with the advent of the COBOL programming language, which was inspired by her vision of a coding language being based on English words.

Carol Shaw

Carol Shaw is believed to be the first ever female video game designer and was the brains behind the Atari 2600 vertically scrolling shooter River Raid (1982) for Activision. During her time at Atari, she developed multiple video games including 3-D Tic-Tac-Toe (1978) and Video Checkers (1980).

Marissa Mayer

Marissa Mayer is the former CEO of Yahoo! and a famous female coder and computer scientist. She was one of the first people to be employed by Google and started out writing code whilst playing a key role in the development of the search engine. She is also known for her work on Google Maps and Google Earth. 

Kimberley Bryant

Kimberley Bryant is the founder and CEO of Black Girls CODE, a non-profit organization in the United States that is dedicated to empowering and educating young black girls and women in the fields of technology and computer science. She has worked as a prominent advocate for diversity and inclusion in the tech industry. Bryant’s work aims to bridge the gender and racial gap in technology by providing girls with opportunities to learn coding and computer programming skills. 

Radia Perlman

Radia Perlman is a female computer scientist and network engineer who is known for her work on the Spanning Tree Protocol (STP) and the creation of the TRILL protocol. She has been awarded numerous awards for her contributions to the field of computer networking, including the SIGCOMM Award and the USENIX Lifetime Achievement Award.

Parisa Tabriz

Parisa Tabriz is a prominent computer security expert who currently works as Vice President of Engineering at Google. She is often famously referred to as the “Security Princess” due to her significant contributions to enhancing the security of Google’s products and services. She leads the Chrome security team and has played a pivotal role in advancing internet safety and cybersecurity.

These women are just a few examples of the many talented and influential female coders who are making a difference in the tech industry today.

Are you a girl who wants to learn to code? (or perhaps a parent)

FunTech offer tech classes and course for boys and girls ranging in ages from 7 to 16. To view our full course list, please click here

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