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Who was the First Programmer in the World?

Who was the First Programmer in the World

Programming has become a very important skill in today’s society. The demand for programmers continues to rise, especially in the tech sector. If you want to get into programming, you should start early. But do you know who was the first programmer in the world?

Who was the First Computer Programmer?

Ada Lovelace has been called the world’s first computer programmer. Of course, someone had to be the first, but Lovelace was a woman, and this was in the 1840s. 

Who was Lady Ada?

Ada Lovelace whose full name was Ada King, Countess of Lovelace, was born Augusta Ada Gordon or Lady Ada Byron.

first programmer in the world
Ada Lovelace

She, the daughter of the famous poet Lord Byron, was a brilliant mathematician, thanks in part to opportunities she was afforded that were denied most women of the time.

She was a mathematician who became an associate of Charles Babbage who developed the first digital computer, it was actually Lovelace who created its first program, and as a result she is often referred to as the first computer programmer in the world.

Who was Charles Babbage?

Charles Babbage (1791-1871), computer pioneer, designed the first automatic computing engines. He invented computers but failed to build them. The first complete Babbage Engine was completed in London in 2002, 153 years after it was designed! Difference Engine No. 2, built faithfully to the original drawings, consists of 8,000 parts, weighs five tons, and measures 11 feet long.

Which language did she use to write her first program?

What she did was write the world’s first machine algorithm for an early computing machine that existed only on paper. 

In 1843, Ada translated a French article about Babbage’s second project, the “Analytical Engine”, into English. She also provides her own comments on the text. Her annotations, simply called “notes”, turn out to be three times as long as the actual transcript. 

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In note G, she wrote an algorithm for the Analytical Engine, the first published algorithm ever specifically tailored for implementation on a computer, or in simple terms – the first computer program.

first programmer in the world

According to a statement from Moore Allen & Innocent, Lovelace’s identity as the author was not revealed until 1848, just four years before she died on 27 Nov 1852, of cancer at age 36.

The work done by Ada shows that she recognized the machine’s potential beyond a device for numerical calculations. Since the functions of the Analytical Engine are not defined, they can also be applied to other things than numbers. 

The Analytical Engine, Ada writes ‘holds a position wholly its own‘. Her vision of a machine that could also process musical notes, letters and images, anticipates modern computers by a hundred years. 

More than 150 years later, she is remembered by many as the first programmer in the history of computing.

On July 23, 2018, Lovelace’s scientific reputation got a boost when a rare first edition of one of her pioneering technical works — featuring an equation considered by some to be the world’s first computer algorithm — sold at auction for 95,000 pounds ($125,000) in the U.K.

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What did her first computer program do?

She wrote detailed and elaborate annotations of how the proposed Analytical Engine could be programmed to compute Bernoulli numbers (a complex sequence of rational numbers often used in computation and arithmetic).

Some Facts About Ada Lovelace – The First Computer Programmer

Here are some of the facts regarding Ada Lovelace:

  1. She was the daughter of Romantic poet Lord Byron: Today considered one of Britain’s greatest Romantic poets, Lord Byron was infamous for his many affairs and dark moods.
  2. Her mother was terrified she would turn out like her father: As a young girl, Ada was encouraged by her mother to pursue mathematics and science rather than the arts as her father had – fearing that it may lead her down a similar path of debauchery and madness.
  3. She excelled in science and mathematics from an early age: Though hampered by ill-health throughout her childhood, Ada excelled in her education – an education that thanks to her mother’s suspicion of the arts and love for mathematics, was rather unconventional for women at the time.
  4. The ‘father of the computer’ was her mentor: In 1833, Lovelace was introduced to Charles Babbage, a mathematician and inventor who soon became a mentor to the young girl. Babbage arranged her tuition in advanced mathematics by University of London professor Augustus de Morgan, and first introduced her to his various mathematical inventions.
  5. She fused the arts and science together in ‘poetical science’: Despite her mother’s best efforts to eradicate the arts from Lovelace’s life, she never fully relinquished the literary finesse she inherited from her father. She found beauty in science and often intertwined it with the natural world, once writing: “We may say most aptly that the Analytical Engine weaves algebraic patterns just as the Jacquard loom weaves flowers and leaves”.
  6. Her life was not without controversy: In the 1840s Ada was reportedly involved with a selection of morally dubious activities. Chief of these was a nasty gambling habit, through which she racked up huge debts. At one point, she even attempted to create a mathematical model for successful large bets, which failed catastrophically and left her owing thousands of pounds to the syndicate.

Conclusion

The first computer programmer is widely considered to be Ada Lovelace. She is credited with developing the first algorithm specifically for use with a machine, which she did in collaboration with Charles Babbage, who designed the first mechanical computer.

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