The Romantic Story of the World’s First Computer Programmer

In our schools we had learned that Charles Babbage is considered to be the ‘Father of Computers’. In 1837, he had proposed the first general mechanical computer, the ‘Analytical Engine’ that eventually led to more complex electronic designs especially modern computers. 

But this post is not dedicated to Charles Babbage. It is dedicated to someone who is widely regarded as the world’s first computer programmer, Lady Ada Lovelace. Lady Ada Lovelace was the daughter of the famous English poet Lord Byron and mathematician Lady Byron.

Lovelace’s notes are important in the early history of computers, containing what many consider to be the first computer program-that is, an algorithm designed to be carried out by a machine.

She also developed a vision of the capability of computers to go beyond mere calculating or number-crunching, while many others, including Babbage himself, focused only on those capabilities. One of the most important lessons that we learn from her notes was how individuals and society relate to technology as a collaborative tool.

Lady Ada Lovelace

As a result, she is often regarded as the first computer programmer.

Lord Byron was a hopeless romantic or to some people a drunkard. Little did he know that his daughter, through her notes, will romanticize to what would be considered as one of the biggest inventions of humankind. She died at the age of 36, Lord Byron too died at the same age. Upon her request, she lies peacefully next to her father’s grave.

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