Grace Hopper: The Queen of Code

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You probably don’t know the name Grace Hopper, but you should. As a rear admiral in the U.S. Navy, Hopper worked on the first computer, the Harvard Mark 1. And she headed the team that created the …


Rear Admiral “Amazing” Grace Hopper was one of the first (and finest) computer programmers in history. She was also a badass mofo, blazing against institutional blockheadedness her entire (extremely long) career. She created the first compiler and spearheaded the creation of COBOL, one of the first compiled computer languages – opening up the field of programming to people who didn’t have high-level math degrees.

Here’s a short video on her (directed by Gillian Jacobs of Community fame). As a heads up: if you’re using AdBlock, you may need to disable it to watch the video.

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  • Martin Hooper
  • Andrew Lucas

    While we’re on the topic of “first”, “computer programmer” and “female” I’m very surprised that Ada Lovelace doesn’t even get an honourable mention.

  • Jason Porath

    I said “one of the first” for a reason. Some people are being saved for the book, although I can’t say who. :)

  • Wasn’t she also the first one on record to say “Better to ask for forgiveness than for permission”?

  • She’s also responsible for the term “bug” as it applies to computers and software.

  • Antonio D’souza

    I hope Kathleen Booth makes the cut too!

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