Monthly Archives: February 2012

For Women In Software

I think from this day forward I’m going to take February 12th as a day to reflect on the history of women in computer science and software development. This is on account of the coincidence that a dear friend (and classmate from Concordia) of mine shares today as her birthday with Kathleen Antonelli. ‘Kay’ Antonelli was one of the first programmers of ENIAC… which was the first electronic computer so I assume that means she’s one of the first programmers in general.

As a matter of fact, the first programmers of the ENIAC were all women.

Honestly, between those first 6 ENIAC programmers and Ada Lovelace – credited as being the first programmer – I often wonder how (and when) software became a guy thing.

Software is A Guy Thing starring Jason Lee and Julia Stiles and Selma Blair
Serisously; how did this happen?

I think I’ll pass some time today looking at Wikipedia’s page on Women in Computing, going over all the amazing contributions made to software development by woman which are kind of a big deal. Among them, the first compiler – created by Mary Allen Wilkes, whose name I’ve never even heard before.

Addendum: Whoops! Looks like I failed to check my sources here – Grace Hopper invented the compiler, but Mary Allen Wilkes invented the assembler-linker model used in modern compilers. (Tuesday, March 3rd, 2015)