Tagged With programmers


It may surprise you to know that the world's first computer programmer did not actually own a computer. In fact, she lived and died almost a century before the first computer was even built. The first person to write a computer program was none other than Ada, Countess of Lovelace, a remarkable mathematician and writer who also happened to be the only legitimate child of the poet Lord Byron.


If you've been meaning to learn how to code for some time but don't know where to start, this week's Humble Book Bundle can help you out. It features a wide range of e-books that don't just teach you how to code in a variety of languages, it also teaches you to think like a programmer. Here's more information on the bundle.


There are a lot of programmers out there who are self-taught and even the ones that have had formal training may not have considered the importance of having effective workflow patterns to make the most of their skills and time. Facebook' technical coach Kent Beck has some advice to share on how to develop workflow patterns that may help you on journey as a programmer or developer.


There are a number of names that most people associate with the momentous 1969 Moon landing -- Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin, even Stanley Kubrick for dedicated conspiracy theorists -- but Margaret Hamilton is not usually among them. Yet this pioneering woman was the lead developer for Apollo's flight software in the days when working mothers were rare -- let alone female computer scientists.


Grace Hopper, or "Amazing Grace" as she was sometimes known, was a formidable woman. Not only is she one of the few people to have a U.S. Navy destroyer warship and a supercomputer named after her, she was also a Rear Admiral and a pioneering computer scientist. Hopper invented the first compiler for a computer programming language, and is also credited with coining the phrase 'debugging' in the computer world.


In the spirit of Lifehacker's evil week, this week's profile focuses on a programmer who -- while not actually evil in any sense of the word -- operated on the wrong side of the law more often than not. Notable both for being an iconic figure in the hacking community and for working with Apple's Steve Wozniak in the early days of Apple, meet John Draper -- computer programmer and phone phreak extraordinaire.


Until the late 20th century, a 'computer' was not a machine like the one you may be reading this on now, but a job title -- literally, someone who makes computations. This term can be found all the way back to the 17th century, but one of the most important eras for the human computer occurred during World War II.

With a depletion in the male workforce, it follows that a large majority of these human computers -- largely tasked with calculating bullet and missile trajectories -- were women. Six of these women then went on to become the programmers of the ENIAC, the world's first computing machine; their names were Kay McNulty, Betty Holberton, Marlyn Meltzer, Ruth Teitelbaum, Jean Bartik, and Fran Spence.


Turing. Even if you don't know the man, you've heard the name. There's the Turing Machine: a mathematical model that defined early computing and modern day programming, and the more well-known Turing Test, an early definition of artificial intelligence. Most people with any interest in computing or robotics will have heard of the name Turing, but how many know the story of the man behind it all?