This International Women’s Day, Blynk wanted to celebrate women’s achievements and advancements in the tech industry. There is still a long way to go to reach equality in the industry, but we wanted to honour some of the women through history and across the world, paving the way.
Ada Lovelace – The first computer programmer
Ada Lovelace is known as the first computer programmer because of her theoretical work and calculations. She was a mathematician, and in 1843, she published her notes explaining how a scientific engine could translate calculation to computation. Her notes went on to inspire Alan Turning’s work in the 1940s on the first modern computers.
Hedy Lamarr – WIFI, GPS & Bluetooth
Hedy Lamarr was an Austrian-American actress and inventor. In 1941 she filed a patent with co-inventor George Antheil for a frequency-hopping technology that would one day form the basis of today’s WIFI, GPS and Bluetooth communication systems.
Radia Perlman – The Mother of the Internet
Radia Perlman is often referred to as the mother of the Internet, as she has made countless contributions to the Internet as we know it. Most notably, she created the algorithm behind the Spanning Tree Protocol (STP), which is a crucial part of the Internet’s underlying foundation and allowed for the Ethernet to make optimal use of bandwidth.
Grace Hopper – Computer Software
In the 1950s, Grace was at the forefront of computer programming. She is best known for helping to create the first all-electronic digital computer called UNIVAC. UNIVAC hardware was used for Apollo moon missions to communicate with astronauts. She also made coding languages more practical and accessible, revolutionising how computers worked and created the term ‘debugging’ that we still use today.
Annie Easley – NASA Computer Scientist
Annie Easley was a NASA rocket scientist and trailblazer for gender and racial diversity in STEM. She was a leading member of the team that developed software for the Centaur rocket stage and was one of the first African Americans to work as a computer scientist at NASA. She contributed to several programs as a computer scientist and inspired others through her participation in outreach programs.
Roberta Williams – Adventure Gaming Technology
Roberta Williams was a pioneer in creating and popularising PC adventure games. She co-founded the gaming company ‘on-line’ with her husband. Together, they helped to shape the future of video games by incorporating detailed storylines. She is best known for her adventure game series ‘King’s Quest’, which was so popular it had eight instalments.
Ruzena Bajcsy - Robotics and AI
Bajcsy’s advancements in robotics and computer science landed her a seat on the Presidents Information Committee from 2003-2005. She has conducted leading research with more than 225 journal articles, 25 book chapter and 66 technical reports in her name. She was also awarded the 2009 Benjamin Franklin medal in computer and cognitive science. One of her notable contributions to the robotics field was ‘active perception’, incorporating moving sensors to allow a machine to gather more information from the surroundings. It improved robotic perception significantly and led to a streamlining in robotic movement.
Reshma Saujani – Coding for Women
Reshma Saujani is the founder and CEO of Girls Who Code. She started the international non-profit organisation to close the gender gap in computing, offering students learning opportunities and encouraging more women into the industry.
There are so many more women than we could fit into this list, and we hope that every year women’s contributions to technology continue to grow as more women break the glass ceiling and excel in STEM careers. Here at Blynk, we are always keen to support women in the tech industry and on the lookout for new talent. Have you worked in Digital for years, or are you just starting out? Are you a Creative Software Developer or Programmer? We are always on the lookout for multi-skilled individuals with passion and enthusiasm (and perhaps a little industry knowledge, too). We’d love to hear from you! Nothing formal, no promises but an open door and supportive ear await.