Top 6 Women In Tech
While we all know the significant names in tech, such as Wozniak and Musk, sometimes we forget about some other influential people in tech history. Specifically, the women who contributed to the technology we have today. These women laid the groundwork for these innovations, were the innovations, or pioneered them. Here are the top 6 women in tech history.
1- Ada Lovelace
Ada Lovelace is considered the very first computer programmer. At the age of 17, she met Charles Babbage, also known as the father of the computer. Babbage invented the difference engine to perform mathematical calculations. Lovelace, in turn, published her ideas on how to improve the device to handle letters and symbols as well as numbers. She also created looping using a process that we still use today.
2- Hedy Lamarr
Hedy Lamarr created the benchwork for Wi-Fi and Bluetooth 63 years before it was widely used. She and George Antheil created a communication system that involved the use of frequency hopping amongst radio waves. These hopping frequencies prevented the interception of radio waves between a receiver and transmitter. While she didn’t get to see what came from her work, she was admitted into the National Inventors Hall of Fame in 2014.
3- Grace Hopper
Hopper worked on the first large-scale automatic calculator. This device, the Mark I, was the precursor of electronic computers. Hopper wrote the first computer manual and the first extensive treatment on how to program a computer. She was also the first person to coin the term ‘computer bug.’ Not done yet, Hopper also designed one of the first compilers, which translated programming instructions to computer codes. Her work led to the creation of COBOL.
4- Katherine Coleman Goble Johnson
The movie Hidden Figures gave Johnson the attention she deserves. Johnson was one of the computers at NASA in 1952 but didn’t hit her stride until 1962. After Sputnik was launched, America went into overdrive in their attempt to get into space next. When the astronauts were (understandably) worried about trusting the electronic computing machines, they asked specifically for Johnson to perform the calculations. With her help, the launch was a success.
5- Radia Perlman
Often dubbed the ‘Mother of the Internet,’ Radia Perlman solved a major information routing problem. Her algorithm, the Spanning Tree Protocol, prevents bridge loops. This means that there’s always one active link within a network with backups in place if the link fails. This work has been described as setting up the ‘basic traffic rules’ for the internet. Perlman has an astounding 80 patents under her belt over the course of her career.
6- Neha Narkhede
Narkhede is the creative mind behind Apache Kafka, which she dubs the ‘central nervous system for companies.’ Her technology allows companies to process the tsunamis of data they receive every second quickly. She developed this program while working for LinkedIn, then soon co-founded her own company in 2014. Confluent builds Apache Kafka tools for companies, and Narkhede has been the driving force behind the platform’s success.
These six women have changed how we use technology today. Without their contributions to the tech world, we might have had to wait decades before someone else did it for them. These women pushed back against the biases they faced and made the world a better place. With women like these as role models for the future, it’s exciting to think of what might come next.