All of us are familiar with the Father of Computers-Charles Babbage. Not all of us know who the Mother of Internet is. It’s Radia Perlman the software engineer, who is famous for the invention of spanning tree protocol. Spanning-tree is a network protocol that ensures a loop-free topology for any bridged Ethernet local area network which is fundamental to the operation of network bridges. It has got loads to do with the present day computer networks.
Lady Ada Lovelace – a programming maven gained recognition for translating Luigi Menabrea’s memoir on Charles Babbage’s analytical engine. Her notes were considered to be the first algorithm intended to be processed by a machine, making Ada the world’s first computer programmer. To commemorate her achievements the computer language ADA was named after her by the Department of Defence in 1980.
ENIAC one of the world’s earliest computers were programmed by six women at machine level during World War II. Another path breaking innovation came in the programming world with the arrival of a new programming language called COBOL (Common Business Oriented Language). It was invented by Navy Rear Admiral Grace Hopper way back in 1958.
A beauty with brains-Hedy Lamarr, played a key role in the invention of spread-spectrum technology by conceptualizing the idea of frequency hopping. It served as a base to many modern technologies like Bluetooth, Wi-Fi and CDMA.
With the advent of twenty-first century, digitization came into existence as the number of internet users increased drastically. The current era doesn’t belong to the ‘Inventions’ as it’s the age of ‘Innovations’.
Social media has scaled unprecedented heights with billions of users across the globe. Facebook, Twitter, Google, Yahoo, YouTube are the frequent words in use which will soon enter dictionaries. We do know that most of these giants were founded by famous men. Our knowledge about the women holding top positions in technological giants is very much limited. Sheryl Sandberg, COO of Facebook is one of the first women to be in Facebook’s board. She is also the author of the bestseller book ‘Lean In’.
Ursula Burns joined Xerox Corporations only as an intern after finishing her polytechnic degree. She was then offered a job in the same firm and currently she is the Chairman of Xerox. Gini Rometty too joined IBM as a systems engineer in 1981 but now, she is the first female CEO of IBM. The world’s largest video platform YouTube is also headed by a woman Susan Wojcicki. Hewlett-Packard CEO Meg Whitman was also the CEO of e-Bay for more than a decade.
Having a glorious past with programming geeks and a promising era with leading female techies, the future is lucid and hopeful of encouraging more women to take the lead in technology. Women are not far behind men in any field, they are steadily catching up with the pace. All they need is a little empowerment, and equality to boom up their vibrant career for the betterment of humanity.