Monday, December 9, 2013

Google remembers Grace Hopper with Doodle

One can think of computers and programming as mainly a "manly" affair, but you'd be surprised with how many things we take for granted today were actually devised and developed by women. One such case is the intrepid computer pionnerd Grace Hopper, without whom we might still be talking to computers in "ones and zeros".

The computers Grace Hopper had to deal with wouldn't be recognizable by anyone born on the XXI century. Those were the days of computers taking entire rooms, with punch cards telling them what to do. Grace thought here should be a better way for people to tell computers what to do, instead of having to learn binary machine code, and so she created the first compiler: a program that translates an easier human readable programming language into the binary machine code computers love.

Soon after, she also contributed to the creation of the COBOL computer language (a language I still learned at school, and that I only remember of enjoying... even though I can't really say much more about it these days.)

Grace is also attributed with the term "debugging" after finding a moth messing up calculations inside a computer (the last part of the Doodle is a testament to that. :)

Even at age 80, Grace was still as sharp as ever, as you'll be able to see in the following video; and even not that she's gone, she's still a testament to how women have shaped the way computers are today.

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