If you were to ask a random person on the street to describe a programmer, what do you think their response would be?
Many might turn to the popular stereotype of a young man in a hoodie, hunched over his computer in a dim room, fingers flicking furiously over the keys. These same people might be surprised to learn who the very first programmer was: Ada Lovelace.
The First Programmer
Ada Lovelace was born in 1815 to Lord Byron and Annabella Milbanke. She focused her education on mathematics – uncommon for a woman in that time period.
In 1843, while translating an article on Luigi Menebrea’s Analytical Engine, Ada added some original notes of her own, and this ended up being the first published recording of a stepwise sequence of operations used to solve a particular mathematical problem.
Because of this, she is often referred to as “the first programmer,” despite never coming into contact with anything remotely resembling the computers we have today. In honor of Ada’s accomplishments, check out Ada’s Adventure, Tynker’s innovative introductory course to coding for ages 7+.
Women in Computer Science
In the early years of the computer science industry, women were a significant part its workforce.
- During World War II, women stepped in to fill positions in the industry and stayed there after the war was over.
- In 1984, nearly 40 percent of college students majoring in computer science were women.
However, as time passed and the popularity of computer science grew, more men entered the field. With this, workplace culture began changing, becoming less welcoming towards women, which resulted in a decrease in the number of women seeking careers in computer science.
- In 2015, only 18 percent of those earning their Bachelor’s degrees in CS degrees were female.
- Only 26% of computer or mathematical scientists were women.
It’s crucial to introduce girls to coding at a young age so that they can grow and learn with it and see it as a potentially exciting career path. Tynker can be a valuable resource in this effort, as it allows kids to learn all about computer programming while having fun—by creating original games, apps, websites and more with code.
Female Tynker Creators
Thousands of talented female creators have benefited from Tynker’s vast curriculum of courses and activities. One such person is Iva, the winner of the 2020 Tynker Summer Code Jam.
- At the age of thirteen, she won three weekly challenges: The “Create Your Own Avatar” challenge (week one), the “Create a Crazy Contraption“ challenge (week 5), and “Design a Soundscape” challenge (week 6).
- Coding is one of her favorite activities because she likes the idea of “being able to make something and use it and not having to rely on other people to give you that code.”
- She hopes to be a scientist when she grows up.
“Tynker is special because there’s quite a good balance of being able to make your own projects and having inspiration, but also having courses and games that you can that have already been made for you and that you can learn from!” — Iva
Tynker Female Role Models in Games
Of course, Tynker not only provides a space for female creators, but it has its fair share of female heroines to lead its games. Having representation on screen lets girls see themselves as the heroes in those fictional worlds.
In the game Barbie™ You Can Be Anything™, coders talk to Barbie characters about six unique careers where computer programming is an important part of their jobs.
Tynker strives to inspire its female users to consider computer science as a potential career path and help close the gender gap in the computer science industry.
To all the female Tynker creators out there: You’re doing great, we’re so proud of you, and keep creating!
Check out Tynker’s Curriculum and learn more about inspiring the next generation to change the world through code.
If you enjoyed this article, check out our other posts on our blog page.