#SheCodes: 5 International Women Who Made Coding History

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When we think of coding, of app development or software design, our minds tend to form the image of an American man in front of a computer, doing what he does best — coding. However, after reading this article, that image should be altered a little.

The computer can stay, obviously, we’re not absurd. But do we really keep the man as protagonist? After all, along the years, women in coding have had their share of merit in terms of innovation in the IT industry, especially international women. In fact, according to an article published by Insider, the US isn’t even in the top 10 countries with women in software engineering. Among the list we find India, Russia, Romania, Poland and many more.

We’re going to present a list that showcases 5 women in coding from around the world that can build software like no other.

1. Ada Lovelace

It would not be a list of women in coding history without mentioning her brilliance. Ada Lovelace is considered to be the world’s first female computer programmer.

Ada Lovelace, full name Ada King, countess of Lovelace, was born in Piccadilly Terrace, Middlesex, England on December 10, 1815. She was an English mathematician and a friend of Charles Babbage, for whom she wrote a program for a digital computer prototype.

She oversaw the development of programs for the Analytical Engine, which is regarded as the world’s first general computer. A high-level programming language was given her name — Ada.

If it weren’t for this female pioneer in computer science, we wouldn’t be able to build new software and venture in product software development the way we do today. 

2. Beatrice Helen Worsley

Beatrice is considered to be the first woman to become a computer scientist in Canada. She was born on October 8, 1921, in Mexico, and died on May 8, 1972. 

She got her Ph.D. from the University of Cambridge, with the help of her mentors, one of them being the famous Alan Turing. It was the first Ph.D. in what is now known as computer science. 

Before her death at the age of 50, she built the first EDSAC program and co-authored the first compiler for Toronto’s Ferranti Mark 1. She also published many articles in computer science, was a professor at Queen’s University and the University of Toronto, teaching for almost 20 years.

3. Joanna Rutkowska

Joanna Rutkowska, born 1981 in Warsaw, Poland, and became a computer engineer who is most known for her malware and low-level security research. 

She is the creator and CEO of the Invisible Things Lab Company, which specializes in computer security research, training, and consulting. She is considered one of the most influential hackers on the planet.

In August 2006, her fame was born at the Black Hat Briefings convention in Las Vegas. Microsoft unveiled the new version of their operating system, Windows Vista, at that conference. 

While Microsoft lectured on the new version’s security, Joanna Rutkowska demonstrated how to inject malware into Windows Vista’s core using a rootkit she developed called Blue Pill.

Since then, she’s been invited to a slew of conferences and events focused on software engineering information and, in particular, security.

4. Poornima Vijayashanker

A lot of the best programmers in the world come from India, and that doesn’t only apply to men. This incredible woman has put her mark on the world of product software development in more ways than one.

Vijayashanker was a founding engineer of Mint, a personal finance website and app, where she assisted in the development, launch, and scaling of the product until it was acquired by Intuit. 

She subsequently went on to found Femgineer, a company that provides education to women who wish to learn how to build software, master app development, software design, and many more. 

Poornima wrote a book named “How to Transform Your Ideas into Software Products,”, talking about real cases from big companies such as Mint.com, Airbnb, and Zappos, as well as interviews with successful company founders.

5. Ruchi Sanghvi

Ruchi Sanghvi made history in the world of tech by being the first woman ever hired by Facebook. Born in India, she worked her way up to becoming a well-known and respected name in Silicon Valley. 

Sanghvi joined Facebook in 2005 and was a key contributor to the creation of the News Feed function. She also worked on the product software development strategy for Facebook Platform, which allowed third-party developers to create apps for the social network.

She can be credited for Facebook Connect, which allowed Facebook users to link their accounts to about any other website.

Ruchi and her spouse founded their own company, Cove, in 2010. They created “collaborative software” for communities and networks there, with the support of a team of engineers. The business was later on bought by Dropbox.

Her impressive story doesn’t end here, as in 2016 she left Dropbox and founded South Park Commons, which has similarities to Hackerspace.

The Future Of Software Engineering Is Female

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While there’s still an easy to notice discrepancy between genders in software engineering today, we are making more and more progress towards understanding the true potential of women in coding based on their historical role at its foundation.

Slowly but surely, women are affirming themselves in the tech industry, be it in software design or app development. The more they take action, the more they prove that the way they build software and innovate drives the future of IT.

This article is also an important lesson about disregarding the quality of software engineering outside the US without proper research. 

When you look to outsource from an offshore dev shop to build new software for your business venture with Idyllic, be on the lookout for the amazing women in coding on your team making your tech dream become reality.

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