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Ada Lovelace, first computer programmer

Ada Lovelace, born in 1815 to famed poet Lord Byron and his wife, is known as the first computer programmer. When renowned mathematician Charles Babbage began working on his "Analytical Engine," she served as the key interpreter, describing exactly how it worked for the public. Specifically, she explained how the machine used algorithms and sequences--the world's first computer program. Her explanation was published in 1843. In the 70s, the Department of Defense created a combination of computer languages and named them "Ada."

Image: Science and Society Picture Library (Wikimedia Commons)

By Lyndsey Gilpin

Lyndsey Gilpin is a former Staff Writer for TechRepublic, covering sustainability and entrepreneurship. She's co-author of the book Follow the Geeks.