Here are a list of 8 famous women programmers that contributed significantly in the field of science, technology and engineering.


Margaret Hamilton was the lead software engineer of the Apollo Project. The code that she wrote by hand was used to take humanity to the moon in 1969.

Katherine Johnson graduated from high school at 14 and college at 18 at a time when African-Americans often did not go beyond the eighth grade, she used her amazing facility with geometry to calculate Alan Shepard’s flight path and took the Apollo 11 crew to the moon to orbit it, land on it, and return safely to Earth.


Mercury 13 was the thirteen American women who, as part of a privately funded program, underwent the same physiological screening tests as the astronauts selected by NASA on April 9, 1959 for Project Mercury. However, the Mercury 13 were denied to be part of NASA's astronaut program, so they never flew in space and never met as a group.

Sally Ride was an engineer and physicist who joined NASA in 1978 and became the first American woman in space in 1983. She Died July 23, 2012 from pancreatic cancer at the aged of 61. Before her space flight she gave thanks to the Mercury 13 for their courage for pursuing their dreams to become astronauts..


Ada Lovelace was an English mathematician and writer, chiefly known for her work on Charles Babbage's proposed mechanical general-purpose computer, the Analytical Engine. She was the first to recognize that the machine had applications beyond pure calculation, and published the first algorithm intended to be carried out by such a machine.


Astronomer Nancy Grace Roman, known as the "Mother" of Hubble, died at 93 in 2018. Roman was one of the first female executives at NASA, where she served as the agency's first chief of astronomy. Roman retired from NASA in 1979.

Emma Haruka Iwao, who works in high performance computing and programming language communities at Google, calculated 31 Trillion Digits Of Pi– crushing a 2016 record by trillions of digits, using a supercomputer that used y-cruncher, an application that anyone can download, running on 25 Google Cloud virtual machines. The process took about four months and about 170 terabytes of data to complete. Roughly equivalent to the amount of data in the entire Library of Congress print collections.

Hypatia was a Hellenistic Neoplatonist philosopher, astronomer, and mathematician, who lived in Alexandria, Egypt, then part of the Eastern Roman Empire. She was a prominent thinker of the Neoplatonic school in Alexandria where she taught philosophy and astronomy. She is the first female mathematician whose life is reasonably well recorded. Hypatia was renowned in her own lifetime as a great teacher and a wise counselor.

Here is a good article for reviewing the origin and evolution of computer science an d programming and how it mushroomed through the history.

Article contributed by Matt Zand, founder of High School Technology Services, DC Web Makers and Coding Bootcamps.