Who wrote the first computer program?

The first functional computer program was written by an admiral of the United States Navy, Grace Murray Hopper (1906-1992). Hopper wrote the program for the Mark 1 computer (first developed in 1944), the program was the first automatic calculator. Hopper is also famously known for coining the the term “bug” when referring to computer program errors. Hopper had came up with the term due to an incident when her computer had broken down, this is because she had discovered a dead moth inside the computer. Furthermore, whilst removing the moth from her computer she had stated that she was “debugging the machine”. Hopper served the U.S navy for 43 years, retiring as its most senior officer. Hopper was also a professor at Vassar College and a programmer for the Rand Corporation from 1959 to 1971. Hopper is regarded as one of the pioneers of computer science.

Although the first functional computer program was written by Grace Murray Hopper, the very first computer program was actually written by an English baroness: Augusta Ada Byron, however her program was never used as it was never completed. Byron has written the program for Charles Babbage’s “analytical engine”.



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