I have seen some claims that Ada Lovelace was the first programmer.

Is there any actual code to back this up?

  • 1
    my understanding is that since the computer she wrote it for was never completed, her code was published some the scientific journals of the time, or at the very least recorded as part of Charles Babbage's notes. It might be relegated to archives in some museum or library somewhere, I've never seen any of her work online. but you should look into where Charle's Babbage prototypes are currently, and her code is probably with them.
    – denodster
    Dec 8 '16 at 15:07
  • 10
    Well her "code" looked like this.
    – user28434
    Dec 8 '16 at 15:31
  • 1
    @user28434 You could provide this as an answer.
    – wizzwizz4
    Dec 8 '16 at 20:53
  • Some prototypes can be found/seen in the Science Museum in London.
    – nsandersen
    Dec 13 '16 at 13:07

Ada Lovelace didn't write any code as such.

This is largely because the Analytical Engine, being created by Charles Babbage was never finished and so no code could be run. Babbage designed the Analytical Engine to be a much more capable machine than the Difference Engine and to be capable of operating a program from punched cards - which he called Operation Cards.

Lovelace worked with Babbage to create a method of describing and encoding algorithms on these cards. Essentially she invented computer language and programming.

She foresaw the uses to which these calculating devices could be put. However, none of her cards, if any were produced, have survived.


This is not a direct answer to the question, but one of the best (and additionally entertaining) ways to learn more about Ada Lovelace, Babbage and the Analytical Machine is a graphical novel called The Thrilling Adventures of Lovelace and Babbage.

It contains a ton of information (including original letters and graphics) in it's footnotes and appendices.

It also explains the the programming model behind the Analytical Machine.

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