What Was the First Computer Software?

Irene Olsen

Computers are an integral part of our lives today. They have revolutionized the way we do things, from sending emails to online shopping and everything in between.

But have you ever wondered how it all started? What was the first computer software and how did it come into existence? In this article, we’re going to take a deep dive into the history of computer software and find out the answer to this question.

The First Computers

The first computers were not like the ones we use today. They were large machines that took up entire rooms and could only perform mathematical calculations.

One such machine was the Atanasoff-Berry Computer (ABC), which was built in 1937 by John Atanasoff and Clifford Berry. Although it could only perform basic calculations, it paved the way for future developments in computing.

The Birth of Software

In 1945, a man named John von Neumann came up with an idea that would change computing forever. He proposed that instead of hard-wiring programs into a computer, they could be stored in memory as data. This allowed for more flexibility and made programming much easier.

However, it wasn’t until 1951 that the first software program was written. A team led by Grace Hopper at Remington Rand created a program called A-0 System, which was used to write other programs. This marked the birth of software as we know it today.

The First Commercial Software

The first commercial software was developed by a company called Computer Usage Company in 1959. The program was called UNIVAC File System (UFS) and was used to manage files on UNIVAC computers.

Soon after, other companies began developing their own software programs for different purposes, such as payroll management and inventory control.


In conclusion, the first computer software program was the A-0 System, developed by Grace Hopper and her team in 1951.

Since then, countless software programs have been developed for a wide range of purposes, from simple calculators to complex video games and everything in between. The evolution of software has played a crucial role in shaping the world we live in today.