Who Wrote the First Computer Software for a Computer?

Patrick Burnett

Have you ever wondered who wrote the first computer software for a computer? The answer is not as straightforward as you might think. Let’s take a journey through history to find out.

The First Computer

The first computer was called the Analytical Engine and was designed by Charles Babbage in the 1830s. However, it was never completed during his lifetime. It wasn’t until the 1940s that electronic computers were developed.

The First Electronic Computer

The first electronic computer was called ENIAC (Electronic Numerical Integrator and Computer) and was developed by John Mauchly and J. Presper Eckert at the University of Pennsylvania in 1945. However, ENIAC didn’t have software as we know it today.

The First Computer Programmer

The first person to write a program for a computer was Ada Lovelace, an English mathematician and writer. She worked with Charles Babbage on his Analytical Engine and wrote an algorithm for it in 1843, making her the world’s first computer programmer.

The First Software Developer

The term “software” wasn’t coined until the late 1950s, so it’s difficult to pinpoint who wrote the “first software.” However, one of the earliest pioneers of software development was Grace Hopper. She worked on Harvard’s Mark I computer in the 1940s and is credited with creating the first compiler, which translates high-level programming languages into machine code that computers can understand.


In conclusion, while there isn’t a clear answer to who wrote the “first computer software,” Ada Lovelace is widely regarded as the world’s first computer programmer for her work on Charles Babbage’s Analytical Engine in 1843. Grace Hopper is also recognized as one of the earliest pioneers of software development for her work on the Mark I computer and creating the first compiler. Regardless of who wrote the first software, we owe a debt of gratitude to these early pioneers for laying the foundation for modern computing.