Five Programming Languages That Were Created by Women

The software development industry has dominated by men. It’s true that women are also making an impact but their contribution is still not covered widely in the media.

In recent years, the number of female software developers has significantly increased. As you might know, the world’s first computer programmer was a woman, and they have made a long-lasting contribution to the development of programming languages. Let’s have a look at five languages that were created by women.

Read: 10 Popular Programming Languages and their Creators

Programming Languages Created by Women

1. ARC Assembly

ARC Assembly was created by Kathleen Booth when she was working at United Kingdom’s Birkbeck College in 1950. Those were the early days of programming and required you to write programs in a series of 0s and 1s.

Automatic Relay Calculator or ARC language was developed for ARC computer to make computer programs simpler, easier and more reliable.

Read: 10 Greatest Female Programmers of All Time


The common business-oriented language (COBOL) was created by Grace Hopper, a Rear Admiral in the US Navy, during working on UNIVAC systems in 1959.

The language was initially created for the US government and businesses who were looking for a data processing programming language. Not only Hopper but other members of the Conference on Data Systems Languages Records also has a significant contribution to the development of the language.

Also, Read  10 Old But Gold Programming Languages You Should Know


Formula Manipulation Compiler or FORMAC was created by Jean Sammet in 1962. It’s basically an extension of FORTRAN developed by IBM in the 1950s. The company hired Jean to work on the language and make it more useful for mathematical computation and scientific computing.

In 1962, she developed an extension of the language which later became popular for symbolic mathematical computations.

4. CLU

CLU was an important step towards object-oriented programming languages. It was created by Barbara Liskov in 1974.

Barbara was the first woman in the United States who was awarded a Ph.D. in computer science. At the time of development of this language, she was at MIT and later introduces concepts like abstract data types, iterators, and parallel assignment.

Though the language lacked key object-oriented features, it highly influenced modern programming languages like Java, Python, and C++


BBC BASIC was created by Sophie Wilson, a computer scientist in 1981. It was the first programming language created for television programming. The language was specifically created for BBC, who wanted to air a program called ‘The Computer Literacy Project.’

The aim of this project was to teach people about programming, which was later accomplished by Sophie who wrote a new version of BASIC for BBC in under 16KB. BBC BASIC included procedures, functions and IF-THEN-ELSE structure.

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That’s it for this article. I know there are lots of other women who have made a significant impact in the software development industry, but here you should remember that these women have done exceptionally well in the development of programming languages with limited resources available at the time.