Grace Hopper: the Person, Programmer, and Pioneer

By: Fullstack Staff

As a computer programming icon and the namesake of our immersive coding bootcamp for women and non-binary students, Grace Hopper is a name you’ll hear on a regular basis at Fullstack Academy. But who is Grace Hopper, and how did she leave such a lasting impact on the software development industry?

At Fullstack Academy, our mission to transform lives and power the future through tech is made possible by industry trailblazers of the past. Among these is Admiral Grace Hopper: one of the first and most influential computer programmers, a lifelong teacher and mentor, and the inspiration behind our Grace Hopper Program for women and non-binary coders.

Responsible for inventing the first compiler and standardizing verbal computer programming languages, Grace Hopper made technology more accessible and user-friendly for both government and private sector applications. She also worked alongside fellow tech pioneers like Howard Aiken to redefine the scope of what’s possible through computation.

Grace Hopper’s achievements and innovations, as well as her dedication to mentorship in tech, continue to transform lives today. As a contributing influence to our professional development-focused bootcamp model, her career success paves the way for Fullstack Academy and Grace Hopper Program student success.

Browse the timeline below to see just how many modern tech innovations can be traced to Grace Hopper. Then, read on to learn more about the Grace Hopper Program at Fullstack Academy–and how to apply for the next cohort!

The Grace Murray Hopper Technology Timeline


Grace Hopper Timeline - 1934: Grace earns a PhD in Mathematics at Yale University–becoming the first woman to do so. 1943: Compelled to join the war effort, Grace enlists in the US Navy. 1944: Grace is already commissioned as a lieutenant and assigned to the Bureau of Ordnance Project at Harvard University. Here, she meets Howard Aiken and works with his team to program the Mark I computer–writing a 561-page user manual for it. 1947: Grace coins the terms, “bug” and “debugging” as they relate to computer programming. It’s a result of her team’s findings that an issue with the Mark II was actually caused by a moth trapped on the inside. 1952: She and her team invent the first compiler, which translates mathematical code into machine-readable binary code. This will eventually allow developers to write programs for multiple computers at once. 1959: Grace Hopper is integral to the invention of the programming language COBOL, which became the primary language for business applications as it was easier to use and understand. 1966-1986: Called to return to Naval duty twice during this period, Grace was appointed to Rear Admiral - Lower Half before finally retiring in 1986. 1986-1992: Retired from the US military, Grace continues to work in the computer industry and is even awarded the National Medal of Technology in 1991. She died at the age of 85 on January 1, 1992.

(Source: Yale News)


The Grace Murray Hopper Legacy

Grace Hopper has since been honored with such accolades as the Presidential Medal of Freedom, an annual Grace Hopper Celebration conference, the first military academy building named for a woman, and more. Today, her example inspires professionals from all walks of life to achieve tech industry success while also redefining it. 

In this spirit - and in recognition of the enduring gender gap in tech - the Grace Hopper Program at Fullstack Academy strives to empower women and non-binary students with the tools to make their mark on the industry. The program offers the same rigorous coding curriculum as Fullstack Academy full-time Coding Bootcamps, but with additional emphasis on mentorship, allyship, exploration, and combating imposter syndrome–all within a safe space for learning.

“The most important thing I've accomplished, other than building the compiler, is training young people. They come to me, you know, and say, 'Do you think we can do this?' I say, ‘Try it.’ And I back 'em up.” – Admiral Grace Murray Hopper

Learn more about the immersive bootcamp experience and apply to the Grace Hopper Program today



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