• Define the Documentation

Ada Lovelace

Augusta Ada Byron, commonly known as Ada Lovelace was a gifted English mathematician and is credited as the world's first computer programmer and 'prophet of the computer age'.

Ada worked closely with Charles Babbage and was fascinated by his work, in particular his plan for an 'Analytical Engine', an early prototype of a mechanical general-purpose computer. In 1842 Ada translated Italian mathematician Luigi Menabrea's paper on the Engine and was asked by Babbage to expand on it with her own notes 'as she understood the machine so well'. The notes were extensive (longer than the paper itself) and included the first published instance of a step-by-step sequence of operations for solving mathematical problems. This notation of an early computer program was followed by several more examples and she even anticipated future developments of the machine including computer-generated music.

The Analytical Engine remained unbuilt until Ada's notations inspired Alan Turing in the creation of the first modern computer in the mid-1940's, proving how critical great documentation can be.

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