Broad Band: The Untold Story of the Women Who Made the Internet

The internet is not just a product of male genius. It is also a result of the creativity, courage, and collaboration of women who shaped its history. In this book summary, you will learn about some of the remarkable women who contributed to the development of the internet, from the early days of computing to the present day.

The First Computer Programmer Ada Lovelace was a 19th-century mathematician who wrote the first algorithm for a machine that could perform complex calculations. She envisioned that such a machine could also manipulate symbols, music, and art, and thus create a new form of communication. She is widely regarded as the first computer programmer, and her work inspired generations of women in computing.

The Mother of Software Grace Hopper was a naval officer and a computer scientist who invented the first compiler, a program that translates human-readable code into machine-readable instructions. She also popularized the term “bug” to describe a software error, after finding a moth stuck in a computer. She was a pioneer of software engineering and a mentor to many women in the field.

The Director of the Internet Elizabeth Feinler was a researcher and a manager who led the team that created and maintained the first directory of internet addresses, known as the ARPANET Resource Handbook. She also developed the first domain name system, which allowed users to access websites by using names instead of numbers. She was instrumental in making the internet accessible and user-friendly.

The Inventor of the Internet Backbone Radia Perlman was a network engineer and a mathematician who designed the algorithm that enables data to travel across large and complex networks, such as the internet. Her algorithm, called Spanning Tree Protocol, ensures that data packets reach their destination without creating loops or congestion. She is often called the inventor of the internet backbone, or the mother of the internet.

The internet is not a male-dominated domain. It is a collaborative and diverse space that owes much to the vision and innovation of women. Broad Band by Claire L. Evans is a fascinating and inspiring book that celebrates the achievements of the women who made the internet possible.