Grace Hopper was one of the first software engineers, and a pioneer of computer programming. She had the idea that there should be a programming language that used entirely English words. Although she was told very quickly that she couldn’t do this because “computers didn’t understand English.” she went on to invent the compiler, which converted English terms into code - something she claimed she did, because she was lazy. The notion that data processors ought to be able to write programs in English, and that computers would translate them into code, led to the development of the high-level programming language, COBOL, which is still in use today.
"The most important thing I've accomplished, other than building the compiler," she said, "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. They need that. I keep track of them as they get older and I stir 'em up at intervals so they don't forget to take chances."
Fun Fact: Grace also coined the term “debugging” when she removed a moth from a relay and affixed it to the logbook with the term.