Coding at their fingertips

By Audrey SomnardLex Kleren Switch to French for original article

The world of tech and IT is still very male-dominated. For a sector where companies are desperate for talent, it would be a mistake to ignore the potential of half of the population. Several initiatives in Luxembourg are trying to catch up.

Programmers, data scientists, devops (system administration specialists), designers, testers, product managers and artificial intelligence specialists are all in demand on the job market, with very attractive wages. If the environment is competitive because you have to constantly adapt to new trends, the world of IT is a good option for young women who are still not very present in these professions.

Yet it is women who have been the pioneers of computing. Ada Lovelace of England in the 19th century was certainly the first female programmer in history, long before the actual invention of the computer as we know it today. The film "Hidden Figures" features the African-American female computer programmers Katherine Johnson, Dorothy Vaughan and Mary Jackson who contributed to NASA's aeronautics and space programmes. The film shows how Katherine Johnson came to calculate the trajectories of the Mercury programme and the Apollo 11 mission to the Moon in 1969, how Dorothy Vaughan became head of the computer calculations department and Mary Jackson the first African-American female aeronautical engineer. All this in the infancy of computing.

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