Margaret Hamilton – Inventor of Computer Code for the Apollo Space Program

Do you know what software engineering (SE) is all about? This particular course of study involves the design, development, maintenance as well as documentation of the software. A person needs to apply through actual practices and different technologies from various fields like engineering, computer science, management of project, domain application domains, designing the interface and digital asset management, among others.

That is to say, software engineering deals in developing, conceptualizing and verifying the software system, which is necessary to determine, identify, realize and verify the required characters.

If we discuss about history in this field of profession, we may think about the achievement and success of Margaret H. Hamilton. This respected woman is a known computer scientist, entrepreneur and systems engineer from Paoli in Indiana, United States.

Currently, she is the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Hamilton Technologies Inc. since 1986 based in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

Margaret made an unparalleled history in the field of software engineering when she created the computer code they utilized as the command and lunar modules during the Apollo missions to explore the moon back in 1960s. As one of the pioneering American computer software programmers, her written code helped in succeeding the Apollo missions organized by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA).

Then 24-year-old Hamilton still managed to land a job at the MIT as a programmer, despite being an undergraduate student with a major in Mathematics that time. With the determination of NASA to pursue the Apollo Space program, this gave her a huge opportunity to work inside the Charles Stark Draper Laboratory (Instrumentation Laboratory of MIT before) and helped the group complete their mission, as detailed through online.

Her remarkable knowledge in Science guided her in completing the software that aims to operate and control the in-flight command systems and modules of the Apollo missions.

During the days when she is working inside the laboratory, she is also taking care of her 4-year-old daughter and staying with her during weekends. Despite of her obligation as a mother to her child, she stayed focus on her projects and proved her worth as a unique computer programmer and a scientist.

With the 1960’s Apollo missions launched by the late John F. Kennedy, it gave Margaret the most significant break in her life and career as one of the best scientists from the United States.

Of course, her computer code invention likewise played a huge role in the successful launching of the Apollo 11 back in 1969 wherein the passengers heading to the moon include the historical Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin.

In the middle of 1970, Hamilton made a decision to leave the MIT and worked in a private company, as detailed through the In year 1976, she became the co-founder of Higher Order Software Company and until year 1986, she decided to establish her own company, known as the Hamilton Technologies Inc. today.

According to the information shared through Wikipedia, the 81-year-old Margaret had received various awards and recognition in her name such as Augusta Ada Lovelace Award, NASA Exceptional Space Act Award, Presidential Medal of Freedom and Computer History Museum Fellow Award, among others to mention.

In 2017, LEGO also included Hamilton in the small figurines they produced.

Software engineering requires the necessary testing for various attributes like dependability, maintainability, functionality, portability and testability. In this kind of field, they need to verify the software in meeting these attributes through implementing the exact design and technical specifications.

Like what Hamilton did many during her prime, she was able to consider effective development, exact duration and risks in her developed software that helped her achieved success.


Credit image: Vox

Credit video: Youtube

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