I've always been a fan of Grace Hopper, the US Navy programmer who wrote the first compiler(!), popularized the term 'bug' for computer programming problems, pioneered software validation, and deeply influenced the early design and standardization of COBOL.
Hopper believed that programming in a human-readable language would unlock the potential of computing. She worked hard towards this end, and CS continues to benefit from that effort today.
March 24th, 2009 is Ada Lovelace Day - an international day of blogging to draw attention to women excelling in technology. Maybe you know someone who might have a knack for CS and is looking for a direction to go. Maybe you know a woman in CS, and haven't told her lately how much you appreciate her work.
Female perspectives can enhance many traditionally male disciplines. How can women make CS better?
A ship in a harbor is safe, but that is not what a ship is built for. - Grace Hopper(More quotes from Grace Hopper)