Check out the 300-year evolution of computer science – infographic

20 Jul 2016

It has been over 300 years since the binary system was created, over 170 years since the first computer algorithm and over 70 years since ENIAC. What’s next?

The internet has been around for over 25 years, with society irreversibly changed in the intervening years. However the story of computing predates Keyboard Cat, Angry Birds and Pokémon Go.

The binary numbering system was created by Gottfried Leibniz as far back as 1703, with Ada Lovelace’s pioneering computer algorithm in 1843 evidence of the world’s first computer programmer.

History of computer science

Computer science at war

However things only got going when electricity became heavily developed, culminating in Alan Turing’s Bombe machines used by the Allies to crack the Nazi ‘Enigma’ code in 1941.

So began modern computer science, with ENIAC (Electronic Numerical Integrator and Computer) becoming the first commercial, large-scale electronic computer in 1945.

However that was a massive device and it took continual development of computer chips – improving performance while dramatically reducing size – to develop a global industry.

Moore’s Law in 1965 became the go-to norm, with transistor proliferation skyrocketing and, when the C programming language was created in the 1970s, the future of connected computing was formed.

Since then we’ve had Apple, Macintosh, Microsoft and more, with the 1990s introducing the world to the web.

This marvelous infographic from Computer Science Zone details the timeline very well – you can click to view it in a larger format.

History of computer science

Main chip image via Shutterstock

Gordon Hunt was a journalist with Silicon Republic