The history of the “bug”: How insects conquered the world of computers

“Terms from the world of IT explained” is a series of blog posts that explains the origin of common IT terms. We often use them in our daily life, but do we know where they come from?

This first edition of the series is dedicated to the bug. Finding errors – also called functional testing – is an important part of our work here at Testbirds, so this term is very familiar to us. But does an error in software have the same name as a small insect? There are a bunch of funny and interesting stories behind it.

The most famous one – or rather the most famous myth, features the computer pioneer Grace Hopper. Back in 1947, an electromechanical computer in the Computation Library at the University of Harvard had a malfunction. Operators found out that there was a moth trapped in a relay and wrote down in a log book “first actual case of a bug being found” with the dead moth taped to the page.

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