Originally, Konrad Zuse was a civil engineer, then a computer pioneer and entrepreneur. He is considered the inventor of what is now called a computer; more precisely, the first fully automatic, program-controlled and freely programmable calculating machine operating in binary floating-point arithmetic. Zuse developed the “calculating machine” in 1941 and gave it the name Z3.
After graduation, he worked as a structural engineer at the Henschel aircraft works in Berlin. He later began work on a programmable calculator, resulting in the Z1, an electrically driven mechanical calculator with limited programming capabilities that read commands from punched tape, completed in 1938. During World War II, he worked at the Aerodynamic Experimental Station beginning in 1940. There, Zuse built the Z2.
He also worked on the world’s first universal programming language, Plankalkül. After the end of the war, his company was refounded in 1949, and the Z4 was developed and installed at ETH Zurich. This was the only working computer in Europe at the time.