Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Ada plus One

Yesterday, 24 March, was the first ever Ada Lovelace Day. This is what happens when I don't keep my ear to the ground.

Ada, as I'm sure you already knew (I did - hah!) was the daughter of Lord Byron who because of her work with Charles Babbage is often credited as being the first programmer. From the day's official website:
"Ada Lovelace Day is an international day of blogging to draw attention to women excelling in technology.

Women's contributions often go unacknowledged, their innovations seldom mentioned, their faces rarely recognised. We want you to tell the world about these unsung heroines. Entrepreneurs, innovators, sysadmins, programmers, designers, games developers, hardware experts, tech journalists, tech consultants. The list of tech-related careers is endless."
What an excellent idea. Thanks to Pennski for bringing it to my attention.

I won't blog at length on the general awesomeness of anyone, (a) because I don't generally and (b) because I'd feel the need to ask permission and that takes time. But I will mention a few (by no means all; omission from this list implies absolutely nothing) of the several IT-related women I have known. In alphabetical order to avoid any hint of favouritism or bias:
  • Joella, former colleague, who was a reporter and then editor on Information World Review. This means that for >50% of the 1990s she and her lovely but somewhat vague editor were the totality of UK-based IT reporting. (Correct me if I'm wrong, Jo ...) She also, more recently, introduced me to the blogging concept.
  • L, former colleague, now working for Oxford Uni. Twenty years before we met she was working for Locomotive Software, proof reading their manuals, which would include the manuals that came with my Amstrad PCW all those years ago. I think that's where she met her husband. She now programs Javascripty sort of stuff.
  • S, head of my division but I'm not crawling. Now responsible for heading communications and customer support on a 40Gbit/s optical network that links every university in the country, she started here in the mid eighties when it was basically two cans and a bit of string.
  • T, fellow writer, longest acquaintance of all the above, bisexual witch and freelance IT consultant. See where a degree in theology from Durham can get you?
Next year I may mention some others ...


  1. How did I miss this? When I know about both Pi Day and Pi Approximation Day?

    But thank you for the shout out (is that what it's called when it's blogging?). Yes, that's pretty much it, though I would claim a narrower scope and a wider geographic area. We were covering electronic information, in all its Z39.50-style glory, rather than IT generally. There was overlap, of course, but there were a few other people doing the latter and pretty much no one, as you say, doing the former. I remember being in the bar at the Novotel and claiming that I was 'the second most prominent information industry journalist in Europe!'.

    How many information industry journalists were there in Europe at the time? Two.

    I can also, in a slightly less applied way, lay claim to the first iteration of Built in Notepad, with a little help from my friends - you may have been one of them?

  2. Yay! Facebook was good for something for once (it's how I got invited to join up!)

    I'm so glad you've blogged too.


Note: only a member of this blog may post a comment.