ada lovelace day

Ada LovelaceI’m looking forward to Ada Lovelace Day, on March 24. Ada Lovelace was the first computer programmer, having written software for Babbage’s Analytical Machine in the 1840s. The machine was never built, so the software never ran, and she died young, but has still been an inspiration to women in computing ever since. The Ada Lovelace Day is an innovation this year, suggested by Suw Charman-Andersen, who pledge that “I will publish a blog post on Tuesday 24th March about a woman in technology whom I admire but only if 1,000 other people will do the same.” I signed her pledge, as have well over a thousand other bloggers, so the day is happening – and there’s always room for more bloggers!

The lack of visible women at technology conferences and in technology jobs has been a problem for many years, and lately there’s even been a worrying decline in the number of women studying computer science. Having positive female role-models is extremely important to young women. I know it’s been important to me – it’s simply hard to make the jump imagining myself in a role as a man in a suit, and much easier to figure out the kind of teacher, researcher or leader I want to be when I can see how different women who are far more experienced than me choose to fill these roles. I know there are many studies that support this too, and suggest it may be more important for women to have role-models of their own gender than it is for men – I should have references sorry, I only have the one right now.

So check out the pledge, the blog, and consider joining in yourself – and of course, check back here on March 24 to read my blog post about a woman in technology who’s inspired me.

14. January 2009 by Jill

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