Happy Ada Lovelace Day

Who’s your inspirational woman in technology?

Happy Ada Lovelace DayBack in January Simon wrote an article about the excellent Pledgebank service. Those of you who visited the Pledge Bank site might remember seeing a pledge from Suw Charman-Anderson to write a blog post on 24 March about a woman in technology whom she admires. It went something like this …..

“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.”

Well, Suw managed to achieve her goal, attracting 1890 pledges (and growing by the minute) to do the same, so is probably very busy writing her blog post about Ada Lovelace right now.

Lovelace – which one?
Those with little interest in the world of technology might not know who Ada Lovelace was. She wasn’t a distant relation to the late Linda of the same surname, but in fact one of the world’s first computer programmers. That’s not just one of the ‘first female computer programmers’, but one of the ‘World’s first computer programmers’!

I thought that I had pledged, but looking back through the list it appears that I didn’t finish the sign up procedure, but thought I’d write a post about the whole thing anyway.

Many of those who pledged, have since posted their posts and linked back from Suw’s page.

Variety of pledges
The pledge was “to write about a woman in technology whom I admire”, so as you can imagine there were many other wonderful women celebrated today.

Marjolein Katsma wrote about the incredible Marie Curie, who remembers her as being Madame Curie. Marjolein tells in her blog post of how a book about Marie Curie captivated her at an early age and how she went on to become a biologist.

Caitlin Burns decided to write about Urban Geographer, Dr. Elizabeth K. Burns. The inspirational woman is in fact Caitlin’s mother and although she is now retired, she continues to inspire. Check out Caitlin’s post and you’ll find out why.

As we mentioned there are 1890 (1891 including Suw’s post) blog posts due on this subject so we won’t go through them all.

Closer to home is blog post is about Wendy Hall, Professor of Computing Science at the University of Southampton which has been enthusiastically penned by Angharad V. Setherwood.

As well as being a founding director of Web Science Research Initiative, Prof Hall is also a strong and vocal advocate for women’s opportunities in Science and Engineering Technology.

Happy Ada Lovelace Day - Suw Charman-AndersonSo, I guess if I were to write a piece about an inspirational woman in technology it would have to be Suw Charman-Anderson (pictured left).

One gets the impression that she’s been involved in tech since she was grappling with her pigtails and having followed her online over the past few months, she clearly embraces new technology with vigor.

I vote Suw Charman-Anderson my inspirational woman in technology!

Tuesday, 24th March, 2009 9:40pm


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10 Comments on "Happy Ada Lovelace Day"

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How amazing! I looked at the pledge site and it now has 1,944 people pledged!

Ada looks so elegant in the picture, can’t imagine her sweating over programming issues.

Wendy V
I’d vote for you, Sal, for creating (with Simon) a valuable blog that serves a whole community and which allows other voices to be heard. I didn’t get round to making a pledge, though I did follow up the original pledge idea that Simon highlighted, to keep my email inbox clear… and have stuck to it. So thanks for that suggestion, too! Happy Ada Lovelace day. If… Read more »
James P

“15 years ago”

That was at school, I take it, Sal? :-)

Surely Ada Lovelace was THE first programmer, writing programs for Charles Babbage, somewhat ahead of the hardware, it has to be said.


has anyone written about this :


Wendy V
Thanks for the link, Seb. Says Grace Hopper coined the term “computer bug” in 1945, “when she traced an error in the Mark II to a moth trapped in a relay. The bug was carefully removed and taped to a daily log book. Since then, whenever a computer has a problem, it’s referred to as a bug.” And there’s even a pic of the offending moth! So… Read more »
James P

Fascinating link. That’s quite a CV! She certainly doesn’t look like someone you’d trifle with…