Wednesday 24 March 2010

Ada Lovelace Day

So really, Ada Lovelace Day was the reason for the sheb log being set up and it is currently March 24th in the UK - so herewith my pledged blog post.

As Simon Farnsworth put it, celebrating women in science and technology should be an irrelevance. We should not, in this day and age, need to be doing this. But we do, and so I am.

I've thought for a while about who I plan to celebrate. And my conclusion is that I will celebrate one woman and one group:

I celebrate the late Rear Admiral Grace Hopper of the United States Navy and developer of the first compiler. What a woman. Seriously, what a woman. Her impact on standards and on computer language were enormous as well the popularisation of the term 'debugging', having found a moth in a computer. Grandma COBOL, today I celebrate you.

The second group I wish to recognise and celebrate is potentially a bizarre choice and not necessarily technological. But it has taken the Internet by storm. And so I celebrate the ever-expanding group of female bloggers. They're everywhere. We're everywhere. Women writing about their lives. Women documenting recipes. Women designing. Women writing about feminism, about technology, about politics, about science. Women providing plans for others to make their own furniture; breaking high-end furniture designs down and showing that they're simple constructions with a lot of marketing guff. Women supporting each other through the bad times and taking pleasure in the good.

Women communicating.

I celebrate you all. And may you continue to be celebrated.

Happy Ada Lovelace day, everyone.


  1. Not just women communicating - women communicating in public. In an arena where it's hard to push them to one side and shout them down, for the crime of being "intelligent while female". Other women being given the chance to discover that, no matter what their local norms, it's not the case that women are inherently less capable than men. And, hopefully, in the long run, women discovering that they don't have to defer to male opinion; their own opinions are just as valid.

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