Ada Lovelace Day Blog Roundup
Countess Augusta Ada Lovelace is considered the first computer programmer, inventing code for a machine that had not even been built yet. Known as "The Enchantress of Numbers", Lovelace devised a number-calculation plan for the unbuilt Analytical Engine, thus writing the world's first computer program. Lovelace died of cancer at the age of 36, and is buried in Nottingham, England.
She is not a household name.
Lovelace was born in 1815, and is recognised as one of the first computer programmers. She wrote programs for Charles Babbage's Analytical Engine, along with the very first description of a computer and software.
And in fact, inspirational women in technology are everywhere. From games designers Elonka Dunin and Jane Jensen to Turing award-winners Barbara Liskov and Frances Allen to influential CTOs Mary Lou Jepsen and Padmasree Warrior, women have been making high-level careers in science and technology for a long time now.
Yahoo developer's blog picks Sophie Major, architect of the UK Yahoo Development Network.
She knows the markets, empowers the right people to talk to other right people and to their outside contacts about Yahoo and in general keeps the US aware of what the outside world is up to.
Nat Torkington at O'Reilly Radar picks three:
Allison Randal. She sometimes blogs on O'Reilly Radar, but not as often as we like. Allison succeeded me in four projects, and made me look bad every time!
The second is Brenda Wallace. She's also a rock-solid developer, but has taken on much of the social organising of geek events in Wellington, New Zealand.
The third is Courtney Johnston. She works for the National Library of New Zealand. I especially appreciate liminal people, those who live at the intersection of worlds. Courtney bridges three: art, libraries, and the web.
Godrie at Hot Vimto chooses Dr. Sue Laflin.
Thanks to her, my stereotype of a ‘geek’ has never been a spotty, inarticulate male. (That’s my stereotype of ‘student’.)
Dr Laflin taught us about pre-tested and post-tested loops, Dijkstra’s theorem, and much else that I can’t remember. She also told wonderful anecdotes that made her seem wiser still, and made the world of computers seem fascinating and rewarding to the enquiring, creative mind.
Librarian 1.5 weighs in as well:
I thought I would write a little about one person I learnt about when I started working for the Norwegian Navy. Her name is Grace Hopper, also called “Amazing Grace”, who during the second world war worked for the United States Naval computing department and after the war was an important part in developing computing languages such as COBOL and promote computers as a tool to young adults.
... and COBOL begat MachOne, which brings me back to my own recommendation.
Enchantress of Numbers. Analytical Engine. Computer terms were a thousand times cooler back then, before we put "i" and "tw" in front of everything.