Today is Ada Lovelace Day. Who was Ada? From Wikipedia:
She is today appreciated as the “first programmer” since she was writing programs—that is, manipulating symbols according to rules—for a machine that Babbage had not yet built. She also foresaw the capability of computers to go beyond mere calculating or number-crunching while others, including Babbage himself, focused only on these capabilities.
And yes, the computer programming language “Ada” was named in her honor.
So what is Ada Lovelace Day? In general terms, it’s a day to acknowledge and encourage women in technology. This is sort of the same mission as IEEE’s Women in Engineering group, or the “Women Who Tech” program, or the National Center for Women & Information Technology. More specifically, many people are taking a Pledge to honor specific women in technology through blog posts and twitter.
In my Ada Lovelace post last year, I wrote about two amazing women who influenced my personal career (Paula Berger and Karen DelPrete). This year, and particularly this month, I’ve been repeatedly wowed at how the knowledge, experience, and professionalism of Molly Holzschlag, an amazing whoman has helped people all over the world. Molly began her blog in 1993, back when the Internet was new – and on the news!
Molly was honored as one of the Top 25 Most Influential Women on the Web in 1998. She’s worked for the W3C, for Microsoft, for WebReview online magazine, and currently for Opera Software. More importantly, she’s engaging and fun, and if you ever get a chance to see her speak, grab it! Hint: She’ll be at the upcoming STC Summit with us in Dallas this year! Here’s one more clip, this from South by Southwest. That’s Molly in the glittery black gown, interviewing the various browsers.