Lovelace is widely credited as being the first programmer -- she wrote instructions for Charles Babbage's analytical engine. Babbage called her the Enchantress of Numbers ...
Forget this world and all its troubles and if
possible its multitudinous Charlatans — every thing
in short but the Enchantress of Numbers.
I've committed to writing about a woman in technology that I admire today - celebrating the often undervalued contribution that women make.
There are, of course, dozens of women in technology that I admire. But I did want to call attention to a few who I have been inspired by.
First, Brenda Laurel. I have long been inspired by Laurel. Working at Purple Moon was my dream job. I wrote an account of my "TED Moment" when I actually met Laurel at a lunch there. She changed the way I thought about technology, and I will always be grateful to her for that. Below is a video of her presentation at TED (long before I started being able to afford to attend) about girls and video games.
Since my move to Vancouver, I have discovered several amazing women in technology here. Two I'd like to make special mention of. The first is Monique Trottier. Monique is amazing in so many ways (including co-founding the internet marketing company Boxcar Marketing), but I am completely CHARMED by her newsletter Underwire - Full Support for Non Techies. I love that she writes it with an eye to making women more comfortable with technology.
The second is Alexandra Samuel. Alex is co-founder and CEO of Social Signal, a rock-star organization in the social media for social change arena. And Alex is so smart, it's ridiculous. Scary smart. PhD and Harvard Business Publishing smart. Crazy super smart. But in addition to all that intellectual horsepower, she can get down and dirty and tell me how to optimize my Bit Torrent software so that Shaw doesn't throttle me. Yes, I may have a gay-girl crush on Alex.
And finally, on Ada Lovelace Day, I want to give a little shout out to my mom. She turns 65 this year. She lives in a rural town in Pennsylvania. And she just got broadband internet access at home about 2 weeks ago. And last week - we had our first Skype call. And it was pretty awesome. Way to go, mom! You inspire me and remind me that you're never too old to learn something new.