March 24, 2010

It's Ada Lovelace Day

Today is Ada Lovelace Day - who is Ada, you might ask? Well, she's the first computer programmer. Today is also an "international day of blogging to celebrate the achievements of women in technology and science" - and thousands of folks are doing that over on the Finding Ada site.

Pondering all the women in tech and science I know, who have encouraged or inspired me, is an interesting exercise. As I said last year, choosing just one would be problematic, so what I decided to do is list some of them, with a brief indication of why they inspire me.
  • Jan R., then a Captain in an area I probably shouldn't talk about, for encouraging me to go for the Air Force scholarship when I was a junior in high school;
  • My mother, for never letting me be afraid of math or science, and for insisting I could do anything I set my mind to. She lived up to that, too, becoming a systems administrator for her library when she was in her 50s. (*That* for anyone who thinks only the young can learn tech skills!)
  • Sue H., a systems administrator at MPOW, who deals with hundreds of user accounts and cranky people complaining about access with nary a scream;
  • Celine d'O., a laser systems/adaptive optics engineer and dear friend; and
  • LeEllen P., a thermal systems engineer, for showing me you can embrace both sides of your brain and still do it right.
There are many more I could mention but I think I'll save them for next year's post. Thank you to every single one of you!

No comments: