Ada Lovelace Day: Celebrate Yourself
Ada Lovelace Day is not about using the nifty programming language named after her. Rather, it is when we celebrate the achievements of women in science, technology, engineering, and math. Ada Lovelace is commonly considered the writer of the first algorithm intended for a machine (the Analytical Engine) and is often described as the "world's first computer programmer." Back in 1999, former Dr. Dobb's technical editor Eugene Erik Kim coauthored an excellent article for Scientific American about Lovelace and her work with Charles Babbage's Analytical Engine. If you are interested in greater detail about Lovelace's specific contributions to the dawn of computer science, and her unconventional life, that's an excellent place to start your reading.
But before you lose yourself in the gossipy history of programming, I encourage you to take a minute today to share your stories of people like Ada Lovelace inspiring women in technology. Grace Hopper, Barbara Liskov, and Adele Goldberg immediately spring to mind, but many folks choose to honor a mentor, teacher, or coworker who had a more direct impact on their lives. If you don't maintain your own personal blog, you are welcome to use the comments section here to post a note or you can follow @FindingAda on Twitter to find additional places to share.
You don't have to be a woman to participate, but as a Dr. Dobb's reader, you are definitely better qualified than most to add your voice to the celebration. And as Ada Lovelace is metaphorically the source of all source while you're at it, pat yourself on the back for continuing the work that Lovelace and Babbage began.