Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Ada Lovelace Day: Celebrating Women in Technology

I can think of no more auspicious occasion to kick off my new blog than Ada Lovelace Day, a celebration of women in technology. A few weeks back, I made the following pledge: "I will publish a blog post on Tuesday 24th March about a woman in technology whom I admire but only if 1,000 other people will do the same," and today I'm keeping my promise.

I've chosen for the subject of this post my colleague and friend, Janet Galore.

In nearly all respects, Janet leads a less-than-ordinary life. Degreed and well-studied in pure and applied mathematics, Janet is an artist, illustrator, and author. She is also an adventurer, a collaborator and conspirator, an excellent co-worker, supervisor, and friend.

According to her own bio, Janet "currently works as a Program Manager on the Strategic Prototyping Team under Craig Mundie at Microsoft. The team develops prototypes and demos to tell credible stories about the future."

There's no one I'd rather have envisioning and shaping the future than Janet. In her hands, it will not only be better, it will also be more interesting.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Preparing for Ada Lovelace Day

A few years back, I wrote the following poem on April 19, the anniversary of the death of Lord Byron, the father of Ada Lovelace, whom I will honor with a post tomorrow. I just felt a little bit like warming up.

Byron and the Romance of Computer Programming

I think of him dying
all those years ago in Missolonghi,
patriot of a nation
not his own.
Today, he'd be a pop
star, pursued by paparazzi
(like another one from another
through England to Geneva
and the sparkling white
islands of his demise.
He gave the world
much more than a name
for brooding arrogance,
a cynicism so eternal
it's still post-modern
after all this time.
I think of little Ada,
barely eight and already
eerily attuned to the complex
elegance of numbers,
fatherless and hungry for the metaphors
that make a poetry of science.

First things first

Yep, that's me: Nerdy Girl from the banner ads.

Don't believe me, here's a news article from the Seattle Times that will give you the back story.

Now that we've settled that, you're probably still wondering what, if any, right such a well-known nerd has offering any kind of guidance to the rest of the world. Well, I can only say that I've had a couple of successful "careers" so far this lifetime (journalist, teacher, editor, online marketing persona), and for most of my life, people have come to me asking for advice on everything from education to romance to the best slow cooker recipe for lentil soup.

I have also been told from time to time that I have a wicked wit that doesn't turn to bitterness even when I'm asked to suffer the worst of fools.

Welcome to my blog. I hope you'll come back often.