Celebrating the Lovelace Legacy

We’ve recently written about several initiatives to increase the number of women programmers, like the Square Code Camp for female students and organizations like Hackbright Academy. Today we celebrate Ada Lovelace, the daughter of Lord Byron, a mathematician and the woman wrote what is arguably the first computer program for Babbage’s Analytical Engine back in 1843. While many today will be reminding you of her forward thinking with regards to the potential of the machine that Babbage built, we decided to celebrate Ada’s birthday and the rich history of female geeks everywhere, by highlighting three ladies doing great things in technology now.

Changing the way information flows in developing countries

In 2008, Juliana Rotich (blog) co-founded Ushahidi to track post-election violence in Kenya. What has since emerged is an open source platform for collecting, curating, and visualizing information with an eye towards transparency and crowdsourcing during crisis. Rotich has a degree in Computer Science from the University of Missouri, Kansas City and is a TED Senior Fellow.

Connecting developers with cities’ tech needs

It’s no surprise that local government officials have trouble meeting the technology needs of their cities with shrinking budgets and city government bureaucracy. But there is also a huge opportunity there, and
Jennifer Pahlka capitalized on it when she founded Code for America (CfA), a non-profit organization uniting city governments with the development community through a fellowship program. The goal of CfA is ultimately to change the public’s perception of citizenship and how they can participate and make change for the better.

Opening the door for more girls to code

Reshma Saujani is working to close the gender gap in the tech industry through education and mentoring with Girls Who Code. The movement’s goal is to help inspire girls 13-17 to pursue opportunities in technology while providing them with the skills they need. In addition, Girls Who Code pairs the participants with top female developers and entrepreneurs for quality mentorships. Suajani’s dedication to the public sector and getting more girls involved in technology should see big impacts for the future.

These women are trailblazers, much like Lady Lovelace was in her day. Each in her own way is changing the world around her for the better. Happy Ada Lovelace Day to all!