Commemorating Ada Lovelace – the first computer programmer

Debbie and Geek Girls Campaign

Yesterday (15th October) was Ada Lovelace Day and I joined the campaign HER in Hero to commemorate Ada – daughter of Lord Byron – who is acknowledged as the first computer programmer for her work on an early machine in the 19th century.

The Her in Hero campaign is an initiative run by the Little Miss Geek social enterprise, which celebrates women in technology and is raising the profile of women in the tech industry.

Brilliant and successful women in technology exist, but they are not celebrated in the same way their male counterparts are so I’m very keen to get the message across to young girls that science and technology can be a wonderfully rewarding career for them too.

Currently the UK’s tech workforce is only 17% female and over the last 10 years this has been dropping by 0.5% each year. If the UK continues at this rate, by 2043 there will be less than 1% women working in technology.

There is a serious lack of female role models in technology so we need to inspire the next generation of girls to become tech pioneers like Ada Lovelace.”

Interesting facts:

  • 15th October is Ada Lovelace Day.
  • Ada Lovelace died of cancer at 36, in 1852, a few short years after the publication of her landmark article in the 1840s: “Sketch of the Analytical Engine, with Notes from the Translator”.
  • The Analytical Engine remained a vision, until Lovelace’s notes became one of the critical documents to inspire Alan Turing’s work on the first modern computers in the 1940s.
  • You can find out more about Ada Lovelace at: www.findingada.com/about/who-was-ada

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