Ada Lovelace Day

For a long time I have been concerned about the small number of women in the computer field. The number has actually gone down since the days when I was an undergraduate student. Given the talented women in computer science who I have worked with over the years I see this as a huge loss for the field and for society. Now several groups – public and private, for profit and non-profit – are concerned about this issue but the blogosphere hasn’t really had an event to draw attention to the problem. Until now. Several people I know have linked to this announcement:

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.

— Suw Charman-Anderson

1,065 people have signed up (65 over target) — success!

Open until 24th March 2009 — Sign this pledge »

The idea is for 1,000 people or more – looks like more so far – will all publish blog entries about women in technology they admire as a one day effort to focus attention on role models for younger women. Sounds like a great idea. I’ve signed up and now I’m trying to decide who to write about. I’ve written about Grace Hopper before and while I admire her greatly I think I will do someone different this time. Maybe my wife who has been a programmer, a technical writer and who now teaches with technology in a middle school. I sure do admire her and her work. Or perhaps it will be one of the women who attended college with me those many years ago. They’ve had good careers and done things I admire. Or perhaps one of the women I have worked with over the years. Or maybe someone else – perhaps someone I don’t know personally but whose work I’ve admired for years. I’m still trying to figure it out. But really it’s pretty great that there isn’t only one name that comes to mind.

How about you? Is there a woman in technology you admire and will blog about on March 24th, 2009? Thinks about it.

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