Celebrating Ada Lovelace Day

Today is Ada Lovelace Day; an important day in which we celebrate the achievements of women in technology and science. Like other positive equality-centric campaigns, the goal of the day is to highlight and bring awareness to great work and efforts going on: I think it is a tremendous effort on the part of Suw Charman-Anderson who founded it, and the many contributors across the world who help to bring Ada Lovelace Day to their local communities.

A key component in Ada Lovelace Day is writing a blog entry that highlights women who are doing great work. Well, in the spirit of the day, I want to highlight ten women who are doing wonderful work that touches many aspects of my world. Without these folks, the communities that I am part of would not be the same, and while we should never need a reason to highlight great work, I am chuffed to bits that Ada Lovelace Day gives me a great excuse to share some thoughts about each day.

Given the nature of the day a natural choice for someone to add in this list was Amber Graner, leader of the Ubuntu Women team, but I am deliberately leaving her out of the list as she knows how much I adore her and her work, and she was too obvious a choice. I wanted to clarify that up front in case she thought I may have left her out. :-)

Without further ado, in alphabetical order…

Laura CowenLaura’s Blog – Laura works at IBM and works in usability and interaction design. Despite her epic work at IBM, I never met her there but instead through her contributions to [LugRadio](http://www.lugradio.org/) and the various [LugRadio Live](http://www.lugradio.org/live) events in the UK and USA. She contributed so much to these events in the running of various logistical elements and in particular with A/V. Whenever I have worked alongside her I have always been wowed by her incredible humanity with people, her commitment to detail and her infectious personality.
Laura CzajkowskiLaura’s Blog – I first met Laura at the SkyCon, the event that she and the other Skynet crew put together in Limerick. Since then she has become increasingly involved in the Ubuntu community, Ubuntu Women and our LoCo Teams. Laura has been doing a particularly rocking job with the Ubuntu LoCo Council, providing experience and insight to various LoCo teams with regard to a range of challenges and opportunities that the teams face. As time goes on Laura carves out more and more respect for her across the community with her conscientious and detailed work, and she is a solid foundation in the Ubuntu world.
Máirín DuffyMáirín’s Blog – although I don’t know Máirín particularly well, I have been following her work for quite some time now on Planet GNOME. There Máirín showcases some her incredible visual work that she performs for GNOME and Fedora. From reading her posts I have always been inspired by her positive approach to visual design, her natural tendency to share skills and knowledge (e.g. see her Inkscape and GIMP posts) and her seeming endless levels of productivity: a clear case of irritatingly capable talents that I am frankly envious of.
Marsee HenonMarsee’s O’Reilly Profile – Marsee works at O’Reilly and leads their User Group Program. I first met Marsee while organizing LugRadio Live and her enthusiasm and eagerness to help, combined with her fantastic rapport with a hugely diverse range of user groups, really inspired me. Marsee and I have worked more together since I published the book, and she does a fantastic job in understanding the needs of user groups and ensuring she can do her best to help them succeed. I have never once seen her not try and help a user group make the most of their community, and with this in mind, she is an utter legend.
Rikki KiteRikki’s Blog – for those of us who tread the boards of the Open Source conference circuit, you won’t go far without seeing Rikki. She is the Associate Publisher and Managing Editor of Linux Pro Magazine and Ubuntu User Magazine. Rikki’s passion is to deliver great stories about real work by real people. She has always been there to give a voice to everyone from the bedroom hacker to the corporate executive. Rikki has really driven the success behind Ubuntu User and her commitment and endless devotion to her work makes her an utter delight to be around when I see her…typically, at a conference. :-)
Elizibeth KrumbachElizabeth’s Website – Liz is a prominent member of Ubuntu Women and a well known and well respected member of the wider Ubuntu community. Liz contributes in a range of area of Ubuntu such as the Ubuntu Manual, various LoCo teams, the NGO effort and more. I really got to know her at the last UDS and she brought a calm, thoughtful and detail-orientated approach to many of the sessions. Ubuntu would not be Ubuntu if Liz was not there.
Ivanka MajicIvanka’s Website – Ivanka leads the Design Team at Canonical and works hard to have her team contribute excellence in design in Ubuntu. Ivanka is an absolutely incredible member of Canonical: she not only brings an adventurous, insightful and experienced guiding hand to design, but she balances an approachable demeanor with a phenomenal ability to get things done. She is well liked by her team, well liked by her colleagues and brings so much to Ubuntu.
> Celeste Lyn PaulCeleste’s Website – Celeste is well known in the KDE community and wider afield as a prominent contributor and spokesperson on interaction design and usability. By day she is Senior Interaction Architect at UserCentered Design, Inc. and by night a member of the KDE HumanComputer Interaction working group and has also helped contribute to Kubuntu, OpenPrinting, OpenUsability e.V., and WordPress. Celeste is a tremendous and inspiring mind, a great speaker and has fantastic insight into the challenges we face in delivering great interfaces.
Ara PulidoAra’s Launchpad Page – Ara works for Canonical on the Ubuntu QA team and she is deeply involved in building automated tests, smoke testing, and encouraging our wider community to get involved in improving the quality of Ubuntu. She is active in Ubuntu, upstream and demonstrates an incredible responsiveness and eagerness for her work and Ubuntu. As an example, I asked Ara to work on a last-minute EC2 test plan for Karmic the day she got back from her vacation and she had it ready within a day to an incredible level of quality. It is people like Ara which make Ubuntu what it is.
Maria RandazzoMaria’s Twitter Feed – Maria works with the Ubuntu Platform Management team that I am part of at Canonical and has brought so much to the team with her work, her personality and her enthusiasm for Ubuntu. Maria works on a variety of projects such as ShipIt, is coordinating the Ubuntu Summer Of Code effort with Daniel, and is a constant resource for the team. One of my colleagues once said that “Maria is the glue that holds the team together”: he ain’t wrong. :-)

I want to thank everyone above for bringing a rich, insightful set of experiences to the communities that I am involved in. :-)

In addition to this post, I will be celebrating Ada Lovelace Day on my live videocast at 11am Pacific / 2pm Eastern / 6pm UTC/GMT and you can watch it live here – I will also be doing a general Q+A about Ubuntu, community, free culture and anything else you care to ask. I hope to see you there! :-)

  • http://www.interesting.co.nz Benjamin

    Pssst, check out the OMG! Ubuntu! feature interview with Laura Czajkowski:

    http://www.omgubuntu.co.uk/2010/03/ubuntupeople-laura-czajkowski.html

  • Steve

    I like this idea, however I firmly believe LadyAda should be on this list!

    ( of ladyada.net and adafruit.com )

  • http://piacentini.livejournal.com Mauricio Piacentini

    Celeste is also a KDE e.V. board member, elected in 2009 – http://www.obso1337.org/2009/2009-kde-e-v-board/

  • http://www.harpyness.com/2010/03/24/happy-ada-lovelace-day/ Happy Ada Lovelace Day! – The Pursuit of Harpyness

    [...] and science abilities. A lot of other blogs are celebrating in style today, too: Jono Bacon has highlighted ten women making strides in the technology field and Mikell Taylor has posted a great tribute to [...]

  • Joe Buck

    You forgot Valerie Aurora.

  • http://laudecioliveira.org/ Laudeci Oliveira “Pretto”

    You missed Ursula Junques ( Ursinha ) :D

  • jono

    Oh believe me, I missed a lot of people, but that would be the longest blog entry evaaaaaar!

  • Mark

    Lets not forget all us the women that put up with us tech freaks too :)

    They arguably contribute to technical achievements too through their support and understanding.

    I just gotta drop this Ivor Cutler quote which comes to mind: “Women of the world take over ’Cause if you don’t the world will come to an end And it won’t take long”

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  • Bill Baugh

    Thanks 

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  • http://cheapoemsoftware.org OEM

    You forgot Valerie Aurora. oem