An interview with Ada Lovelace

This morning, I went to the Science Museum to talk to Ada Lovelace herself about Charles Babbage, his computing machines, and her vision and brilliance.

Ada was a most fascinating lady, and I hope that because of today, more people will know not just about her, but about all the other amazing women in technology.

I’d like to thank Steph Troeth and Steph Booth for helping me with Ada Lovelace Day. Both of them helped me to figure out what shape the campaign was going to take and were then invaluable in kick-starting it. Without their help and encouragement I’m not sure that Ada Lovelace Day would have happened at all. Thanks also go to Vicky Riddell at the BBC for deciding to run with the story on the BBC News Channel and doing such an amazing job of getting so many smart techie women on the news.

I also need to thank two men, firstly Tony Kennick, who very kindly cobbled together the Ada Lovelace Day Collection mash-up, and who put up with my last-minute-ness with grace and good humour.

And secondly, my wonderful husband Kevin who has provided me with endless support and help over the last three months, who shot the video above, and who came with me to BBC Television Centre this evening and helped me calm my nerves before my interviews.

Thanks are also due to everyone who has taken part. Ada Lovelace Day was a community effort, with everyone playing an important role in making it the success it is.

But it’s not over yet! We have another 15 hours before the day that is Ada Lovelace Day is finally over as midnight arrives in the Baker Islands, and we have a lot more blog posts still to be added to our Collection.

Even then, it’s not over. We have our first event booked at NESTA for 10th June – on which more to come – and I have a few other ideas up my sleeve too. So don’t go away – keep in your RSS reader, or follow us on Twitter, and keep up-to-date with our news.

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Enterprise 2.0 Forum – video

The video of my presentation at the Enterprise 2.0 Forum in Cologne on 18th September is now up on the Enterprise2Open blog. Unfortunately I can’t seem to embed it here, and the audio quality’s a bit overdriven, but if you’re curious about how to nurture the adoption of social tools in business, you might want to give it a shot.

Going Solo – When passion becomes profession

On May 16th, 2008 I went over to Lausanne for Going Solo, conference about being a freelance in this networked world of ours. Stephanie did an amazing job of pulling together a great group of speakers, and I was honoured to be one of them. In a departure to my normal topics of conversation, I discussed techniques for ensuring that your work doesn’t take over your life when you go freelance. I’ll be reprising the same talk at Going Solo Leeds.


Google Tech Talk – Scary Monsters: Does Social Software Have Fangs?

In June 2007, I was over in San Francisco, and Kevin Marks invited me to give a Google Tech Talk.

ABSTRACT: So we’re all agreed. Blogs: good; email: bad. Wikis: good; sending round attachments to a dozen people and then having to merge all the changes by hand afterwards: bad. But despite the labour-saving wonders of social software, many people – even those who otherwise pounce on every new technological innovation – prefer to stick with the old way of doing things. What’s stopping them from adopting blogs and wikis as a way of getting things done? It can’t be the tool, because the tools are easy. So what scary monsters are lurking in the social software closet, ready to leap out at the innocent project leader, fangs and claws to the fore?


And if you don’t want to watch the video, Steph Booth took notes.