Ada Lovelace day

25 March 2009

I’m a day late, but having just heard about Ada Lovelace day I couldn’t but help make a slightly schmalzy post.

The aim of the day is to celebrate women who excel in technology, and while I’ve worked with some great women developers over the course of my career, there’s one who stands out. Yes, it’s my mother :-)

Back in the 60s, Yvonne Thomas was one of the first women to do Electronic Engineering (or Electron Physics as it was then called) at Southampton University, and she went on to work at various defence-related companies (that being the best place to be in tech back then). By 1974 she was working on ALGOL compilers at (I think) ICL, and then she decided to pack it in to raise her unruly — but generally grateful — offspring. Von, thanks for doing that, and for bringing me up to be technically able. There are few coders out there who can honestly say that they had programming fed to them in the womb, and I’m glad to be one of them.

She’s still coding, and is now happily building an ever-expanding web application that links together all the information she’s found in her genealogical researches.

Right, enough sentimentality. Back to our regularly-scheduled gadget- and business-of-software-related blogging…

2 thoughts on “Ada Lovelace day

  1. Mark

    I really enjoyed this piece. alas there are still few women in engineering but almost all of them are outstanding. Even now in the US not many women decide to continue in a technical field. It should have been very challenging for your mother at that time. happy Ada Lovelace day :)

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