Here we hope to answer some of the questions that you might have about Ada Lovelace Day. If your question isn’t answered here, please let us know.
When is Ada Lovelace Day?
Ada Lovelace Day 2013 will be held on Tuesday 15 October.
Why is Ada Lovelace Day in October?
People often ask why Ada Lovelace Day is the day that it is. The explanation is rather mundane: the date is arbitrary, chosen in an attempt to make the day maximally convenient for the most number of people. We have tried to avoid major public holidays, school holidays, exam season, and times of the year when people might be hibernating.
Why not just use Ada’s birthday?
Well, Ada was born on 10 December and, in the UK where Ada Lovelace Day is based, December is swamped by Christmas parties, making venue hire tricky and putting us in competition with traditionally unmissable employee booze-ups. Given her tragically early death at just 36, it would feel inappropriate to celebrate her deathday on 27 November.
Do I have to publish my post during UK time?
No! One of the curious things I found out last year is that due to various dateline shenanigans it’s Ada Lovelace Day somewhere around the world for a grand 50 hours! Blog at your convenience in your own timezone.
50 hours? You are kidding, right?
Each day starts in the middle of the Pacific Ocean at the International Date Line. Kiritimati Island, also known as Christmas Island, is a coral atoll situated in the Line Islands and is a part of the Republic of Kiribati and is one of the first places in the world to experience the new day. It lies 14 hours ahead of Greenwich Mean Time/Coordinated Universal Time, but doesn’t adjust its clocks for summer time so in October it’s 13 hours ahead of the UK, which is still on British Summer Time.
Each day ends at midnight on the other side of the International Date Line. Howland Island is also in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, and is one of the last islands to experience midnight. It lies 12 hours behind GMT/UTC, or 13 hours behind BST. Add all of that up, and you’ll find that if you chased the day around the world it would last for 50 hours, from midnight to midnight.
Can I do something other than a blog post?
Yes! You can do a video post, a podcast episode, a web comic, newspaper column – anything you like, online or off. We just used ‘blog’ as a shorthand for all the above!
I’m a bloke. Can I take part?
Yes! Everyone is welcome to sign up to Ada Lovelace Day!
How can I get involved?
We always need help promoting Ada Lovelace Day, so please let all your friends and colleagues know – for ideas, see our Get Involved page.
Do you have any resources that I can use when i’m talking about Ada Lovelace Day?
Take a look at our About, Our Mission, and History of Ada Lovelace Day pages to find out more about the day itself. For information on Ada herself, please see her bio and explore these links.
I’m away on Ada Lovelace Day. Can I still take part?
Of course! If you have a blog, you should be able to schedule a post to publish itself on the day. If you can’t, feel free to blog before hand and then add your post to your profile later.
Can I blog in a language other than English?
Of course! Please write in whatever language(s) you like!
What if I can’t think of a woman to write about?
First, have a think about the women you know or have heard of in tech/science. We’re not looking for everyone to write about superstars, just someone whom you admire. Perhaps it’s your colleague who does a really good job, or your mum, or a friend. If you stop and think for a while, we’re sure that somewhere in your past or present you’ll find a woman to write about on Ada Lovelace Day.
Can I write about more than one woman?
If you like, yes! Lots of people have in the past and, as far as we’re concerned, the more women we celebrate, the better!
I keep seeing the word ‘STEM’. What does that mean?
STEM is an acronym for ‘science, technology, engineering and maths’. Some people add an extra M on the end for medicine, although one could also assume that comes in under ‘science’. It’s just a shorthand way to refer to these – and related – fields because writing it out in full each time is quite tedious.
What do you mean by ‘in STEM’?
We like to leave the interpretation of these words up to you, but we encourage everyone to be inclusive and to spread their nets wide. We’re not just looking at ninja coders and hardcore engineers, but women who contribute to their field. For example, some academics don’t code and don’t do science, but they think very hard about the way in which science and tech affect us and they have a deep understanding that the average mortal would be hard pressed to match. Although they aren’t making stuff, they still count. Same for journalists and consultants and designers and UX people and lab assistants and people who make tech that allows others to do science (now there’s a double-whammy!).
Does my woman in STEM have to be alive?
Many people have written about women who are no longer with us, and many others write about women who are alive and kicking and contributing right now. We don’t mind: The choice is really up to you.
How does blogging help women in STEM?
Women in tech and science tend to be less well known than their male counterparts despite their valuable contributions. The aim of Ada Lovelace Day is to focus on building female role models not just for girls and young women but also for those of us in tech who would like to feel that we are not alone in our endeavours. Psychologist Penelope Lockwood discovered that women need to see female role models more than men need to see male ones, so the idea of creating these role models is not just some airy-fairy idea, but based on a real need.
How did Ada Lovelace Day start?
For the answer to this question, you probably want to read the blog post that kicked it all off.