Ada Lovelace Day 2011 huge success

This year’s Ada Lovelace Day has been a fantastic success, but it wouldn’t have happened without the hard work of a lot of people, so I have some heartfelt thanks to share:

Paolo Valdemarin and his team at Evectors worked hard to get the new website up and running. I look forward to working with them further over the next year to develop the site in some exciting directions!

Thanks to Helen Arney, Hannah Dee, Maggie Berry and BCSWomen for their invaluable support in organising Ada Lovelace Day Live!. Huge thanks to our speakers: Maggie Philbin, Helen Keen, Dr Sue Black, Sarah Pascoe, Gia Milinovich, Maggie Aderin-Pocock and special thanks to our compere for the evening, Kate Smurthwaite. It was a truly fabulous event!

And thanks to Hannah Dee, Karen Petrie and BCSWomen for putting on the Ada Lovelace Day Android Extravaganza.

Further thanks to the volunteers who have helped over the last year: Steph Troeth, Miles Taylor, Joel Mitchell, Owen Blacker, Jen Blacker, Saul Cozens, and everyone else in the working group who has contributed. ALD wouldn’t have been what it was without such a great group of volunteers.

And finally, thank you to everyone who came to the events, everyone who organised events around the world, and everyone who took part online.

Please do keep an eye @findingada on Twitter and on our blog as we continue to develop the site over the next few months.

Ada Lovelace Day 2011 begins in Kiribati

Ada Lovelace Day has already begun in the island nation of Kiribati! One of the curious things about a ‘day’ is that due to various dateline shenanigans it’s Ada Lovelace Day somewhere around the world for a grand 50 hours. This means that you have plenty of time to get your tribute to a woman in science, technology, engineering or maths and add it to our collection.

If you don’t have your own blog or website, please do feel free to use the comments on this post as a place to add your tribute.

Let the celebrations begin!

Offers! Happenings!

Quick reminder before we get to the exciting bits: If you want to come to Ada Lovelace Day Live! or the Ada Lovelace Day Android Extravaganza, book now! Tickets are almost sold out, but we must close sales at noon on Wednesday even if there are still a few left.

Adafruit: 24 hours of Ada Lovelace Day and 10% off everything in the store
Adafruit celebrates Ada Lovelace Day for the second year in a row with special content and discounts! Limor “Ladyada” Fried, who was the first female engineer on the cover of WIRED magazine is publishing a post per-hour of a women in science/engineering for 24 hours on October 7th, 2011. This will be a day long celebration to help bringing women in technology to the fore!

Adafruit makes educational electronics and wants to help get more young women interested in technology, the discount code for the day will be ADA11, Adafruit is offering 10% off ALL their products for that day only. The Adafruit site will feature a female engineer, scientist or maker who Limor admires throughout the entire day!

Lovelace & Babbage hits the iPad
Ada Lovelace – the world’s first computer programmer – is about to get her own iPad app.

The app will be released on October 7th as part of Ada Lovelace Day, an international event celebrating the achievements of women in science, technology, engineering and maths.

Based on hit webcomic 2D Goggles (as featured in The Times, Economist, Wired and on the BBC), the app sees science heroes Ada Lovelace and Charles Babbage fighting crime in a gadget-filled steampunk Victorian London. Their adventures are based on hundreds of real-life historical documents, many of which appear in the app as interactive footnotes and annotations.

Lovelace & Babbage will be available as a free download from the iTunes Store from October 7th 2011. In the meantime, you can see sneak previews via Agant and Sydney Padua.

One week to go!

The tension is mounting here at ALD Towers with just one week to go until the big day! We have plenty of news to share with you, including an event in Liverpool, a new portrait of Ada, and some interviews with ALD founder Suw Charman-Anderson and Sydney Padua.

ALD Live! – Nearly sold out

We have an amazing line-up for Ada Lovelace Day Live! On the night there will be drinks and nibbles, plus entertainment and inspiration from Maggie Philbin, Dr Sue Black, Dr Maggie Aderin-Pocock, Gia Milinovich, Helen Arney, Helen Keen, Kate Smurthwaite and Sara Pascoe.

We are rapidly selling out so book your tickets now, while you still can! Ticket sales close on Wednesday 5 October at 12 noon BST.

ALD Android Extravaganza
Don’t forget that if you want to learn how to develop apps for Android, BCSWomen will be holding their workshop from 10am next Friday. Again, we have had huge interest for that, so book now if you want to go!

DoES Liverpool celebrates Ada Lovelace Day
To celebrate Ada Lovelace Day, and to celebrate the achievements of women in science, technology, engineering, mathematics and entrepreneurship, DoES Liverpool has decided to hold an Open Day for women. On Friday the 7th October, all of the services of DoES Liverpool will be free for use by women. Use a hot desk for the day and have a welcoming place to work with power, wifi and tea & coffee available. If you’re a more crafty type use the facilities of their workshop to work on your projects, getting feedback and help from the other attendees.

To find out more, visit the DoES Liverpool website.

Wilder Street Studio co-working day
Another co-working space, Wilder Street Studio, is also opening its doors on 7th October to celebrate Ada Lovelace Day. They provide chairs, tables, free wireless internet and a great open office space. You bring what you need to work with – bring a laptop, iPad or any other wireless internet device.

To find out more, visit the Wilder Street Studio website.

Imperica interviews Suw and Syd
Online magazine Imperica has two Ada Lovelace Day related features for you to read. The first is an interview with Suw Charman-Anderson, founder of Ada Lovelace Day, where she talks about how the day got started and where she hopes it will one day go. The second is an interview with Sydney Padua, the driving force behind The Thrilling Adventures of Lovelace and Babbage.

New Ada Lovelace Portrait
The Century Mountain Project is a collaboration between Chinese poet and calligrapher Huang Xiang and American artist William Rock. Together, they have created a new portrait of Ada Lovelace, which you can see in full on their website.

The calligraphy translates as:

Go to the dark kingdom and light a lamp
or the hearts of those that may follow will leap into their throats.

The unknown world is not for cowards;
Courage is the key to the forbidden.


She who plucks the jewels on a crown
Is a woman who offers the world gems of wisdom.

Don’t forget!
If you haven’t created a profile on the new website, please just pop over, click Join & Contribute, and fill in a few details. It won’t take more than a minute or so, and once you’re done you’re set to add your Ada Lovelace Day story next Friday!

The coming week is crucial in getting the word out to as many people as possible, so please do help us spread the word. There are plenty of ideas for doing that on the site.

New website and Pod Delusion podcast

New website
You might have already noticed that we’ve got our new website up and running at It’s very much a beta release, so if you notice anything going awry, please do let us know via our UserVoice forum. (The blog is due a bit of TLC soon too – it looks so different to the main site because it’s built in WordPress and hosted separately.)

We have been working with a company called Evectors who have built the main site for us on their Pages platform. This allows us to do a lot of things we haven’t been able to before. The most important is that you can now claim your profile as a Woman in STEM and collate the stories about you in one spot. It also allows users, of all genders, to sign up to take part in Ada Lovelace Day and post their stories about their heroines.

Over the coming months, we hope to refine and expand the functionality and content, particularly our data from 2009 and 2010, which was a bit patchy in places. We want to create a useful, evergreen resource for everyone in STEM, from women looking to find advice and communities to join, to conference organisers looking for speakers, to teachers looking for women to come into their school and inspire their kids.

Evectors deserve our heartfelt thanks for the hard work they have put into this site, but we would not be where we are without the hard work that Technophobia did, both last year on the pledge and earlier this year in helping us think through what we needed the site to do. Both companies worked on the FindingAda site pro bono, and we’ve benefited immensely from their knowledge, expertise and insight. We wouldn’t be where we are without them, so thank you both.

The Pod Delusion
I had a great chat with Liz Lutgendorff of the Pod Delusion podcast the other day about Ada Lovelace Day, why we do it, what we hope to achieve, etc. That episode, No. 103, is now up online and we come on at about 27:44. Do pop over and have a listen!