Ada Lovelace Day: Events and new website

With less than a month to go now until Ada Lovelace Day on 7th October, we are working hard on getting the new website up and running. I know this is the third year in a row that we’ve done stuff to the website, but this time we’re upping the ante and it will be well worth it! I’m very excited at what we’ve got in store for you and can’t wait for it to go live!

In the meantime, you should grab tickets to the Ada Lovelace Day events, which we are holding an association with BCSWomen.

Ada Lovelace Day Live!
Join Helen Arney, Maggie Philbin, Gia Milinovich, Helen Keen, Kate SmurthwaiteDr Sue Black, Dr Maggie Aderin-Pocock, and other women from science and tech for an entertaining evening of geekery, comedy and song on Ada Lovelace Day. Celebrating the achievements of women in STEM, Ada Lovelace Day brings together people from around the world to talk about the women who inspire them.

Date: Friday 7 October 2011, 6pm – 10pm
Venue: BCS, 1st Floor, The Davidson Building, 5 Southampton Street, London, WC2E 7HA
Cost: £12 plus VAT

Ada Lovelace Day Android Extravaganza
This one-day Android development workshop will introduce AppInventor and the basics of mobile development. It’ll be fun and interactive – no programming experience necessary. Bring your own laptop and an Android phone if you have one. Tea and coffee will be provided, but not lunch so either bring a packed lunch or be prepared to pop out for a sandwich.

Date: Friday 7 October 2011, 10am – 5pm
Venue: BCS, 1st Floor, The Davidson Building, 5 Southampton Street, London, WC2E 7HA
Cost: £5 plus VAT

Places at both events are limited, so you should book your tickets now to prevent disappointment! Please note that both events are open to all genders.

There are also other events going on that you might be interested in:

Great Minds on Innovation – Ada Lovelace Day
element14, the leading online community for Electronic Engineers, will support the aims of Ada Lovelace Day on the 7th of October 2011 by hosting a virtual series of talks by leading technologists and innovators across different countries. Ada Lovelace Day is an international day of celebration of the achievements of women in science, technology, engineering and maths.

Start Time: 10/7/11 12:00 AM IST
End Time: 10/8/11 11:59 AM IST
Location: Worldwide

Find out more on the element14 website.

Tampere University of Applied Sciences dedicates open learning space to Ada
The Tampere University of Applied Sciences, School of Art, Music and Media, in Tampere, Finland is creating a new open learning space “where teams can meet, work and showcasetheir projects”. Mr Cai Melakoski emailed to let me know that “The space is almost finished. The name will be Ada, because here we use coding for the purposes Ada dreamed about. We had not decided when to formally open the space, but when I noticed Ada Lovelace Day will this year be October 7 I decided that is the date of the event.”

The university has supported Ada Lovelace Day both years it has run, so I’m delighted that they are continuing the good work and honouring Ada in this way!

A new beginning
This year we have expanded Ada Lovelace Day to embrace all the STEM disciplines, ie science, technology, engineering and maths, so there are plenty of inspirational women to choose from. We won’t be having a pledge per se, rather we are putting together a directory of tech heroines so that we can more easily curate related stories. That’s all part of the new website which is so very nearly ready to go!

What’s especially exciting to me, though, is that this year, Ada Lovelace Day itself has become less of a culmination and more of a new beginning. I want to make a site that provides women in STEM with year-round support, access to resources and a fabulous source of inspiration. The changes you’ll see in the run-up to 7 October are just a fraction of the goodies we have in store for you.

So put 7 October in your diary and stay tuned for more news!

Ada Lovelace Day: 7 October 2011

As announced on the front page of the site a few weeks ago, the date of this year’s Ada Lovelace Day has moved to Friday 7 October 2011. Please put it in your diary!

I didn’t take the decision to change the date lightly. We’ve had two years of ALD being in March, and it was starting to become a bit of a tradition, so the idea of moving it to later in the year has worried me a bit, as I don’t want to lose momentum. But by early January it had become clear that things just weren’t going to be ready in time.

Although I have had some fabulous help from some wonderful people, the responsibility for getting things moving still lies with me, and the last six months has seen me incredibly busy with work. We’re in the middle of a recession, so I feel grateful for having such a full diary, but the knock-on effect has been that I’ve not been able to give this year’s Ada Lovelace Day the love it deserves.

It turns out that March is a supremely bad time of year to have a recurring event. Despite trying to get things moving towards the end of last summer, I didn’t make much progress and before you know it, it’s Christmas and everyone’s really busy, and then New Year has come round and suddenly things aren’t ready and it’s all getting a bit tight. Add a trip to India in February to the mix and deadlines throughout March and it became clear to me that something had to change.

The March date was always arbitrary, picked because I was too impatient to wait any longer! The October date has been picked because it’s far enough away that it gives us a chance to get our ducks in a row, but also because (hopefully!) it doesn’t clash with school and university calendars. I’d very much like to do a bit more outreach this year, and would like to have more resources for teachers, pupils, university lecturers and students. A date that’s in term-time, but not too near Easter or in exam season is a more important consideration now than it was two years ago.

There are other changes afoot too: I’ve also shifted the mailing mailing list from Yahoo to Mailchimp, so provide us with more flexibility. Please do join up – there’s a form in the sidebar to your right. I’ll be sending out monthly updates once we have a few people subscribed, with more updates closer to the big day. You’ll be able to manage your subscription and unsub at any time you like, so take the plunge and subscribe today!

Finally, I do need your help to spread the word about the new date, so please do blog, tell your friends, Twitter, and Facebook followers! Ada Lovelace Day: 7 October 2011.

Open Tech 2010 call for participation

Open Tech 2010 is now open for business. If you’re a woman in tech, you should consider submitting an idea for a session as the schedule is still open, but get in quick as closing date is 30th June!

Open Tech 2010
sponsored by

Saturday 11th Septmber
ULU, Malet Street, London, WC1E 7HY

Tickets only £5
Students Free Entry

40 talks across 3 tracks over 7 hours, on crowds, earthquakes and battlefronts, which hope to challenge, inspire or talk about something that makes you want to get involved. OpenTech 2010 includes earthquakes of the metaphorical and physical kind, ForTheWin, enlightenment and the environment, and with plenty of time to talk in the bar after sessions which challenge, inspire or talk about something that makes you want to help how you can. The last two times we have sold out in advance, so you are strongly advised to pre-register.

This year’s line up features…
* Another 500 years of Enlightenment from Bill Thompson
* Tales from the Battlefront from No2ID
* For the Win: Game-space and Public Engagement
* Just Do It: The Documentary from Director Emily James
* Climate Change: how screwed are we? from Gavin Starks
* 10:10 global from Technical Director Robin Houston
* Crowdsourcing Data Context from Hadley Beeman
* OpenGeoScience: not just earthquakes
* Keeping the web open – Mozilla Drumbeat
* Lessons and futures from
* Today’s Guardian
* Who’s lobbying?
* and much much more besides

The full schedule is at

Tickets are £5, paid for on the door; but you should pre-register yours online at

Want to help out?
OpenTech is organised by volunteers and we are now looking for volunteers to help out on the day. In return for free early entry and our eternal gratitude, we’re in need of a few people to show up a bit earlier and help us set the venue up, and a few people to help with the audio recordings.

If you’re interested, or have random other questions, email us on

One thing we’re doing this year is giving everyone related to OpenTech the chance to post their projects on a page, and say what help they need. Offline or on, whether you’re after tech people or just more helpers, you can ask the OpenTech community to help out what matters to you:

Final programme may be subject to alteration. OpenTech is a not for profit event open to everyone so please help spread the word online and offline. Thanks for reading!

Ada currently 5th in Information Pioneers poll

The BCS, The Chartered Institute for IT (was the British Computer Society) recently launched the Information Pioneers campaign to raise awareness of five “often forgotten” pioneers: Ada Lovelace, Alan Turing, Sir Clive Sinclair, Hedy Lamarr and Sir Tim Berners-Lee. Each has a short film about them, so here’s Ortis Deley from The Gadget Show talking about Ada.

Please do pop along to the website and vote for your favourite. Ada is currently 5th… i.e. last, so she does need some TLC! You can also follow @infopioneers on Twitter.

Thank you!

Ada Lovelace Day is winding down a bit now. We will leave the mash-up open for the next few days to pick up any final stragglers and then I’ll do an analysis of the data and we’ll publish our final top 20.

Meantime, there are a lot of people who pitched in to make Ada Lovelace Day 2010 the success that it was:

Thanks to Stephanie Troeth and Stephanie Booth again for their continual support, help and inspiration. Without you, ALD would still just be an idea.

Thanks to everyone at TechnoPhobia who helped revamp the site, particularly Danny Hawkins and Saul Cozens who worked tirelessly to keep everything up and running yesterday as well as working really hard in the run-up to ALD10. Thanks too to Tony Kennick for his invaluable contribution, and to Gill Birchmore, Diane Bedford, Martin Waite and everyone else at TechnoPhobia.

Thanks to Paul and Will at UKHost4U who pulled out all the stops to keep the site live and to get us back up and running when the volume of traffic threatened to overwhelm us.

Thanks to Lloyd Davis and Brian Condon at the Centre for Creative Collaboration for supporting our event last night.

Thanks to Maggie Berry from Women in Technology for her support, advice and help, and to Grace Ross for helping out at the event. Thanks to Maggie Philbin for her support and for being our opening speaker.

Thanks to Sydney Padua and Lorin O’Brien for their help with the T-shirt design. It looks fab, guys! Even @wossy says so.

My list of thanks wouldn’t be complete without one person. They say that behind every great woman stands a great man, and the support that my husband, Kevin, has given me over the last few months has been amazing. Thank you, Kevin, for always being there when I needed you.

Finally, thanks to everyone else who helped out in some way, who organised events, helped promote the day, provided feedback and supported the cause in some way. And thank you to everyone who took part – it would have been rather dull without you!