Today is Ada Lovelace Day. It’s an international celebration day of the achievements of women in science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM).
Events in Manchester celebrating Ada
Manchester Digital Ada Lovelace Day – Fireside Chats
Tuesday 11th October
Ladies of Code at Autotrader – Mob programming with Clare Sudbery
Tuesday 18th October
Ada: The Empowered Technologist at ThoughtWorks
Thursday 20th October
Who was Ada Lovelace?
Ada was a writer and mathematician and is most famously noted for her work on Charles Babbage’s Analytical Engine.
Babbage worked on the design of the engine itself (the hardware) and Ada on paper explaining what the engine did. Ada’s notes on the engine include what is now recognised as the first algorithm intended to be carried out by a machine – what we now call software. Ada is often regarded as the first computer programmer.
Babbage had kept his thinking on his analytical engine to the analysis and output of numbers. Lovelace had expanded that thinking to the analysis and output of symbols. This meant that the machine could analyse and output words, music and pretty much anything and everything – the modern notion of universal computation.
Whilst neither lived to see their work become a the reality we know today, they had 100 years earlier anticipated the implications of modern computing.
An opportunity to celebrate diversity & teamwork
I also see the day as an opportunity to celebrate what can be achieved when individuals from very different backgrounds, generations and sexes come together and work as a team. Lovelace and Babbage are a great example of that.
As you celebrate Ada Lovelace Day this year, celebrate the achievements of women in STEM, but also celebrate what amazing things diverse teams can achieve when they work together.
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