Reflections on Ada Lovelace day

Ideas for my blog are like busses.  You wait for ages and then they all come along at once.  So it was yesterday when I wrote about the event in the Toffee House when I could and perhaps should have written about Ada Lovelace Day instead.

Getting more young people into the tech industry and especially women has been a subject that I have covered many times, both through activities and through the blog.  It is the one subject that has raised the most comments from the readers.  It is not a simple problem to resolve and indeed, many people say that the situation is getting worse.

Yesterday’s Digital Sector Mapping event was a case in point.  There must have been at least sixty people in the audience and less than twenty per cent were women.  But this is yesterday’s problem.  I cannot change the numbers today and instead need to focus on tomorrow’s problem.  Hopefully at such an event in twenty years’ time there will be a better balance

So why is it an important issue?  There are many reasons but how about because we need as much talent as we can and to choose from only half of society is a complete waste.

As I came out of the Toffee Factory I received an email advising me that two of my team have been signed up for a new Executive Programme for women in IT.  Graham from the NEICT has been working with Northumbria University and Dynamo to develop the course and it is one of the positive ways in which we can make a difference.

I ended the day visiting Charlotte in Gosforth.  I came across her in an article following her involvement in another Dynamo event, this time about cyber security.  She is as interested as I am in the subject of bringing more young people into tech and blogs about it frequently.  Her hope is that ‘by sharing my experience as to how I entered into the industry will inspire you to do the same.’  You can read her blog here.

Oh yes, I need to put in a bit about Ada Lovelace.  It was her day after all.  She is credited with developing the first algorithm designed to be carried out by a machine, leading the way in creating today’s computer programs.

Not at all bad for a Seaham lass.

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