Ada Lovelace Day (Part 2)

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Today is Ada Lovelace continuation day; a day for continuing blog posts reflecting on the awesome contributions of women to science and technology. Here is my continuation from my previous post of my personal heroines.

Selena Deckelman ()

Wow. Selena. Where do I start? Selena does everything. She runs the Open Source Bridge conference, the Portland Postgres User Group (PDXPUG) with @gorthx, the Code’n’Splode tech group, and gives talks at Ignite Portland and numerous conferences worldwide. She has an amazing garden, keeps chickens about as well as I do, and boundless energy.

And I mean boundless energy. Selena seems to be awake before dawn, will party into the night, and seems to always have half a dozen projects on the go at once. Selena coming off a trans-pacific flight is only slightly less bouncy than normal. As if that wasn’t enough, she’s also an amazing host, and was kind enough to let Jacinta and myself crash at her place last year when we were visiting Portland.

Selena is also an amazing public speaker, a great storyteller, knows more about databases than anyone else I know, and went to Nigeria to help combat election fraud. She is well-versed in awesome.

Selena is responsible for convincing me that I really need a pull-up bar at home.

Karen Pauley ()

I first met Karen at a Sydney Perl Mongers meeting a few years back. Karen is the Steering Committee Chair of the Perl Foundation, and is quite frankly one of the most friendliest and interesting people I’ve ever met.

Karen is responsible for making sure things get done, and a lot of her work is behind the scenes. In fact, I think it would be correct to say that Karen is awesome at meta-work; she has the rather unenviable task of encouraging technically minded people to do productive things. Her talk at the Open Source Developers Conference on managing volunteers was brilliant.

I’m personally indebted to Karen for listening to all my crazy ideas, sending me the most amazing Christmas Cards from Japan, providing fashion advice, making me laugh (a lot!), being an awesome person to hang out with at conferences, and for standing in the hot Australian sun with a digital SLR. If you’ve seen photos of me draped over a nice looking sports car, then that’s probably Karen’s work. ;)

I aspire to become anywhere near as good a conversationalist as Karen.

Mary Jane “MJ” Kelly ()

I met Mary Jane completely by chance at OSCON last year. At the time, I thought that she was pretty darn awesome. What I didn’t realise is that she’s much more awesome than I first thought.

Mary Jane is full of ideas. Cool ideas. Ideas which involve industrial cutting lasers, 3D printers, quilts, robots, fractals, untraditional business cards, topography, steampunk, using tattoos for social hacking, and adventures!

Better still, MJ doesn’t just have great ideas, she implements them too! I’m hugely looking forward to seeing her talk at this year’s OSCON, which is all about hacker spaces and building awesome things.

Mary Jane is actively involved in computer security, particularly in the field of anti-fraud technologies in on-line gaming. MJ founded the Girls In Tech Seattle chapter, and organised the 2007 Northwest Security Symposium.

MJ has a wicked sense of humour that never fails to make me smile, shares my love of costumes and cool events, and is solely responsible for my knowledge of waffle-makers.

Honourable mentions

There are a lot more women in technology who have been hugely influential in my life, either by changing the way that I think, or from teaching me amazing new things. In particular, I’d love to give a special mention to Leslie Hawthorn, Sulamita Garcia, Emma Jane Hogbin, Allison Randal, Audrey Tang, Jenine Abarbanel, Akkana Peck, Brianna Laugher, Brenda Wallace, Mary Gardiner, Donna Benjamin, Raena Jackson-Armitage, Pia Waugh, Sarah Stokely, Ricky Buchanan, Lindsey Kuper, and Liz Henry.

I don’t have an Ada Lovelace Day list on twitter, but I do have my techwomen list, which includes all of the above and more.

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