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Gracie Gregory (she/her) for The DEV Team

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Happy Ada Lovelace Day! Tell us about the women who have inspired your coding journey ❤️

A very happy Ada Lovelace Day to everyone!

Ada Lovelace Day happens on the second Tuesday in October each year and was founded in 2009 by Suw Charman-Anderson. You can learn more about how this day is commemorated internationally via the Finding Ada Network.

As you might know, Ada Lovelace was a legendary English computer scientist and STEM icon who is frequently credited as being an early pioneer of computer programming.

Lovelace was an associate of Charles Babbage (polymath and engineer) and created a program for his early computer prototype, the Analytical Engine. Her talents, contributions, and visions for tech nearly a century before the first programmable computing machine was invented (and during an era of particular social and political restriction of women) have cemented Lovelace as a figure of inspiration.

In celebration of Ada Lovelace Day, we'd like to know...

Which women have inspired your programming journey? Whether these women are famous figures or family members, we'd love to hear from you, regardless of your gender!

... Tell us in the comments below!

Finally, on this day and always, let's not forget that Ada Lovelace represents a fundamental truth that is too often overlooked or suppressed: aptitude and genius have absolutely nothing to do with gender. The tech industry in particular needs to do more for women and other underrepresented groups who have helped create the field, especially as just 26% of computing-related jobs are held by women, 3% by Black women, 7% by Asian women, and 2% by Hispanic women. (source)

Top comments (24)

graciegregory profile image
Gracie Gregory (she/her) • Edited

I'll kick things off. I'm not a developer, but I was encouraged to start learning to code when my former team held a lunch-hour series just for me where we learned about Git/GitHub, the basics of Markdown, and a handful of other things that have helped me in my career tremendously.

To have badass female engineers devote that kind of time and support to a (at the time) copywriter was so inspiring. I'll never forget it.

Happy Ada Lovelace Day, y'all!

Learning to code Shoutout to @annaspies , @farrahc32 , @nocnica , @deeheber , and Anna Yovandich!

sergix profile image
Peyton McGinnis • Edited

My mom!

She's the reason I got into coding in the first place when I was a kid.

My mom ran a photography business for a few years and she started working on a WordPress site. I was curious on how websites were made, and so my mom and dad bought me a book on HTML, and from then on web dev has been a huge part of my life.

My mom is a wonderful role model and has kept encouraging me on my programming journey; even though she doesn't herself code, she always loves seeing the new web projects I'm working on and provides a little input here and there.

graciegregory profile image
Gracie Gregory (she/her)

I love this! Your mom really does sound like a wonderful role model!

prakh_r profile image
Prakhar Yadav

Sarah Pez and Vaidehi Joshi
I absolutely admire them. They inspire me and I feel motivated by them to keep getting better 🙂

plasnid profile image
Stuart Sackler • Edited

When I was a kid, my Mum would program video games for me. It was the early 80's so programming was a much longer more arduous process. My Mum was the most technical one in the family and certainly a role model for me. Thanks Mum!

Also Pearl Chen. Were it not for Pearl, I would never have started building with Arduino. Pearl is awesome. Great Teacher, fantastic mind, and a really fun person!

sarralksc profile image

When I think of women who inspired me in my journey as a coder two faces come in mind. The first one is of my first ever programming teacher ! I remember lacking confidence and being scared in my code because I thought I didn’t know as much as the other students did. There was this one guy in my class who had been coding all summer long so whenever the teacher gave a simple task (triangle of *) he would come up with a super hard way to do it and encourage the teacher to use it as well. some of us felt lost whenever he spoke but that teacher knew how to reassure us and build our confidence into coding one line at a time.
The second one is Pauline Narvas an English instagrammer/blogger/YouTuber/Podcaster/ that happened to be a coder (full time job) although she had a biology degree ! This woman really showed me that to become a coder all you need is to love coding that’s it ! No other prerequisite! She inspired me to throw myself into it and enjoy the journey

heatherw profile image
Heather Williams

I never really thought about whether or not women were in STEM, I just went to university and got a degree (chemistry) and then later reskilled myself into dev. But reflecting on it my parents were certainly helpful in that regard, they brought me up to believe that I could do anything I wanted to. And with an aunt who was a sys admin there was a good female role model right there for me.

j_aidle profile image

When I've started coding I didn't know about programmers at all, just a few years later when I learned about Turing and Ada Lovelace that I became really interested in programming and inspired to keep learning it, but also all the teachers I had.

graciegregory profile image
Gracie Gregory (she/her)

Awesome. Turing is such an inspiration also ❤️

j_aidle profile image

Yeah, Ada and Turing are my biggest inspiration :D

panditapan profile image

Let me give a shout out to the dolling community of the 2000s because this was a fairly big group of girls teaching other girls the basics of HTML/CSS/JS to show off pixel doll art.

It's how I started this journey of development (and drawing!) and I'm sure there are plenty of girls who may have a similar backstory and are out there being awesome in whatever they're doing now :3

graciegregory profile image
Gracie Gregory (she/her)

That is so dang cool. Love hearing about communities like this whose passions led them to a lifelong pursuit of knowledge through programming!

cmohan profile image
Catherine Mohan

I didn't know what programming was until I took a class in high school. I fell in love with it thanks to my wonderful teacher! She encouraged me to continue in the classes and I eventually joined the school's Robotics team. She encourage me to get my engineering degree and even attended my college graduation. I definitely wouldn't be here without all her support.

linzijayne36 profile image

I am a junior (like, very junior) web developer and, although I'd be lying if I said I'd been directly inspired by anyone to pursue web dev, I was very taken with Grace Hopper's achievements when I read about her. What a lady - wow! For those of you who don't know her story you should check her out. I was early in my Computing degree at the time and it was pretty inspiring to read about her.

nthdat profile image

Your post just made my day!
You encourage me to keep going forward even tough problems are waiting ahead!
Keep up your good work <3

baamenabar profile image
B. Agustín Amenábar Larraín

For me @rachelandrew taught me you don't have to be tough and loud to be a solid, powerful, respected professional.

mccurcio profile image
Matt Curcio

Has anyone ever tried to use/model/mock-up Lady Lovelace's code to determine what it does and if it works at all? I know that the code was for a machine that was not built (is that correct?) but has anyone ever investigated the workings of the machine and if it will even work? What does the machine do? Calculations or more?

layzee profile image
Lars Gyrup Brink Nielsen

Sandi Metz has informed my understanding of Object-Oriented Programming and thoughtful testing through tech talks and books. An amazing, inspiring woman in tech!

anja profile image

Happy Ada Lovelace day! 👩‍💻😊