Mary Branscombe (marypcb) wrote,
Mary Branscombe

Ada Lovelace Day

I think it's really important to have women in technology because women use technology and women have different needs and approaches. I want the full spectrum of human ideas and ingenuity tackling problems. To celebrate the first programmer and an early woman of significance in technology I wanted to randomly pick the last woman I came across in technology to re-enforce the fact that there are a lot of us. So it's Jana Eggers of Spreadshirt - a custom shirt printing company; I interviewed her for a piece in BT Upload on mass customization and along the way found out that she was responsible for the only significant new product at Quicken in a long time - QuickBase. This is a data munging tool in the cloud, like Excel meets FileMaker in the Web and lets me push and pull data around until it fits.

There's no special pleading needed for women in technology - and we shouldn't have to ignore or excuse comments that question our ability based on our gender or assess us by the way we look rather than the way we work. Comments in the DEMO facebook stream were all about the content for male presenters; put a woman on screen and there are comments about her dress being distracting. It's time we got past that. Women have been key to technology since the difference engine and wherever you look in technology, there's a woman doing a good job.

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