Happy Ada Lovelace Day!
As a sometimes blogger and a woman immersed in technology, when I heard about the Ada Lovelace Day pledge, I just had to join in. I made a pledge a month or so ago that, "I will publish a blog post on Tuesday 24th March about a woman in technology whom I admire but only if 1,000 people will do the same." The final count of actual blog posts will well exceed that number and may in fact double it.
My very first thought was that I would blog about Rear Admiral Grace Hopper and her contributions to computing. Of course, I soon realized that she would be one of the most blogged about of all and decided that I would rather read other blogs about her achievements than to create one of my own. As I thought about the hundreds of women in the field of technology that I have encountered in my life and who have had an impact on me, I struggled to pick one out of the crowd. But instead of choosing one of these, I have decided to write about a young lady who currently represents the future of technology, my 8 year old granddaughter Madison Finster.
Madison is a typical 8 year old in many ways, but that is assuming that I understand what a typical 8 year old girl is. She likes to ride her bike, loves her Girl Scout activities, plays softball, is living with her Aunt Rebecca through the end of the semester, and absolutely loves the things that her computer allows her to do. When I gave her computer to her for Christmas, I envisioned hours of sitting together with me showing her how to accomplish things with the tool. I also assumed that since she knows that I am the family computer "expert" she would come to me regularly for help with her computing issues. Well, it hasn't turned out quite that way. I've discovered that Madison and others like her have grown up so totally immersed and enmeshed in the world of computers that even for those who have never spent a great deal of time with these devices interfacing with them comes a lot more naturally. In other words, my assistance is rarely needed.
I can't imagine what new innovations, new ways of working, and new ideas and accomplishments are going to come out of the energies of Madison and her peers over the next few years, but I do look forward to finding out. These kids are having a huge impact on the world already. They understand the power of connection and instant information. The fact that they are "connected" to other people and to information in a way that my generation and the one in between never was means they have a huge head start toward even greater achievements. Just watching her at work with her machine, observing the movements, habits, and ideas that occur to her naturally absolutely amazes me. And with all the wonderful influences on her life, even by people she may never know much about like Ada Lovelace and Grace Hopper, Madison has every chance to play a real part in the next big technological advancement. And mayby, just maybe, another blogger down the road will have an opportunity to post an article about Madison Finster and her achievements and positive influence in the field of technology.
So, Happy Ada Lovelace Day, and here's to the future impact of women in technology!