Achievements of Women in Technology

Today is Ada Lovelace day, a day to “draw attention to achievements of women in technology.”

So here I am, drawing some attention 🙂 All the names contain links to learn more (mostly Wikipedia links), so if you are so inclined to do so, you can learn more (you could start at Wikipedia’s article on women in computing). Perhaps you will realize that there are lots of women in technology already, more than you first thought.

That being said, this is by no means a comprehensive list.

Of course, there’s Ada Lovelace herself, but I am focusing on women still alive today (although I do have to mention Grace Hopper, who coined the term “debugging”). As well, I might mention the amazing Allison Randal, well-known in the Perl community and one of the major organizers of OSCon. But I do want to focus on some of the great achievements of lesser-known women, because we are indeed hiding (in plain sight!) everywhere.

Did you like Apple’s Newton PDA? Many people believe it was (and still is) one of the best-designed PDA’s. Donna Auguste helped develop it.

Ever played the video game Centipede? Thank Dona Bailey. Corrinne Yu has done a lot of work in the gaming field, currently a Halo lead at Microsoft.

Wireshark and Ethereal, two of the more popular security tools, were written by Angela Orebaugh.

The first commercial website is credited to Jennifer Niederst Robbins, who designed the Global Network Navigator.

Mary Ann Davidson is the Chief Security Officer at Oracle.

Lynne Jolitz helped develop 386BSD.

Wendy Hall, current president of the ACM (since 2008).

IBM Master Inventor Amanda Chessell.

Elaine Weyuker’s Wikipedia page starts out with “Elaine J. Weyuker is an ACM Fellow, an IEEE Fellow, and an AT&T Fellow at Bell Labs for research in software metrics and testing as well as elected to the National Academy of Engineering. She is the author of over 130 papers in journals and refereed conference proceedings.” From there, it gets more impressive.

Having written a book myself, I can tell you it is definitely an achievement! Ruth Aylett’s popular work Robots: Bringing Intelligent Machines to Life certainly qualifies her to make this list.

I challenge all the readers out there to take a few minutes to note the achievements of women in technology and science in their life. A few weeks ago I posted a list of women who taught me science or technology, that may be an easier way for people to celebrate the day than researching the great women of science and technology….and so we will not see the same “top 10 women in science and technology” lists over and over today.

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