The random musings of a software developer

Ada Lovelace Day 2016 – Honouring Allison Sheridan

It’s October 11, 2016 and it’s still Ada Lovelace Day (ALD) 2016! My honouree this year is Allison Sheridan, host of the first few tech podcasts I ever listened and subscribed to. Allison’s love of all things tech has led her to share her experience and expertise freely through her podcasts: the inimitable Nosillacast (technology with an ever so slight Macintosh bias), and the recently launched Chit Chat Across the Pond and Taming the Terminal podcasts. You can find them at her subscription page.

We met in person at Macworld 2012 and her sheer energy and drive was amazing – especially when doing several video interviews of new and interesting products on the show floor, as well as being a speaker at the convention.

Allison has been proponent for Accessibility and has highlighted the features and third party applications available for macOS and iOS, as well as having guests on her show who have benefited from Accessibility on Apple’s platforms. Allison even went to learn to use her Mac and iPhone blindfolded and presented at Macworld 2012!

Allison has also been a voice for women and girls in technology, through interviews with teachers and other women in the tech field.

So it is with great respect and honour that I feature Allison Sheridan for this year’s Ada Lovelace Day. I count Allison as a dear friend in tech 🙂

You can find Allison on Twitter as @podfeet and her website is https://podfeet.com. Drop by, take a listen, and I promise you’ll stay subscribed! Someone who has two kitties named Ada and Grace, and a doggie named Tesla must be certainly a tech proponent.

Do check out Finding Ada for more information about ALD 2016, and Wikipedia for more about Ada Lovelace.

Ada Lovelace Day 2014: Honoring Brianna Wu, Giant Spacekat

This year I’m recognizing Brianna Wu from Giant Spacekat. She and her team of women software developers created the iOS game Revolution 60. Bri has been in the forefront promoting women in gaming – both as game developers and as game players – in a predominantly male environment. I had the honor of getting her interview on the App Stories for Girls site last year and am in awe of her technical knowledge in computer graphics and her drive to succeed in the gaming business. She wrote a very emotive article for The Magazine entitled Choose Your Character – it was a very heartfelt and insightful look into a part of the development of Revolution 60. And so I celebrate Bri’s achievements, commend her contributions to the field of technology and for being a great role model for other women, not only in STEM, but also in gaming, and business. Thanks Bri!

Ada Lovelace Day 2013

This year I’m choosing to honour Adele Goldberg. Her team developed Smalltalk-80 which is the precursor to all modern Object Oriented Languages, and in particular inspired the syntax for Objective-C. I acquired Digitalk Smalltalk/V for Mac OS back in 1989 and tried to understand how it all worked. I marvelled at the simplicity and uniformity of the language constructs in Smalltalk: everything is an object, even integers, and you make objects do things by sending them messages. One thing which stuck in my mind was that you could make changes to the system objects and the environment would morph to the changes you made. The illustration given was painting yourself in a corner with the changes but in Smalltalk, the paint dried instantly! Fortunately you could save virtual machine snapshots and go back to a previous version. Smalltalk lives on as Squeak – do check that out!

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