Friday, October 7, 2011

Celebrate Ada Lovelace Day!

Who has helped you along the way? Women aren't generally encouraged to be geeks in our culture, but some of us are working to change that! I've met many heroes along the way, in Rootsweb, Linuxchix, KDE and Ubuntu Women, but today I'd like to mention someone of the encouraging friends I've met along the way, in honor of Ada Lovelace Day.

Joan and Pig were and are great friends from Rootsweb, which is a free genealogy project. They encouraged me to take the step of becoming a listowner, and then to administer the forums gatewayed to my lists. I still have those lists and boards, although they aren't too active these days. And Pig knew about Linuxchix, and guided me there when I was thinking about making the jump from Windows 2000 Pro to Linux. Both these women are not only tireless researchers, but also take the time to help others with both research methodology AND technical issues. Their patient, clear advice has guided me for a decade.

In Linuxchix, I met many heroes, but especially Akkana Peck and Carla Schroder. Both of these women rock! Carla has taught herself an amazing plethora of skills, which she's then turned around to teach others. You are my hero and example in that, Carla. Akkana is always willing to ask questions and find the answers, which is so rare in adults. She also then turns around and teaches others, whether it's astronomy, or how to use a plug computer.

Then there is Mackenzie Morgan, my youngest hero. I invited her to Linuxchix, and she in turn urged me to get involved in Ubuntu Women, where I've met so many wonderful people, and many heroes! I also met Linda Halligan on Linuxchix, and have been inspired by her hard work, skill, and enthusiasm in her life, as a mother, and in her work for Ubuntu, especially Ubuntu Washington, our LoCo. Maco has been an inspiration for many in her friendly geeky encouragement and increasing craft skills, along with her code contributions to Ubuntu, Kubuntu and Ubuntu accessability.

Two more women who have inspired me in Ubuntu Women and in life, are Amber Graner and Lyz Krumbach. Both have faced significant personal obstacles in their personal and professional lives, yet remain calm, helpful, creative and dependable. Dependable is a compliment? Yes, of the highest order. Many people have great ideas, but few follow through. These women do, time and after time, and so are asked to take on more and more responsibilities. They shoulder so much, I'm not sure when they have time to LIVE! And yet they do. :-)

Finally, both in Ubuntu Women and in KDE, Lydia Pintscher and Myriam Schweingruber are my heroes. Both excellent geeky women, giving in so many technical and community-building ways to KDE and Ubuntu Women both. How do they find the time?

As usual, I didn't focus! But so many people have helped me along the way, picking out just one person is impossible. Even this list is much too small, and not detailed enough about the many accomplishments of this pantheon of geeky women. Many men have helped me along the way as well, but this blog is for Ada Lovelace Day!

Thank you all!