Ada Lovelace Day was created to celebrate one of the first computer programmers. As the daughter of the poet Lord Byron, Augusta Ada Byron, was brought up by her mother, Annabella, after he passed. Her mother feared that she would inherit her father’s poetic temperament, and gave Ada a strict upbringing of logic, science and mathematics. Ada became fascinated with mechanisms and designed steam flying machines, poring over the scientific magazines of the time and embracing the British Industrial revolution.
In 1833, Ada Lovelace was introduced to Charles Babbage whom she helped to develop a device called The Analytical Engine; an early predecessor of the modern computer. Lovelace and Babbage worked together closely for many years in order to refine the Engine. Ada found relative fame in 1842 when she expanded on an article by an Italian mathematician, in which she elaborated on the use of machines through the manipulation of symbols. Although Babbage had sketched out programs before, Lovelace’s were the most elaborate and complete, and the first to be published; so she is often referred to as “the first computer programmer”.
Ada Lovelace died of cancer at the age of 36 a few short years after the publication of “Sketch of the Analytical Engine, with Notes from the Translator”. The Analytical Engine remained a vision for many but until Ada’s notes inspired Alan Turing to work on the first modern computers in the 1940’s.
Her passion and vision for technology have made her a powerful symbol for women in the modern world of technology.