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To mark Ada Lovelace Day, ThoughtWorks offices around the globe came together to celebrate women’s goals and accomplishments in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM). We had events spanning from Dallas to Chicago to London and more! Here at ThoughtWorks San Francisco, we brought together a diverse group of women to tell us their stories on how and why they chose a career in STEM. 

First, who is Ada Lovelace?

Ada was a 19th century aristocrat who changed computing before computers were even invented. As a young girl, Ada was encouraged by her mother to explore mathematics to counteract the “dangerous poetical tendencies” of her father, the poet Lord Byron.

The young Ada quickly developed a passion for solving mathematical problems. She made her mark on tech when she wrote a set of notes on Charles Babbage’s Analytical Engine, setting the framework for modern computing.

In analyzing the machine's capabilities, Ada wrote what is now considered the first computer program. She is now thought of as "the first computer programmer."

The Analytical Engine remained a vision, but her notes later inspired Alan Turing's work on the first modern computer in the 1940s. Ada remains a powerful symbol for women working in STEM. 

On Ada Lovelace Day in San Francisco, we shared stories of women, by women, from every field ranging from health, technology, city planning, and more. Here are the highlights:

Ada would have been proud to see the curiosity and passion brewing in the room at the end of the night. We concluded Ada Lovelace Day by congratulating women in the room for their recent accomplishments: a recent release of an iOS app, starting the new Oregon chapter of Railsbridge, and more.

A big thank you to everyone who participated in Ada Lovelace Day! We hope to have more events like this in the future, so stayed tuned for more information.

We leave you with these inspirational words from Ari Lacenski, one of our speakers:

  1. Love yourself and the people around you
  2. Doubt happens
  3. It's okay to geek out