Ada Lovelace Day

Today is Ada Lovelace Day, an international day of blogging to draw attention to women excelling in technology. I like the idea of this day, it is far more positive than the perennial “where are the women in tech” debates, and by highlighting a wide range of women and telling their stories it shows exactly where the women are. The posts I have read today have shown the wide variety of roles women work in, and how they have not only made a contribution themselves in their field, but have also inspired other women to do likewise.

After considering who I should write about today I picked a woman who has very recently been an inspiration to me, and that woman is Natalie Downe.

As many readers will know I am a less than confident public speaker, and the fear of public speaking is something I shared with Natalie. We both have significant others who are very comfortable with public speaking and, perhaps in a very female way, can find ourselves hiding and letting them get on with doing the presenting thing – after all we still get to go to the conferences!

However Natalie is not only a great front-end developer with lots to share, she also has an infectious enthusiasm for absolutely everything. When talking about web development I have always known her to be knowledgeable, funny, opinionated and bright, and exactly the sort of person who should be presenting. So the fact that in the past few months she has worked to overcome her fear and start presenting is a real inspiration to me, and I hope to other women (or men!) who feel that they can’t overcome their nerves and present to an audience.

Iain Scott on the 22 Apr 2009:

There was a time when public speaking was a no go area. I realised for the agency I work for to grow, I needed to do a lot more of it!

It’s not such much of a fear anymore and I agree that to overcome that fear, you should do more.

I recommend a local ToastMasters group. I attend one in Covent Garden, and apart from meeting likeminded people who share fears of public speakings, it’s also great fun.

Auk on the 30 Apr 2009:

Dear,

Your HTML Utopia Designing Without Tables Using CSS 2nd Edition book is nice , and great CSS examples..

thanks for writing this type of book…

mike press on the 18 May 2009:

All it took for me was one sucessful presentation to become confident but the reverse can take time to recover from. Its certainly not just a female thing.

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