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Belated Ada Lovelace day post

I know I’m run­ning late, I’ve barely had time to think lately, let alone try to assemble a coher­ent blog post. But yes­ter­day was Ada Lovelace day and I wanted to draw some atten­tion to one of the less vocal but def­in­itely no less import­ant mem­bers of the Sydney IT com­munity; good friend and crack geek fem­in­ist ninja Alice Boxhall.

(appar­ently I don’t have a pic­ture of her doing any­thing par­tic­u­larly nerdy)

I first met Alice[1] not too long after she was hired by Google, as the sole female engin­eer in their Sydney office. Hap­pily, that doesn’t seem to be the case any more, but she con­tin­ues to do a lot of great work as an IT evan­gel­ist. Along with Pia Waugh, Alice works with school-age girls encour­aging them to get involved with com­put­ing, most recently at the Go Go Girl for IT event. She’s also been involved with local Aus­siechix events, help­ing run the micro-confs in Sydney and Mel­bourne last year, as well as being involved in Linux­chix miniconfs at recent LCAs.

I’m always impressed by her encyc­lo­pedic know­ledge of the issues women face, both in the pro­fes­sional IT sphere and else­where, and the pas­sion and clar­ity she brings to defend­ing her rights and the rights of other women. I listened in on Alice’s group dur­ing the Evan­gel­ising IT work­shop at the Linux­chix miniconf this year, which came up with some excel­lent strategies for try­ing to keep girls (and boys as well!) inter­ested in com­put­ing. It was one of the high­lights of LCA for me this year.

Linuxchix miniconf: Evangelising IT workshop

On a com­pletely unre­lated note, Alice is a very tal­en­ted pho­to­grapher who shares my love for old-school pic­ture mak­ing. Hav­ing a chance to learn from her both behind the cam­era and in the dark­room is just another reason for me to feel inspired by her work.

[1] For the record, I believe this happened shortly after my then-housemate, Jamie also star­ted work at Google. I arrived home one after­noon to find half the Google office in our pool.