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.
I first met Alice 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.
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.
 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.