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Ada Lovelace Day

'What a Difference a Day Makes...'

Tue Oct 16 16:35:27 2012

           MDK in SteamPunk visage

So today is the one day of the year that we say, 'yay we have women who can do tech', Ada Lovelace Day. Well, wow, great, thank gods that we can give them just one day...[1]

So why am I so dismissive,[2] I guess because I feel a little like Jean Rhys dismissing the recognition because of the barren years before, 'It has come too late'.

'Darlings', I hear myself saying in some educated English tones, 'it is too smaller gesture, too insignificant for me to care.'

We shouldn't have one day each year when we celebrate, appreciate, support, promote, think about, regard, acknowledge or admire inspirational women in tech, we should have just one day where we don't.

And why not men? Ethnic type? Age? I might hear you call, and I will respond, 'okay them too'. Let's try to make every day the day when we think about, promote, appreciate, admire and respect diversity in our cultures. Let's make every day a day when we try to improve the situation for our fellow members.

Why have just one day where we think about a woman who is inspirational? The women who inspire me are thought about a lot more often than once a year, and I don't think I should only write about them on this one day.

I would like to encourage you to value someone on any day of the year. I don't think it matters who they are. What they look like. What social ontology you division them under. But if you feel the need to address some social balance, right some injustice, then go ahead, but don't wait for the one day to do it. Do it every day.

Appreciate them for who they are. Value them on their own merits. If they are different in any way to you value that diversity. But celebrate just one day per division or class of person, I don't think I want to do that.

I want to value all the people I know, on each day I know them and I want to be able to discuss, or not discuss, their differences to me without that being the special reason to mention them.

And if I choose to appreciate women, or a woman, on just a single day, I will at least choose the day myself, and I might even choose one that has something to do with them, or the reason why I am thinking of them.

I don't just want it to be one day.

KDE is celebrating Ada Lovelace Day by providing live tutorials on #kde-tutorials IRC channel. Interested folks, please join! Timings and other information: Thanks to Chankey Pathak for the information and link.


[1] You can tell by the tone of this piece that I am being satirical, and that this is a personal opinion not an assault on beliefs. This isn't meant to reflect on those people who are writing excellent pieces about people who inspire them today. Please, read those pieces and learn about someone new who makes a difference to the person writing it. I have and will continue to do so. This is just about how I feel.

I would encourage support of the Ada Initiative and other complementary organisations who do continuous work to increase the participation of women in free culture and open source technology.

[2] I have in previous years written articles about women I admire on this day, though it was actually on a different day as we have moved the date around a little, though it now seems to have settled.

If anyone has feedback (and until we have a commenting system) please don't hesitate to email me at: m.keating [at], if your comments are useful, fun, or just plain interest to me, or if I think will be useful to others, then I will add them to the end of this post, let me know how you would like to be named (anon, nick etc.).

Mark Keating is: Managing Director of Shadowcat Systems Limited
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Mark Keating is the organiser of the London Perl Workshop (since 2008), has joined the organising team for the QA Hackathon in 2011, the TPF GSoC Mentors/organisers 2011, the Dynamic Languages Conference 2011.