Celebrating Ada Lovelace Day 2023
It’s Ada Lovelace Day, so we’re highlighting some of the women in tech we follow, learn from and are inspired by
Born in 1815, Ada Lovelace was a computing science pioneer and is considered to be the world’s first computer programmer. The international day named in her honour celebrates the achievements of women in science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM). As well as sponsoring Ada Lovelace Day this year, we’re marking it by sharing some of the women in tech we follow, read and listen to, and explaining why we find their work useful.
Olivia Campbell, Junior Ops Engineer
I value the work that Jessie Auguste and Amber Shand do on the Glowing in Tech podcast. It’s a safe platform for marginalised voices in the tech industry to share what they’ve learned and experienced. Well done Jessie and Amber!
Nina Belk, Lead User Researcher
I’m a big fan of Erika Hall, I love the way she writes — so forthright. She’s fantastic at critiquing the way design and product develop and use research insights, as well as providing easy to apply frameworks and approaches. Anyone who wants to know more about how and when to do research, I’d highly recommend giving her a follow.
Sam Ladner is another woman in tech I’m a big fan of. She’s got loads of practical advice for using ethnographic research in design and product contexts. Her Practical Ethnography book is fantastic.
With more of a focus on service design, Kate Tarling is great. She’s just written a brilliant book The Service Organisation that looks in detail at what it actually takes to deliver services well. Historically, the discourse around service design has largely focused on user-centricity. Whilst Kate is certainly an advocate for this, she talks more about what changes are needed within large organisations — how they organise work, set policy, manage services etc. to deliver services more effectively for end users. It’s the hidden magic of effective service design that often gets overlooked.
Etain Ní Fhearghail, Content Designer
Amy Hupe has stacks of experience with design systems and content design. She tweets about burnout, inclusivity and her occasional culinary mishaps. Earlier this year, Amy released a podcast, Systems of Harm. It looks at how design systems, for all their value, can perpetuate systemic harm and explores what we can do to mitigate this.
If you work with charities, you probably already know Lauren Pope, a content strategist with a special interest in arts organisations and charities. Lauren shares so much on her website, including tips on tools that will make your life easier, and advice on auditing and deleting content. She’s smart, honest and funny and her 10 things newsletter is incredibly helpful if content’s your jam.
Lola Harre, Senior Product Manager
I appreciate Melissa Perri’s Product Thinking Podcast for its focus on leadership and strategy, and the need to root products in their wider organisation. A lot of online product thinking can be either very high concept or very tool-focused. So I like that her discussions tend to include really actionable advice which is grounded in theory, plus there’s a great range of speakers with different approaches to product. The ‘Dear Melissa’ episodes, which answer questions from listeners, are particularly interesting as they show such a range of Product roles and the contexts they work in.
Alex Edwards, Interaction Designer
There’s one woman that immediately comes to mind. I find Cat Noone, the CEO and Co-Founder at Stark really inspiring. Especially in the realms of accessibility and, more recently in the last few years, how to be a good boss. I’ve had the pleasure of interacting with her and members of her team as a participant in usability testing. I could tell everyone was very comfortable just being themselves without having to put any ‘faces’ on.
Alice Richardson, User Researcher
I sometimes bump into Vicky Teinaki as she walks between coffee shops along the coast where we live (near Newcastle). She’s a friend in the real world, but also pops up everywhere online. Her background is in interaction design and her current role is UX Lead at the Student Loans Company. She basically does everything 10 times more rigorously than most humans: voracious reader, meticulous researcher and blogger, global networker. She’s always curious and really generous with her knowledge too – often the first to answer a question on X-gov Slack, giving talks and sharing links in her weeknotes. And she tells me where to get the best coffees!