What women have inspired you in your tech career?

In the spirit of celebrating International Women’s Day (March 8), we at Sonar want to know what women have played an important role in your career and why they’ve inspired you. Tell us all about it!

9 Likes

Don’t know if it fits for this question, but especially for that forum i believe @ganncamp is a great go to.
She’s an inspiriation for years, my first informations about Sonarqube I got from her book

13 Likes

@Rebse I have to say @ganncamp as well. She was the first person I interacted with on the SonarQube Google Groups in ~2017, who recommended me for a job at SonarSource and who I now have the pleasure of working with every day! We learn from each other every day on a personal and professional level.

Outside of my own career, I always remember Margaret Hamilton, who alongside developing flight software for the apollo missions, is credited with coining the term “software engineering”. And of course Grace Hopper who invented COBOL.

4 Likes

Even if I did not know it at the time, I think I should say Bonnie MacBird. I watched the Tron movie in English at an age I did not know any English words, and it still felt magical.

And more recently, Barbara Liskov. I never directly read her work, but their influence (the LSP) helped me bridge the gap between programming and computer science.

4 Likes

I am a physicist, so I would definitely say Marie Curie and Emmy Noether. Considering more recent women, I greatly admire Fabiola Gianotti.

3 Likes

There are 2 women who inspired me to choose a career in tech.
My mother who used to design underground stations on a paper. When I was at school she had to relearn her profession by studying how to use PC and AutoCAD software. I was impressed.
Gillian Anderson and particularly her hero Dana Skully who was smart, brave and able to reveal the secrets. I painted my hair in ginger and entered the university to study Information Security to be more like her.

6 Likes

Gotta chime in here and give kudos to my first manager, Jesse Duke(who is definitely not part of the community). She was instrumental in my career getting off the ground, supported me through some of the toughest situations I have faced in my life, and did it all with such overwhelming joy. Very thankful for her guidance and all the other women in my life!

4 Likes

My hero was Ada Lovelace ! She was the 1st woman and pioneer software developer : “Ada saw something that Babbage in some sense failed to see. In Babbage’s world his engines were bound by number…What Lovelace saw…was that number could represent entities other than quantity. So once you had a machine for manipulating numbers, if those numbers represented other things, letters, musical notes, then the machine could manipulate symbols of which number was one instance, according to rules. It is this fundamental transition from a machine which is a number cruncher to a machine for manipulating symbols according to rules that is the fundamental transition from calculation to computation—to general-purpose computation—and looking back from the present high ground of modern computing, if we are looking and sifting history for that transition, then that transition was made explicitly by Ada in that 1843 paper”. She was my idol in college when I was studying computer engineering :slight_smile:

3 Likes

Have you heard of Dame Steve Shirley who has a remarkable story, from arriving in the UK via the Kindertransport, to taking evening classes to finally be able to pursue Mathematics (women were not allowed to study the sciences other than botany), to founding a freelance programmers company with a 99:1 ratio of women to men, targeting underemployed mothers with flexible working policies & WFH? She was way ahead of her time!

Some of the projects they worked on included programming the Concorde’s black box flight recorder and to develop & maintain software standards that were eventually adopted by NATO.

Upon her retirement, as she had shared her stake in the company with her staff, 70 of her staff became millionaires!

Check out her TED Talk and more of her story here and here.

PS She’s actually Stephanie, but changed her name to Steve due to sexism.

7 Likes
  • Joanna Rutkowska for her security-related work and for creating Qubes OS, a security-oriented OS leveraging virtualization to create secured isolated environments (an idea that is now also used in Windows in some capacities)
  • Alyssa Ross for her work on Spectrum OS, a security-oriented OS currently in development, also leveraging virtualization to create isolated environments.
  • Alyssa Rosenzweig for her work with free graphics drivers and for helping to port Linux to Apple M1 computers.

Nassime Z. for getting me my first consulting job in IT!

3 Likes

Agnès Crépet is really my role model. She is a very successful technical leader (now Head of Software Longevity & IT at Fairphone). She has strong values, empowers people, and when I met her, she actually concretely helped me get started with my career.

I would like to mention also Laetitia Avrot. She’s a very influential Postgres expert, Field CTO, and speaking at many very big conferences. She inspires me a lot when it comes to technical career, and speaking in public about tech stuff!

2 Likes

I really admire Indra Nooyi, a business executive and CEO and Michelle Obama - both strong and inspiring women to current and future generations!

1 Like

My highschool Business Computer Information System (BCIS) teacher, Mrs. Heckathorn!

I am a first Gen American, the daughter of Salvadoran immigrants that had no technical knowledge and unfortunately did not have a computer in my home growing up. Growing up in the 90s, my knowledge of computers was only AOL :sweat_smile:

I signed up for BCIS (Business Computer Information Systems) when in Highschool to better help my knowledge to ramp up for college. Before walking into the classroom, I noticed Mrs. Heckathorns big smile while greeting her students into the class, and cracking jokes to make students laugh as they walked in. Looking back, that was indicative of her teaching method; to have fun!

She made the class fun, and so inquisitive that it helped me discover my passion for tech and inspired me to seek a career in anything tech related. What I carried on from her classes is the theme that “if you don’t know how – you can learn!”. This is a mindset I carry with me for life!

There are a few teachers that most people can remember during their lives. There are even fewer that make a huge impact and influence your life. Thank you, Mrs. Heck! :flamingo:

P.S. She loves flamingos

6 Likes

After checking out this Code review presentation Code Review Best Practices - Trisha Gee Trisha Gee is definitely a woman who is passionate about the technologies and clean code, so her example is really inspiring!

3 Likes