Oct. 15th, 2013

vla22: photo of Atli's throne, Torcello, Venice (Default)
 I tweeted earlier today about three people whose work I admire. I thought I'd write a bit more this evening, and add a fourth.

My mother, former Senior Lecturer at City University, London, modeller at Rolls Royce and Associates 

She was working in tech in the late 60s and early 70s, including that mathematical modelling stint at RR&A. A child-related career break (OK, she took time off to have me), led to a career change, which eventually led to her lecturing in medical statistics. She co-authored an awful lot of papers in a short space of time. It's an excellent concrete example of how you can change what you do, and how you can be successful.

Dr Laura James, a founding director of makespace.org, co-CEO of okfn.org/

Laura was my manager in my very first job in tech. She's a visionary who can turn that vision into a sensible, achievable plan. Having had other managers since then, I've started to see how very, very rare that is. Makespace is an incredibly cool project, and I'm really starting to warm to the Open Knowledge Foundation after reading her blog posts. 

Jennie Fletcher, lead developer for cudl.lib.cam.ac.uk/

I've worked with Jennie for the past 18 months. I've been QA-ing her code, and I've been impressed with the consistent quality of the code she's produced. I'm also impressed with how the site works - I've had cause to use several sites which put scanned manuscripts etc. online, and, while CUDL's not perfect, it's definitely the best one I've used so far. That's at least in part because of the work Jennie's done on big, structural things. If I were composing a list of top 5 programmers whose work I've been involved in testing, Jennie would be on that list. I find that quite inspiring.

Professor Dame Athene Donald, professor at the Cavendish Lab, shortly to become Master of Churchill College Cambridge

She's shown me that women who are at the top of their field still experience everyday sexism, still feel uncertainty and a lack of confidence, still run across those unwritten rules. This makes me feel that I'm part of a community of STEM people, that I might be able to achieve something. It also reminds me of the equality that we should be striving to achieve.



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vla22: photo of Atli's throne, Torcello, Venice (Default)
Verity Allan

December 2014

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