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Ada Lovelace Day

posted Mar 24, 2009, 5:27 AM by Leslie Elsaifi Davidson
Today,  March 24th, is Ada Lovelace Day.  Ada Lovelace was one of the first women computer programmers and this day's purpose is to honor her and all women in the sciences.  I pledged to blog about this topic in honor of Ada Lovelace, so here I go.
I want to honor my cousin Carol Larson.  Not only is she one of the most unique women I know, she has built her own technical company from the ground up.  Her stories of giving up vacations for a decade and refurbishing hundreds of computing devices have inspired me.  She once gave me a tour of the company offices and I was amazed at how organized the networking was (I'd always seen networking as a confusing and chaotic tangle of equipment that was so difficult to troubleshoot).  Not only does Carol help run the company, she does the dirty, non-glamorous work as well.  I've always been able to relate to her stories of getting down on the ground and hooking up computers.
A couple of years ago, I was at a family reunion.  As a room full of 30 or more family members waited, Carol and I put our heads together to get an old video of the family showing on a projector to honor one of the family's great matriarchs.  I remember thinking I can't do this, and definitely not with all these people watching me (especially because I was new to the technical support field).  But Carol's confidence and knowledge soothed my nerves and we got everything working smoothly.
Now I am a Software Engineer, something I've dreamed of being since I was 14 years old, but never thought I would be able to do.  Carol is one of the people who inspired me to make that leap and jump out of my comfort zone to enter the software development field.  I'm learning alot every day and am loving my work.  Needless to say, I am much happier now!  Carol told me that I deserve this and she was right.
I want to thank Carol Larson and every other woman in the sciences for paving the way for girls like me to live their dreams!