".. She is mainly known for having written a description of Charles Babbage's early mechanical general-purpose computer, the analytical engine. She is today appreciated as the "first programmer" since she was writing programs—that is, manipulating symbols according to rules—for a machine that Babbage had not yet built. She also foresaw the capability of computers to go beyond mere calculating or number-crunching while others, including Babbage himself, focused only on these capabilities."The Melbourne Tech Heroine I would like to focus on here is Donna Benjamin.
Donna is a passionate contributor to the Australian ICT community. Too often we can be easily carried away by the hype, glitz and gloss that is used to polish the technical toys we let ourselves become carried away with. In spite of this distraction, Donna is quick to spot a creative opportunity or application, often starting by asking the hard questions and working from the grass roots. She has helped to direct, manage and run with clock-work efficiency many IT conferences and training events, Over the past few years when I have had the good fortune to have worked alongside Donna, I have admired her keen technical eye and attention to detail. I continue to be moved by her sense of freedom, social equality and wish to make a difference. When she is not helping build bridges between different Australian communities, she openly shares her advice, knowledge and reflections across many different forums.
When I was left behind at a 2008 conference, exhausted and left alone to pack and ship dozens of computers, it was Donna who helped rally and enthuse others to roll up their sleeves and lend me a hand.
Tonight, I applaud her efforts, support and contribution to our community.
Ada would be proud :-)