Pia Waugh: An interview for Ada Lovelace Day 2009

Painting of Ada Lovelace

It’s Ada Lovelace Day! 24th March has been selected by Suw Charman-Anderson as an international day of blogging to draw attention to women excelling in technology. This is my contribution.

Augusta Ada King, Countess of Lovelace, known in modern times simply as Ada Lovelace, was the daughter of Lord Byron of poetry fame. A mathematician, she’s widely regarded as the world’s first computer programmer.

“Women’s contributions often go unacknowledged, their innovations seldom mentioned, their faces rarely recognised,” says Charman-Anderson. “We want you to tell the world about these unsung heroines.”

For my contribution, I decided to interview Australian geek girl Pia Waugh, and this is the result — the first time I’ve actually edited video with my own hands. Well, with a computer. Enjoy. It runs for just under nine minutes.

If the embedded video player (above) doesn’t work, try over at Viddler.

This is is also my first attempt at building a workflow for recording video interviews. There may more in the future.

9 Replies to “Pia Waugh: An interview for Ada Lovelace Day 2009”

  1. This is very good for your first attempt at video workflow. I’ll be more careful on camera work next time if there’s any.

  2. Thanks Stil, it was a really fun video and it worked out really well! Thanks for coming to visit me in Yass, and thanks also to Pong and Nick!

  3. @Pia Waugh: Ah, I see you’ve already found the video! Thank you!

    I’ve also just replaced the video with a new version which is identical in every way except that it gives full credit to photographer Yvette Johanson for the picture of the Westpac bank building in Yass.

  4. Loved it… Great subject matter, great interviewee and great interviewer. Is that good English?

    @Stilgherrian when are you going to interview Senator Stephen Conroy?

  5. @Gordon Whitehead: Thank you, Sir! While I’ve done a lot of radio over the years — hence being comfortable doing interviews — I haven’t really played with video. As my very first go at editing the footage, I’m reasonably happy and I’ve learned lots.

    Me interview Senator Conroy? I’d love to! So would lots of other people. But he’s not doing many interviews at all these days. That said, tomorrow night he’s on ABC TV’s Q&A answering audience questions. Live. It should be fun — though perhaps not for him.

    @Fergus Pitt: Thank you. There’s a growing list of Ada Lovelace Day blog posts — more than 800 last time I looked! It includes a map mashup too, though that wasn’t working earlier.

  6. Thanks Stil…

    It’s fantastic that you’ve supported Ada Lovelace Day with an interview that illuminates on many levels.

    1. Sure, women are under represented, by volume, in the IT workforce. However, they are also commonly to be thought of, portrayed as, providing supportive, or periphery roles… Pia obviously likes to gets her hands dirty, deep down in geekish mud.
    2. Pia has made positive decisions about her IT career that rsync with what she see as important in her life as a women.
    3. Pia is a great example of how ‘moving out’ does not mean ‘missing out’. Regional Broadband policy anyone?
    4. Pia is contributing to a remarkably important project that will enable children to access resources beyond their ‘normal’ ability or situation. I hope more women are involved in the ground level implementation… to be that role model that is needed.

    Kudos to you Stil for your Foreign Correspondent-esque travel to Yass for the story…

    And to Pia… thank you for sharing your story, keep up the great work.


  7. @Brendan Sainsbury: Thanks, mate. Pia is an amazing person and a brilliant network administrator.

    When at the Unnamed Rural Primary School (URPS?), she realised I had my own wireless broadband, independent of the school’s Wi-Fi. Thank you, Telstra Next G. Could I share it out, she asked.

    Under an hour later, with the assistance of our driver and fellow geek Matthew Hall, she’d simulated one OLPC XO computer being at another remote school, connecting over the Internet through two layers of network address translation (NAT) and however many firewalls, to establish a live video chat session “between schools”. Awesome.

    As an aside, ’Pong’s video of the OLPC trial at the URPS is now online at the website of the NSW Department of Education and Training’s Centre for Learning Excellence.

Comments are closed.