SAP Community Cares

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Ada Lovelace Day and The SAP Community Network

Thanks to a Facebook invite from the inimitable Sandy Kemsley , I learned about Ada Lovelace Day a few months back.
Suw Charman-Anderson, herself a fascinating woman wrote: “I will publish a blog post on Tuesday 24th March about a woman in technology whom I admire but only if 1,000 other people will do the same.”

By the way, for those of you, who like myself weren’t sure who Ada is, Suw Charman-Anderson explains: “Ada Lovelace was one of the world’s first computer programmers, and one of the first people to see computers as more than just a machine for doing sums. She wrote programmes for Charles Babbage’s Analytical Engine, a general-purpose computing machine, despite the fact that it was never built.”

Now as a value add in my job as an SAP Community Evangelist, I have the privilege of knowing some of the smartest techies on the planet. So my first and only challenge in role models was finding “A” woman… as in limiting myself to a single role model.

I found that approach a tiny bit…well…limiting. And soon realized rather than to try to name every remarkable woman in Technology I know or know of, I could introduce people outside my SAP Community Network and perhaps even inside that community, to some of the women of the community I admire. So I’ll name just a few (second huge challenge) of my local heroines and by linking you to their blogs, tweets, or wiki profiles allow you all the pleasure of discovery or perhaps further introduction.

Bhanu Gupta – I first met Bhanu during SAP TechEd in September 2006, when she attended the first Business Process Expert Day, but I had been a fan of this Business Intelligence nova for a long while before that, as she rapidly became one of the most prolific forum participants on the SAP Developer Network attaining top contributor ranking internationally. She told a great community story as many of the folks in the community didn’t realize she was a woman.

Anne Kathrine Petteroe – Ann also told a great community story of how twitter facilitated our meeting her in the SAP headquarters during an SCN Meetup in Walldorf – Later, I had the privilege to meet with Anne again when she came to TechEd Berlin 2008 as one of the developers of ESME and a powerful contestant in “Demo Jam”.

Moya Watson – Technical evangelist and all around SAP superstar, Moya, writes like a dynamo and shepherds software solutions to release. Moya introduced me to the world of digital anthropology through her blog posts on the SAP Developer Network and celebrated women in technology by pointing to the book O'Reilly Goes Live with Women In Technology Series

Dafna Yanay a tools mentor and community evangelist for Visual Composer . This Israeli who studied industrial engineering garnered comments and followers on her blog posts from every corner of the globe and is a frequent speaker at SAP TechEd.

Ginger Gatling was my teacher and mentor in a number of SAP related technical courses and has been a colleague for over a decade. Can’t say enough good things about the way she transfers knowledge to thousands of people online and at live events. She has this way of explaining technology that makes you feel “you get it”. She introduced me to Susan Keohan who goes under the code name SAP Workflow Goddess and who is an active ASUG (SAP User Group) volunteer leader who in turn introduced me to Gretchen Lindquist who has been “working in SAP Security since 1997… the lead configurator and technical support analyst for an SAP partner system in her ERP landscape” and somehow it seems like I’ve know forever yet another ASUG leader Karin Tillotson, Technical Lead for Valero’s SAP Data Archiving Project.

And lastly, one of my newest …and perhaps youngest heroines, another colleague and community member Jen Robinson whose simple list of places you can find her “Elsewhere” belies the depth, maturity and passionate commitment those activities have her engaged in.

And now since I see my list is already 9 women, I’ll conclude with a warm acknowledgment and shout out to the other techie women in our SAP Community Network, colleagues, mentors, fellow community members whose ranks thankfully are swelling and can be seen coaching Business Expert topics, mentoring developers, coding solutions, supporting process integrations and representing a world of talented women, who have chosen to follow a career path in technology.