Belated Ada Lovelace tribute to Stephanie Bendixsen (@HexSteph)

Ada Lovelace Day is a yearly event to celebrate awesome women in IT and tech who inspire. It’s about both celebrating girl geeks and also breaking down stereotypes to encourage more young girls and young people generally into IT.

This year I wanted to do my Ada Lovelace tribute to Stephanie Bendixsen (Hex), the new Good Game presenter and all round awesome gaming geek. You can also follow her on twitter as HexSteph, on Tumblr, on her facebook fan page, she has a couple of amusing vids on Youtube as justsurreal and of course I recommend watching Good Game :).

I first came across her on Good Game – one of my favourite shows to chill and reconnect with my inner gamer πŸ˜‰ – where she joined as co-host in October 2009. I’ve watched the show for ages, and I think she’s doing an amazing job.

Some people whinge about it not being the same as it was with Junglist (the co-host before her) but I think they both have a different style, and they both are awesome. Personally I find her approach really funny, quirky and excellent for the show. Bajo, the other co-host is – as always – fantastic!

It should be said I usually look at the Good Game Review of a new game I’m considering, those rubber chickens have currency! πŸ™‚

The reason I wanted to write a bit about Hex is because she is an unapologetic and extremely enthusiastic gamer who has inspired me this last year and who I think is a great role model. She loves gaming: she loves playing, talking about and researching games and her commitment and presentation style has been awesome.

I look forward to meeting and gaming with her some time πŸ™‚

She had strict parents who were very anti-gaming, so no consoles or anything that looked like a game in the house. When she discovered the wonderful world of text-based RPGs she found she could play and her parents assumed it was homework or research.


Hex did her time doing tech support while she was at uni, and has possibly one of the world’s coolest jobs – playing and reviewing games. There is a short biography on the Good Game website worth looking through.

I guess another thing about Hex is that she has copped the widest possible range of human emotion online, from vitriol to over the top fanboiz, and has seemingly dealt with it all with good grace – another good lesson to learn from πŸ™‚

I think Hex is doing great work for the industry and for gamers, has inspired me and will be someone to watch as her career progresses.

Great work Hex, and keep on kicking butt, literally πŸ™‚

Happy Ada Lovelace Day – Silvia Pfeiffer

Today is Ada Lovelace Day, and below is my blog about a female geek I admire! Get writing your Ada Lovelace Day blog post, sign the pledge and add a link to your role model blog post to the Geek Feminism wikia page! This would be a great assignment for teachers to take to their schools to get students knowing about famous and accomplished women in technology πŸ™‚


Silvia Pfeiffer

I chose to do my Ada Lovelace blogpost on Dr Silvia Pfeiffer. Silvia has been a friend for many years, and she continues to be a technical, professional, academic and personal inspiration. She also let’s me stay over when I’m visiting Sydney and helps maintain my addiction to excellent takeaway Indian food, so this is my way of both showcasing Silvia as a fantastic ICT role model for women and girls, but also as a thank you for being such a role model for me πŸ™‚

Silvia has a broad swathe of skills and accomplishments. She is a software developer, project manager, AV guru, Open Source project lead for Annodex, Open Media advocate, co-founder and CEO of an up and coming Australian video metrics company called Vquence and much more. She used to work for the CSIRO as a researcher and software developer, and has forged a fascinating career around video and online media, putting her on the cutting edge of technology and emerging markets.


Silvia has also put substantial time into voluntary community community projects, including as a member of the Sydney Linux User Group committee, on the Pearcey Awards board, the head of AV for 2007 (which was the best video/audio coverage has ever seen), a constant participant in various open media and open standards events and committees, a participant in online accessibility work, the coordinator and founder of the Foundations of Open Media Software workshops, co-founder of OLPC Friends, and a volunteer for various Open Source events including Software Freedom Day, SLUG events, OLPC Friends events and more.

Some of the things that really amaze me about Silvia include her constant optimism, professionalism, business smarts and how she manages to balance all this while simultaneously being a fantastic mother, who for many years did this as a single parent.

Her wonderful son is learning programming – just like Mum – so who could ask for a better role model on Ada Lovelace Day πŸ™‚


If you want more information about Silvia, check out her brief biography, her blog, and the many articles she’s written.

What are you doing for International Women’s Day?

International Women’s Day is coming up on the 8th March. Considering I’m in a new town and all, I’m not sure what I’m going to be doing, but I was recently told about a women’s lunch get together in Sydney happening on the 6th that sounds fun.

IWD Brown Bag Lunch
Our plan is simple: bring your own lunch and join us to support International Women’s Development Agency (IWDA) charity and network with likeminded people. Entry is free, gold coin asked to help cover room rental costs and donations to IWDA will be collected separately.

Sounds like fun πŸ™‚ And I know a lot of really awesome geek women will be there like Kate Carruthers and Spiderlily Redgold. Should be fun!

There is also an Aussiechix Python gaming hackfest on March 14th which should be awesome! And a FITT IWD Lunch event which is $120 a head unless you are a FITT member, which is $90 a head. Add events in your community to the comments below.

Even if you aren’t going to any event for IWD, take a moment to think about all the women in your life, their challenges and achievements, and about how you are helping contribute to a world where negative gender discrimination is eliminated. Of course, IWD is also a great opportunity to think about any negative discrimination, and how we can equal the playing field for everybody πŸ™‚

And don’t forget about Ada Lovelace Day, March 24th! Blog about an awesome geek woman you know!

Ada Lovelace Day – Blog about a geek woman you admire – 24th March

Ada Lovelace Day is coming up, and I’ve been meaning to blog about it for a while. Basically the day is about highlighting awesome women in tech, and the purpose is to provide great role models for young girls such that they might be inspired to get into IT for a career.

Recent research by psychologist Penelope Lockwood discovered that women need to see female role models more than men need to see male ones. That’s a relatively simple problem to begin to address. If women need female role models, let’s come together to highlight the women in technology that we look up to. Let’s create new role models and make sure that whenever the question β€œWho are the leading women in tech?” is asked, that we all have a list of candidates on the tips of our tongues.

So, think of an awesome tech woman you know, in particular the quiet accomplished geeks in the wings, and blog about her on Ada Lovelace Day. Sign the Ada Lovelave Pledge and let’s see if we can get a few thousand role model profiles. Would encourage you all to also link your blog post to the Geek Feminism Wikia site where I’ve added a new page for female geek role models, so add any other links you can think of that are useful.

Thanks everyone! Please also pass this information on to schools and teachers you know, who in turn can use the profiles as role models for students. Female geek role models are important for for young women and for young men, because if every new young geek already knows a few female geeks, then perhaps the assumption that we don’t exist won’t pervade πŸ™‚ Plus it will encourage more girls into the industry which is awesome.