Profiling Female Engineers at Citrix on Lady Ada Lovelace day 2012

Lady Ada Lovelace, the world’s first computer programmer was a 19th-century mathematician who collaborated with Charles Babbage on his theoretical “Analytical Engine,” the world’s first computer.

October 16th is celebrated as “Ada Lovelace Day,” on which women  in Science, Tech, Engineering and Mathematics are celebrated for their work, whether contemporary or historical. The day to honor her began in 2009, when nearly 2,000 people pledged to blog about women in technology, using Oct. 16 as a marker.

Shirley Chiu, (Sr Prinicipal Sw Test Engineer) recognized her love for technology in Grade school, because she always loved puzzles, computers and Math. While she doesn’t have a single defining moment that explained her entry into the tech industry, her interest was mainly due to her parents influence. They were very keen she do something practical out of college.

She believes her biggest accomplishments have been largely through the success of all the people she influences in and beyond the QA department at Citrix OSD. Her advice? “Just feel that you have to love learning new things all the time and constantly share the knowlege you have gained with others. “

Amanda Helman, (Staff Sw Engineer) was the first female Software Engineer at OSD. She says her mother was her biggest role model as a woman in tech. She taught Amanda how to program and ran the computer lab in her school. Amanda very quickly found her calling when she figured out she could write programs to do anything she wanted; including talk back to her! She would have scripted conversations with them instead of imagining her stuffed animals talked!

Amanda wanted to be in the Tech industry, instead of her original choice of Art, when she took her first Computer Science classes in High School. It was just as much fun as Art, but had much clearer parameters for sucess! Having a big brother who was a programmer was a major plus as well. Her advice? “Speak your mind – sometimes I’m tempted to censor myself because I fear the things I say will be taken differently just because I’m a woman, but you can’t let such hypotheticals control you.”

Kimaya Mittal, (Principal Research Engineer) fell in love with programming when she took her first Computer classes in High School.  The subject being a natural fit for her, she realized immediately it was what she wanted to do!

She recognizes her biggest achievement is her work over the last three years designing, analyzing and continuously improving the bandwidth management technology that powers GoToMeeting HDFaces.

Her advice? “Do what you love and what best fits your interests and talents. To me, that is the only way to be truly happy – in technology or otherwise.”

On Ada Lovelace day I encourage you to think about which woman in tech inspires you? What do you think you can accomplish in order to be a role model to younger girls?