In honor of Ada Lovelace Day...

VCU Engineering’s women in computer science share their insights on day named for first computer programmer.

In honor of Ada Lovelace Day ... Advice for women in programming

October 12 is Ada Lovelace Day, an international day celebrating the achievements of women in STEM. Lovelace has been called "the first computer programmer" for writing an algorithm for a computing machine in the mid-1800s. In honor of Ada Lovelace, we caught up with VCU Engineering’s female computer science faculty members to ask their advice for other women in computing.


Caroline Budwell, Ph.D. Associate Professor Advice: Be confident in your ability to be successful, but be ready and willing to work hard and to understand that you might not always succeed on the first try. It is okay to ask for help. Bridget McInnes, Ph.D. Associate Professor Advice: Computers are in all segments of society. If you are interested in computer science AND art OR music OR biology OR medicine OR history OR archeology … interesting problems lie in these intersections. Society needs individuals who can innovate within them.Debra Duke, M.S. Undergraduate Programs Director Advice: If I were entering the computer science field today the first thing that I would do is talk to women already in the field. Organizations such as The National Center for Women & Information Technology (NCWIT) and Women Who Code provide a supportive environment to help with all aspects of career development in computing fields. Having a mentorCarol Fung, Ph.D. Associate Professor Advice: Go girl! You are smart to choose the right field. A bright future is waiting for you.