Couldn’t resist the alliteration!  Spent last Friday at BCS (that’s British Computer Society) HQ where I learnt the basics of building apps for Android phones using the developer’s kit (ADK); plus in the evening attended an event with women from all levels of geekdom talking on subjects as diverse as the universe to LEDs embedded in clothing!

This was in honour of Ada Lovelace, I quote from BCS :

“Ada Lovelace lived during the first half of the 19thCentury (1815-1852) and wrote extensively about Charles Babbage’s analytical engine, and is respected for her work on the first recognisable algorithm”.

She also had a programming language named after her in the 70s – wonder if it’s still in use in some MoD apps?

All over the world events were held to celebrate female scientists and technologists; you can also add your thoughts at http://findingada.com/.

Back to Android: First we built a basic Android app – a 21st century version of the classic ‘Hello World!’  The ADK uses puzzle like blocks to assemble the underlying code so no programming experience was needed, although I found that having done something similar in the past did help with following what was happening. My team managed to produce a bouncing musical note which when you caught it went ‘WooHoo’.   May not sound much but we were pleased.

The evening’s speakers included:  Helen Arney, Maggie Philbin, Gia Milinovich, Helen Keen, Kate Smurthwaite, Dr Sue Black, Dr Maggie Aderin-Pocock.  All the speakers were very entertaining, but I was keen to speak to Gia about her latest venture  which she demo’d to us – soft circuits using arduinos and LEDs, if I have that right.  One day when I have more time, and knowledge, I’ll experiment.  Was also blown away by the images that Dr Maggie showed us of the galaxies past the edge of our own one.  A wonderful, inspiring day.

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