My Ada Lovelace hero – guess who?

As you may have heard of, it is Ada Lovelace day today, an international day of blogging to draw attention to women excelling in technology. Several months ago (via jill txt, who has written a lovely blog about her tech mum), I pledged I would “publish a blog post on Tuesday 24th March about a woman in technology whom I admire”.

Ann Baekken, technology director, Dagbladet (Photo: Jørgen Stensrud)

Ann Baekken, technology director, Dagbladet (Photo: Jørgen Stensrud)

Well, here I am, and of all the cool tech ladies out there, I’ve chosen to write about my previous boss, Ann Baekken. She is now the technology director at Dagbladet, both print and online, but when I was working with her, she was heading the R&D at DB Medialab (Dagbladet), where I was working as a community manager. She is not famous, does not have a blog (as far as I know I was wrong, here it is), and she will probably think I’m out of my mind for doing this in public. I don’t know all the programming languages she knows, but she could always fix problems, no matter how stuck I was. She is a web designer by training and has been in the Norwegian tech industry since way back, at least the middle of the 1990s.

Her tech-know-how is one thing, but equally important, she was (and I assume she still is) a very good boss. She performed what Trond Arne Undheim (who has written a book about this topic) would have called “leadership from below”. She was fair and square, and did make the final decisions, but she also let us other go forward, suggest, take a lead, create and imagine. It is such a relief to see a boss who is curious and eager to learn new things. She was sitting and working amongst us, sharing stupid jokes, and joining when some of us had the chance to go out for a beer. is one of the most innovative online publications in Norway/Scandinavia, part of that is of course thanks to Ann. The people she employed and the working environment we were able to create, under her wings, was very inspiring. As technology director for both print and online (Dagbladet print is struggling these days), she needs all the well wishes and backing she can get.

If you want to check out more of my tech femme favorites, take a look at my guide to Blogging brunettes (and some blondes).

My friend Mindy wrote this incredible lovely blog post about me today, so sweet of her!

You can follow all the Ada Lovelace blog post on a map here.

By the way – Ada Lovelace (1815-1852), a mathematician and scientist,  is known as the world’s first programmer.

If you for some reason is not into Lovelace, you can always celebrate another “big” event today,  “European Day of Homemade Icecream”.

5 thoughts on “My Ada Lovelace hero – guess who?

  1. Very sorry I didn’t manage to post on this topic today… Got too carried away with installing content management systems and blogging about useless male ministers in Czech Republic.

    But I’m glad to see you did dig out the reference to the home made ice cream and I wasn’t joking about it…!

  2. Thanks, Bente, this was a pleasant surprise, would never have guessed 🙂

    BTW you’re one of the reasons I bought my first iPod (I used to be a Creative person). But I remember you were incredibly in love with your iPod, and completely heartbroken when it was broken (or lost)? Found that very amusing 🙂 But it got to me in the end!

  3. @Ann, I’m very happy to learn about your blog, that was news for me! Has already bookmarked it. You are now featured on the long list of impressive tech women gathered after Ada Lovelace day.

    @Jørgen, good to hear that she is still the boss:-) And thanks so much for letting me use your picture. For my readers- Jørgen is one of the photographers behind the excellent photo blog Frame Not Included.

    @Jon, if you are done with the miserable Czech mess, it is still not too late to contribute to the Ada Lovelace map🙂

  4. Ah, I forgot. The stolen iPod you mentioned, Ann. Yes, that was devastating, back in 2005. I even wrote an article about it. Never got it back though, but that iPod got me into the Apple universe.

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