Book Review: Dreaming in Code: Ada Byron Lovelace, Computer Pioneer

Dreaming in Code is a book about Ada Lovelace.  If you don’t know, Ada was the daughter of the poet Lord Byron and is considered the first computer programmer. (A female? gasp!)  Ada found out that she was better at work than motherhood and really enjoyed Math and Science.  I am familiar with her names because ADA is a programming language that is still used today at my job and Lovelace is thrown around with the AI debate.  It was a lot of fun to learn more about her and how she died with gambling debts and sold the family jewels to pay the bookkeepers.   Ada passed away when she was 36 years old but obviously her work in the STEM fields are still showing impacts today.

I received a free e-copy of this book in order to write this review, I was not otherwise compensated.

About the Book

This illuminating biography reveals how the daughter of Lord Byron, Britain’s most infamous Romantic poet, became the world’s first computer programmer.

Even by 1800s standards, Ada Byron Lovelace had an unusual upbringing. Her strict mother worked hard at cultivating her own role as the long-suffering ex-wife of bad-boy poet Lord Byron while raising Ada in isolation. Tutored by the brightest minds, Ada developed a hunger for mental puzzles, mathematical conundrums, and scientific discovery that kept pace with the breathtaking advances of the industrial and social revolutions taking place in Europe. At seventeen, Ada met eccentric inventor Charles Babbage, a kindred spirit. Their ensuing collaborations resulted in ideas and concepts that presaged computer programming by almost two hundred years, and Ada Lovelace is now recognized as a pioneer and prophet of the information age. Award-winning author Emily Arnold McCully opens the window on a peculiar and singular intellect, shaped — and hampered — by history, social norms, and family dysfunction. The result is a portrait that is at once remarkable and fascinating, tragic and triumphant.

Category: Book Review
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