Ada Lovelace Day 2009

In the normal course of a day I tend to volunteer for far more things than I have time to complete. This has happened once again for Ada Lovelace Day. I can never say no to crazy pledges so here I am with a very short expression of thanks to someone who has helped me in my walk through the insanity of programming.

I've been using PHP for a long time, since one of the 4 betas. But my foray into C and the internals of PHP is only about two years old. I never would have had the confidence or learned the skills I needed to transition from "just another PHP developer" into something more without the help of Sara Golemon.

Sara works for Yahoo! and has her fingers on so many PHP extensions that it might make you dizzy (oooh shiny syndrome... we all have it). When I was first starting to leap into C and learn both the basics and the weirdness that is on the inside of PHP, she was always there to answer questions no matter how stupid. Some were VERY stupid (pointers took me a bit).

That hand-holding in the beginning, and her encouragement (yes, you write nice clean C code always makes a person smile) gave me the confidence to keep going even when segfaults made me want to hurl the machine out the window.

I can remember a particular incident where I was giving a talk on an extension that had some issues I hadn't quite figured out. She took the time (and we even had a drunken coding session instead of partying more) to help get it ready in time for the talk.

Finally there's the note written in my copy of her book - it says "Welcome to Evil" - in the true spirit of mentorship she was happy to help me get "up to speed" no matter her cost in time and energy.

So thanks Sara, for all the questions answered no matter how foolish and the encouragement to keep coding.



That's a lovely story. I have read Sara's blog quite a few times and she seemed a very nice person, easy to come along with. Your post definitely confirmed it :)

Great to see more Ada-inspired women making great computer stuff. I'm very proud!

2009-11-08 2:53 pm

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