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Kimberly Blessing

Giving Credit Where It's Due on Ada Lovelace Day 2014

3 min read

I haven't written a post for Ada Lovelace Day in a few years (last in 2010) and recent conversations have made one feel necessary. When the contributions and accomplishments of my female contemporaries on the Web are unknown to people just a generation behind, I get extremely concerned. After all, the making of the Web is the making of history in modern times. As I've pointed out before, we have the opportunity to document our times and lives unlike never before -- but data loss can occur. And it is.

Twenty years ago, when I was in college and learning how to create web pages, I pretty much had two sources of information: documentation written by TimBL and USENET newsgroups. But once I started working professionally, I realized that there was a wealth of information being printed on paper. And what I saw was that large numbers of these books on web development and design were being written by women.

Me and Molly HolzschlagMe with Molly Holzschlag

Women such as:

I wish I could tell you exactly how many books these women have collectively written -- I'm sure it's over 100 -- but quick searches of their bios and websites doesn't always make this data clear. Is it modesty? Do multiple editions make the numbers tricky? I don't know.

But when I mention the names of these women -- all of whom are still active online, many of whom are still writing (or speaking) about the web and programming -- to web developers today, I'm often met with blank stares. I'll have to mention that Lynda founded Lynda.com, (still!) one of the top online training sites, or that Jen co-founded the extremely popular ARTIFACT conference. I have to explain that Dori has helped run Wise Women's Web, one of the earliest communities for female developers online, and that we have Molly to thank for convincing Bill Gates and Microsoft to be more open about Internet Explorer development at Microsoft (there are so many articles to link to, but I want to link to Molly's old blog posts, which are gone *sadface*).

While my past ALD posts have been happy remembrances of people who've made positive impacts on my life, this post is written out of frustration -- and even a bit of anger -- that the contributions of these women are being forgotten or overlooked in their own time. Let's give credit where it's due. Comment or blog or tweet about the books written by these women that helped you learn your craft. Send them a thank you email or tweet. (In Molly's case, you can give to her fund.) Share this post or the links to these women's websites with someone who needs to learn about their foremothers. And just be thankful that women helped light the path for others by sharing knowledge about building the World Wide Web.

Kimberly Blessing

Q&A with Technically Philly

1 min read

Some insights on how I built a 10-person tech team at Think Brownstone that's nearly half women, and other thoughts on diversity in the web/tech field. Read the interview.

Kimberly Blessing

Shop Talk Show #85

1 min read

Chris Coyier and Dave Rupert invited me to join them on Shop Talk Show to -- what else? -- talk shop. We chatted about my trip to CERN, employer size, portfolios, and code-related stuff. Check it out!

Kimberly Blessing

Interview during LMB Hack Days

1 min read

I am so fortunate to have had the opportunity to participate in the Line-Mode Browser Hack Days at CERN. In this interview, I speak about why I think experiencing the line-mode browser is important today.

Kimberly Blessing

Optimizing Media Queries

1 min read

I revisited my CSS Dev Conf talk for the Responsive Web Design Summit, with additional data from an analysis of Microsoft.com. (What? Microsoft.com is responsive, you say? It is!) Same story, though: how you compose your media queries affects performance, but not consistently across browsers. Overall front-end optimization is still best! slides, data, and test code is all available.

Kimberly Blessing

Geek Talk Interview

1 min read

I recently did a short interview with The Geek Talk about how I got started with programming, my work day, and other geeky things. Check it out!

Kimberly Blessing

Get and Stay Hired

1 min read

I was invited to speak at BlogHer this year, on a panel called Get and Stay Hired: Social Media and Technical Skills in Today’s Job Market. Kelly Feller covered the social media piece while I spoke about the tech side. We had a great conversation with the audience, and you can listen to it here!

Kimberly Blessing

Easy Steps to Improve Page Load Times

1 min read

You could spend months researching and testing Web site optimization techniques, but right now, you probably want to know what the quick wins are, right? In this article Kimberly Blessing will teach you five basic steps to optimize the front-end experience and improve page load times.

At Peachpit.

Kimberly Blessing

Planning for and Managing Browser Support

1 min read

With a flurry of new browsers hitting users’ computers and mobile devices this year, everyone involved with the Web has had to scramble to ensure that their sites are compatible with the latest and greatest. This has left many Web professionals and business teams wondering, “What browsers should my site support?” Kimberly Blessing helps you answer that question.

At Peachpit.

Kimberly Blessing

Checking Out: Progress Meters

1 min read

Kimberly Blessing takes a look at some different methods for marking up the progress meters commonly found on site checkouts. Particularly looking with respect to semantics and accessibility, Kimberly presents a neat solution of her own. Check it out. (sorry!)

At 24ways.org.