Ada Lovelace Day: Angie Ahl

One of the most striking uses of PledgeBank in recent times was the pledge made by 1700 people to commemorate Ada Lovelace’s birthday by blogging about an inspiring woman in the technology world.

I have had several possible choices, but I’ve decided on Angie Ahl, mySociety’s 4th and most recent full time developer.

Angie is mySociety through and through. A born perl hacker, never happier than knee deep in some grungy regular expressions, she’s also gifted with an inate understanding of the possibilities of technology for democratic reform. At interview I asked her what change she’d like to see happen from the government side of our sector, and she replied that she thought the biggest possible win was to publish Bills in parliament in a proper format. You might have heard all this before, thanks to Free Our Bills, but Angie was commenting several months before we ever discussed the idea for the campaign with anyone else. She’d just looked at the world and the obvious problem had jumped out, clear as day.

Sadly, it’s no secret than Angie’s been seriously ill for some time. Despite this she’s managed things that’d be beyond me in the best of health: I’m only typing into wordpress now because she migrated the whole of this site from our previous system.  She came to our retreat back in January and showed an unerring ability to ask tough questions of the right people, even when tired.

Angie beat a 100% male field to get the job she has now.  She’s unpretentious, straight talking and as glowingly warm to be near as a roaring log fire.  She’s also getting married within the next few days. Congrats, Angie: Tommy couldn’t have done better.



  1. Amen to that. Angie “invented” stop lights for the car at 5, watching vehicles brake in front on a journey. She was using a Mac SE at around 1980,before www, and a full geek by 10. Her grammar school technology project was design and build a “D drum”, electronic drum kit, from scratch with bits from Maplins and her community spirit led back then as she led a petition at Girls Grammar for a drum kit for all girls to get to play. She needs all the smiles and good vibes in the world so thanks to all who spur her on. Congrats from me too. Live long and prosper.

  2. Getting the praise she deserves.
    When I first met (and shared a house) with Tommy and Angie, we were all beginning HTML. I had a basic book, and after doing my initial attempts at raw code, became lazy and used erm, Frontpage. Angie on the other hand, found her feet not long after getting the book, and not too much time passed before she was starting to create database driven web pages. Over the years, she has gone from strength to strength, even taking up Linux as an admin.
    All the best to you both, have a good day on your day.