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I'm a digital marketer, writer/editor, misanthropic socialite and self-proclaimed Facebook statustician.

As co-founder of Third Wunder, a digital marketing agency based in Montreal, I tackle projects, builds and campaigns for our clients.

In my spare time I'm the proud co-organizer of the Montreal Girl Geeks and have been known to rock a moustache when campaigning for Movember.

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2010 Ada Lovelace Day | Tanya McGinnity

March 24th, 2010 by Liesl received 2 Comments »

Today (March 24) the blogosphere honours Ada Lovelace, considered the first ever computer programmer (and daughter of poofy-shirted poet Byron, no less). Charles Babbage nicknamed her The Enchantress of Numbers, and she kicked algorithmic ass for his Analytical Engine back in the pre-natal days of computing.

A Web of One’s Own

But what’s really neat about the movement, is that participants pledge to honour a woman they admire (in blog posts, tweets, etc.) for achievements in science and/or technology in celebration of Ada’s life and work. They can then submit their hommage to the findingada.com database and entries are catalogued and mapped out, all in an effort to spotlight the oft-downplayed contributions of women in these fields.

The Geeks Shall Inherit the Earth

Tanya McGinnity

Tanya McGinnity: Moshpit Philosopher and Community-builder

For my tribute, I picked local champion Tanya McGinnity, founder of the Montreal chapter of the Girl Geek Dinners (find a group near you: there are 60 worldwide and counting…) Not only because she’s a project manager in tech circles that I admire, but because she uses her considerable community-building experience to bring bright, talented and geeky women together to share knowledge and make connections.

“Definitely Does Compute”

I’ve only been going to the Girl Geek Dinners (GGD) since November, and I can’t believe how much I have learned or how many engaged and amazing people I’ve met through the events in such a relatively short time (Interactive Storytelling in Video Games! WordPress Tutorial!) As the only woman in my web firm for nearly two years, it’s been a treat to meet so very many other tech-friendly lasses (and a few lads, too). In fact, some of the events draw close to a hundred people (where do they all come from?)  I always leave feeling enriched and inspired (so I was rather bummed that I missed this week’s instalment), and that’s no accident…

A Lil’ Punk in the Trunk

It takes real commitment, drive and Thatchers to put on events this successful, draw the right speakers and reach out to build an audience, and Tanya does it because she is clearly passionate about building a better network for women in the tech community. As she says on her blog:

I come out of the punk rock scene and believe that when people fall down in the moshpit, you pick them up and help them out. I believe that you can do it yourself, without the help of a big label backing you up. I believe that we are all need to share and collaborate in order to truly be fulfilled.

She works hard to make Montreal a more hospitable place for girl geeks, and it’s Tanya’s plucky moshpit philosophy that makes me (and doubtless many others) feel like we’re not at it alone, that there’s a tangible community behind us. That sugar and spice might just be the sweet smell of success in the digital age.

Math Isn’t Hard

Tanya has exciting plans to reach out even further, to inspire school-aged girls to take another look at careers in web, gaming, engineering and other geeky fields.You can follow her on Twitter or join the MTL Girl Geek Dinner group on Facebook.

I for one can’t wait to see what she has in store next, for April’s GGD and for the group as a whole.

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Posted under: Blogging, Computers, Project Management, Web Development, World Wide Wonder

2 Responses to “2010 Ada Lovelace Day | Tanya McGinnity”

  1. Oh gosh. Thanks so much for the mention.

    I’m really thrilled that you took the time to write about me and the MTL GGD group and it makes me so happy to hear that you get something of value from the events.

    Now to make plans for your talk… Hmmmmm?

  2. Liesl says:

    Uh-oh… I guess now I’ll actually have to start planning that with you!

    Let’s chat soon :)