It's been just over a month since I was appointed as the new Chair of the Board of Ada, and I have been having a busy time getting up to speed on All Things Ada!
Ada Lovelace Day
Before I’d even started, I was invited to speak at our 8th October Ada Lovelace Day evening event, where I met some of our students and saw the games that they’d been building as part of their studies - some of them had had to learn a particular gaming programming language first, before even designing and building the game. I then joined a stellar cast list of women speakers, with professional roles ranging from our student president, to Microsoft, to Salesforce, to a start-up (Glitch, aimed at ending online abuse and harassment). All of them hard acts to follow! It was great to be part of such an event celebrating and promoting the role of women in technical careers.
Introduction to Chair duties
This past month has also seen me shadow the last Board meeting with the outgoing Chair, Nick Wilcock. A huge thank you to Nick for all he has done for the college, and I’m really pleased that he is continuing to bring his insight and support to the Board table as a Trustee, and will be there for me to consult. I also visited our apprenticeship site in Whitechapel with the College's Dean, Tom, and dropped in on a couple of the lessons there. It was great to see our engaged learners developing their digital skills which they can then use in the workplace - and to dust off some of my own, in the process. I have also enjoyed meeting some of the key people at the Department of Education with our CEO Mark, and Projects Director Sophie, having introductory meetings and phone calls with all of our Trustees, having planning sessions with our new Clerk, Jacky, reading a lot of background material, and much much more besides.
My day job is leading the technology team at the charity Cancer Research UK - do check out our tech team blog here! When my Ada role was announced at work, a couple of my team immediately volunteered to get involved with the college which was deeply pleasing, and Tom and I are on the case with that. I'm also keen to use my various contacts out in the tech industry to see what they can do to help all our Ada learners to Think, Create and Develop.
I look forward to meeting many more of the College's students and apprentices, as well as our industry partners and employers, during my time at Ada.