The POPVOX Blog

Our Adas: POPVOX Team Tech

Today is Ada Lovelace Day, a day to honor the woman who, in 1842, wrote the world's first computer program.

Mackenzie Morgan and Annalee Flower Horne, the POPVOX tech team, via skype.

On this day, we at POPVOX would like to honor our own tech pioneers, the women who maintain and build and create POPVOX everyday: Annalee Flower Horne and Mackenzie Morgan.

"Pair Programming" from Silver Spring, Maryland, Annalee and "Maco" have created their own startup culture. They are conoisseurs of gourmet teas; in their spare time they take archery classes and hand-sew replicas of clothing from the Middle Ages. They knit -- very well -- and have helped us understand that knitting and coding have a lot in common and is a hobby shared by many female (and male?) coders.

The two are passionate about encouraging people -- of both genders -- learn to code.

Annalee started at POPVOX as a non-coder, with experience building Congressional websites. With mentoring from former POPVOX CTO, Josh Tauberer, and Mackenzie -- and a lot of self-teaching (including MIT Open CourseWare) -- Annalee learned to code on the job. She now manages the day-to-day site maintenance, message delivery to Congress, and Django architecture. Her first project was the very popular CongressMatch, and she will have a 2.0 release ready for POPVOX users very soon.

Now, as Annalee builds her wishlist for our future tech team, she is looking to continue the tradition of training non-coders, asking that we find a Congressional intern or staffer to teach because (in her words): "It is easier to teach a staffer to code than it is to teach a coder how Congress works." 

Mackenzie came to POPVOX in March with an extensive coding background, as a George Washington University Computer Science grad, with a focus on security and information assurance. She has been an Ubuntu contributor since 2007, and became an Ubuntu developer in 2009, serving on two of its governing boards. For POPVOX, Mackenzie works on back-end development, is our MySQL maven, and even spends some time on the front-end. (Maco's ability to handle any challenge, any language prompted our COO, Ben Harris, to dub her the POPVOX "Swiss Army knife.")

Annalee and Mackenzie are supporters of The Ada Initiative, which supports women in open technology and culture. Annalee recently wrote about how the Initiative's work has affected her own experience as a woman in tech. 

We at POPVOX are so grateful for our amazingly talented team and so proud of their commitment to helping others feel empowered and welcome in the tech world. Annalee, Mackenzie, and lady coders everywhere, Happy Ada Lovelace Day!

Check out the recently launched "Ask Ada" Tumblr, dispensing career advice for professionals in tech, science, entrepreneurship, and media. (not associated with POPVOX.)

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