Good piece at El Reg on her and her contribution to science as a woman.
Unfortunately, she was latched onto by the F*m*n*z*s in the 60s and pressganged into being a feminist icon, along with many other women of note who were nothing of the kind and thus, during the backlash of 2010 onwards, she unfortunately goes down with the rest:
Recently ever more scientific historians have dismissed any sentimental view of Lovelace and have aligned themselves with a far more critical way of thinking. Computer historian Dr Allan Bromley told Salon: “All of her programs cited in her notes had been prepared by Babbage three to seven years earlier.”
Bruce Collier in his Harvard PhD dissertation on Babbage condemns Lovelace as ”the most overrated figure in the history of computing”; New Yorker journalist Jim Holt claims that Lovelace: “Had a shaky command of elementary algebra”; while perhaps most damningly, author Dorothy Stein argues: “The IT industry uses Ada as a kind of mascot to disguise what is really a bad situation for women in the field.”
To El Reg’s credit, they did put up another female for canonization:
Lovelace’s childhood mentor, and the woman who introduced Lovelace to Babbage in the first place: Mary Fairfax Somerville (1780-1872).