August 29, 2010
Donate One Day's Pay To Bletchley ParkSeptember 16th is Work 4 Bletchley day.
Nearly one hundred people, many of us software professionals, are showing our gratitude to the people and the place that hastened the end of WWII (by an estimated two years, saving countless millions of lives) and saw the invention of the first electronic programmable computer.
Personally, I owe the men and women who worked at Bletchley Park a great deal. My father was born in 1946, and had the war not ended in 1945 he may not have been born at all. Indeed, there's a significant chance you might be a descendant of one of the estimated 22 million people whose lives were saved. And I don't know about you, but I haven't done at all badly out of the whole computing thing, either.
For 6 long, hard years the people of Bletchley Park worked around the clock to gather vital intelligence that meant life or death to millions. We can say "thank you" by working for them for just one day.
To secure £4.5 million in lottery funding, which will transform Bletchley Park from a struggling and under-funded labour of love into the world-class heritage centre and hi-tech research and business park it deserves to be, they must raise £1.5 million themselves from other sources.
We can do our bit. One day's pay is 0.5% of your annual income and approximately 0.02% of the money a programmer can earn in their career. If enough of us donated a day's pay, it would make a real difference to their finances and push them closer to achieving their target.
I know times are hard, but computing is still a staggeringly wealthly profession. Some of the world's richest people have made their money off the back of work done by computing pioneers who worked at Bletchley Park, and sadly these IT magnates have chosen, for whatever reason, not to lend their support. It seems somewhat ungracious that an industry as successful as ours can be so indifferent to its own roots.
So it falls to us, the not-so-wealthy-but-still-pretty-comfortably-well-off, to do our bit. Together we can make sure Bletchley Park has a bright future that will inspire our children - and their children - to learn about the incredible achievements of the code-breakers at Station X, and maybe even download a copy of Eclipse or fire up their Office VBA editor and have a go at this thing we call "programming".
So please consider donating your pay for Sept 16th, and please tell other people about Work 4 Bletchley. If you can't afford a whole day's pay, we'll be grateful for any amount you can spare - half a day's pay, an hour's pay. Give what you can. It will make a difference.
Posted 2 weeks, 2 days ago on August 29, 2010