CONNECT 2019 SPEAKERS
Sr Principal Technical Architect
Amber Milavec is a Sr Principal Technical Architect at a large brand as well as the creator of We Code Hackathon for Women and Friends. Amber’s expertise lies in bot mitigation, cloud-native microservice architecture, high scalability, performance, security, and automation. Honored with the Women Who Code PDX Technical Leadership award in 2017, she is passionate about diversity in tech. She also loves retro video games and baby animals.
Global Security Practice Lead
Google Cloud PSO
Ann Wallace is the Global Security Practice Lead for Google Cloud PSO, helping customers become more secure in GCP. Ann is involved with Women Who Code Portland and has presented at several cloud conferences. Before Google Ann spent 14 years at Nike in various engineering and architecture roles. CloudNOW named her one of the top 10 Women in Cloud in 2015. When not working, Ann can be found traveling and ultra-trail running with her dog Cedar.
Indira is a software engineer at Vistaprint, an e-commerce company that helps small businesses create customized marketing materials. She is currently working on improving mobile experience — starting with optimizing website performance, and now working on a new design and cross-sell experience. In her spare time, you can find her scuba diving, taking photos, and traveling to new places.
Samsung Catalyst Fund
Radhika Malik is an Investor at the Samsung Catalyst Fund, Samsung’s corporate Venture Capital fund focused on emerging technology areas including AI/deep learning, cloud infrastructure, smart machines, digital health and device-level technologies.
Prior to investing, Radhika was a product developer at Panorama Education (a startup backed by Y Combinator and Spark Capital among others), where she built data and analytics products for educators. Radhika has also served as a software engineer and product manager at large tech companies including Microsoft and Amazon, as well as early stage startups including MindMeld.
Radhika holds a B.S. and M.Eng. from MIT in Computer Science and an MBA from Harvard Business School.
Software engineer since 2011, originally from Brazil, but currently working in Tokyo at Mercari, the largest C2C marketplace in Japan, Tutti is part of the Engineering Gateway team, responsible for training and mentoring engineers, knowledge sharing and community building. She has worked as a software engineer in 3 different parts of the world and companies of various sizes and cultures, from a 12-people startup to big corporations like Samsung and Bosch. Tutti is also a Director of Women Who Code Tokyo chapter, and on her free time she volunteers organizing events and managing the local community.
Senior UX Designer
Sarrah Vesselov is a UX professional, speaker, and author with over 10 years of experience in design, development, and management. As the UX Manager for GitLab, she led her department in setting the vision and direction of user experience, established an open source design system, and scaled the department from six to fourteen in a little over a year. She has experience teaching and mentoring on the subjects of design and development at the college level. Sarrah speaks at conferences around the world on the topics of user experience and front-end development. Her co-authored book on design systems will be published by Apress in June of 2019.
Senior Data Engineer
Microsoft Azure DataCAT
Muazma is a Senior Data Engineer in Microsoft Azure DataCAT (Customer Advisory Team). For over twelve years, she has been helping customers in a broad variety of industries to design and optimize Big Data platforms. Muazma has worked on some of the most demanding workloads over the years and is excited about sharing her knowledge and learning. She is passionate about Big Data, Cloud Computing, and AI Technologies.
She is an advocate of diversity and inclusion at the workplace and enjoys helping and empowering others. Muazma is also a Connect Lead of the Seattle chapter team of Pakistani Women in Computing.
Lead Product Designer & Design Manager
Susan leads Product Design and manages designers at Cloudflare. Previously, she designed HealthCare.gov’s application experience and built Trulia’s first design system. She graduated from Carnegie Mellon with her MHCI. She also runs Mintlodica, her profitable art business.
Front End Developer
Vanessa was born and raised in Colombia and moved to sunny Miami 12 years ago. Vanessa went to school at the Art Institute of Fort Lauderdale for graphic design. In 2016 she decided to follow a new passion for web development and moved to Dallas to attend DevMountain. She currently works at Alkami Technology as a Front End Developer. In her spare time she enjoys kickboxing, hot yoga, taking her dog to the park or looking for new restaurants to try.
Machine Learning Engineer
Red Hat Women in Open Source Academic Award Winner 2017, ex-director of Women Who Code, Google Summer of Code alumna and currently a Machine Learning Engineer at Twitter Inc., Jigyasa Grover is an ardent open source enthusiast and aspires to inspire a powerful bunch of girls and boys alike and help bridge gender gap in technology.
Bhakti Mehta is the author of Developing RESTful Services with JAX-RS 2.0, WebSockets, and JSON, Packt Publishing, published in 2013 and RESTful Java Patterns and Best Practices, published in 2014. She has more than 17 years of experience in architecting, designing, and implementing software solutions on top of Java EE and other related technologies. She is passionate about open source software development and has been one of the founding members of GlassFish Open Source Application Server.
Her areas of research include architecting solutions for resiliency, scalability, reliability, and performance. She is currently a Principal Engineer at Atlassian.
Staff UX Designer
Taurie Davis is a UX and product designer who specializes in applying user-centered design methods to create cohesive, intuitive, and compelling experiences. She co-authored Building Design Systems, which will be published in June of this year. In her role as Staff UX Designer at GitLab, she actively contributes to their design system as a primary maintainer. Her experience includes working with startups and mentoring designers around the world. She is passionate about the open source community and growing open design practices.
Chief DevOps Architect
Diana Rodriguez, Chief DevOps Architect @ Voicethread, Worldwide Community Organizer @ Vue Vixens. Google Developer Expert in Web Technologies and Google Cloud Platform, Auth0 Ambassador. With 18 years’ experience and a strong background in back end and infrastructure, Diana likes to bring together the best of both worlds, spreading DevOps culture. She’s super enthusiastic about everything to encourage people to start a career in development and a fan of female devs and DevOps. In her spare time she likes to play videogames, also a huge fan of sports, Diana is a rugby player and taekwondo black belt.
Mary is a Managing Director of the Accenture Technology Labs across the Americas.
In addition to leading the regional Labs and Nano Labs locations, Mary also drives an agenda of client co-research, establishing ongoing relationships with leading companies in their industries to conduct joint research. Most recently she led the Global Digital Experiences research and development agenda focused on applying emerging digital technologies to address key business challenges of Accenture’s clients. Her multidisciplinary team developed differentiated technology concepts based on innovative advances in experience-driven technologies including extended reality (AR and VR), generative design, human-machine teaming, robotics, connected car, customer analytics and adaptive services, and crowdsourcing. Mary is a frequent speaker, sharing her perspective on emerging digital technologies for the enterprise and consumers at conferences, client, and industry events.
Since joining Accenture in 1997, Mary has brought innovative technology solutions to both Accenture and clients across a variety of industries, running technology innovation projects from incubation to large-scale implementation. Outside of Accenture, she is on the Board of Directors for the non-profit organization, Women Who Code.
Mary received her SB degree in Materials Science and Engineering from Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Mary is originally from Toledo, Ohio, spent several years of her career in Chicago, IL, and now lives in Northern California. She enjoys traveling whenever possible, especially with her family, including her four year old and two year old twin sons.
DeeDee Lavinder currently works as a Backend Engineer and is a Director with Women Who Code Raleigh/Durham. The juxtaposition of analytical thinking and creative problem solving is where she is happiest and she is particularly thrilled about working in that sweet spot while writing code. Previously, she led the life of an entrepreneur and small business owner. When not coding, you can find her listening to audiobooks, driving small people around town, or coordinating something somewhere.
Graduation in Management in IT by the Faculty of Guararapes – Laureate International Universities.
Experience of more than 10 years in IT in the areas of development, entrepreneurship and education.
Director of the Women Who Code of the Recife network- Brazil
Ambassador of Technovation Challenge Recife, a global program of entrepreneurship and technology for girls from 10 to 18 years.
Currently working as a web developer, I like to participate in projects that have some social impact in the community. I am very proud to have participated in the project UNA – An interactive and live map that proposes to make visible the ecosystem of initiatives and organizations for gender equality and empowerment of women in all Brazil in all their diversity (companies, NGOs, nuclei of universities, government , collectives etc).
Leading a new initiative in the WWcode Recife network, Women Dev Projects aims to develop pro-bono projects for non-profit organizations and commercial projects to put into practice the knowledge acquired in WWCode’s meetups and study groups. I believe that with the creation of a proprietary portfolio women gain more visibility and increase their competitiveness in the market.
In the communities in which he participates, he is in charge of groups of studies, events and lectures.
Amiti Uttarwar currently works as a software engineer the crypto operations team at Coinbase. In her free time, she makes commits to Bitcoin Core as the only identified female contributor. She enjoys learning about technical fundamentals of consensus protocols. Her other passions include off-trail backpacking, ice climbing, yoga and meditation.
Zoe is an engineer and manager with a passion for helping people unlock their potential. This ranges from exploring new technical areas, through coaching self-managing teams, to conference organizing. Currently, she is working with Meetup to find new ways to help build the tools that bring people together.
Eysha Shirrine Powers
Senior Software Engineer
Eysha Shirrine Powers is a Senior Software Engineer at IBM Corporation. She is a Cryptographic Software Developer with 15 years of experience in IBM Z Cryptography and Security. She joined IBM with a Bachelor of Computer Science from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. After joining IBM, she continued her education with a Master of Information Technology from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. Eysha is a prominent speaker for IBM Z Crypto at conferences in the US and abroad and has several cryptography patents.
Tara Hernandez is a specialist in software engineering infrastructure and was an early promoter of what came to be known as the Continuous Integration revolution. Her most notable stint was at Netscape Communications Corporation where she initially helped develop new developer tools such as Tinderbox and Bugzilla, both of which were later released to the public as open source along with the Netscape browser codebase as part of the creation of Mozilla.org. At one point she ended up at Pixar Animation Studios where her team reinvented much of the development infrastructure to handle the challenges of writing software in a film production environment. She then moved on to do Systems and Build Engineering at Linden Lab, doing really Fun Things(tm) with deployment pipelines and cloud technologies for virtual worlds. She is now at Google, working to help create a really cool cloud developer platform. In her copious amounts of free time she blogs hopefully useful things about engineering management, is an Associate Board member of Women Who Code, and hosts the ‘Women Who Code Radio’ podcast.
Zassmin Montes de Oca
Application Security Engineer
Zassmin is passionate about security engineering and promoting women in technology. She started her career as a software engineer before co-founding Women Who Code, serving as their CTO and Board Vice Chair. Her interest in security has lead to her current role as Application Security Engineer at Coinbase.
Sr. Director and Chief Technologist
Amanda Blevins, Sr. Director and Chief Technologist, Office of the CTO at VMware, leads multiple programs that connect customers and partners to R&D to drive business and technology success for all VMware customers and partners. She speaks across the world in customer briefings, industry events, and partner events and leads digital transformation across all industries. Amanda also focuses on driving solutions based on Machine Learning and other emerging technologies. She has been in the IT field for over 20 years holding roles such as infrastructure administrator, technical architect, enterprise architect, and transformation consultant. Her first role within VMware was Sr. Systems Engineer in the field organization in 2010. Amanda became VMware’s first female Principal Systems Engineer a few years later. As VMware’s first and only female Chief Technologist, she leverages her experience and network to increase awareness and action in STEM fields for girls and young women.
Chief Leadership Officer
Women Who Code
Joey Rosenberg is the Chief Leadership Officer for Women Who Code, a global non-profit organization that has grown to become the world’s largest and most active community dedicated to inspiring women to excel in technology careers. Joey leads WWCode program, oversees local network operations for 60 volunteer-led cities in 20 countries, and is the visionary behind Women Who Code innovations like deep learning technical track communities, a new model for developing technical leaders, and the WWCode Fellowship program.
Joey’s professional background ranges from startup to Fortune 500 companies and includes roles in executive leadership, marketing, finance, and diversity and inclusion.
Joey is an avid volunteer and is currently a World Board Member and Western Hemisphere Regional Chair for the World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts. Her passion for volunteerism and social impact drive her work daily, and has led her to engage in community empowerment projects across the globe.
Dr. Natasha Hendrick
Natasha is a scientist, volunteer, adventurer, mentor and advocate for women in leadership. Following research at the University of Oxford as a Rhodes Scholar, Natasha completed her PhD in geophysics at the University of Queensland. She was awarded scholarship from the Australian Petroleum Production and Exploration Association to complete here PhD, and subsequently received the Australian Society of Exploration Geophysics award for the most innovative use of geophysical technology presented at national conference. Natasha has 20 years’ experience working in research, project geophysicist, training, business development and management roles, in both the coal-mining, and oil and gas industries. She is currently the Principal Geophysicist for the Offshore Australia division at Santos Ltd.
Natasha has also been an active volunteer with Girl Guides and Girl Scouts for over 20 years, with roles covering leadership training, adventure-based learning, canoeing and kayaking, and event management. In 1998 she became the youngest director to serve a term on the Queensland Board, and from 2008 to 2010 held the role of Assistant Chief Commissioner for Girl Guides Australia, helping lead a governance and management re-structure of the national organisation. In 2007 she was awarded a Churchill Fellowship to conduct research on volunteerism in the USA, Canada and the UK. Natasha currently serves as Trustee on the World Board for the World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts. This role has seen her lead projects to design a new global leadership mindset model, build a people management framework, and plan a new organisation-wide strategy and business planning process. She also helps deliver leadership trainings to women who want to change the world.
Dhivya Chandramouleeswaran is a Security Researcher at Adobe. She received her master’s degree in Information Security and Information Technology from Carnegie Mellon University in 2017. At Adobe, she provides proactive security guidance to key product teams, develops security automation tools and enjoys reviewing security of new technologies. She loves talking about her open source projects at conferences, most recent being Girls Who Code, DefendCon and CISO summit.
Kinnary Jangla is an Engineering Manager on the Ads team at Pinterest. Before Ads, she worked on the Pinterest Homefeed Machine learning infrastructure team. Kinnary has worked in the industry for 10+ years. Previously, she worked on maps and international growth at Uber and on Bing search at Microsoft. She is the author of three books her latest one based on Docker for Microservices. She is also on the advisory board for Women Who Code and Rutger University Big Data Certificate Program. Kinnary holds an MS in computer science from the University of Illinois and a BE from the University of Mumbai.
Sherin is a Software Engineer at Lyft. In her career spanning 8 years, she has worked on most parts of the tech stack, but enjoys the challenges in Data and Distributed Systems the most. Most recently she has been focussed on building a platform for running low latency, high throughput, realtime data processing pipelines.
She is passionate about getting more people, especially women, interested in the field of Data and has been trying her best to share her work with the community through tech talks and panel discussions. Most recently she gave a talk about Streaming, at Scale by the Bay in San Francisco.
In her free time she loves to read and paint. She is also the president of the Russian Hill book club based in San Francisco and loves to organize events for her local library.
Lakshmi Sudheer is a Security Researcher at Adobe. She holds a Master of Science in Information Security and has been in the security industry for about four years now. At Adobe, she works on reviewing architectures and providing security guidelines to various product teams. Prior to Adobe, she was at a startup doing all things Application Security and has experience with security consulting at Bishop Fox. She has also spoken about her open source projects at security conferences like RSA 2018, Appsec USA & AppSec Cali.
Pratima Rao Gluckman
For the last two decades, I’ve worked in the software engineering field, where I’ve developed and driven software solutions for both Silicon Valley startups and Fortune 500 companies. Since 2008, I’ve worked in senior leadership for VMware, including roles as Engineering Leader for the Cloud Platform Business Unit (CPBU), the Networking & Security Business Unit (NSBU), and most recently for VMware’s Blockchain Engineering team.
I hold three degrees: a bachelor’s in instrumentation engineering, a master’s in chemistry and computer science. Upon finishing my M.S. in computer science, I worked as an engineer for some of Silicon Valley’s most cutting-edge startups and companies.
I am passionate about diversity in the workplace and have spearheaded several initiatives for gender and diversity efforts, both at VMware and through my recently published book, Nevertheless She Persisted: True Stories of Women Leaders in Tech, which features the journeys of 19 women technology leaders.
In 2017, I co-founded Innovation for Youth, a startup that designs and delivers educational programs to help build young women’s STEM-related skills and confidence. As a mother of three, including a five-year-old daughter who loves math and writing animation computer scripts, I am committed to championing the next generation of female leaders, helping them grow and thrive in the ever-evolving fields of engineering and technology.
Leslie makes the back end work, right, and fast. Previously at Walmart Labs. Is currently teaching at Hack Reactor @Galvanize, the alma matter she’s proud of and is doing good in the space of Water, Hygiene, and Sanitation in South east Africa.
Jennifer Wong is a self-taught software engineer, and spends her days making the web a prettier and more user-friendly place. She has written for Net Magazine and had projects covered by Mashable, Engadget, Gizmodo, and more. Jenn is also an avid conference and official Mozilla Tech speaker. She loves eating, coding, and sleeping.
Chief Executive Officer
Women Who Code
Alaina Percival is Chief Executive Officer of Women Who Code, a global nonprofit dedicated to inspiring women to excel in technology careers. Under Alaina’s leadership, Women Who Code has grown to serve more than 167,000 women in 20 countries and 60 cities across the globe. This thriving movement offers more than 1,700 free technical and leadership events, per year. In addition to her role at Women Who Code, Percival is an accomplished tech speaker, appearing at WSJ.d Live, CodeMotion Milan, Grace Hopper, Columbia University’s Social Enterprise, MIT’s Venture Capital and Innovation Conference and more. Alaina has been interviewed by Forbes, Wall Street Journal, Wired, and other publications across the globe to share her expertise on best practices for increasing diversity in tech.
Prior to Women Who Code, Alaina worked at PUMA’s headquarters in Germany, as well as Riviera Partners and Snip.it, acquired by Yahoo. Alaina is also a Venture Partner at Valor Ventures and CodePath Advisor.
Senior Growth Manager
Women Who Code
Sherice Avant is the Senior Growth Manager at Women Who Code, the world’s largest and most active non-profit dedicated to inspiring women to excel in technology careers. At WWCode, Sherice leads the partnerships team, develops and executes on growth strategy, and builds out strategic partnerships with top tech companies in the industry. Sherice completed her Ph.D. in Education from the University of California, Santa Barbara, where she studied and conducted research on the development of early mathematical competencies. In her spare time, she enjoys spoiling her dog, Rick, as if he was a human child, backpacking, and reading all the books.
Global GAMMA CTO and Principal
Boston Consulting Group
Andrea Gallego, Global GAMMA CTO and Principal of Boston Consulting Group (BCG), manages the innovation and data science product team and helps drive the vision and future of GAMMA’s digital capabilities. Andrea founded Source AI, GAMMA’s first AI/ML software. She holds degrees in econometrics, statistics and computer science. Andrea has taken her career in many directions, pivoting from finance to not-for-profit to technologist and consultant — advocating for women every day along the way.
Christianah Adeneye, an 18-year old Nigerian is a fast rising social entrepreneur and writer. Currently a student at a Federal University in south western Nigeria, she is known for social impact and her advocacy for creativity. Being a participant of social platforms such as the reputable Hult Prize, her exposure to the productive use of internet led her to WWCode. She is a name to look out for!
Software Engineering Team Lead
Anna is a software engineering team lead in Morningstar’s data services group. She studied Computer Science at the University of Illinois at Chicago and Economics at Lake Forest College. Her first challenge as a tech lead at Morningstar was to tackle a data platform re-architecture with Apache Kafka. She is most proud of her team’s success on this project and eager to share her experience. Anna is also the co-founder of Morningstar’s Women in Technology group and a volunteer for the WWCode Chicago chapter.
Prin. Architect & Member of Technical Staff
Aruna Susarla is a Principal Member of Technical Staff and Architect at PayPal. In this role, she works with other engineering leaders at PayPal to ensure alignment in vision and technology to facilitate delivery of high-quality software. She has had a storied 18-year career in tech and is one of the most senior individual contributors at PayPal. Aruna is responsible for developing and enforcing best practices to ensure functionality, usability, reliability and availability for software enabling the core customer facing products. Some of her key achievements include: buildout of highly configurable latest checkout API that is the backbone for highest-volume payment product, innovative design for white glove integrations with large partners, enabling Venmo payment acceptance via PayPal checkout. She collaborated with Broader Enterprise Architecture for delivering multi-data center deployment of software, performance optimization for mission critical services and many enterprise wide initiatives.
She is a leader and a much sought-after mentor for engineers as well as Product managers and has won many awards and recognitions at PayPal as Most Valuable Person in various large programs.
Principal Data Scientist
Samira is a Principal data scientist at Simility, she is responsible for leading merchant on boarding and risk evaluation for risk as Service. In addition to that she is managing the key customer portfolio of Simility risk platform. Samira joined Simility in early 2018 and brings 15 years industry experience in Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligent.
In 2007, she founded her own company with a focus on predicting customer lifetime value and international market segmentation. Prior to Simility, she led data science projects at Flybits and Toshiba. Samira holds a PhD degree in Industrial Engineering from University of Amirkabir University of Technology (Tehran Polytechnic), Iran. She is an expert in unsupervised learning and uncertainty modeling and has published around 30 papers in this area.
Global Strategist, DevRel Events and Spship.
Sandra Persing (@sandrapersing) is the Global Strategist, DevRel Events and Sponsorship for Mozilla, investing in projects that connect creators on the web and producing workshops and conferences for millions of developers worldwide.
Viaro Networks Inc.
Co-founder at Viaro Networks Inc. a software development company based in Guatemala and incorporated in the US. I have been working in this industry for more than 20 years. Be the co-founder of this company gave me the opportunity to work in different areas during my entire career, I went from software engineer, project management, scrum master, Digital Marketing and finance. I have been through a lot of excitement challenges that only rolling your own business can provide, one of them is attending a very demanding US Market where quality and deliver on time is the only option.
Working with high performance teams and keep them motivated and engaged through all the process is crucial where having the right people as leads become very important in a small company.
I have a degree in software engineer and an MBA with specialization in Marketing, Digital Marketing and Finance.
Muna Hussaini is a Senior Manager in the Technology, Platforms, and Experience organization at PayPal. She is responsible for the DevOps Transformation effort. Muna has recently transitioned back to tech after managing Diversity & Inclusion programs at PayPal. Most notably, she is responsible for rolling out Recharge, a return to work program. Previously, Muna served as the Chief of Staff for Magento’s Technology organization, and has performed the role of scrum master, program manager, project manager, and mischief manager at eBay, PayPal, X.com, and IBM.
Wearing hijab post 9-11 made Muna a victim of several hate crimes. She uses her experiences to speak out against bigotry while redefining the Muslim American narrative. Muna serves as president of the board for Muslims Space, volunteers on the City of Austin/Travis County Hate Crimes Taskforce, and is a board member for Interfaith Action of Central Texas.
Muna is married with two kids and has a very large Hyderabadi family. She enjoys hiking and playing volleyball. On late nights, she can be found at Kerbey Lane enjoying a bowl of Kerbey queso.
Last, but not least, Muna holds a business degree from the University of Texas at Austin and is a proud Longhorn. Hook ‘em!
Meghna Singh is a seasoned product leader at PayPal. As part of the Consumer Financial Services product group, she is focused on building simple, easy and affordable solutions for the financially underserved. In her career as a product manager she has built and launched several products with a customer first lens, driven by empathy and a deep understanding of the customers journey. She is also passionate about improving product craftsmanship at all levels within product management and enabling women in product leadership roles, leading various events at PayPal to drive these.
Leadership Fellow Front End
Women Who Code
Jennifer Ponder is the Leadership Fellow for the Front End Track Community at Women Who Code. There she works to develop online training resources and events to support the professional success of WWCode members around the world. Her career in the tech industry has included work at both corporate and startup companies, and she has held several roles including Software Product Research Analyst, Digital Strategist, and Software Developer specializing in React. However, her coding journey began while working in the media industry for an internet radio network, and she also has experience in Public Relations, Radio, and Digital Marketing. She enjoys working with community organizations to provide creative, innovative, and problem-solving solutions for social good. Jennifer is a passionate advocate for closing the gender gap in tech and strongly believes in supporting women in joining and excelling in the industry. She also enjoys every aspect of learning about new technologies and diving into code projects for software plan implementation, that is why she is immensely excited to be leading Women Who Code’s Front End Track Community.
I love learning and teaching; finding the connections between apparently disparate fields; and seeing the lightbulb moment on someone’s face when they really, truly understand what you’re explaining to them. I was born in Beijing, grew up in Sydney, and moved to Amsterdam last year to expand my horizons. I currently work as a software developer at Booking.com.
Women Who Code
Bourgogne Kinlaw is a business development professional with proven expertise in client solution focused consulting. For the last 10 years, she has worked to strengthen the brands of companies through the creation of national partnerships with C-level clients in order to address their learning and development needs.
She is currently the Partnerships Manager at Women Who Code, where she works to develop mutually beneficial partnerships with companies that want to implement better gender parity policies and support female employees in being and becoming leaders in their organization. This advances the mission of Women Who Code by securing valuable backing for their work to inspire women to excel in technology careers.
Bourgogne believes in giving back and is an active volunteer in the community. She is a proud member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc., a United Way V.I.P. Board Training Program graduate, and she served as the Board Development Representative for I Will Survive Inc.
Bourgogne was born in Chicago, IL and earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Corporate Communications from Northern Illinois University. She holds a Master’s degree in Business Administration from Keller Graduate School of Management.
Gnana Lakshmi T C
Leadership Fellow Blockchain
Women Who Code
Gnana Lakshmi T C (Gyan) is the Leadership Fellow for Blockchain at Women Who Code. She is responsible for leading and managing the Blockchain community for WWCode across the globe. With over 6+ years of experience as a Software Developer in the corporate industry, Gyan is extremely passionate about women in technology and has been leading the Bangalore network of Women Who Code for 2+ years. She has conducted several meetups and has given several tech talks on varied technology topics like Blockchain and Machine Learning. She is also a very hands-on coder and loves working on emerging technologies.
Global Leadership Manager
Women Who Code
Shanna Gregory is the Global Leadership Manager at Women Who Code. She works with 200+ Directors leading local networks in 60 cities around the world to coordinate free technical events. Before joining the team full-time, Shanna was a Women Who Code Director in the NYC and Boston networks. Her background in tech includes product management and she has worked as a program manager for several coding bootcamps in SF and NYC. She founded the Grace Hopper Program at Fullstack Academy in 2016 and is passionate about supporting underrepresented groups in tech.
Sara Inés Calderón
React Native Lead
Sara Inés Calderón is an entrepreneur and engineer based in Austin, Texas. As the first engineer at musx she’s had plenty of experience fighting with bleeding edge open source technology, as well as building and leading an awesome, inclusive dev team. Her career began as a newspaper journalist, and she also wrote for online platforms such as TechCrunch and Vice. She worked in digital media at Inside Facebook and MiTú, before shifting to software development. She’s worked with Women Who Code since 2015 to create opportunities for women and people of color in technology, is frequently interviewed about diversity in tech, and outside of work she focuses on nail art, loving dogs that aren’t hers and Star Trek memes. Follow her on Twitter @SaraChicaD
Norah Klintberg Sakal
Founder & Data Scientist
Self-taught data scientist and entrepreneur
I’m a 30-year-old self-taught data scientist and entrepreneur from Sweden living in San Francisco. I’m currently bootstrapping a startup where I am applying artificial intelligence and machine learning capabilities in biomedical science to solve big health problems. My passion and mission are to accelerate the development of new technologies that will help researchers and doctors to cure, prevent and manage diseases.
My background is an engineering degree in biotechnology, and my driving force is the transition from imagination to real products.
I’m eager to show just a how few lines of code can get you a whole application, end-to-end, and I’m passionate about encouraging and inspiring people to come up with new ideas on implementing data science on their own day-to-day problems by sharing my journey.
I am a writer and Public Speaker for technical subjects as well as Diversity & Inclusion and other social subjects. My passion lies with advocating for underrepresented communities in Tech. My career has encompassed everything from firmware to application space. I have worked with teams providing full stack development. My last 8 years have had Security focus as the Security Champion for the Open Source Technology Center @ Intel. My current position as a Security Researcher In the IPAS GO (formerly Security Center of Excellence) working on Secure Development Lifecycle governance and as Product Security Expert for Open Source Software. I am a TrevorChat Crisis Counselor and working with outside organizations like Women Who Code, Women of Security, Portland Women in Tech, and the Diana Initiative to help drive diversity and true inclusion while advocating for women in the STEM fields.
Loyda Luis Pineda
Communications and electronics engineer with a Master’s degree in Telecommunications Engineering from the National Polytechnic Institute with publications in the IEEE and participation in international conferences.
CEO and Co-Founder
Do Big Things
Cheryl Contee is the award-winning CEO and co-founder of Do Big Things, a digital agency that creates new narrative and new tech for a new era focused on causes and campaigns. She is also the co-founder of Fission Strategy which helped the world’s leading non-profits & foundations design digital ecosystems that create change globally. Cheryl was a co-founder of social marketing software Attentive.ly at Blackbaud, the first tech startup with a black female founder on board in history to be acquired by a NASDAQ-traded company. Her company Fission helped write the early source code for Crowdtangle, earning sweat equity in a successful social enterprise startup acquired by Facebook in Dec 2016. Cheryl is proud to be a co-founder of the tech inclusion initiative #YesWeCode.
Ton-Yun (Tony) Fang
Web Development Manager
Ton-Yun (Tony) Fang is the Web Development Manager at Xoom, a PayPal Service. Besides web development, she has also programmed in C++, worked on a poker tournament website, and even written NewtonScript for the Apple Newton.
Vice President of Tech. for Store Systems
The Home Depot
Angie Brown is vice president of technology for store systems at The Home Depot, where she supports all store software and order management systems for the company. Angie and her team have played a significant role in The Home Depot’s interconnected retail journey, building the order management technology that enables Homedepot.com and the associated interconnected experiences such as Home Depot’s Buy-Online-Pickup-in-Store (BOPIS), Buy-Online-Ship-to-Store (BOSS), and Buy-Online-Deliver-from-Store (BODFS). Angie and her team are currently focused on creating easy-to-use selling tools for associates, continuing to improve the inventory, bay management, and signing processes, and continuing to invest in technology that ensures Home Depot’s customers are delighted when shopping in the company’s stores. Angie joined The Home Depot as an entry-level software developer and has held a number of roles across the company. Angie completed Harvard University’s Authentic Leadership Development program and helps mentor aspiring female leaders in the greater Atlanta area. She is a member of several Women in Technology associations. Inside The Home Depot, she is an active participant with the Velvet Hammers and Women’s Link internal resource groups, which are dedicated to supporting female associates grow their careers. Angie holds a degree in management information systems from the University of Georgia. Outside of work, Angie enjoys spending time with her husband and two daughters.
Michelle Zaffino is founder of the book discovery product MyLibrarian, whose app and book club service launches in 2019. The author of five books, Michelle realized that whether your book is indie or traditionally published, book discovery is broken, so she learned to code in front-end web development bootcamp, in order to build products to fix it. MyLibrarian / In the Stacks is our way of sharing good books with the readers who love them. The Librarian Brain data set was born out of our love for metadata and aims to ensure diversity and inclusion in book publishing artificial intelligence. When she isn’t working remotely as a virtual nomad, you can find Michelle at a coworking space or coffee shop in San Francisco, where she’s lived for 15 years.
Senior Engineering Manager
Taraka Satti Is a senior engineering manager at PayPal currently leading the engineering teams responsible for enabling Alternative Payments across the globe. She has 16+ years of industry experience in building large scale systems and high-performing teams. She holds Masters in Computer Engineering from University of South Carolina. She started her career with multiple startups and joined PayPal in 2006. She grew from an engineer to technical lead to Sr engineering manager and worked in various product domains and technology stacks within PayPal. She is highly passionate about women in technology and leads programs such as coding circles and women who build events at PayPal San Jose Campus. Taraka is also formally trained in dance and outside work, she loves teaching dance for kids and adults to perform at local community events . She is married with two kids and a dog.
Leadership Fellow, Python
Women Who Code
Emily loves all things tech! One of her favorite things is being able to help others grow their tech skills. She’s been a member/lead/director with Women Who Code Greenville going on three years and is also a co-organizer for the local python group in Greenville. In the past, her python projects have ranged from building web apps with Django and Flask, e-commerce sites with Oscar, scripting, and data analytics using pandas and matplotlib. Python is Emily’s favorite programming language because it’s versatility and it’s white space.
Michie (@michieriffic) believes that accessibility and inclusiveness is important in all aspect of life including tech. That’s why she started Women Who Code Manila, SwiftPH (Philippine iOS developer community), SwiftLadies (community of ladies who love Swift) and more. She also travels around the Philippines to encourage the younger generation to code. She helps teachers include and teach coding in their curriculum and companies leverage tech in their businesses. An Apple WWDC Scholarship Recipient, co-founder of TecsoftApps and co-creator of Inbytes.dev.
Kathy Zhou is a software engineer on the Ads team at Pinterest. She holds a BA in Computer Science and Environmental Science from the University of Pennsylvania. In her spare time she volunteers and organizes tech education workshops for Girls in Tech, the Community Youth Center of SF, and XXCoders.