Girl Geek Dinner - Definitely Does Compute

Bay Area Girl Geek Dinners – Definitely Does Compute

Bay Area Girl Geek Dinner #73: Sponsored by Pandora

05.09.2014 (12:27 pm) – Filed under: Girl Geek Dinners ::

Since 2000, we have been hard at work on the Music Genome Project to help you connect with the music you love. Our team of musician-analysts has been listening to music, one song at a time, studying and collecting literally hundreds of musical details on every track – melody, harmony, instrumentation, rhythm, vocals, lyrics… and more! We continue this work every day to keep up with the incredible flow of great new music coming from studios, stadiums and garages around the country.

Join Pandora for a geeky night on September 25, 2014 from 5:30pm to 8:30pm to learn about how Pandora music & comedy analysis, curation, and algorithms work together to personalize the listening experience that you love.

Our line-up will include an awesome girl geek panel on the power of mentorships and your career path!

Enter to win a FREE ticket to the Pandora Girl Geek Dinner!

- Deadline to enter the lottery is Wednesday, September 10th -

We hope you can make it and look forward to meeting you soon!

Pandora Girl Geek Dinner Agenda

5:30pm – 6:30pm Check in + mingling
6:30pm – 6:40pm Welcome w/ lightning welcome by Maira Benjamin
6:40pm – 7:00pm Comedy analysis by Kelly Anneken, Pandora’s Comedy Curator
7:00pm – 7:45pm Playlist Science + Q&A by Maria Chavez Cantu, Pandora’s Sr. Software Engineer of Android Mobile Development
7:45pm – 7:50pm Closing/thank you by Brenley Brotman, Pandora’s Director of Tech Recrutiing
7:50pm – 8:30pm More networking time

Pandora Headquarters

2101 Webster Street
7th Floor
Oakland, CA 94612

Plenty of free street parking after 6 pm!

Twitter hashtag for the event: #PandoraGirlGeekDinner
Twitter handles for the hosts: @Pandora_Radio @BayAreaGGD

Pandora Girl Geek Speaker Bios

Maira Benjamin (Manager of Music Engineering, Pandora)

Maira Benjamin has over 20 years of experience in the realm of software development. She’s worked in different industries: Digital Imaging, Databases, Insurance, Finance, Travel, and Music. She’s held a variety of positions with different focus areas of Technical Support, Maintenance, New Development, Consulting, and Management. Currently, she is the Manager of Music Engineering at Pandora. She’s written a technical book titled, “C++ and Corba Programming.” She has presented papers at an AI conference, an HP conference, and specific company-focused conferences. She has a Bachelor of Arts in Statistics from U.C. Berkeley and has taken classes towards a Master of Arts in Liberal Studies degree from Mills College in Oakland. She’s currently studying Machine Learning. Maira’s particular passion is diversity in technology. She is of mixed heritage: Hispanic and Black. Her interest in technology has meant that she has worked in all-male teams and until recently, she has usually been the only female engineering manager. She’s worked with inner city kids mentoring and introducing them to STEM concepts.

Kelly Anneken (Comedy Curator, Pandora)

Kelly Anneken is Pandora Radio’s first and only Comedy Curator. Kelly oversees acquisition, ingestion, programming, artist and label relations, and library maintenance for all standup comedy content on Pandora in addition to driving internal initiatives aimed at growing the Pandora Comedy brand. Before joining Pandora as a Comedy Analyst in 2010, Kelly was a 13-year retail customer service veteran, youth theatre teacher, and aspiring standup comedian. Kelly has gone on to co-found Femikaze, a 501 (c) 3 organization dedicated to developing female comedy talent and audiences, and Hobo Pancakes, an absurdist online humor journal. For her work with Femikaze, Kelly was awarded one-half of the East Bay Express’ “Best Feminist Comedy Duo” award in 2013. She continues to perform standup comedy as often as possible and has self-released a comedy EP, Twenty Minutes to Sell. Kelly has also had the privilege of moderating panels and discussions on behalf of SF Sketchfest, the Jewish Community Center of San Francisco, and Book Passage. She plans to one day “run the world,” as prophesied by Beyoncé.

Maria Chavez Cantu (Sr. Software Engineer of Android Mobile Development, Pandora)

Maria Chavez Cantu has over 15 years experience in all aspects of Development’s life cycle. In that time, she has served may roles: architect, product manager, lead, developer, QA. And has worked for many companies: from startups to corporations across different industries: Database, Finance, Insurance and Music as a full stack engineer : db, scalability, middle ware, front-end, CE, mobile. Currently she is a Senior Software Engineer of Android Mobile Development at Pandora. A first-generation Mexican-American and California native, Maria’s particular passion is encouraging Latinas to go to college. Her goal is to inform Hispanic girls that college is a possibility for everyone and one of the ways she does this, is by talking to groups of young girls, sharing her story of cultural struggles and perseverance.

Bay Area Girl Geek Dinner #72: Sponsored by SurveyMonkey

04.09.2014 (9:29 pm) – Filed under: Girl Geek Dinners ::

Tickets will be available starting 10am PST on Friday, September 4 – get your ticket while they last!

Join SurveyMonkey and Bay Area Girl Geek Dinners on September 10th for Bay Area Girl Geek Dinner #72.

Enjoy food and drinks while Girl Geeks from SurveyMonkey share their stories, and of course go home with cool schwag!

We hope you can make it and look forward to meeting you soon!

Twitter hashtag for the event: #SurveyMonkeyGirlGeekDinner

SurveyMonkey Girl Geek Dinner Agenda

5:30pm – 6:30pm: Enjoy heavy appetizers, cocktails, networking
6:30pm – 7:00pm: Lightening Talks from SurveyMonkey Girl Geeks
7:00pm-7:30pm: How to be a metrics driven organization and individual. Using quantitative and qualitative effectively as part of your job. We will give real examples of using data to make decisions and when to use qualitative vs. quantitative data. We will also discuss as your organization & product scales how this changes.

Lightning Talk Speaker Bios

Prachi Sakharkar (Software Engineer)

Prachi Sakharkar is a Software Engineer at SurveyMonkey. She gave a lightning talk on responsive design.

Deirdre Norris (Product Manager)

Deirdre Norris is a Product Manager at SurveyMonkey. She gave a lightning talk on the process of building a feature at SurveyMonkey.

Louise Fox (Software Engineer)

Louise Fox is a Software Engineer at SurveyMonkey. She gave a lightning talk on continuous delivery and service-oriented architecture.

Diane Ko (Software Engineer)

Diane Ko is a Software Engineer at SurveyMonkey. She gave a lightning talk on how to give a talk.

Dee Gill (Software Engineer)

Dee Gill is a Software Engineer at SurveyMonkey. She gave a lightning talk on transitioning your career – she went from finance to engineering.

Panelist Bios

Selina Tobaccowala (President & CTO)

Selina joined SurveyMonkey in October 2009. Previously, Selina was Senior Vice President of Product and Technology at Ticketmaster’s Europe division, where she managed the 200-person Product, Technology and Operations team. Prior to that, Selina was Vice President of Online Product and Technology at Entertainment Publications, where she led the company’s online sales and technology initiatives. In 1997, Selina founded, an online invitation service that lets users organize an offline event online, and which currently sends over three million invitations per month. As VP of Engineering for, she led the company’s development and operations and played a key role in setting the strategic direction with the board of directors. In 2001, was sold to Ticketmaster. Selina holds a BS degree in Computer Science from Stanford University. You can follow her @selinato.

Johanna Evans (Principal User Experience Designer)

Johanna has been with SurveyMonkey since November 2010. Originally a doctor, she then switched over to Photography and Web Design, graduating Magna Cum Laude from Academy of Art Institute. In the past, she has worked as a web designer at MOMA and a faculty member at the Academy of Art. You can follow her @joha.

Elena Verna (Senior Director of Analytics)

Elena joined SurveyMonkey in November 2009 as a member of the Business Intelligence team, and then went on to lead it. Today she is responsible for leading the Analytics team for SurveyMonkey. Prior to joining SurveyMonkey, she worked at Safeway, developing personalized savings algorithms within Marketing Strategies Department. Elena graduated from UC Berkeley with a degree in Statistics.

Samantha Bufton (Director, Product Management)

Samantha leads the Identity Product team at SurveyMonkey. In the past she has held positions at Intuit, Yahoo! and Autodesk. She is responsible for defining and building SurveyMonkey’s first Enterprise offering. She holds a Computer Science degree, and graduated from Oxford with an MBA. You can follow her @buftons.

Ada Chen Rekhi (VP of Product & Online Marketing)

Ada Chen leads Product & Online Marketing at SurveyMonkey. After graduating from Wharton with a business degree and working at Mochi Media, Microsoft and Mercer, she was the founder of Connected HQ, which was acquired by LinkedIn in October 2011. She then went on to lead Product Marketing for various product areas before joining SurveyMonkey in May 2013. You can follow her @adachen.

Bay Area Girl Geek Dinner #71: Sponsored by Zendesk

28.08.2014 (11:47 am) – Filed under: Girl Geek Dinners ::

Join Zendesk and Bay Area Girl Geek Dinners on September 3rd for a Girl Geek Dinner!

Come enjoy an evening full of mingling, food and drinks, speakers, and more at the Zendesk office in downtown San Francisco (MAP)!

Our line-up will include an awesome girl geek panel on the power of mentorships and your career path!

We hope you can make it and look forward to meeting you soon!

Zendesk Girl Geek Dinner Agenda

5:30pm – 6:30pm: Check-in, Networking, Demos, Food & Dessert
6:30pm – 7:30pm: Panel Discussion: You can only go so far on your own: The power of mentorships and your career path
7:30pm-8:30pm: More Networking!

Twitter hashtag for the event: #ZendeskGirlGeekDinner
Twitter handles for the hosts: @BayAreaGGD @Zendesk

Speaker Bios

Rose Auravide Trujillo (Software Engineer)

Rose is a software engineer who has been with Zendesk since January 2013, working with technologies such as Ruby, Rails, Backbone, Ember, javascript, CSS, you get the idea. Aside from work, some things she loves are making music, learning, and teaching. She fell in love with programming a few years ago, attended App Academy in 2012, and never looked back. Reach out to her at @roseleafx to ask questions or say hi!




Ana Martinez (Senior Software Engineer)

Ana Martinez is a senior software engineer at Zendesk. She recently move to the security-development team but worked in the internationalization team for 2.5 years. Before Zendesk, Ana graduated from Carnegie Mellon with a Masters degree in Information Technologies. In her spare time, she likes to harass her wiener dog.





Heather Wells (Senior Manager, Zendesk’s Global QA Team)

Heather Wells has been in the software industry for 17 years. After graduating from the College of William and Mary with a BA in history, she got a job in publishing just as “electronic publishing” started to take over that industry, inspiring her career change to software. She started as a software tester for a stock trading startup with no previous experience in either software development or the stock market. Since then she has survived the first dot-com bust, worked for web shopping companies, online auctions, medical software companies, and defense contractors in various capacities including QA, CM, build automation and release management. In 2013 she attended a Bay Area Girl Geek dinner at Zendesk and submitted her resume that evening. She is currently the Senior QA Manager for Zendesk’s global QA team.




Stephany Varga (Software Developer)

Software Developer by day, guitarist and motorbiker by night, Stephany has been building pages and features on since November 2012. Her career in web development began with a little pet sitting website built in Frontpage Express and has advanced into a Graphic Communications degree from Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, a stretch at Experts Exchange as a web designer, front-end development agency contracts for Cisco, Bethesda Softworks and Research In Motion’s Blackberry team, an escapade in Spain maintaining a company’s expatriate community website built from HAML, CoffeeScript, and Ruby, and a brief poaching stint at a very large software development company in South San Francisco that helped her realize how she desperately needed to return to Zendesk’s awesome full-stack shop. Her day to day work on Zendesk’s four person webteam requires local development on a LAMP stack, extensive use of CSS3 (SASS + Compass), HTML5, PHP, and Javascript (Node.js + jQuery), automating with gruntjs, running selenium tests with the Browserstack API, leading their mobile optimization project, and performing daily deploys to our Heroku servers. In addition to being code-inclined, she carries a strong passion for beautiful interface development because of her background in design.


Bay Area Girl Geek Dinner #70: Sponsored By Indiegogo

11.08.2014 (9:43 pm) – Filed under: Girl Geek Dinners ::

Bay Area Girl Geek Dinners #70 is sponsored by Indiegogo on August 20, 2014 (6:30pm-10pm) in downtown San Francisco!

Come enjoy an evening full of mingling, speakers, food and drinks, and more at Impact Hub SF!

The night will feature a fireside chat with Indiegogo founder Danae Ringelmann as well as a number of lightning talks by our awesome female developers on everything from mobile development to Elasticsearch.

Enter to win a free ticket to the Indiegogo Girl Geek Dinner!

- Deadline to enter the lottery is August 14 -

We hope you can make it and look forward to meeting you soon!

Indiegogo Girl Geek Dinner Agenda

6:30pm – Doors open
7:00pm – Fireside chat with Danae Ringelmann, Indiegogo founder
7:30pm – Lightning talks from Indiegogo Girl Geeks

Judy Tuan:

Jen-Mei Wu:
Git visualization w/ JavaScript and node-webkit

Siena Aguayo:
A high-level overview of how iOS and Android development differ

Stella Cotton:
Breaking up the Monorail: payments as microservice

Amanda Robinson:
Graph DB basics

Olivia Muesse:
Designing for mobile

Zhyliana Garcia Valdez and Yolanda Yeh:
Stretching Elasticsearch

8:15pm – Networking
10:00pm – Doors close

Social media hashtag for the event: #IndiegogoGirlGeekDinner
Twitter handles for hosts: @Indiegogo @BayAreaGGD

Girl Geek Speaker Bios

Danae Ringelmann
Danae co-founded Indiegogo in 2008 with a mission to democratize fundraising and has since helped to propel the company into the world’s largest crowdfunding platform. Today, as Indiegogo’s Chief Development Officer, Danae is focused on driving total customer satisfaction and steering the company’s employee culture and value initiatives. Danae was listed on Fast Company’s “Top 50 Women Innovators in Technology” in 2011 and was named one of Fortune’s “40 Under 40″ in September 2013, and was featured in San Francisco Business Times’ “40 under 40″ in 2014. Danae frequently speaks at conferences around the world, including TEDx, Le Web and CeBIT.

Siena Aguayo
Siena is a software engineer on the mobile team at Indiegogo, working on both iOS and Android applications. Prior to Indiegogo, Siena was a fellow at Hackbright Academy, a selective programming bootcamp for women.

Stella Cotton
Stella is a software engineer at Indiegogo and Hackbright alumna. When she’s not wrangling code for the Payments Team, she’s hiking trails, reading bad genre fiction, and brewing beer.

Olivia Muesse
Olivia is a Mobile Designer at Indiegogo. From web to iOS and soon Android – mobile offers the fast-paced, hands-on, and hyper-collaborative design I love. I am thrilled to be part of Indiegogo’s awesome mobile team and to build great products together everyday.

Amanda Robinson
Amanda holds a Master’s in Computer Science from New York University. She was a Software Engineer at Google for 4 years before starting at Indiegogo in October of 2013.

Judy Tuan
Judy is a Software Engineer at Indiegogo.

Zhyliana Garcia Valdez
Zhyliana is a Software Engineer at Indiegogo.

Jen-Mei Wu
Jen-Mei is a Lead Software Engineer at Indiegogo.

Yolanda Yeh
Yolanda is a Data Analytics and Engineering Intern at Indiegogo this summer and has been having a blast! Next month, she will be finishing up senior year at Princeton University studying electrical engineering and computer science.

Bay Area Girl Geek Dinner #69: Sponsored by Intel

20.07.2014 (10:47 pm) – Filed under: Girl Geek Dinners ::

Join Intel and Bay Area Girl Geek Dinners on July 29th for an Intel Girl Geek Dinner!

Come enjoy an evening full of mingling, food and drinks, speakers, demos, and more at the Intel Robert Noyce Building – 2200 Mission College Blvd. Santa Clara, CA 95054!

Our line-up will include an awesome girl geek panel on how Intel is enabling the future! We’ll also have an extended demo area with smart devices such as wearables, Internet of Things, All in Ones, 2 in 1s, Tablets, and more – all with Intel inside. We’ll wrap up the night with a chance for you to win one of our great raffle prizes. We hope you can make it and look forward to meeting you soon!

Intel Girl Geek Dinner Agenda

5:30pm – 6:30pm*: Check-in (Government Issued ID is required)
6:30pm – 6:45pm: Networking, Demos, Food & Dessert
6:45pm – 7:45pm: Panel Discussion: Enabling the Future
7:45pm-8:30pm: More Networking, Demos, Food & Dessert, and Raffle Prizes
*As a courtesy to our Speakers, check-in will close at 6:30pm

Twitter hashtag for the event: #IntelGGD
Twitter handles for the hosts: @BayAreaGGD

Important Notes:
(1) Please bring your Government Issued ID. We’ll be checking at the door.
(2) Disclaimer: Girl Geek Dinner may take photographs and/or video activities at the Girl Geek Dinner event for many purposes. By attending the Intel Girl Geek Dinner, you consent to your image being captured and used.

Enter to win a free ticket to the Intel Girl Geek Dinner!

- Deadline to enter the lottery is July 22nd 10am. -
(Intel employees should only sign up internally via WIN-SC.)

Speaker Bios

Diane M. Bryant (Senior VP/GM, Data Center Group)

Diane M. Bryant is senior vice president and general manager of the Data Center Group for Intel Corporation. Bryant leads the worldwide organization that develops the products and technologies that power nine of every 10 servers sold worldwide, generating more than $11 billion in revenue in 2013.
In her current role, she manages the data center P&L, strategy and product development for enterprise, cloud service providers, telecommunications, and high-performance computing infrastructure, spanning server, storage, and network solutions. Bryant is building the foundation for continued growth by driving new products and technologies–from high-end co-processors for supercomputers to high-density systems for the cloud, to solutions for big data analytics.
Previously, Bryant was corporate vice president and chief information officer of Intel. She was responsible for the corporate-wide information technology solutions and services that enabled Intel’s business strategies for growth and efficiency.
Bryant received her bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering from U.C. Davis in 1985 and joined Intel the same year. She attended the Stanford Executive Program and holds four U.S. patents.



Aicha Evans (Corporate VP – Platform Engineering Group, GM – Wireless Platform R&D Group)

Aicha Evans is corporate vice president and is general manager of the Wireless Platform Research and Development Group in the Platform Engineering Group. She is responsible for driving wireless engineering for multi-comm products and Intel platforms, including modems, RF, Wi-Fi, GPS, Bluetooth, NFC, FM, LTE, WLAN/WWAN as well as emerging wireless technologies to lead this industry going forward. Prior to PEG, she held the same title and role within the Mobile and Communications Group.
Previously Evans was the general manager of the Mobile Wireless Group where managed the engineering, software, hardware, strategic planning, and product test teams responsible for providing wireless connectivity ingredients and solutions for all Intel platforms.
Evans joined Intel in 2006 as a software integration and test manager. She held a number of management positions responsible for Intel’s wireless efforts including software engineering and support for customers deploying WiMAX networks in multiple geographies. Additionally, she worked in Israel managing WiFi engineering and product lines. Prior to Intel, Evans spent 10 years in various engineering management positions at Rockwell Semiconductors, Conexant and Skyworks.
Evans received a bachelor’s degree in computer engineering from The George Washington University in 1996.



Clare Lawson (VP – New Devices Group, GM – Hardware Engineering)

Clare Lawson is vice president of the New Devices Group and general manager of hardware engineering at Intel Corporation. Lawson and her team are chartered with developing hardware solutions that will enhance and extend Intel’s product portfolio into new areas of computing, and to position the company to compete and lead new growth markets.
Prior to joining Intel in 2013, Lawson managed hardware engineering teams in the consumer electronics space, including at Apple, Dell, and Amazon. She managed hardware platform engineering for Kindle products at Amazon’s Lab 126. She was a founder of ZING Systems, acquired by Dell, which designed portable wireless music devices for Sirius Satellite Radio and Yahoo!. At Apple, she ran the Consumer Mac Systems team, and was responsible for the development and delivery of several desktop Mac products, including the first Mac Mini.
In addition to her work in consumer electronics, Lawson previously managed system design teams at several semiconductor startups and even was responsible for program management, e-commerce software development, and customer service at, a wine-tasting startup.
Lawson earned her bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering and computer sciences from the University of California, Berkeley.



Peggy Irelan (Sr Principal Engineer & Director of IoT Analytic Products and Technologies Solutions)

Peggy Irelan is a Senior Principal Engineer and Director of IoT Analytic Products and Technologies solutions organization in Intel’s Internet of Things Group. Irelan leads an interdisciplinary engineering team that defines, develops and delivers End-to-End IoT analytic products and advanced technologies.
In this role, which she assumed in October of 2013, she manages the Internet of Things Group analytics strategy and product development for IoT edge analytics infrastructure, edge and cloud analytic applications, and the analytic algorithms that turn the customers’ data into trusted actionable intelligence to solve their business problems and accelerate their business transformation.
Irelan defines IoT analytic product and technology success as delivering a full solution that sits perfectly at the intersection of four areas: existing technology, business problems, business & technology cultural practices, and the technology users. Irelan collaborates with business and technology experts, from sensors & devices to servers, to understand customer landscapes to continuously update Intel’s IoT analytics product and advanced technology roadmaps.
Previously, Irelan initiated and led Intel’s Architecture for Monitoring Initiative focused on creating an innovative, reliable, and easy to use IA software and hardware platform monitoring technologies, such as CPU utilization, thermal temperature, and hundreds more. The hardware and software framework solution enables IA platform monitoring based software & services.
Irelan has over 16 years of experience in monitoring-based technology solutions that started with software engineering, development and system integration work in Motorola’s sensor and cellular product divisions. She integrated sensor systems for everything from cell phones to run-flat tires to air bags including smart home prototypes. This sparked her passion for advancing ‘smarter software and services’ through monitoring and analytic technologies which has driven her career path at Intel. Irelan has a B.S. in Computer and Electrical Engineering from Purdue University.