Bay Area Girl Geek Dinner - definitely does compute!

Bay Area Girl Geek Dinners – Definitely Does Compute

Bay Area Girl Geek Dinner #142: Sponsored by eShares

eShares Girl Geek Dinner

eShares is hosting a Bay Area Girl Geek Dinner on Thursday, August 31, 2017 (5:30pm – 8pm). Come join us at eShares in San Francisco for an evening of stimulating speakers, food, drinks and networking!

Hear from eShares’ girl geeks in product and engineering on how we do things differently at eShares – from how we push code, to our hiring practices, to our commitment to being helpful — to create a productive and inclusive work environment.

eShares is a fast-growing technology startup that works to helps other startups. From pre-seed through IPO, eShares helps companies succeed by managing their equity electronically with the participation of their shareholders, employees, auditors, and legal counsel.

eShares’ mission is to consolidate private company ownership onto one common electronic registry, and bring a wealth of financial services — previously reserved only for public companies — to the private market.

Please Follow Us:

Twitter: @eShares @BayAreaGGD
Event Hashtag: #eSharesGirlGeekDinner

eShares Girl Geek Dinner Agenda:

5:00pm – 6:15pm – Registration, Networking, Food & Drinks
6:15pm – 7:15pm – Welcome & eShares Girl Geek Panel
7:15pm – 8:00pm – Q&A, More Networking & Drinks

Please note that the building closes at 6:30pm so plan to arrive before 6:30pm for check-in.

Speaker Bios for eShares Girl Geek Dinner:

Esther Rasche (Head of Valuations Engineering, eShares)Esther Rasche
Esther Rasche leads engineering for eShares’ Valuations Business Unit. The business has grown from just 3 people when she joined in early 2016 to more than 50 people today – and is now a leading provider of 409A valuations. Esther manages a team of engineers spanning three offices and two countries and is focused on finding product-market fit while ramping up a fast-growing team of engineers. She has extensive experience in the start-up world, including working at Simply Hired, and being part of a successful Kickstarter campaign at Iotera, an IoT startup. She became interested in start-ups during graduate school, co-founding a fashion “visual search” startup with her labmates. She holds a BS in Electrical Engineer from UT Austin, and an MS and PhD in Electrical Engineering from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

Liz LeCrone (Product Lead, eShares)LIz Lecrone
Liz LeCrone is Product Lead for the Partnerships team at eShares, joining in early 2017. Liz has the exciting job of understanding customer needs of a very demanding Law Firm customer segment – balancing desire for stability with eShares bias for change. Liz began her career in Silicon Valley at Looksharp, the college recruiting platform, where she did everything from fraud management to email marketing to product management. Liz loves to pursue solutions to big problems and is invested in building a place for herself in the challenging tech landscape.

Kristina Nguyen (QA Engineer, eShares)Kristina Nguyen
Kristina Nguyen is a QA engineer at eShares. She graduated from UC Davis with a bachelors in economics and minor in psychology. She started at eShares, about 4 years ago, and watched the company grow from 5 to 250+ employees. Kristina started as a sales assistant intern and followed on with other non-technical roles. With the help of her colleagues, she learned programming and join eShares platform engineering team. eShares gave her the opportunity and encouragement to go from a non-technical role to a technical role. Grateful for such an amazing and hardworking company, Kristina continues to grow and thrive at eShares.

Event Tickets & Details:

Tickets on sale starting at 12:00pm PST on Monday, August 21st, 2017 at Eventbrite!

Bay Area Girl Geek Dinner #141: Sponsored by Oracle | NetSuite

Oracle NetSuite Girl Geek Dinner

Oracle NetSuite is hosting a Bay Area Girl Geek Dinner on Wednesday, August 23, 2017 (5:30pm – 8:30pm) in San Mateo!

Join us for an evening with great speakers, tasty food, drinks and networking! Hear from our resident experts on topics like “Product Management”, “Designing For Inclusiveness: Your Employees Are Watching” and “How To Deliver Social Impact”. We will be raffling some items throughout the evening for additional fun and games.

Please Follow Us:

Twitter: @Oracle @NetSuite @BayAreaGGD
Event Hashtag: #OracleNetSuiteGirlGeekDinner

Oracle NetSuite Girl Geek Dinner Agenda:

5:30pm – 6:30pm – Registration, Networking, Food & Drinks
6:30pm – 8:00pm – Executive Welcome & Lightning Talks
8:00pm – 8:30pm – Q&A, More Networking & Drinks

Speaker Bios for Oracle NetSuite Girl Geek Dinner:

Gary Wiessinger (SVP Product Management, Oracle NetSuite)Gary Wiessinger
Gary Wiessinger spearheads product strategy and design at Oracle NetSuite. As SVP of Product Management, he has played a critical role in creating the NetSuite product line across ERP, Commerce, HCM, Analytics, and the SuiteCloud Platform. he leads the product management, experience design, and technical publications teams and drives the overall R&D organization to deliver features and experiences that solve customers’ most important problems and delight users. Prior to joining NetSuite, he held a variety of roles at Intuit QuickBooks, most recently leading vision, strategy, and product management of Intuit’s mid-market product line, including QuickBooks Enterprise Solutions and the Intuit Enterprise Suite. He has an MBA from the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University and a BA in Economics from Yale University.

Candice McFarland (Senior User Experience Researcher, Oracle NetSuite)Candice McFarland
Candice McFarland is a Senior User Experience Researcher in the Experience Design Group with Oracle NetSuite. Candice has 11 years of experience in user research and strives to understand the holistic customer experience using a variety of methodologies. She is an editor for User Experience Magazine, the magazine for the User Experience Professionals Association. Her previous work took her into the worlds of B2C and B2B websites in healthcare, consumer products, retail and transportation, and before that, she was an editor at a newspaper and used a pneumatic tube daily. Follow her on Twitter at @candicemcf.

Morgan St Clair (Communications Manager, Oracle NetSuite)Morgan St Clair
Morgan St Clair is the Communications Manager for the Oracle NetSuite Social Impact team, supporting software donation and services to nonprofits. She has had experience with an array of organizations in the non-profit sector. At the National Multiple Sclerosis Society as a Bike/Walk MS Manager she organized, Bike MS: Waves to Wine and Walk MS events. At San Francisco SAFE, the SFPD crime prevention organization, Morgan served the city with public safety services and created the bicycle registration program called SAFE Bikes. The program has returned thousands of bikes, educated victims, and gained national press including the CBS Evening News and the NY Times. She also currently works at BidPal as an Event Manager, managing technology on site at nonprofit fundraising galas. While pursuing her Master’s degree, she lived in Nepal and worked at a widow’s rights organization, Women for Human Rights.

Event Tickets & Details:

Tickets on sale starting at 12:00pm PST on Monday, August 14th, 2017 at Eventbrite!

3 Book Recommendations From Women Executives At Khan Academy

August 10, 2017 – Mountain View, Calif — Khan Academy CEO and founder Sal Khan welcomed over 200 girl geeks gathered at Khan Academy for a Bay Area Girl Geek Dinner. He introduced Ginny Lee, Khan Academy President and COO before the panel of women executives took the stage.

The panel was moderated by Alice Pao, Khan Academy Software Engineer, who shared a story about how she got her job! About a year ago, she was wait-listed for the Khan Academy Girl Geek Dinner but appealed by email for a ticket. She did get a ticket and met a recruiter at Khan Academy, who told her about the engineering fellowship opportunity at the time. She applied and got the fellowship, and after the fellowship, she became a full-time software engineer at Khan Academy! This year, she’s moderating the panel of Khan Academy women at the Girl Geek Dinner.

Nancy Lee, Khan Academy VP Marketing, recommended the book The Confidence Code, backed by research on how external criticism feeds on internal criticism. She underlined how important finding support – friends, counselors, guides, mentors – to help gain perspective and build confidence. She urged the audience of girl geeks to “lean on each other and external people, either professionals or your personal network, to provide you that support. It will help you balance out the critics externally and internally.”

Another book recommendation by Nancy was Playing Big by Tara Mohr. Her book in particular gives tactical mitigating ideas and exercises to deal with the inner critic.

Katherine Morris, Khan Academy VP Content, found her network in school – a group of girlfriends and herself formed a “career club” – women with slightly different trajectories in marketing, product, etc – and meet together semi-regularly to chat about what’s currently on their professional radars, which has been very helpful and supportive.

She offers advice: “To my younger self, I would be looking for those people who provide more than advice but who can bring me along. I encourage people in leadership positions to not just be mentors but also sponsors.”

Katherine recommended a book People Styles At Work to manage a diverse team. This book helps you learn about people’s different styles and to “flex” to those styles in a productive way.

Self-care is important! Katherine meditates (or at least, tries to) five times a week. She explained that helps that inner voice to get stronger. “Deep down inside of us, we know what we want, and we know what the right thing to do is. That voice doesn’t get a lot of air time naturally, so mindfulness help see amplify that voice to have more clear personal navigation which helps bring some of that confidence.”

Annie Ding, Khan Academy VP Product Management, confessed that from a career-ambition perspective, she was on the low side and never had “plans” to be in the position she is in now. Her “north star” was to ask (1) how to make the biggest impact, and (2) what will help you learn the most. When she joined Khan Academy, she started as an individual contributor product manager because it was the role available at the time. Her moving jobs was was a step down from career standpoint, as she was the head of product at another place.

Girl Geek Q&A

In addition to the prepared questions for the panel, girl geeks in the audience expressed a range of questions from how to find support, to advice for dealing with the current news cycle:

How to react to the current situation at Google?
Panelist: “If we don’t talk about it, it won’t get better. That’s the only way it’s going to get better, even though there will be some very tough conversations.” “The more we speak up about this, the more people pay attention. When you are not a woman, it’s hard to imagine being a woman. For a large part of it, it’s not any kind of ill intent on their part, it’s just that they aren’t aware. I almost see that it is our responsibility to some extent to educate the leaders, because unless leadership gets on board, you won’t have any real change.”

How to find mentors, or your support network?
Panelists: “Chemistry… Corporate mentorship programs have not been very successful. Leap on opportunities to find chemistry in working with coworkers.” “What’s awesome is when mentees come to me, and ask me to be their mentor, and in return, will teach you something. A girl on my team was a social media expert, and myself – as a product of the 1970s – I leapt on this opportunity, because it felt like a bilateral agreement so in addition to chemistry, it can be a winning formula.” “I recommend finding people you haven’t worked with, so the four women and myself were all in business school, and that’s how I found women who were in the same area and had the similar career interests as myself.” “I recommend finding people from school, or in this room!”

How to break into a new industry – for example, from teaching to ed-tech?
Panelists: “Find a position in a company you want to be at, and get in the door. It’s easier to move around once you are in a company once you get to know the people and positions.” “Building a portfolio of work is important.” “Mine your LinkedIn network. Many times your second or third degree connections will be more useful than those first degree connections.”

Recommended Books


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Bay Area Girl Geek Dinner #140: Sponsored by Pinterest

Pinterest Girl Geek Dinner

Come enjoy an evening full of networking, food, drinks, speakers, demos, and more at the Pinterest HQ on Thursday, August 17th, 2017 in San Francisco!

Learn how Pinterest evolved from a handful of people to a company of over 1200 employees, and how our complex engineering and product challenges have evolved over time! We will have lightning talks spanning Pinterest Lens to Machine Learning, followed by a tech panel with the Head of the Engineering, CTO and Head of Diversity. We’re also excited for you to meet our special guest, CEO Ben Silbermann!

Pinterest took a bold step in 2015, when co-founders Ben Silbermann and Evan Sharp decided to set public goals to increase women and underrepresented engineers and professionals across the company. The result of this commitment is that women in tech have increased from 21% to 26%, employees from underrepresented ethnic backgrounds have doubled, and a focus on leadership has helped us bring in powerful women executives such as our Head of Engineering, Li Fan, and Christine Flores, our General Counsel.

Please Follow Us:

Twitter: @Pinterest @BayAreaGGD
Event Hashtag: #PinterestGirlGeekDinner

Pinterest Girl Geek Dinner Agenda:

5:45pm – 6:30pm – Check-in, Networking, Food and Drinks!
6:30pm – 8:00pm – Lightning Talks and Panel Discussion
8:00pm – 8:30pm – Post Panel Networking and Refreshments!

*Please note that as a courtesy to our Pinterest Speakers, check-in will close at 6:30pm.

Speaker Bios for Pinterest Girl Geek Dinner:

Ben Silbermann (Co-Founder & CEO, Pinterest)Ben Silbermann
Ben Silbermann grew up in Iowa, where he spent a lot of time collecting bugs. Today, he helps millions of people collect and discover the things they love as co-founder and CEO of Pinterest. Before Pinterest, Ben worked at Google on AdSense and studied at Yale. He lives in San Francisco with his wife and two sons. Follow him on Twitter at @8en.

Li Fan (Head of Engineering, Pinterest)Li Fan
Li Fan is the Head of Engineering at Pinterest, where she leads the company’s technical direction and oversees a team of 400+ engineers building a visual discovery engine. Prior to joining Pinterest, she led image search at Google as the Senior Director of Engineering. From 2012 to 2014, she was Vice
President of Engineering for Baidu, where she was responsible for product design and development at China’s largest search engine. Li began her career in software development and engineering management at Cisco and Ingrian Networks before joining Google in 2002. She holds a Master’s in Computer Science from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and a BS in Computer Science from Fudan University in Shanghai.

Vanja Josifovski (CTO, Pinterest)Vanja Josifovski
Vanja Josifovski is the CTO of Pinterest working on establishing the overall technical strategy as well as leading efforts in the area of machine learning. In addition he leads the Discovery team that includes the content selection for the Pinterest home feed, search and visual discovery. In the past, Vanja lead the Pinterest Growth team responsible for user and engagement growth. His background is in machine learning and search and prior to Pinterest he was working on large scale ML and information extraction at Google Research. Further back he was at Yahoo Research and IBM Research. He holds a PhD in the area of large scale database systems.

Candice Morgan (Head of Diversity, Pinterest)Candice Morgan
Candice Morgan is the head of diversity at Pinterest where she leads efforts to build a more inclusive and diverse Pinterest. Previously, Candice spent nearly 10 years at Catalyst based in New York and Zurich, where she built inclusive work cultures by designing and implementing strategic talent initiatives for global companies and firms across a range of industries including finance, consumer goods, technology, healthcare and more. Candice holds an MSc in cross-cultural psychology from Brunel University and a BS in psychology from Carnegie Mellon University.

Kinnary Jangla (Senior Software Engineer, Homefeed Infrastructure, Pinterest)Kinnary Jangla
Kinnary Jangla is a senior software engineer in the homefeed team at Pinterest. She works on the machine learning infrastructure team as a backend engineer. Kinnary has worked in the industry for 10+ years. She comes most recently from Uber where she worked on Maps and International growth and Microsoft before that where she worked on Bing search. She holds a MS in computer science from University of Illinois and BE from University of Mumbai.

Zhefei Yu (Software Engineer, Pinterest Lens, Pinterest)Zhefei Yu
Zhefei Yu is a software engineer on visual search team at Pinterest. She focuses on building visual discovery products, such as Pinterest Lens and Flashlight, which are powered by computer vision and deep learning. She joined Pinterest in 2015. She has been working on visual search
products, deep learning models and backend service. Prior to Pinterest, she received her master degree’s from Stanford University and bachelor’s degree from University of Science and Technology of China.

Frances Haugen (Senior Product Manager, Machine Learning, Pinterest)Frances Haugen
Frances Haugen is a data product manager at Pinterest. She has over a decade of experience working at Pinterest, Google and Yelp. Frances is passionate about designing experiences using data and artificial intelligence that delight the user. At Pinterest, Frances focuses on the ranking of the Home Feed where she combines her training in user-oriented design with her love of data mining and analysis. She was a member of the founding class of Franklin W. Olin College of Engineering and holds a Masters from Harvard.

Event Tickets & Details:

Tickets on sale starting at 12:00pm PST on Friday, August 4th, 2017 at Eventbrite!

Bay Area Girl Geek Dinner #139: Sponsored by Khan Academy

Khan Academy Girl Geek Dinner

Join Khan Academy & Bay Area Girl Geek Dinners on Thursday, August 10th, 2017 in Mountain View for a Khan Academy Girl Geek Dinner!

Khan Academy’s mission is to provide a free world class education to anyone, anywhere. Join us for a cross-functional panel of Khan Academy’s senior leadership team working towards this mission across engineering, design and product management as they share about their paths, current work and the unique challenges they’ve faced in tech.

Dinner and refreshments will be provided, followed by a panel discussion and Q&A.

Please Follow Us:

Twitter: @KhanAcademy @BayAreaGGD
Event Hashtag: #KhanAcademyGirlGeekDinner

Khan Academy Girl Geek Dinner Agenda:

5:00pm – 5:45pm: Registration and Networking
5:30pm – 6:30pm: Dinner
6:30pm – 7:30pm: Panel Discussion and Q&A
7:30pm – 8:00pm: Networking

Speaker Bios for Khan Academy Girl Geek Dinner:

Nancy Lee (VP Consumer Marketing, Khan Academy)Nancy Lee
Nancy Lee is VP Consumer Marketing at Khan Academy. Her role is to raise awareness and drive usage of Khan Academy across students, teachers, and parents – at scale. Previously she was VP of Marketing at Intuit, leading customer acquisition for the QuickBooks brand. Her career in marketing spans 20 years, and covers a variety of digital marketing, product marketing, and brand marketing roles. She has an MBA from UC Berkeley, and degrees in Marketing and English Literature from Simon Fraser University in Canada.

Katherine Morris (VP Content, Khan Academy)Katherine Morris
Katherine Morris is VP Content at Khan Academy. In this role, she leads the team responsible for creating instructional videos, articles and practice exercises worldwide. Prior to joining Khan Academy, Katherine was Director of Product Management in the small business division at Intuit. Her roles included leading the QuickBooks International, Payroll and Self-Help Content product management teams. Before joining Intuit, Katherine worked as a business analyst in Accenture's Strategic Services Group and co-founded Bayshore Consulting, a boutique consulting firm focused on the credit card industry. Katherine received her undergraduate degree at Stanford, where she majored in Human Biology. She also attended Harvard Business School, where she received her MBA.

Annie Ding (VP Product Management, Khan Academy)Annie Ding
Annie Ding is VP Product Management. Annie works with the product team to make great experiences for everyone who uses Khan Academy. She’s excited to help people find wonder in what they learn and achieve their goals. Previously, Annie worked at software and hardware startups, as well as Microsoft and MSR. She studied computer science and design at MIT, where she made apps to help designers learn about programming and share the process behind their work.

Alice Pao (Software Engineer, Khan Academy)Alice Pao
Alice Pao is a Software Engineer at Khan Academy, where she works across the stack to build free, high-quality SAT and Test Prep products for all students and teachers, anywhere. She is a true believer in Khan Academy's motto "You Can Learn Anything" given her own transition from a career in marketing and business development to software engineering via Hackbright Academy. Prior to software engineering, Alice worked as a Practice Development Manager for the Emerging Companies Group at global law firm Latham & Watkins LLP and graduated from University of Pennsylvania. When she is not coding, Alice loves to do room escapes, read YA/SF/Fantasy, and travel.

Event Tickets & Details:

Tickets on sale starting at 12:00pm PST on Wednesday, July 26th, 2017 at Eventbrite!