Girl Geek Dinner - Definitely Does Compute

Bay Area Girl Geek Dinners – Definitely Does Compute

Bay Area Girl Geek Dinner #78: Sponsored by IXL Learning

17.11.2014 (9:02 am) – Filed under: Girl Geek Dinners ::

IXL Learning is an educational technology company like no other.  Our team is full of smart, motivated people with a passion for creating the best educational technology possible.   We leverage cutting-edge technologies to solve seemingly intractable problems in education.  Millions of users count on us to make learning as effective as can be, and we’re looking for exceptional people who are committed to solving the real-world challenges faced by students and teachers around the world.  

Join IXL on Tuesday, November 18, 2014 from 5:30pm to 8:30pm to learn about how IXL is shaping the future of education.  Our line-up will include a fantastic girl geek panel on the ups and downs of an educational technology company, the positive impact our work has on society, and the what it’s like transitioning from the classroom to the Edtech space.

IXL Learning Girl Geek Dinner Agenda

5:30PM – 6:30PM – Registration, Dinner, Mingling, Demos

6:30PM – 7:30PM – Panel Discussion

7:30PM – 8:30PM – Dessert, More Mingling, Demos

Twitter Hashtag for the event: #IXLGirlGeekDinner

Twitter handles for hosts: @IXLLearning @BayAreaGGD

IXL Learning Girl Geek Speaker Bios

Kate Mattison copyKate Mattison (Director of Products)

After getting her start at IXL as a product analyst, Kate now leads IXL’s product management team. She is passionate about providing exceptional user experiences and superb educational content. She holds a bachelor’s degree in mathematics from the University of Chicago and a PhD in mathematics from Stanford.




Debbie Chang copyDebbie Chang (Product Manager)

With over 5 years of product development experience under her belt, Debbie has strong demonstrated expertise and an unwavering passion for improving education through technology.  Focused on delivering a high-quality product and delightful user experience, Debbie is responsible for leading the design and development of the IXL product.  She works closely with our engineering, content, marketing, and user support teams to grow and improve our popular online learning program, found at  She holds a bachelor’s degree in biology and health policy from Harvard University.



Megan Elmore copyMegan Elmore (Math Product Analyst)

Formerly a middle school teacher focusing on algebra and physical science, Megan is now an integral member of our math content development team.  As a math product analyst, Megan utilizes her educational insight to drive the success of the IXL product by creating engaging online math problems and collaborating with our engineering and visual design teams.  She is involved in all aspects of the content development cycle, including brainstorming, design, testing, and support.  She holds a bachelor’s degree in computer science from Georgia Institute of Technology and a masters of arts in education from Stanford, with credentials in biology and foundational-level mathematics.



Suzanne Pelz copySuzanne Pelz (Engineering Development Manager)

With over 10 years engineering experience at IXL Learning, Suzanne has played a pivotal role in shaping the IXL product and developing our current engineering team.  She now leads a dedicated team of engineers who focus their efforts on creating the code modules and supporting libraries that generate the math and language arts questions (soon to include science and social studies!) that millions of students in over 190 countries answer every day.  She holds a bachelor’s degree and a masters of arts in mathematics from UC Santa Cruz.

Bay Area Girl Geek Dinner #77: Sponsored by Yelp

05.11.2014 (12:18 am) – Filed under: Girl Geek Dinners ::

Yelp Girl Geek DinnerYelp Girl Geek Dinner on Tuesday, November 11, 2014 from 5:30pm to 8:30pm in San Francisco will be a great opportunity for women interested in tech culture to network, meet with others who share the same interest, and see influential women in the field sharing their experiences.

Yelp Engineering is very excited to host this event and we’re looking forward to meeting everyone and having a great time!

Three of our lovely engineers will be presenting on various topics ranging from career advice to what it takes to launch Yelp in a different country! Join us for an unforgettable night of mixing and mingling!

Enter to win a FREE ticket to the Yelp Software Girl Geek Dinner!

- Deadline to enter the lottery is MIDNIGHT Thursday, November 6th -

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

Yelp Software Girl Geek Dinner Agenda

5:30pm – 6:30pm — Registration & Dinner
6:30pm – 7:30pm — Presentations from Yelp Girl Geeks
7:30pm – 8:30pm — Networking

Twitter hashtag for the event: #YelpGirlGeekDinner

Twitter handles for the hosts: @Yelp @BayAreaGGD

Yelp Software Girl Geek Speaker Bios

Tasneem Minadakis (Yelp Engineering Manager, Ads)
Tasneem Minadakis is an Engineering Manager at Yelp working on the Ads team. Ads is the primary source for Yelp revenue. She is responsible for ensuring that we provide the most relevant experience for the user, while maximizing opportunity for an advertiser and hence make Yelp more money. Before Yelp, she worked at Microsoft on products like Windows, Surface and Bing. She has more than seven years of experience as a manager and leader. She is passionate about mentoring and coaching young women.

Talk Abstract: Often times we tend to take our careers as they come and tend to go with the flow. This talk will share some insights on how to manage your career, stay passionate about your work and continue to grow through the journey.

Rachel Zhao (Yelp Software Engineer, Internationalization)
Rachel Zhao is backend Engineer at Yelp. Originally from Beijing, she has been enjoying working on Yelp’s international product for the past three years. When Rachel is not coding, she is most likely to be eating, taking pictures of food or on her way to food.

Talk Abstract: Yelp has recently launched in Hong Kong, the city with the most skyscrapers in the world and one confusing language situation. This talk is about how we launch our Hong Kong site, what’s involved in our country launching process, as well as some fun facts about Yelp Engineering in general.

Jenni Snyder (Yelp MySQL DBA)
Jenni Snyder has been a MySQL DBA for 10 years, and has spent the last three and a half here at Yelp. She loves how easy it is to start with MySQL, and the Open Source Community around it that welcomes new members. Her favorite aspects of DBA work are optimizing slow queries, eliminating deadlocks, and helping developers. After graduating UCSD with double majors in Computer Science and Sociology, she returned to the Bay Area and worked at, Aggregate Knowledge, and Cisco before coming to Yelp. A new mom, her daughter is an early crawler, and keeps her busy.

Talk Abstract: Jenni will speak about Yelp uses MySQL, the open source tools her team uses to administer it, and some good resources available for those just starting out with MySQL.

Bay Area Girl Geek Dinner #76: Sponsored by Tableau Software

21.10.2014 (11:26 am) – Filed under: Girl Geek Dinners ::

BAGGD_tableauJoin some of Tableau Software’s geeks on Thursday, October 30th, 2014 for an evening of mingling, demos, cocktails, desserts, and more! 

Tableau Software is one of the fastest growing technology companies in the world, with nearly 100% annual sales growth. Our mission is simple: we help people see and understand their data.

Tableau makes a data visualization tool that empowers individuals to explore and analyze their own data, and then to share it with others in the form of dashboards and compelling stories. We believe in using data to make a difference in the world. We are passionate about our product and our mission. Our culture is casual and high-energy. We value work/life balance, efficiency, simplicity, freakishly friendly customer service, and making a difference in the world. Tableau offers exceptional professional and financial growth potential.


Enter to win a FREE ticket to the Tableau Software Girl Geek Dinner!

- Deadline to enter the lottery is MIDNIGHT Wednesday, October 22nd -

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

Tableau Software Girl Geek Dinner Agenda

5:00PM – Registration
5:30PM -6:30PM – Reception and Demos
6:30PM – 7:15PM – Tech Talks (Dave Story, Terry Roberts, Stephanie Nicholson, Vidya Setlur)
7:15PM – 8:00PM – Raffle, Meet and Greet


  800 El Camino Real Suite 400
Menlo Park CA 94025







Twitter hashtag for the event: #TableauGirlGeekDinner

Twitter handles for the hosts: @Tableau @BayAreaGGD

Tableau Software Girl Geek Speaker Bios

Dave Story (VP of Mobile and Strategic Growth)

Bio: Dave Story is the Vice President of Mobile and Strategic Growth at Tableau Software and is responsible for driving strategy for Tableau’s mobile products. Dave has more than 14 years of executive level management experience leading some of the world’s best-known product lines. Prior to Tableau, he served as Chief Technology Officer (CTO) at LucasFilm where he led technology for all of the company’s divisions. He was also CTO at Move Inc., the operator of, Vice President of Product Development and Product Management at Adobe Systems, and CTO for Intuit’s Small Business and Personal Finance Group.

Talk Abstract: Dave will kick-start the event by introducing what Tableau is about and its mission. He will also introduce Tableau on mobile, where iPads and Android tablets provide users the ability to explore, analyze and visualize data using touch gestures, such as tapping, squeezing or swiping through content.

Terry Roberts (User Experience Designer)

Bio: Terry Roberts is a User Experience Designer with experience in several domains.  She began her career working on the Xerox Star, the first commercial windows-and-mouse personal computer (predecessor of the Macintosh).  Subsequent adventures took her to U S WEST Advanced Technologies doing telecommunications, Sun Microsystems doing tools for programmers, PeopleSoft doing enterprise data warehousing systems, and Intuit creating tools for accountants who support small businesses.  Terry has been at Tableau for a year, primarily designing features that let people clean up their data prior to analysis.  Terry has a Ph.D. from Stanford in Computer Science, Human-Computer Interaction.

Talk Abstract: Terry will give an end-to-end demo of the Tableau data visualization product: connecting to data and reviewing what it looks like, exploratory data visualization, analysis, and turning the results into a “story” to tell others.

Stephanie Nicholson (Software Engineer)

Bio: Originally from Portland, OR, Stephanie relocated to Stanford University for college. After earning a BA in Psychology and MS in Computer Science, she joined Tableau as a desktop UI developer. Outside of work, Stephanie loves playing with her cats, Stanford football, spending time with friends, and collecting sloth-themed loungewear.

Talk Abstract Tableau’s mission is to help people see and understand their data, and one of the best ways we can do that is by telling stories. In our 8.2 release, Tableau unveiled its “Story Points” feature. Story Points allows users to assemble sheets and dashboards into an interactive narrative arc that tells a story with their data.  In this talk, I’ll discuss the development of the feature, demonstrate creating and presenting a story, show off a few examples created by our user community, and discuss future directions recently demonstrated at our customer conference.

Vidya Setlur (Scientist)

Bio: Vidya Setlur is a research scientist at Tableau Software. Previously, she worked as a principal research scientist at the Nokia Research Center for 7 years. She earned her doctorate in Computer Graphics in 2005 at Northwestern University. Her research interests lie at the intersection of natural language processing (NLP) and computer graphics, particularly in the area of iconography and content retargeting. This offers her a unique perspective in an R&D team focused on data visualization. You can find out more about her research at and follow her on twitter @vsetlur

Talk abstract: Being part of research at Tableau is unique to begin with. Unlike other research labs, the research team is part of the larger development organization. This has two advantages. First, as a research scientist, one is closely in sync with the product roadmap and the feature teams. Second, it opens up opportunities to collaborate with other engineers on topics of mutual interest. In this talk, come learn about some cool research we are doing here at Tableau.

Bay Area Girl Geek Dinner #75: Sponsored by eBay

07.10.2014 (9:30 pm) – Filed under: Girl Geek Dinners ::

eBay Inc builds technologies that enable superior commerce experiences for individuals and businesses to buy and sell online. The company is proud to present that 42% women and 58% men bringing technologies that build the global economy.

Join eBay and Bay Area Girl Geek Dinners on Thursday, October 16, 2014 at eBay Town Hall (North Campus) San Jose, California to see first-hand how eBay’s technologies are guiding your commerce experience.

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

- Deadline to enter the lottery is MIDNIGHT Thursday, October 9th -

eBay Girl Geek Dinner Agenda

5:00 p.m. onwards – Registration
5:30 – 6:30 p.m. – Networking reception and technology demos
6:30 – 7:30 p.m. – Keynote and panel discussion
7:30 – 8:15 p.m. – Post-event reception

Twitter hashtag for the event: #eBayGirlGeekDinner
Twitter handles for the hosts: @eBay @BayAreaGGD

eBay Girl Geek Dinner Speaker Bios

Sri Shivananda, VP, Global Platform & Infrastructure
Keynote Topic: Technology driving Commerce at eBay

Product and technology leader with experience in large scale transaction platforms and web applications. A hands on leader with a passion for innovating on technologies, building effective teams and a focus on delivering competitively superior technology solutions to the business while growing people in the organization and creating high performance teams. Executive supporter of eWIT, ‘eBay’s Women in Technology’ group. Follow him on Twitter at @srishivananda.

eBay Girl Geek Dinner Panelist Bios

Supriya Gurjar, Technical Education Specialist, Learning and Knowledge

Supriya joined eBay Marketplaces two years ago in the newly formed Technical Training Team. She led many training projects as the program manager, notable among them the New Hire Program as well as soft skills programs to equip eBay’s brilliant engineers with the arsenal of public speaking and presentation skills. Recently, she transitioned into her new role as the Owner of the Talent Development track as well as Product Management Training track for eBay Marketplaces. In her former career, Supriya served the Indian Air Force (IAF) for ten years and retired as a Squadron Leader. As an IAF Transport Pilot, she holds the record of being the first IAF woman pilot to captain an aircraft to the highest airfield in India. When not working, you can find her cultivating a variety of interests such as aviation, volunteering, languages, and as a certified group fitness instructor teaching spinning, circuit training, Bombay Jam ®, and step aerobics at Bay Area gyms. Follow her on Twitter at @sugurjar.

Namrata Mummaneni, Director of Quality, Commerce Experience

Namrata is a senior leader with over 16+ years of experience and proven track record for successfully leading, building and managing talented Quality Engineering teams. She joined eBay’s Mobile team in 2009 as the first QE leader and built the team, processes & products from scratch and helped in transforming eBay mobile into the largest m-commerce player. Currently, Namrata is responsible for Quality Engineering in Commerce Experience for Mobile Web, Payments, Ads and Monetization and Native apps feature integration team. She is passionate about quality, mentoring & Women in Technology and loves to catch up on Bollywood movies in her spare time.

Manju Thomas, Director, UI Engineering

Manju is a seasoned application engineering leader with over 14+ years of experience in the ecommerce industry. Manju is leading the Marketing consumer and Growth application engineering team at PayPal, delivering world class products that drive major business KPI through engineering leadership. Focused on building a really strong application engineering team moving global marketing and product applications to node.js with an adaptive/ Responsive design strategy. For 14 years, Manju has focused on Application engineering: creating products in Web consumer sites and applications and building high-performing user interface engineering teams integrating business requirements with best technology and processes.

Mausami Dave-Shah, MTS 1, User Interface Engineer

Mausami joined PayPal as a prototyper and quickly grew into leading the front end on engineering teams for consumer onboarding, the latest redesigns of the account overview and most recently, Global Marketing. Over the last three and a half years at PayPal, she has been a part of a design and engineering revolution, motivating her engineering teams to work closely with Design and Product in lean cycles to bring beautiful experiences to life. She is passionate about Craftsmanship, mentoring team members to up their skill levels, bridging the gap between Design and Technology and creating awesome Experiences. She is also an alpha mom to two Siberian Husky rescues, soon-to-be mom to a beautiful baby girl, loves going on hikes with her huskies and traveling around the world.

Aruna Susarla, MTS Architect

Aruna is a Senior Architect at PayPal with over 15 years of industry experience. She is currently one of the lead Architects in the retail engineering team and is responsible for building scalable, high performance innovative solutions that PayPal can deploy at mobile as well as traditional Point of Sale systems. Aruna cares deeply about performance and reliability and has been striving to redefine payment experience that delights customer and also make sense for our bottom line. She loves hiking and running and recently finished her first half marathon.

Snezana Sahter, Principal Member of Technical Staff, Architect

Snezana joined eBay in July 2004 as an engineer and over the span of decade has grown into marketplaces architect role. She has led and been major contributor to complex business critical initiatives, including the feedback system re-design, seller standards, identity verification and entity resolution, to name a few. Besides working on solutions for eBay Trust business domains, she is also part of the Commerce OS team co-authoring standards for designing and building API and services. Born and educated in Serbia, she is now accustomed to living in the Bay area appreciating multi-cultural diversity while passing some of the Serbian heritage to her two kids.

Panel Discussion
Every company has a strategic vision, a brand and a purpose, and whatever we do in our roles ultimately impacts this brand and the vision. Whatever be our roles, expertise, team sizes or experiences, each of us can do our part to align with this vision and bring it to live within our own scope of work. Our panel discussion will focus on important traits, skillsets, and networks that you as a professional should develop to demonstrate ‘impact’ through your role in the organization. Eventually, you should feel proud of the product and the brand that you created. Your passion would influence others to follow suit and join you in your vision!

Bay Area Girl Geek Dinner #74: Sponsored by Eventbrite

20.09.2014 (1:53 pm) – Filed under: Girl Geek Dinners ::

Eventbrite was founded with the (quite ambitious) mission of bringing the world together through live experiences. We’re building the technology that has powered millions of live events in 190 countries. Live experiences that range from music festivals, to hackathons, political rallies, mud runs, beer festivals, and Girl Geek Dinners.

Our technology spans across web, mobile, API, big data, machine learning, search, physical point of sale, and scanning systems. We even build servers in boxes and drive them up mountains in deserts to power the most remote events.

Join some of Eventbrite’s geekiest on Thursday, October 2nd, 2014 for an evening of mingling, cocktails, crème brûlée, and learn about our plans for the future with our co-founder Julia Hartz and more of Eventbrite’s leading girl geeks as we work towards redefining an industry in desperate need of a shakeup.

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

- Deadline to enter the lottery is Wednesday, September 24th -

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

Eventbrite Girl Geek Dinner Agenda

5:30pm – 6:30pm Doors open, dinner + cocktails served
6:30pm – 6:45pm Welcome & Intro by Julia Hartz
6:45pm – 7:30pm Lightning Talks about Engineering, UX & Product at Eventbrite
7:30pm – 8:00pm Eventbrite Girl Geek Panel
8:00pm – 8:30pm Q&A and Discussion
8:30pm – 9:30pm Mixer continues

Twitter hashtag for the event: #EventbriteGirlGeekDinner
Twitter handles for the hosts: @Eventbrite @BayAreaGGD

Eventbrite Girl Geek Speaker Bios

Julia Hartz (Co-Founder & President, Eventbrite)

Focused on in-house strategy and growth, Julia is responsible for building, evolving, and sustaining Eventbrite’s growing team of 400 “Britelings” and award-winning company culture. Before co-founding Eventbrite, Julia worked as a television development executive at MTV and FX Networks and was part of the team that discovered Jackass (you’re welcome). Follow her on Twitter at @juliahartz.

April Chang (VP of Engineering, Consumer & Infrastructure Operations, Eventbrite)

Formerly on the engineering leadership team at PayPal, Yahoo!, and Sun Microsystems, April brings over 20 years of product development experience. As Eventbrite’s VP of Engineering, April continues to grow our world-class engineering team, develop innovative product features, and execute on Eventbrite’s vision to become the global marketplace for live events during a time of extraordinary growth.

Melissa Cooper (Director of User Experience, Eventbrite)

Melissa is responsible for building and managing a team of talented user experience designers, developing the broader user experience strategy and managing day-to-day user research and design practices. Prior to Eventbrite, Melissa designed user experiences for large Australian news sites such as The Sydney Morning Herald. She also worked exclusively on developing new mobile products in the Australian Broadcasting Corporation’s Innovation unit. Follow her on Twitter at @mississa.

Stephany Bader (Principal Product Manager, Eventbrite)

Stephany joined Eventbrite’s Product team in 2012 and has been integral to building our mobile products, including our native app and newly entirely responsive website. She has refined the user experience of event creation that has been the core of Eventbrite’s product. Stephany loves the great outdoors and wears some killer heels (in the office, not while hiking). Prior to becoming a Briteling, she was a Googler. Follow her on Twitter at @stephanykr.

Mansi Shah (Software Data Engineer, Eventbrite)

Mansi joined Eventbrite in July 2014 as a Software Data Engineer with the Discovery team where she is responsible for developing the next version of Eventbrite’s recommendation engines to provide relevant event recommendations to consumers. Prior to Eventbrite, Mansi worked at various companies like Qualcomm, a few startups and most recently, Expedia, where she was an active member of the women’s group (WELL) and helped organize GGD events hosted by Expedia. Mansi is a mom of an active toddler, yoga enthusiast, board game player and a globetrotter (yes, even with a toddler in tow!). She has a BSc in Computer Science from University of Texas at Austin.

Kat King (Software Engineer, Eventbrite)Kat King

Kat joined team Eventbrite as a Software Engineer in 2013 after completing her Hackbright fellowship. Kat is focused on building the tools that help organizers create quality events on the Eventbrite platform. Follow her on Twitter at @SatchKat.

Nicole Zuckerman (Software Engineer, Eventbrite)

Nicole joined Eventbrite as a Software Engineer in January 2013 after graduating from Hackbright Academy, where she is now a mentor. Nicole works on the Organizer Growth team where she is responsible for writing features to help increase our organizer base. Nicole is an avid dancer, sci-fi book fanatic, board game player and cheese lover. She has an MA in English Literature and Women’s Studies from the University of Liverpool. Follow her on Twitter at @zuckerpunch.

Mica Swyers (Software Engineer, Eventbrite)

Mica joined the Engineering team in 2014 after completing her fellowship at Hackbright Academy. She works on spam and fraud engineering. She holds an MA in French linguistics from the University of Illinois but won’t speak French when we ask her to. Follow her on Twitter at @micaswyers.

Jacky Chang (Software Engineer, Eventbrite)

Jacky studied computer science at MIT, and began taking web development seriously in 2010. She followed the job market by moving to San Francisco to work for StumbleUpon, but quickly found herself at the center of a startup whirlwind. After a couple of years serving as CTO of digital publishing startup Plympton, she now works as a software engineer at Eventbrite on the Organizer Growth team. She appreciates climbing, comic books, and code that seems to actually have a reason to exist. Follow her on Twitter at @kyoki.

Whitney Ryan (Product Manager – Organizer Growth, Eventbrite)

Whitney joined Eventbrite as a Product Manager earlier this year to lead the Organizer Growth team. When not working on optimizing conversion funnels, Whitney loves to read awful sci-fi novels and turn leftovers into culinary delights.