Girl Geek Dinner - Definitely Does Compute

Bay Area Girl Geek Dinners – Definitely Does Compute

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.

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

Street parking: Plenty of free street parking after 6 pm!

Directions: If you enter through the Franklin lobby, take the elevators to your left.

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.