Bay Area Girl Geek Dinner - definitely does compute!

Bay Area Girl Geek Dinners – Definitely Does Compute

Bay Area Girl Geek Dinner #146: Sponsored by LinkedIn

LinkedIn Girl Geek Dinner

LinkedIn is hosting a Bay Area Girl Geek Dinner on Monday, October 2nd, 2017 from 5:30pm to 8:30pm in downtown San Francisco!

Come listen to LinkedIn girl geeks giving tech talks about a recommendation system for online learning, the importance of creating, insights from an economic graph, and scaling big data. There will be refreshments, drinks and fun schwag!

Please Follow Us:

Twitter: @LinkedIn @BayAreaGGD
Event Hashtag: #LinkedInGirlGeekDinner

LinkedIn Girl Geek Dinner Agenda:

5:30pm – 6:30pm – Registration, Networking, Light Refreshments!
6:30pm – 7:30pm – Dinner Served, LinkedIn Girl Geek Talks
7:30pm – 8:00pm – More Networking!

Speaker Bios for LinkedIn Girl Geek Dinner:

Shivani Rao (Senior Applied Researcher – Machine Learning, LinkedIn)Shivani Rao

Shivani Rao is a Senior Applied Researcher working in the Learning Relevance group at LinkedIn. Shivani has accrued research experience in Industry and academia in areas of Machine Learning, Data Mining and Computer Vision. Outside of R&D work, Shivani loves engaging with the larger technical community, via writing and speaking and serving on the organizing committee of workshops and conferences. She has published and helped organize various academic and industry conferences including KDD and GHC. Shivani is also passionate about mentoring and supporting women in tech via outreach events with organizations like Hackbright Academy, Technovation. Follow her on Twitter at @shivanigrao.

Talk Topic: “Learning to be Relevant, Course Recommendations for LinkedIn Learning” by Shivani Rao
Online learning platforms have grown tremendously in recent years, having an impact from K-12 to lifelong learning. Come learn about Recommender System theory applied into practice to the domain of Online Education. This talk presents the algorithms behind course recommendations with insights drawn from large scale A/B Testing experiments.

Omayeli Arenyeka (Software Engineer, LinkedIn)Omayeli Arenyeka

Omayeli Arenyeka is a creative technologist working at LinkedIn. She graduated from NYU with a degree she crafted, titled Art & Code or Creative Computation if you want to be fancy. She’s demoed her projects at the Razorfish Global Tech Summit, Tech@NYU Demodays, NY Tech Meetup and NYC Media Lab Summit. She’s an alum of CODE2040 and Tech@NYU – NYC’s largest student tech organization. She thinks a lot about the technology, art and social good and can tell you the plot of any Law and Order SVU episode. Follow her on Twitter at @yellzheard.

Talk Topic: “What Art can teach you” by Omayeli Arenyeka
5 weeks into my second Computer Science class, I was learning how to build a calculator in Java. I was also considering dropping the class. It was hard but I also wasn’t very interested in what I was making. This all changed during the 6th week when we got a substitute professor. That day he demoed a game made in Processing (which is an open source creative coding language) that used computer vision to track the location of a marker so that a user could knock tiny Justin Bieber heads off the screen. I fell in love with code that day and decided to build a concentration around art and code. During college I built artsy projects like a visualization of my daily schedule, my social media activity as an electrocardiogram, an app that tweeted how lazy I was when I snoozed my alarm, and a reverse-cupid game where cupid’s arrows broke people apart instead of bringing them together. My projects weren’t always ‘practical’ or ‘useful’ in the traditional sense but at the very least they were fun and I was learning a lot. I first started doubting myself when people would ask questions like ‘So what is a practical use case for this?” after my demos. These feelings intensified when I (reluctantly) entered into the world of “traditional tech” through internships and now full-time where unit tests, code reviews, practicality, and utility reigned supreme. I wasn’t creating outside of work at all. Every time I started a project I’d be riddled with anxiety about the utility and practicality of the project or too caught up in it being perfect. Ultimately what brought me back to creating again was once more embracing an artistic perspective when approaching a project. So instead of worrying about the practicality or utility of the idea, I decided to appreciate the act of creating ‘Less Important Things.’ Like Horace a Roman poet said, “artists have always shared the right to dare anything.” Engineers, not so much. It’s so important to make space to create less important things so you can stay creative and happy in this field that puts so much weight on moving metrics or creating ‘the next facebook.’ Tl;dr I’ll be talking about the artistic mindset and embracing that even if you don’t consider yourself an ‘artist.’

Jacqueline Barrett (Lead Economic Graph Researcher, LinkedIn)Jacqueline Barrett

Jacqueline Barrett is the Lead Researcher of the Economic Graph team at LinkedIn. In her role, she uses LinkedIn’s rich data set to uncover trends in local economies as well as understand complex labor market phenomena. Prior to working at LinkedIn, Jacqueline served as an Economist at Compass Lexecon where she focused on antitrust and competition. She has an MBA from the University of Chicago Booth School of Business and a BA in Economics from Northwestern University.

Talk Topic: “Insights from the Economic Graph” by Jacqueline Barrett
In this talk, I’ll cover how LinkedIn uses its unique economic graph data to uncover labor market trends, gauge the health of local economies and understand how the workforce is being transformed. Having a better understanding of these phenomena ultimately allows policy makers, educators, employers and workers to make better decisions. This analysis ultimately provides a lens to inform policy interventions and drive change. In particular, I will focus on the metrics behind the LinkedIn Workforce Report (featured monthly on CNBC and covered by other outlets such as the Washington Post and Forbes) as well as partnerships with the World Economic Forum and World Bank.

Suja Viswesan (Senior Engineering Manager, LinkedIn)Suja Viswesan

Suja Wiswesan leads engineering teams that are responsible for the Big Data Platform at LinkedIn. The team is responsible for the entire ecosystem including Data Management, Hadoop as a Service, Core Hadoop, Spark, etc. This platform is leveraged by LinkedIn to make key business decisions. This platform also powers products like ‘People You May Know’, Feed relevance to name a few. Some of the open source contributions from the team include, Gobblin, Azkaban, Dr.Elephant. Prior to joining LinkedIn, Suja led BigInsights Hadoop team, Database teams at IBM. Suja holds an MS in computer Engineering. Suja is very passionate about Women in tech and has been part of various talks/panels at Dataworks summit, Girls Who Code, LeanIn, Girls Scout and Universities. She is also mentors at WEST, TechWomen.

Talk Topic: “Scaling out to 10 clusters, 1000+ users, 10,000 flows: Big Data experience at LinkedIn” by Suja Viswesan
This talk is about the past, present, and future of Big Data at LinkedIn. It is story that begins back in 2008 with a group of engineers cobbling together their first cluster from a collection of mismatched Solaris boxes. How do we support a demanding user population, limit and prevent the growth of technical debt, and the factors we take into account when making bets on new technologies like Spark, Presto, and TensorFlow.

Event Tickets & Details:

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

8 Important Lessons Of Radical Candor For Managers And Workplaces

“Challenging people is often the best way to show that you care when you’re the boss,” argues Kim Malone Scott, leadership coach and author of Radical Candor – a management book and framework for caring personally and challenging directly.

Lessons learned from Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg’s guidance and management practices have been operationalized by management coach Kim (who helped develop manager training at Apple and Twitter) in this book. She starts with emphasizing guidance (or “feedback” — both praise and criticism). People often forget they need to solicit guidance from others, and encourage it between them. When guidance is great, it’s called Radical Candor (pictured above, top right quadrant) and you definitely want a culture of this in your workplace – with your boss, management team, colleagues.

From the time we learn to speak, we’re told that if you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all. While this advice may work for everyday life, this “ruinous empathy” spells disaster when adopted by managers. more »

Bay Area Girl Geek Dinner #144: Sponsored by Juvo

Juvo Girl Geek Dinner

Juvo is hosting a Bay Area Girl Geek Dinner on Tuesday, September 26th, 2017 from 5:30pm to 8pm in downtown San Francisco!

Come listen to Juvo girl geeks speaking about engineering, marketing, support, and life at a small startup at Juvo’s new office.

Juvo is a Latin word that means, “To aid, help, delight.” Our vision is financial inclusion for all. Juvo was founded with an overarching mission: to establish financial identities for the billions of people worldwide who are creditworthy, yet financially excluded. In partnership with mobile network operators, Juvo’s proprietary Identity Scoring technology uses data science, machine learning, and game mechanics to create an identity-based relationship with anonymous prepaid users, opening up access to otherwise unattainable mobile financial services.

Juvo just completed a $40 million Series B funding round with funding from by top-tier VCs including NEA, Wing Venture, and Freestyle Capital. We’re hiring!

Please Follow Us:

Twitter: @Juvo_mobile @BayAreaGGD
Event Hashtag: #JuvoGirlGeekDinner

Juvo Girl Geek Dinner Agenda:

5:00pm – 5:30pm – Registration, Networking, Food & Drinks!
5:30pm – 7:30pm – Juvo Girl Geek Talks, Followed By Q&A
7:30pm – 8:00pm – More Networking!

Speaker Bios for Juvo Girl Geek Dinner:

Beverly Lau (Senior Software Engineer, Juvo)Beverly Lau

Beverly Lau is a backend developer at Juvo. She is currently working on Sprint International World Top-Up, a remittance app for sending money to your friends and family in other countries. Beverly earned her Ph.D. in Medical Physics at the University of Chicago and spent 2 years doing breast cancer 3D x-ray imaging research before switching careers to software engineering. She also used to operate a nuclear reactor. Beverly is vegan for animal rights, and she also enjoys playing high-strategy board games, baking, traveling, dancing, and making people laugh. Follow her on Twitter @balau.

Stefanie Stevens (VP Customer Success, Juvo)Stefanie Stevens

Stefanie Stevens is the VP of Customer Success at Juvo, leading the expanding Customer Success team focused on onboarding and high engagement and optimized use of the Juvo platform. Stefanie has more than 18 years experience building world-class client services organizations for technology companies. Her career has been focused on cultivating client relationships, informing product strategy with the voice of the customer and delivering stellar service with each client touch-point. Prior to joining Juvo, Stefanie was the Sr. Director, Client Services at FIS Digital, where she built and evolved a client services organization focused on optimized on-boarding, training, support and expansion. Stefanie earned her B.A. in History and Italian Literature from Wellesley College. In her spare time, Stefanie is an avid equestrian and budding guitar player.

Jacquie Amacher (VP Marketing, Juvo)Jacquie Amacher

Jacquie Amacher is the VP of Marketing at Juvo. She leads Juvo’s brand strategy and global communications efforts. Jacquie brings over 20 years experience in brand transformation and strategic marketing for both high growth companies and emerging technologies in the mobile technology marketplace. Jacquie was at the forefront of high profile product and digital service launches from leading-sector companies including Motorola and Verizon, and has served on the executive leadership team of two global advertising agencies. Jacquie holds a bachelor of science degree in marketing from Virginia Tech and an MBA from DePaul University in Chicago, where she also moonlighted as an adjunct professor. In her spare time, Jacquie is a wellness enthusiast and social activist. She volunteers with the Lincoln Park Community Shelter, is a member of the Human Rights Watch Committee and served on the Board of Directors for the Chicago Children’s Theatre.

Archana Singh (Engineering Manager, Juvo)Archana Singh

Archana Singh is an Engineering Manager at Juvo, where she manages the backend services team. Before joining Juvo, she provided technical leadership at various startups solving challenging problems and leading to successful exits. Archana is a yoga enthusiast and a foodie and enjoys goofing around with her twin daughters. She holds Masters degree in Electronics and Electrical Communication Engineering from Indian Institute of Technology, India.

Nancy Ma (UX Designer, Juvo)Nancy Ma

Nancy Ma is the first in-house designer at Juvo. She has shipped all of the products with the engineering team for Flow Lend, our first airtime lending app in Caribbean countries, and Sprint World Top-Up, our international remittance app. Nancy grew up in Taiwan and got her master’s degree in Media Design (HCI major) in Tokyo. Her research was about a robot toy who helps children to make friends. Nancy loves Japanese animation (particularly Attack on Titan!) and she is a fan of K-pop music (BTS and Twice!). Her favorite movie is The Godfather and her favorite line is: “It’s all personal, every bit of business.” Follow her on Twitter at @lanlanma.

Steve Polsky (Founder & CEO, Juvo)Steve Polsky

Steve Polsky founded Juvo Mobile with the goal of providing basic financial services to people worldwide. He leveraged the ubiquity of mobile service and the rapid adoption of smartphones to enable global financial inclusion. Steve’s career has centered on founding, launching and managing early stage technology ventures, including Flixster/Rotten Tomatoes, Amber Networks, VoicePlex Corporation and Edusoft. Steve is a lecturer for the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania’s undergraduate course in Entrepreneurship, and he holds five patents in telecommunications network architecture. Steve is a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania’s Management and Technology Program with degrees in Computer Science from the Moore School of Engineering and Finance from the Wharton School.

Event Tickets & Details:

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

Bay Area Girl Geek Dinner #143: Sponsored by Electronic Arts

EA Girl Geek Dinner

Electronic Arts invites you to join us for a Bay Area Girl Geek Dinner on Thursday, September 21st, 2017 from 5:30pm to 8:30pm in Redwood City!

EA girl geeks will give lightning talks covering a spectrum of what EA does in the gaming industry, from technical game development, to the production responsibilities as well as aspects such as legality, privacy, and security. We will also discuss how diversity is essential to EA’s growth and success, and how we celebrate and encourage diversity at EA.

Please Follow Us:

Twitter: @EA @BayAreaGGD
Event Hashtag: #ElectronicArtsGirlGeekDinner

EA Girl Geek Dinner Agenda:

5:30pm – 6:30pm – Registration, Networking, Food & Drinks
6:30pm – 7:30pm – Welcome & Keynote from Laura Miele, EA Girl Geek Lightning Talks – followed by Q&A Panel
7:30pm – 8:30pm – More Networking!

Speaker Bios for Electronic Arts Girl Geek Dinner:

Laura Miele (Executive Vice President – Global Publishing, Electronic Arts)Laura Miele

Laura Miele serves as Executive Vice President of Global Publishing overseeing publishing and customer experience for Electronic Arts. In today’s ever-changing, multi-platform world, Laura’s teams are leading EA’s commercial digital transformation, and pioneering more ways to connect players to amazing games and entertainment experiences. In more than 21 years with EA, Laura has held a variety of strategic leadership roles across publishing, marketing and analytics. Prior to her current role, Laura led EA’s Americas Publishing organization, overseeing EA’s product and marketing campaigns in the region. Additionally, Laura served as General Manager of the Star Wars business and Senior Vice President of Global Marketing, working with EA development teams and overseeing packaged goods and digital releases. Her leadership and work on multi-platinum franchises such as Battlefield, Dragon Age and Need for Speed contributed to Laura’s recognition on AdAge’s “Women to Watch” list. Laura serves on the board of the Silicon Valley Community Foundation and also leads the EA Women’s Ultimate Team to promote gender diversity and equality both inside and outside the organization.

Carolyn Troyan (Vice President Human Resources, Electronic Arts)Carolyn Troyan

Carolyn Troyan currently is the strategic HR partner to EA’s Chief Technical Officer, Ken Moss as well as leading Talent Analytics globally. Carolyn has been at EA for 7 years in a strategic HR leadership role for the Sims studio, digital marketing, and corporate teams. Previously, she has worked at TIBCO Software, Siebel Systems, Compuware and as a strategic compensation consultant at Mercer Consulting. Carolyn holds a B.A. in Psychology and Political Science from Miami University, and an MBA in Corporate Strategy from the University of Michigan.

Sigurlína Ingvarsdóttir (Senior Producer, Electronic Arts)Sigurlína Ingvarsdóttir

Sigurlína Ingvarsdóttir is the Senior Producer responsible for future strategy for the AAA juggernaut FIFA from Electronic Arts. In 2016, FIFA was the biggest selling AAA game in the world. Sigurlína has recently moved to Vancouver to join the FIFA team, after spending four years at DICE in Stockholm where she helmed the Star Wars Battlefront franchise, launching the massively successful Star Wars Battlefront in 2015 and establishing the foundation for Star Wars Battlefront II which will be released this coming November. Prior to this, Sigurlína was the Senior Producer of The Division at Ubisoft Massive and before that a Senior Producer at CCP, makers of the unique Space MMO, EVE Online. Sigurlína has a degree in Industrial Engineering from the University of Iceland.

Talk Topic: “Working on Mega-Franchises: What I’ve Learned Working on Star Wars Battlefront & EA Sports FIFA” by Sigurlína Ingvarsdóttir

Christine Loh (Software Engineer – Digital Platform Mobile SDK, Electronic Arts)Christine Loh

Christine Loh is a software engineer on EA’s Digital Platform Mobile SDK team. She began working at EA in 2014 after graduating from UC Berkeley with a B.S. in Electrical Engineering and Computer Sciences. She currently works in supporting EA’s mobile games by providing services such as in-app purchases, telemetry, push notifications, and real-time messaging. Christine codes directly with a variety of platforms and languages, supporting iOS, Android, and Windows, as well as C++ and Unity.

Talk Topic: “3 Mobile SDK Mistakes You’re Making” by Christine Loh

Kirsten Daru (Assistant General Counsel & Chief Privacy Officer, Electronic Arts)Kirsten Daru

Kirsten Daru is the Assistant General Counsel and Chief Privacy Officer at EA. Her passion is keeping games fair, safe and fun for players of all ages. Her team manages legal and policy matters for the company globally, including privacy and data protection, cyber-security, ecommerce, eSports, advertising and consumer protection. Prior to joining EA, Kirsten was a privacy, competition and consumer class action defense attorney at a major international law firm.

Talk Topic: “Children’s Privacy & Online Safety” by Kirsten Daru

Whitney Lai (Mobile Gameplay Engineer, Electronic Arts)Whitney Lai

Whitney Lai first interned at EA her junior year of college and has happily been part of the company ever since! She worked for about three years on a central SDK team supporting EA’s various mobile titles, ranging from components that helped with data tracking/telemetry and in app purchases to authentication and social. About a year ago, she transferred to a new team working on an currently undisclosed mobile game. Her current role is as a mobile gameplay engineer with a specialty in combat mechanics. Before EA, Whitney had interned at other game companies like Zynga as well as larger companies like Microsoft. She attended UC Berkeley for Electrical Engineering and Computer Science.

Talk Topic: “Why Deterministic Online Games Are Awesome” by Whitney Lai

Event Tickets & Details:

Tickets on sale starting at 12:00pm PST on Friday, September 8th, 2017 at Eventbrite!

Bay Area Girl Geek Dinner & Media Training @ First Round Capital

Media Training Girl Geek Dinner

Bay Area Girl Geek Dinner #145 is dedicated to media training girl geeks on Wednesday, September 27th, 2017 at First Round Capital’s office in San Francisco! Whether you’re pitching your new startup idea, or giving an interview on behalf of your company or non-profit, learn how to develop strong narratives and avoid tricky questions, so you can master your next press interview!

During the media training, participants will put together a media briefing document with key messages and customer examples. We will work with this throughout the session, reviewing questions reporters typically ask and talking about the best ways to give quotable soundbites that put you in the best light. You’ll also have a chance to practice your newfound skills and get instant feedback during mock interviews.

You will leave this media training with a deep understanding of how to develop your story, communicate it clearly, and control even the toughest press interview. And these skills will come in handy well beyond press interviews – use them when you’re speaking on a panel, interviewing for a new job, or presenting to a team of executives or potential investors.


6:00pm – 6:30pm – Registration, Networking, Food & Drinks
6:30pm – 8:00pm – Welcome from Faryl Ury, Create Media Briefing Documents, Learn Tips & Tricks To Ace Press Interviews
8:00pm – 8:30pm – Mock Interviews & Feedback Session
8:30pm – 9:00pm – Final Q&A & Networking

Girl Geek Media Training Bios:

Faryl Ury (Media Trainer) – InstructorFaryl Ury

Faryl Ury has a decade of experience in marketing, communications, and journalism. She currently works in product marketing at Dropbox and before that, helped lead communications at Square and Uber. Faryl has worked with all types of clients, from politicians to executives and engineers, using a media training program based on her years as a journalist at the Associated Press and NPR. Previously, she lived in Washington, D.C. where she served as the Press Secretary for U.S. Senator Jeanne Shaheen. Faryl earned her master’s degree from Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism and graduated with honors from Harvard College. She loves traveling and eating bagels. Follow her on Twitter at @FarylUry.

Camille Ricketts (Head of Content & Marketing, First Round Capital) – CoachCamille Ricketts
Camille Ricketts is the head of content and marketing at First Round Capital, where her primary focus is The First Round Review – delivering actionable insights from wise tech experts to a popular audience of founders, aspiring founders, and many more. A common thread of Camille’s career has always been storytelling – as a journalist (at The Wall Street Journal and VentureBeat), for organizations (Tesla Motors and Kiva Microfunds). Camille earned her BA in History from Stanford University, where she served as Editor in Chief of The Stanford Daily. Follow her on Twitter at @CamilleRicketts.

Anita Hossain (Head of Knowledge, First Round Capital) – CoachAnita Hossain
Anita Hossain leads the Knowledge Program at First Round Capital, unleashing the information trapped inside the best and brightest minds in tech, and curating meaningful experiences ranging from intimate salons to major summits. Her goal is singular: to bring tech leaders together to share what they know. From coaching tech luminaries to generating original talks for First Round’s CEO Summit, from hosting dinners where people can air what keeps them up at night, to connecting First Round’s 300+ founders with the information they need to make progress, Anita is always learning. Anita joined First Round team after earning her MBA from Wharton, but before that she was an Assistant Vice President at Deutsche Bank, where she managed over $400M in Latin American investment portfolios. Follow her on Twitter at @ahossain24.

Minji Wong (Leadership Development Consultant) – CoachMinji Wong
Minji Wong empowers women leaders to excel in the workplace. She has over 12 years experience developing leaders and executives in Fortune 100 companies – including Facebook, Ebay and Walmart Global eCommerce. She is now dedicated to coaching women in leadership and working parents to achieve success, focused on enabling leaders to find balance and thrive in all aspects of their busy careers and personal lives. Minji is currently collaborating with Girl Geek Dinners on a podcast series around career development and leadership. She is a Board Member of the non-profit Girls on the Run, and currently pursuing a Professional Coaching Certification. Minji lives in San Francisco with her husband and two children. Follow her on Twitter at @MinjiWong.

Jean Hsu (Engineering Leadership Consultant) – CoachJean Hsu
Jean Hsu is an engineering leadership consultant who is passionate about sharing her people-centric leadership style with teams from small startups to larger companies. Having worked at Google, Pulse, and most recently at tech start-up Medium, Jean brings a wealth of experience in both engineering and coaching to help you get the best out of your engineering team beyond the immediate product cycle or feature release. is an engineering leadership coach and startup consultant. She helps level up engineering leaders and build healthy teams. She is also a good writer! Previously, Jean was an engineering manager at Medium, contributed ot Android development at Pulse News, and worked at Google. Follow her on Twitter at @jyhsu.

Event Tickets & Details:

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