2015 International Conference for
Women Software Developers *

March 19, 20, & 21, 2015 Pace University, New York City

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Childcare Available!

Speak to change the world!

Day 2 — Friday, March 20, 2015

Speak Day will turn you into a conference speaker! From choosing a topic and creating slides to writing a proposal and public speaking, you will walk through all the steps necessary to become a technical speaker. Feedback on your proposal, presentation, and speaking from experienced women technical speakers and conference organizers will put you well on your way to becoming a confident, powerful speaker.

Speak publicly about yourself and your knowledge
Create a talk proposal and slides for a presentation

  • Learn

    • What conference organizers look for when selecting speakers
    • How to find the perfect speaking opportunities for you
    • What makes some presentations more memorable than others
    • Receive individualed tips & tricks from experienced women speakers
    • Schedule
  • Do

    • Write a talk proposal & get feedback from women conference organizers
    • Give feedback on proposals, slides, and speaking to peers
    • Prepare slides for a technical talk
    • Give a presentation individually and/or with a group
    • Speakers

Own your expertiseShare knowledgeCreate visibility

Each day will be tailored to the experience and expertise of each attendee and will include:
  • giving and receiving feedback from peers and experts
  • talks or panels from experienced women developers
  • group and individual workshops
  • creation of a usable prototype for the day's milestones
  • a concrete, next-steps action plan

Speak to Change the World Day will feature:

  • Andrea O. K. Wright A 20-year IT industry veteran, Andrea O. K. Wright (also known as "AOK") is a consultant with Chariot Solutions, a firm based in Fort Washington, PA that specializes in open source technologies. A languages enthusiast, she is a content co-chair for the Emerging Technologies for the Enterprise Conference (a.k.a. Philly ETE). She has presented about topics ranging from developing games in Ruby to thread safety at national and regional Ruby conferences including RubyConf and RailsConf; integrating Python with functional languages at PyCon and PyGotham; and advanced classloading concepts and annotation processing at JavaOne. She enjoyed introducing elementary school age children to Ruby String manipulation at CodeMash 2009 with her “Playing with Strings” session.

  • Anna Herlihy is software engineer with an passion for hard problems, both technical and not. She currently works for MongoDB in NYC on the Python Driver.

  • Carol Willing is currently a Geek-In-Residence at Fab Lab San Diego, an active contributor to open source projects, like OpenHatch, a co-organizer of PyLadies San Diego and San Diego Python, an independent developer, and creator of Gentle Code Garden. She has served on the PyCon Program and Tutorial selection committees. She can frequently be heard saying “That’s so cool. How does it work? I would love to learn more about it.” She is inspired by nature, the arts, and math. She earned a BSE in Electrical Engineering from Duke University and an MS in Management from MIT. She has enjoyed developing software and electronics and teaching others for over 20 years and hopes to do so for at least 20 more.

  • Celia La is a software engineer at Knewton and organizes NYC Python and PyGotham. Celia is a former board member for the Metro NY Chapter of UN Women USNC (UN entity for gender equality), and former jazz musician. Her hobbies include biking, hiking, cooking and sketching.

  • Chiu-Ki Chan is an Android developer with a passion in speaking and teaching. She has spoken at numerous conferences all over the world, and has been recognized as a Google Developer Expert for her extensive knowledge in Android. Chiu-Ki is author of several Android video courses for PluralSight. She runs her own mobile development company, producing delightful apps such as "Monkey Write" for learning Chinese writing and "Heart Collage" for snapping photos to stitch into a heart.

  • Claudina Sarahe is an entrepreneur. Her background is in front-end web development with a focus on large, scale web applications and sites. She's lead front-end development for sites such for FEI.com, Charlie Rose, PBS, Scholastic, Count Me In, and LocalVox. Claundina organizes the monthly New York City Sass and Compass Meetup, is on the speaker selection committee for SassConf and was one of the founding members of UNICEF Innovation. In 2010, she developed a pilot program to teach development to less advantaged high schoolers in the Dominican Republic. She is a 2012 StartupBus aluma. A firm believer in a balanced lifestyle she keeps her mind and body elastic with Bikram Yoga, Crossfit, and biking NYC streets.

  • Coraline Ada Ehmke is an intersectional technologist with a passion for mentoring, learning, refactoring, and developing artificially intelligent IRC bots. She's a senior engineer at Instructure, developing software used by millions of students and teachers. Coraline organizes Chicago Women Developers, OpenSourceForWomen.org, and LGBTech.org. She is on the speaker selection committee for RailsConf and created the Open Source Contributor Covenant.

  • Debbie Madden has built 5 companies from the ground up and has been CEO of three of them. As CEO of Stride (www.stride.nyc), NYC's go to Agile consultancy, she brings 20 years of tech leadership, and a daily passion for helping businesses improve through software. Due to her reputation as a passionate woman executive in technology, Debbie is a sought after speaker and writer, having appeared in Fox TV, Huffington Post, Forbes, The Wall Street Journal, Inc Magazine, Computer World, InfoQ and more. Prior to Stride, she was the CEO of Cyrus Innovation, which she ran for 10 years, grew into a 5-time Inc 5000 winner, and Crain's NY Best Place to Work. Debbie also serves as a NY Pod leader for Venwise, and is an Advisor for many NYC tech startups.

  • Dominique DeGuzman is a software engineer and co-chair of Diversity & Inclusion at Twilio. Prior to becoming an engineer, she combined years of professional technical support with a strong corporate communication background, specializing in introducing and training social media and cloud based technology to better organize communication and public speaking in large companies, public speaking coaching, multiplatform technical assistance, mobile and software assistance Dominique has competed nationally in speech writing and performing. She is the San Francisco City Director for Lesbians Who Tech.

  • Gloria Willadsen has 20+ years of from-scratch *NIX systems admin and software development, writing embedded systems software in the late 80's, into low-level application and networking software in the 90's and into start-up web and algorithm software and Linux system admin up to today. Currently the CTO of iMentor, Gloria is busy helping this amazing non-profit take their tech to the next level, while still hands-on in the day to day geekery.

  • Jen Myers is a web designer/developer, speaker, teacher and writer located in Chicago, and the Director of Open Source Curriculum at online training course provider Pluralsight. In 2014, she founded Code and Cupcakes, a series of mother/daughter beginner coding events and currently lead workshops on a regular basis. In 2011, Jen founded the Columbus, Ohio chapter of Girl Develop It, a group that provides introductory coding classes aimed at women, and have been involved with GDI as an instructor and advisor since. Jen speaks widely about topics related to design, development and diversity in the technology field, and focus on finding new ways to make both technology and technology education accessible to everyone.

  • Julie Steele is a Communications Director, author, public speaker, and teacher. She thinks in metaphors and finds beauty in the clear communication of ideas — both through writing and through visual media. She is co-author of Beautiful Visualization (O'Reilly 2010) and Designing Data Visualizations (O'Reilly 2011), and has published reports on everything from predictive medicine to data in fashion to the role of the Chief Data Officer. She co-teaches a course on Data Metrics and Visualization in the Design for Social Innovation program at the School for Visual Arts in New York.

  • Lauren Voswinkel has been professionally programming since 2006. She started doing front-end work primarily, and transitioned to back end development using primarily Ruby and Rails. Her minor back in college was in Critical Sexuality Studies and it amuses her endlessly that those classes have been more relevant to her life than anything taught in her CS courses. She currently works remotely for LivingSocial and is based out of Pittsburgh. She started speaking in 2013 and has since traveled all over the country doing so. This year she also spoke at her first international conference in Melbourne, Australia. In her spare time, she likes to do fire breathing, fire spinning, trick shots with a whip, and work on writing a game client in Javascript just to see what she can learn from it.

  • Mary Scotton has over 20 years of experience in enterprise software, loves the ease of development in the cloud, and is a regular presenter at Salesforce events. As one of the early members of the Platform Product Management team at Salesforce, Mary designed the core “point & click” tools that make customization and app building accessible to non-programmers. She holds several patents for those designs. These days, she spends her time educating, enabling, and having fun with the awesome Salesforce Admin and Developer community. She is focused on raising the visibility of underrepresented people in tech, and is not afraid to have the hard conversations to encourage radical inclusivity.

  • Melissa Collom is a versatile performer who combines professional stage techniques and training with cognitive science to help presenters harness the unique power of their own voices. Melissa has applied her communication skills in non-profit and political arenas at local, regional and national levels. As a performer Melissa has appeared with some of the United States’ most celebrated opera companies including the Metropolitan Opera, New York City Opera, Washington National Opera, Seattle Opera, and New York Gilbert & Sullivan players. A graduate of Carnegie Mellon University, she has been immersed in the tech community since her undergraduate studies and has a continued interest in leveraging digital media platforms to increase audience access and engagement with the arts. Melissa currently brings the Applied Speaking methodology to workshops, seminars, individual coaching and consulting to develop dynamic, powerful and authentic speakers.

  • Melissa Xie is a developer at thoughtbot. She organizes the Boston Ruby Women meetups, RailsBridge Boston workshops, and Boston I/O conference. Melissa sings in the Boston Skyline Chorus and might have a slight addiction to traveling.

  • Neha Batra is a software engineer at Floored, Inc. who works on making their 3D assets more accessible to our modelers, clients, and the public. Years ago, Neha was an energy consultant who quit and taught herself programming because “it was time.” She holds a bachelor’s in Mechanical Engineering from MIT and enjoys confusing people as they try to trace her education/work history. Neha likes food, planning trips (and has slightly insane spreadsheets for her trips), and pronouncing GIFs how it should be : jiffs.

  • Rachel Ober is a developer at Paperless Post in New York City. A true renaissance woman, Rachel has significant experience in and a passion for user experience, user interface and cognitive design. Rachel is a senior developer at Paperless Post where she serves as technical mentor for all front end developers on the development team and leads front end development for the company. She also teaches the ins and outs of Rails at General Assembly for their Back End Ruby on Rails course. Rachel encourages other women developers to hone their skills by contributing to the 3-day conference Write/Speak/Code as a co-organizer. Founded in 2013, Rachel organizes and volunteers her time teaching women Ruby and Ruby on Rails through RailsBridge NYC. Rachel lives in Brooklyn with her husband and fur-child Isabella and loves scrapbooking and card making.

  • Rebecca Garcia is the Co-founder of CoderDojo NYC, a non-profit teaching youth to code. In 2013 she was awarded as a U.S. White House Champion of Change for 'Tech Inclusion' for her work to bring STEM education to underrepresented groups, especially youth and women. Last year she was listed as one of Glamour Magazine's '35 Women Under 35 Who are Changing the Tech Industry'. Previously she was a Developer at Do Something, the largest U.S. non-profit for youth and social change, and CTO of Greatist, a health, fitness and wellness media startup reaching over 3 million unique visitors. Currently she is a Developer Evangelist at Squarespace, empowering people to build their ideas on the web.

  • Rebecca Miller-Webster is a software engineer, conference organizer, and teacher. She is the founder of Write/Speak/Code and Practice Lead at DevMynd. Rebecca has been developing software professionally for over 10 years and previously organized GORUCO. She was the founding teacher at Dev Bootcamp NYC and has taught hundreds of students software development as well as led workshops on public speaking, leadership, and oppression. Rebecca holds an Masters in Computer Science and a BA in Women and Gender Studies from Washington University in St. Louis and was named one of 7 Brillant Women in Tech by Craig Nemark, founder of Craigslist. She loves cupcakes, sea mammals, and prosecco. Rebecca lives in Oak Park, IL with her husband, black pug, and rescued havenese. And she changes her hair. A lot.

  • Sarah Guido is a data scientist at Bitly and is interested in all things Python, data, and machine learning. Sarah organizes the PyGotham conference and the NYC Python meetup. Excited to share her passion for data with others, she has spoken at conferences such as PyCon, OSCON, and PyData, and is writing a O'Reilly book on Machine Learning. She loves NYC, yoga, good food, and aspires to one day own a cat.

  • Sarah Mei is a Ruby and JavaScript developer based in San Francisco, California. She is the Chief Consultant at DevMynd Software, where she spends most of my time pairing with clients’ developers, helping level up their team. Sarah is particularly interested in OOP, service refactorings, growing teams, and inter-developer dynamics. She is working on a book with Sandi Metz about how to refactor Rails applications towards happiness, founded RailsBridge in 2009 with Sarah Allen, and is the director of the non-profit, RubyCentral, which runs the two largest Ruby conferences in the world — RubyConf and RailsConf.

  • Tracey Welson-Rossman Tracey Welson-Rossman is a Founding Member and Chief Marketing Officer at Chariot Solutions, a leading software and mobile development consulting firm, and the Founder of TechGirlz.org, a non-profit organization dedicated to inspiring teenage girls to consider careers in technology. Honored as one of 40 Women to Watch over 40 worldwide, Tracey is also the founder and co-chair of Emerging Technologies for the Enterprise Conference, founder and chair of the Women in Tech Summit, founding board member of Philadelphia Startup Leaders, and advisor to two Philadelphia area startups - Haydle and Roar.

All Speakers

We define "software developer" as anyone who has written a line of code (HTML, CSS, JavaScript, Ruby, Python, Java, whatever) and can explain what it does. Designers, E-book publishers, and beginners as well as engineers with 20 years experience have enjoyed our workshops and been inspired by each other.

We wouldn't be here without the generous support of our sponsors.