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Top 11 Mentors Volunteering At Hackbright Academy In 2015

Hackbright Academy was supported by a strong mentor community in 2015. From working software engineers to engineering managers and startup CTOs, these Mentors committed to donating an hour a week for three months (through the course of the engineering fellowship) in support of a new engineer. This year, Hackbright Academy graduated over 120 engineering fellows (support by over 270 Mentors) and we couldn’t have done it without the support of the supportive Hackbright mentor community! Meet some of the Mentors at Hackbright Academy who have volunteered time and again in support of new women engineers… and find out which companies had the most engineers with volunteerism spirit!Hackbright Academy was supported by a strong mentor community in 2015 – thank you for your support! From working software engineers to engineering managers and startup CTOs, these Mentors have donated their time and energy in supporting new female engineers out of Hackbright Academy.

This year, Hackbright Academy graduated over 120 engineering fellows and we couldn’t have done it without the support of our mentor community!

Meet the 11 Mentors who volunteered all 2015!

Aabhas Sharma Twitter avatarAn Infrastructure Engineer at Postmates, Aabhas Sharma volunteered as a mentor for all four seasons in 2015 at Hackbright Academy. Prior to Postmates, Aabhas was the Engineering Manager/Lead for the Core Services, Tools and DevOps teams at Sosh (acquired by Postmates). These teams were responsible for all the core services, such as payments, purchasing, ticketing, etc., as well as all internal tools utilized at Sosh by non-engineering teams, and general site reliability and infrastructure. This was a 50-50 management-coding split position. Prior to Sosh, Aabhas was at OLSET. Follow him on Twitter @shars17.

Aaron VonderHaar Twitter avatarA “Pivot” and Engineering Manager at Pivotal Labs in San Francisco, Aaron VonderHaar volunteered as a mentor for all four seasons in 2015 at Hackbright Academy. He aims to make the power of technology more accessible in a way that inspires creativity and self-expression. Aaron taught himself BASIC from library books while he was in middle school. He is an advocate for eXtreme Programming practices, including test-driven development, pair programming, rolling iteration planning, continuous feedback, and user-centered design. His current objective is to work with amazing people on inspiring projects. Follow him on Twitter @avh4.

Chris Palmer avatarA Software Security Engineer for Google Chrome, Chris Palmer volunteered as a mentor for all four seasons in 2015 at Hackbright Academy. At Google, he focuses on secure usability and duct-taping over the “foibles of the web PKI”. Chris used to be on the Android team at Google. Prior to that, he was the Technology Director at the Electronic Frontier Foundation, a security engineering consultant at iSEC Partners, and a web developer. He believes that majoring in linguistics and in French literature prepared him well for these careers. In his spare time, Chris plays guitar in the band Rara Replica (formerly Dot Punto). Follow him on Twitter @fugueish.

David Cooper LinkedIn avatarWhile working as a Senior Software Engineer at Eventbrite in San Francisco, David Cooper volunteered as a mentor for all four seasons in 2015 at Hackbright Academy. In fact, he’s been volunteering at Hackbright since October 2013. He’s been a software engineer at Eventbrite for over three years now, advocating for the Hackbright engineering fellows hired into Eventbrite’s engineering team. David works on the Datahawks team at Eventbrite, building data analytics products for sellers on the platform. He originally hails from Toronto, Canada. Follow him on Twitter @dtcooper.

Dhiraj Suri LinkedIn avatarWorking as a Software Engineer at BrightRoll (acquired by Yahoo!), Dhiraj Suri volunteered as a mentor for all four seasons in 2015 at Hackbright Academy. He has over 4 years of web-scale development experience, pushing for the adoption of cloud-based services across all domains of computing. Dhiraj believes in giving back to the tech community, from being involved with open source and mentoring newcomers to the tech industry. He is working on an easy to use open-source web application framework built around libevhtp for writing extremely fast web APIs in C.

Jonathan Como LinkedIn avatarWhile working as a Software Engineer at Braintree, Jonathan Como volunteered as a mentor for all four seasons in 2015 at Hackbright Academy. At Braintree, he specializes in backend services and APIs. Prior to Braintree, Jonathan was a Senior Software Engineer at Chartboost. He had previous experience as a TA in college for computer science classes, and really enjoys teaching in general. Follow him on Twitter @jonathancomo.

Kyla Farrell LinkedIn avatarA Software Developer and Team Lead at Lanetix, Kyla Farrell volunteered as a mentor for all four seasons in 2015 at Hackbright Academy. She is the Engineering Manger for the Engagement Squad, dedicated to creatively and proactively supporting features and tools that drive customer engagement, satisfaction, and growth at Lanetix. Before getting into management, Kyla worked as a software engineer at Lanetix using Node.js, Express.js, Angular.js, React, ElasticSearch and Postgres. Prior to Lanetix, she was a Hackbright Academy engineering fellow, having pivoted her career into tech from architecture/construction. Follow her on Twitter @kyla_farrell.

Michael Ricks-Aherne LinkedIn avatarCurrently working as a Software Engineer at Sauce Labs, Michael Ricks-Aherne volunteered as a mentor for all four seasons in 2015 at Hackbright Academy. Prior to Sauce Labs, Michael worked at Planets Labs as a Full Stack Software and Avionics Engineer building earth-imaging nanosatellites. As one of the first dozen employees, he wore many hats in the 3+ years he was at Planets Labs, moving from the Spacecraft team to Mission Operations and finally to Manufacturing and Production. Follow him on Twitter @miketwo345.

Phil Long LinkedIn avatarA Frontend Developer at OLSET, Phil Long volunteered as a mentor for all four seasons in 2015 at Hackbright Academy. Beyond creating web applications in Angular.js, he deals with anything from server configurations and continuous integration to UI design and web performance. He aims to make web development more accessible to beginner programmers. As a mentor, Phil guides Hackbright fellows through learning to program, software development, and careers in tech. He offers assistance either on a technical level (walking through programming best practices, frameworks, and APIs), or help with future careers (interviewing skills, salary negotiations, etc). Follow him on Twitter @phlongalong.

Rit Breisler LinkedIn avatarAn Operations Engineer at BrightRoll, Richard “Rit” Breisler volunteered as a mentor for all four seasons in 2015 at Hackbright Academy. Since BrightRoll’s acquisition by Yahoo!, Rit is now a Service Engineer at Tech Yahoo, and a member of the Hackbright mentor community. Follow him on Twitter @opsmun.

Tess Bakke LinkedIn avatarWorking as a Web Engineer at CNE Media, Tess Bakke volunteered as a mentor for all four seasons in 2015 at Hackbright Academy. Prior to working at CNE Media, she worked as a Web Engineer at AgileMD after graduating from the Hackbright Academy engineering fellowship. Tess was a former geoscientist with experience in the environmental industry, specializing in soil and groundwater remediation and subsurface sampling technologies. She founded SkyLight Scope, a startup design solution delivering low cost digital microscopy solutions to healthcare and educational markets through its first commercial product, a universal smartphone to microscope adapter.

Meet the Hackbright Super-Mentors in 2015

These Hackbright mentors mentored for 3 seasons in 2015 – we are grateful for their time and support: Adam Pauls (Senior Research Scientist, Semantic Machines), Andrew Payne (Software Engineer, Kixeye), Ayumi Yu (Software Engineer, Entelo), Bryan Hughes (Senior Software Engineer, Rdio),
Cole Goeppinger (VP Engineering, Entelo), Danielle Yasso (Software Engineer, Change.org), Felix Yuan (Software Engineer, Jack Mobile), Jameson Lee (Software Engineer, Uber), Lauren Budorick (Software Engineer, Mapbox), Meg Desko (Software Engineer, Bigcommerce), Michael Borsuk (Software Engineer, BMC Software), Oron Nadiv (Engineering Manager, Lanetix), Rita Ciaravino (Senior Software Engineer, Prism), Sameer Bhadouria (Software Engineer, LinkedIn), Shawn Catanzarite (Software Engineer, ULIVE), Sonia Fajardo (Software Engineer, BrightRoll), Stefan Vainberg (Software Engineer, Dropbox), Troy Goode (Co-Founder/CTO, Lanetix), Tyler Crimm (Software Engineer, Salesforce), Vishal Srivastava (Founder / Developer, Subversus Interactive).

Companies with the most Giving Engineers:

  • A whopping 11 engineers from Uber donated their time in 2015.
  • 9 BrightRoll engineers volunteered as Hackbright mentors in 2015.
  • 6 engineers volunteered from Lanetix, SurveyMonkey, Salesforce and Google in 2015, each.
  • 5 engineers volunteered from Box, Dropbox, Eventbrite, and Rdio in 2015.
  • 4 engineers volunteered from Airbnb, Change.org, Chartboost, Entelo, Fastly, Indiegogo and Yelp in 2015.
  • 3 engineers volunteered from AdRoll, Keen IO, LinkedIn, PagerDuty, Sosh and Twitter in 2015.
  • 2 engineers volunteered from Autodesk, Castlight Health, Earnest, Flickr, Flux Factory, Jack Mobile, Lever, Mapbox, Radius Intelligence, Sauce Labs, Splunk, Turnitin, VSCO and Zendesk in 2015.

Interested in mentoring at Hackbright Academy? Sign up here!