To further dispel the programmer stereotype, Hackbright Academy’s newest class of software engineers are ready to bring their skills and ideas to the tech industry. Who are they and how have they chosen to use their newfound programming skills? Scroll below to meet Silicon Valley’s new software engineers and join our Hackbright Academy’s dinner celebrations next Wednesday to learn more.
Meet Hackbright Academy Summer 2015 Software Engineers:
Allison Craig became interested in coding and software in the process of selling her creations online. This led to many nights at Women Who Code study groups, and eventually Hackbright. Coding has given Allison a passion for technology & innovation. She graduated Cum Laude with an A.A. degree in fashion design from Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising which taught her creative problem solving skills. She also graduated with her B.A. in interdisciplinary studies from California Institute of Integral Studies. From Allison’s experience in visual merchandising and operations, she has developed strong communication skills, both verbal and visual, which she hopes to bring to the engineering team she works for next.
For her Hackbright project, Allison built EasyDrafter – Making your own clothing is a very rewarding hobby but commercial patterns don’t always fit well. EasyDrafter is a pattern drafting app for DIY enthusiasts which takes the grunt work out of drafting custom pattern blocks, a process which can take hours by hand. The app takes measurements and drafts pattern blocks for tops and skirts which can then be saved to the desktop in PDF form. These PDFs are specially formatted to fit on letter sized paper so they can be taped together at home, one of the biggest problems she had to solve in creating this app. Check out Allison’s GitHub
Alyson van Hardenberg graduated from an accelerated nursing program with a Bachelor of Science in Nursing. Alyson was drawn to the rapidly changing, creative aspect of the technical industry. She spent time talking to software engineers, who pointed her towards Hackbright Academy. Alyson is excited to bring the skill of fast-paced problem-solving that she developed as a nurse to software development. Developing software has given Alyson another medium in which to express her creativity.
For her Hackbright project, Alyson built Make Less Mush – Having a baby is a full time job, and wanting to feed them a wide variety of healthy, nutritious food is a lot of work! Make Less Mush endeavors to make this job easier. This web app enables users to post listings, view other people’s listings, and message other users about their food. Users may log in with Facebook which will filter listings so the user can see their friends posts first. A user may alternatively view the listings on a map. Make Less Mush will text you when someone sends you a message about your food. Check out Alyson’s GitHub
Amanda Meurer graduated from Rice University in 2014 with a B.S. in Electrical and Computer Engineering. She worked at Intel for a year as a hardware validation engineer. In this role, she owned a microarchitecture feature in Intel’s x86 server product line, and was responsible for writing and maintaining the test infrastructure code for that feature. Amanda loved solving problems with code so much that she decided to attend Hackbright to help her transition into a software engineering career. Amanda is passionate about using big data to influence everyday decisions.
For her Hackbright project, Amanda built There and Back Again – With its Lord of the Rings inspired UI, There and Back Again delivers walking routes to pedestrians in SF that avoid high crime areas. The app uses an undocumented branch of OSRM as its routing engine, which returns the optimum route based on a custom routing profile. This profile weights graph edges using a rasterized crime data set. Users can also view a heat map of crime near their route, as well as a chart that compares the crime density of the safest route to that of a route returned from a classic walking profile. Check out Amanda’s GitHub
Amanda Fuhrmann has spent the last ten years of her life as an autodidact trying to get to the bottom on why our world exists. From deep dives into microbiology, economics, biology, evolution, and history, to shallow wades into sociology, politics and international relations, Amanda tried to inbibe as much information as possible. She also attended the College of Marin as a pre-nursing major, learning about chemistry, anatomy, physiology, mathematics and myriad of other interesting classes.
For her Hackbright project, Amanda built CloudCloset – Clothing makes the man (or women), but a clothing budget is considered a luxury, but when it comes to getting a new job or a promotion, different clothing is a necessity. CloudCloset is a site that seeks to make it possible for women (or other female identifying people) to request articles of clothing directly, so if they have a formal event coming up, or need clothing that matches normal work attire (the difference between casual and business casual may be subtle but it certainly exists), they can find an article of clothing without worrying about how to afford it. Amanda’s GitHub
Antonia Wang is a longtime data enthusiast with a newfound appreciation for full stack development. Prior to Hackbright, she worked in education research, specializing in quantitative analysis. Her research contributed to reports for federal, state, and local agencies; the Gates Foundation; and America’s Promise Alliance. She also has experience as a teaching assistant and in political polling/survey methodology. During her free time, Antonia enjoys culinary pursuits, following real estate trends, and world travel. She holds bachelor’s degrees in Economics and French from Purdue University and a master’s degree in Quantitative Methods in the Social Sciences from Columbia University.
For her Hackbright project, Antonia built Homespector Gadget – Homespector Gadget eases the stressful home search process by allowing users to compare specs on multiple properties in one convenient table view. No more tabbing between listing pages! A map feature also provides users a visualization of the a home’s surrounding neighborhood, marking nearby points of interest. Users can search for any of their preferred places, from parks and schools to the latest hipster restaurants and bubble tea shops. Check out Antonia’s Project
Ashley Jelks graduated Saint Louis University with a degree in International Studies, American Studies, Sociology, and French, she also holds a Master’s degree in Education. For the past eight years she has been teaching–undergraduate courses during her tenure as a doctoral student at the University of Kansas, and also as a high school teacher in New York City. She taught at a school where Google sponsored an engineering and computer science program, and was inspired to pursue a career in technology. Teaching equipped Ashley with invaluable skills, particularly the ability to learn quickly, create projects with various integrated components, collaborate with others, and communicate effectively.
For her Hackbright project, Ashley built Wanderlust – Planning group travel has never been simpler with Wanderlust. In a single click, Wanderlust uses Google Flights’ technology to deliver competitive airline ticket prices for two travelers, departing from two different locations, who wish to meet in the same city. It also takes into consideration each traveler’s budget, by searching for flights that meet each traveler’s specified budget. Wanderlust then allows registered users to save and/or email flight results to their fellow travel companions. Check out Ashley’s GitHub
Bethany Garcia graduated from the Johnston Center for Integrative Studies at the University of Redlands. She designed a major in International Relations, Economics, and Russian – with Anatomy, Calculus, and Pottery thrown in just for fun. She’s worked diverse jobs from Non-Profit Education Reform (program associate) to Investment Banking (analyst associate); spending the years since 2000 happily breaking and supporting software for both startups and larger companies like Kodak, Publicis, and RG/A. In 2012 she dove into software development, starting on a self-study path that led to Hackbright. She’s eager to employ her shiny new skills building fabulous software – and/or building tools that break software fabulously.
For her Hackbright project, Bethany built NANA (Not Another Nutrition App) – Tracking nutritional intake is hard under the best circumstances, and is complicated by added restrictions (such as a diabetes or kidney disease). These people face two problems: (1) sticking to their daily limits, and (2) modifying what they’re eating. Doing all the research is hard – most either fall off their diet or pay a nutritionist. NANA is a tool for users to input their recipes, see the nutritional analysis, and flag ingredients/volumes in their “red zone”. This enables them to adjust the serving size or reduce key components (like salt) to meet their daily limits. Check out Bethany’s GitHub
Breanne Boland comes from a decade-linecareer in editorial, content strategy, and, most recently, UX. She has a BFA from Emerson College in Writing, Literature, and Publishing and a certificate in User-Centered Design from the University of Washington. Her last position was UX Content Strategist, where she performed surveys and interviews to inform the creation of user journeys, personas, and content recommendations that changed the content approach of an international music streaming company. Throughout several positions, what remained consistent was a desire to be able to create and affect the tools she used – from a globally deployed information collection tool at Expedia (which she helped design) to the metrics tools that provided recommendations for online content at other positions.
For her Hackbright project, Breanne built Go Truck Yourself – Go Truck Yourself tells you what food trucks are near you and when they’re open. Want to visit Curry Up Now? Need a taco yesterday? Find today’s lunch or tomorrow’s destination dinner based on location, type of food, or just find a truck you walked by the other day. Go Truck Yourself uses SF OpenData’s mobile food permitting data to provide truck names, information, and locations, as registered with the city. The main queries are done with a PostgreSQL database made from information pulled from the API; others make individual queries directly from the live site to get their information. Check out Breanne’s GitHub
For her Hackbright project, Carly built Line Pls – Line Pls is Rap Genius meets LinkedIn for aspiring Actors. Success in the entertainment industry hinges on a delicate balance of talent, good audition material, and who you know. Line Pls is a database of dramatic literature that facilitates discovery and collaboration through crowd sourced annotations on monologues, YouTube videos of performances, and networking. Favorite Challenges: web scraping, database architecture, designing search, wrestling with D3.js, and the YouTube API. Check out Carly’s GitHub
Carolyn Lee arrived at Hackbright right on the heels of her graduation from Yale, where she received a BA in linguistics. Carolyn worked as a researcher for Yale’s linguistics department, investigating the history of Bandjalang, an Australian aboriginal language family. Prior to that position, Carolyn worked at Yale’s Spanish & Portuguese department, evaluating student work. A lover of foreign languages, Carolyn has studied Spanish, Portuguese, German, American Sign Language, Mandarin, and Japanese.
For her Hackbright project, Carolyn built ¡Vamonos! – ¡Vamonos! is a travel-planning web app that lets friends plan activities together. Organizing an itinerary of activities for multiple people has never been easy, but now ¡Vamonos! makes it simple. Users can easily create trips, add their own events or ones from Eventbrite, and even let friends view or edit the itinerary as well. Finally, the day before the trip, a text reminder is automatically sent out to all the collaborators, who can save or print a PDF of the itinerary. Plan your travel, together! Check out Carolyn’s GitHub
Corey Shott graduated from The George Washington University with a B.A. in Political Science and received a Masters of Science in Environmental Science and Policy from Johns Hopkins University. Corey spent the better part of a decade working in the political trenches of Washington, D.C., primarily as a lobbyist for a national environmental non-profit. Originally from Missoula, MT so when the excitement of D.C. politics wore out, Corey looked to move back West. Corey has a strong desire to utilize the exceptional opportunity that technology has to deliver and share information among citizens.
For her Hackbright project, Corey built Congressional Money Trail – Campaign contributions to our federal officials are publicly disclosed but rarely easy to access. Utilizing the past decade of campaign contribution data Congressional Money Trail seeks to help constituents understand where their federal congressional representatives get their campaign money. Just select a state or find a Member of Congress by address and a visual representation of how they finance their campaigns is revealed. Check out Corey’s GitHub
Darlene Decena comes from a background in molecular biology, and worked as a research associate at Genentech doing high-throughput imaging and analysis. Discovering the possibilities enabled by toolset creation through programming while working in industry, and desiring a career where the creative and analytical intersect, Darlene decided to pursue a career in technology.
For her Hackbright project, Darlene built FLWRCRWN – It enhances the music festival experience, where a user can explore festival line-ups and discover new music through playlists. Select a festival by month, region, and genre, and a personalized playlist is generated based on popularity, danceability, adventurousness, or mood. Check out Darlene’s GitHub
Emily Allstot graduated from University of Washington in 2013 with a degree in Electrical Engineering, during which time she participated in undergraduate research on Compressed Sensing, and co-authored several IEEE publications (with presentations at international conferences) and interned as a circuit designer for Texas Instruments (FPD-Link III automotive infotainment systems) and Qualcomm Atheros (5G and Near Field Communication). Emily started out as a self-taught web designer in 1997 at age 12, when her family moved to another state and it occurred to her that this new thing she discovered in 6th grade called “The Internet” was a great way to share photos and stories, express creativity, and keep in touch with far away friends.
For her Hackbright project, Emily built ManiMapSF – A map of nail salons in San Francisco with profile pages for each salon displaying information (when available) including address, phone, hours, link to Yelp page, Instagram Location link and Recent Photos; info windows indicate Open/Closed Now; marker colors show “Healthy Nail Salons” designation and/or verification of the existence or that nail salon with a post at this project’s own account at Instagram.com/ManiMapSF. The purpose of ManiMapSF is to provide users with better information, unbiased perspective, and a more enjoyable experience than searching for nail salons in SF on more general sites like Yelp, Foursquare, etc. Check out Emily’s GitHub
Georgia Glassie moved to Malawi, Central Africa after graduating from Wisconsin, to manage strategic partnerships and market data analytics for the microfinance NGO FINCA-International. Upon returning to the states, she continued to apply her Economics degree as a member of the valuations team at Silicon Valley Bank Analytics (SVBA) performing valuations of private, venture-backed tech companies. Through this work, Georgia gained direct exposure to the minds behind the most innovative new technologies in the Bay Area. Inspired by these startups, she began to teach herself to code.
For her Hackbright project, Georgia built Design Lab – Upstart clothing designers like hide&cheek (www.hide-cheek.com) leverage Design Lab to take the hassle out of the error-prone custom design process. Design Lab’s interactive interface allows hide&cheek shoppers to design their own custom-made yoga pants in real time. Yogi empowerment extends to length, style, fabric, color, custom sizing, and personalized embroidery. No more hiking up, pulling down, or bugging out! Build your dream yoga pants or scroll through our user-generated lookbook for some style-inspiration! Check out Georgia’s GitHub
Janet Kenmotsu graduated Cum Laude from Boston University with a B.A. in Economics in 3 years. Upon graduation, she began her career in Finance. Most recently, Janet was a Senior Finance Systems Analyst at Pandora where she worked closely with software engineers to deliver key features and products. Being close to the code, testing and planning it, made her beyond curious. With the encouragement of her co-workers, she completed a Python course, and was blown away by the magic of coding. Janet is now addicted to seeing the code come alive and cannot wait for more! In her spare time, she enjoys practicing Brazilian Jiu Jitsu.
For her Hackbright project, Janet built Chore Me – For any household, use Chore Me to share chores among housemates and with text alert features, you won’t ever have to remember to nag your housemates again! Chore Me! Check out Janet’s GitHub
Jessica Burns graduated Summa Cum Laude from Washington State University with a Master’s degree in Engineering and Technology Management and graduate certificates in Constraints Management, Project Management, and Supply Chain Management. Jessica has had a 10 year career at The Boeing Company in virtually every business position available. She has planned programs from concept through execution on a variety of multi-year, multimillion dollar efforts. She is interested in using technology to analyze, automate, and synthesize information. Jessica would like to use what she has learned at Hackbright Academy and over the course of her professional and academic tenure to improve the velocity of project/product creation, technological maturation, and introduction into the marketplace.
For her Hackbright project, Jessica built The Perihilon Group – A stock portfolio selection tool that allows the user to invest the same way Jessica does. Driven on an investment philosophy emphasizing diversification and dividend yield, she scraped all stocks available for trade on the AMEX, NASDAQ, and NYSE exchanges. The resulting database is conducive to emphasizing dividend yield. Also collected were the GDP break-downs of every country on earth to create of a predictive model that takes into account which sectors of a nation’s economy are most likely to grow. High dividend yield companies are paired with high-growth countries to allow the investor to ride a wave of success. Check out Jessica’s GitHub
Jessica Langston is eager to combine her technical skills and global mindset as she embarks on her new career as a software engineer. She is deeply passionate about international affairs, issues, and travel, and she is excited to work on technology that connects and impacts lives around the world. Drawn to programming while revisiting her long love of math, she discovered coding through an introductory Java class and was inspired to apply to Hackbright. Jessica holds a Bachelor’s degree from the University of San Diego, with a major in International Relations and minors in Economics and Spanish.
For her Hackbright project, Jessica built WorldWise – An interactive map application that allows users to see the latest news from around the world. WorldWise provides a visual and accessible way to learn about what’s going on in the world. Users can register, choose locations they’re interested in, and see those places and the latest headlines on a customized map when they log in. Check out Jessica’s GitHub
Jessica Lopez graduated from Yale University in May 2015 with a degree in History of Science, Medicine, and Public Health. Last summer she conducted thesis research in St. Petersburg, Russia to determine how participation in live cultural experiences affect personal health. This research inspired her Hackbright project. She is passionate about the intersection of science and technology and the positive impact it can have for society. Jessica can speak Spanish, French and Russian and loves learning new things. She is looking forward to a career of continuous learning as a software engineer. When she’s not coding, Jessica is either reading a Brontë novel or perfecting the fruit-toveggie ratio in her smoothies.
For her Hackbright project, Jessica built Andarography – A platform for the experience economy. It is a way to inspire and motivate yourself to try new activities and experiences. After choosing a location, browse events and experiences you can either book or save for later. Andarography uses data visualization to show you how you spend your time and money. You can add an experience you’ve had to your profile that wasn’t offered on Andarography and you can list an experience you would like to offer others. Being able to not only book but also list experiences creates a community of empowered individuals and micro-entrepreneurs. Check out Jessica’s GitHub
Kae Sackett graduated from Jacksonville State University in 2013 with a B.S. in Analytical Chemistry. Following graduation, she worked as a Laboratory Analyst in Birmingham, AL for two years before deciding to pursue her interest in software engineering. After completing an introductory programming course at her alma mater, she committed to changing careers and moved to the Bay Area to attend Hackbright Academy. In her free time, Kaelyn enjoys gardening, playing video games, and learning about new advancements in science and technology.
For her Hackbright project, Kae built RoomEase – A web app that makes living with roommates easier by tracking a house’s bills. Roommates can log in to view their portion of the bills, keep track of which bills they have and have not paid, and will receive text reminders if a due date is approaching for an unpaid bill. Check out Kae’s GitHub
Kai Dalgleish has extensive experience working at the intersection of community organizing and science. Using knowledge gained from her time studying Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at UCSC, she participated in several conservation projects, and collaborated with the Monterey Bay Salmon and Trout Project and NOAA on salmon restoration. She also worked with numerous projects including the Santa Cruz FreeSkool collective, which not only taught hundreds of free classes over her tenure but also inspired similar projects around the world. Kai was most recently the Director of the Hub for Sustainable Living, an non-profit dedicated to fostering community resources through creative reuse.
For her Hackbright project, Kai built Forager – Need a few sprigs of rosemary for your recipe? It doesn’t get more local than just around the corner. Forager allows users to locate food plants growing in their area, fostering a sense of connection to their urban environment. Users can search from thousands of plants pulled from the San Francisco plant census by criteria such as harvest season and view plants on an interactive map, as well as contribute to the project by adding their own plants and reviewing plants. Check out Kai’s GitHub
Karen Sit graduated from University of Washington with a degree in Applied Mathematics and Communication Rhetoric Studies. Upon graduation, she worked as a management consultant in the Seattle area at various technology companies streamlining processes, creating business cases, managing projects, and analyzing datasets. Karen is passionate about solving problems, unlocking insights through data analytics, and empowering people to make informed decisions. In her free time, Karen enjoys participating in hackathons which also led to her desire to pursue a career in software engineering.
For her Hackbright project, Karen built WOL (The Owl of Wol Street) – WOL is a data analytics and visualization tool that analyzes social media sentiment and stock price trends to help users better manage their stock portfolio. Check out Karen’s GitHub
Katherine Wu background is language acquisition and instruction in higher education. She has an MA in Teaching English as a Second Language from University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign and has taught at California College of the Arts, Michigan Tech, Harvard, and Columbia University. She also developed and rated international language tests for Educational Testing Services. Katherine enjoys simplifying the complex: from modularizing curriculum components, to identifying language processing patterns, to creating architectural designs for web apps, she loves to find structure in nonlinear, complex situations!
For her Hackbright project, Katherine built Word Fit – Word Fit empowers English language learners to expand their vocabulary repertoire. For any given Ted talk, Word Fit parses through the entire transcript to create a prioritized list of vocabulary. Each vocabulary is selected based on their academic level, usage frequency, and word complexity and accompanied with learning resources from Merriam Webster’s Dictionary and New York Times. It also generates vocabulary exercises and a personalized vocabulary list with data visualization to help users track their learning progress. Check out Katherine’s GitHub
Kimberly Frinell is an attorney turned software developer. Upon moving to the Bay Area this summer, Kimberly came to Hackbright to pursue her passion to create, and exploit her love of problem solving. Kimberly is looking to use her newly acquired skills as a software engineer in a fast paced, collaborative environment.
For her Hackbright project, Kimberly built Arranging History – Arranging History is a multimedia website combining timelines, maps, videos and wiki pages to provide an interactive experience for learning about historical events. Inspired by the Associated Press’ release of thier historical videos onto YouTube, Arranging History was designed to bring together resources in a way that makes learning fun. Check out Kimberly’s GitHub
Lauren Ortencio has always been fascinated with design and experimenting with various computer software; however, it was not until a few years after she obtained her bachelor’s degree from the University of California Los Angeles (UCLA) that she realized her eye for design and curiosity could make her a perfect fit for the tech industry. At her previous position, she worked as her company’s lead graphic designer and digital marketing manager, demonstrating her self-taught design and front-end skills by handling all phases of design and email marketing from wireframe construction to writing copy and code.
For her Hackbright project, Lauren built Turni – Competitive video-gaming, otherwise known as “esports”, is not all fun and games–without proper organization, a tournament with hundreds to sometimes even thousands of participants could become chaotic. Turni aims to quell and prevent the chaos by providing tournament organizers with interactive venue maps to automatically assign participants to tables and keep track of where participants are located. Turni also eases the pressure on participants, who would usually have to listen closely for their names being called over a raucous tournament environment, by sending them text messages of where they should go when it is their turn to play. Check out Lauren’s GitHub
For her Hackbright project, Noelle built HomeSoon – to help renters find housing within a reasonable commute distance. By seeding data from Craigslist, HomeSoon lets users search for a new apartment according to their budget, method of transportation, and desired distance from work. HomeSoon uses the Google Maps API to display a user’s search results, where they can view further details such as an image, how the price compares to the average rent of their search, and most importantly, how long it would take to get to work from that location. Additionally, HomeSoon provides interactive charts helping users analyze their search. Check out Noelle’s GitHub
Paola Socorro graduated in 2011 with a B.S in Game Art and Design, from the Art Institute of California. At WemoLab, she worked in the browser based game called The Blu. She modeled and textured 3D assets as part of a small team. At Hydrogen Whiskey she worked in Kinect Star Wars. She worked closely with the game’s code, helping artists create cinematics. In 2014 Paola joined the U.S Navy with hopes of making a difference and giving back to her adopted country. An unexpected injury caused her to be separated at the end of bootcamp. Paola is an artist and enjoys drawing and painting in her free time.
For her Hackbright project, Paola built ComicShelf – The app creates a visual library of your digital comic files. Each file is uploaded into ComicShelf in a compressed format. The app processes the name of the file and extract information like the comic’s title, issue number and release year. This information and more is saved onto a database, and the archive is then uncompressed. ComicShelf then shows the user a thumbnail of each comic they have uploaded. Comics can be sorted by name or publisher, making them easy to find. ComicShelf enhaces your comic reading experience, allowing you to read in the browser and keep bookmarks. Check out Paola’s GitHub
Peggy Zheng graduated from University of Toronto, Rotman Commerce, with a bachelor degree in Finance. Upon graduation, she joined a Toronto-based tech start-up, Transmission Media, as a business analyst while studying for her CFA exams. Having been actively involved in managing several projects and constantly coordinating between software engineers and clients from financial institutions, she became more and more intrigued by the power of programming and how technology revolutionized some of the most traditional industries and many more to come. After taking some online coding courses, she decided to embark on a new journey of moving to San Francisco and starting her career as a software engineer.
For her Hackbright project, Peggy built Opinionated – Feeling baffled by a difficult decision in life? Or couldn’t decide between two dresses for a date? Opinionated is your answer for all such questions. Upload your options in text or picture to Opinionated and get advice from other users through a voting system. The voting result is presented through interactive graphs charted based on gender, age, and location. Browsing other people’s posts is fun too. You could search for the posts by hashtag, vote on a question and leave comments. Additionally, a follower system keeps you up to date with your friends’ posts and engage with them anytime anywhere. Check out Peggy’s GitHub
Rosy Sanchez graduated from UC Berkeley with a degree in Social Welfare. Rosy was first exposed to programming via an intro computer science course at UC Berkeley, which ignited a passion to explore this new-found way of thinking. Upon graduation, Rosy pursued her passion and took on a technical support role for FiveStars, where she was introduced to further web technologies and troubleshooting on the fly. She still wanted to learn more, so she went to various tech events, eventually completing the RailsBridge curriculum, becoming a TA, and going to Hackbright.
For her Hackbright project, Rosy built Run Away with Me – Run Away With Me seeks to inspire you to lead a healthy lifestyle within a community. If you have ever found yourself wanting to go on a run but losing motivation, or wanting to exercise with someone else, Run Away With Me helps you make that idea concrete and connect with others. Whether you want to run right now, schedule a time to run later, run by the beach, etc, Run Away With me will find someone within 5 miles that matches your mile time, and will notify you via text and on the web whenever you have a match.
Sally Roberts is an experienced software engineer who developed backend business applications in investment banking, manufacturing, insurance and medical software industries in RPG and SQL on the IBM AS/400 midrange computer. She is excited to be applying her skills in Python and web development learned through the Hackbright fellowship and self-study, in a new software engineering role. She is a Certified Scrum Master, knowledgeable and enthusiastic about agile software development methodology and engineering practices, which effectively address many of the frustrations and challenges she personally experienced using the waterfall method of software development.
For her Hackbright project, Sally built Scene Francisco – It displays a list of movies filmed in San Francisco, with the ability to subset the list by genre or search by movie title. Users can display a detail page featuring a Google map of San Francisco with markers indicating the filming locations for the selected movie. Users can also display the IMDB page for each movie. Primary data was obtained from a public dataset published by the San Francisco Film Commission, supplemented with APIs to obtain additional detail for each movie. Check out Sally’s GitHub
Sarah Frost wanted to build model spaceships for Star Trek, and when that began to seem like yesterday’s technology, taught herself POV-ray’s scene building language as a starting point for learning to create computer graphics. After being thoroughly distracted by books long enough to graduate from the University of Iowa with a degree in English, she worked at Allen Press, a small printer of scientific journals. Her short fiction has appeared in magazines such as Analog and Andromeda Spaceways Inflight Magazine.
For her Hackbright project, Sarah built Your Life List in the Cloud – Every birdwatcher keeps a “life list” of all the bird species they have seen. Lek allows birdwatchers to create, store, and update their life lists remotely. Users can browse a complete list of the world’s bird species. They can create and save custom searches, which in turn can be selected as their personal default, to be displayed in lieu of the full bird taxonomy on login. Check out Sarah’s GitHub
Shilpa Sirur started her career in India as a University level Instructor of Electronics Engineering. After moving to the US, Shilpa graduated with a Masters in Electrical Engineering from San Jose State University. She is very passionate about software development and its quality. She loves taking up the challenges and identifying best possible solutions. For the past 3 years she has been leading testing efforts as Software Test Engineer at SurveyMonkey (Palo Alto) for the Growth team.She has been a key stakeholder in evaluating the quality of A/B tests before they are deployed to production.
For her Hackbright project, Shilpa built Mybit – A web application to effectively communicate with parents all the upcoming events at a school. Through Mybit one can easily create, publish and monitor the school volunteer events. It allows parents to sign up for a volunteer activity at school, keep track of their volunteer activity profile, get reminders about volunteer activities and share feedback about an event they volunteered for. The goal of Mybit is to give a busy parent the ease to go online to organize his/her schedule and engage more with kids and their schools. Check out Shilpa’s GitHub
Sofia Nguy, a Bay Area native, graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology from the University of San Francisco. Inspired by her minor in Chinese Studies, she won a full scholarship from the Chinese Government to spend a year studying Mandarin in Shanghai. Sofia later taught herself beginner programming and discovered she loved the challenge that programming presents. She especially enjoys the learning process because it’s more hands on and trial-and-error learning. When she’s not teaching herself something new, she can be found weightlifting, playing board games, or going to a comedy show.
For her Hackbright project, Sofia built Puggle Me – Puggle.me helps people with limited internet connectivity find data-plan friendly websites. A great deal of the modern web is inaccessible to people with limited data plans. Puggle.me is a Bing-powered search that shows the size of each resultant link. Users with extremely limited plans can also receive search results via SMS. The hardest problem making puggle.me was running automated website scans on the server. Each site is scanned with PhantomJS, but large sites can take over 30 seconds to complete. This was solved by combining a database cache, parallelizing the PhantomJS subprocesses, and timing out processes that take too long. Check out Sofia’s GitHub
Steph Simon was the founder and CEO of Murmur, a 15+ person tech startup that built a native iOS app to help people find good restaurants easily. She recruited and managed the team, led the product dev cycle, raised two rounds of funding and ran three betas. Before starting Murmur, she was an awardwinning strategist for Fortune 500 companies at Landor Associates, primarily leading the product positioning and verbal branding for Samsung mobile devices. Stephanie has a certificate from the Stanford Graduate School of Business’ SIGM program and a B.A. with honors from Scripps College.
Susan Chin graduated from UC Davis with a B.S. in Neurobiology, Physiology, and Behavior in 2013. While preparing to take her Medical College Admissions Test, she worked as a Fire Alarm Designer, became a NICET-certified Engineering Technician and took night classes from UC Berkeley Extension’s Post-Baccalaureate Health Professions Program. A statistic class that included R in its curriculum sparked her interest in coding and she decided to continue her studies in programming languages. She is excited to explore all the possibilities that technology has to offer and ecstatic that the constant advancements in tech will never fail to quench her thirst for knowledge.
For her Hackbright project, Susan built Your BFF – Planning a trip is disheartening if you keep looking at your dream vacation and then at your economically disadvantaged bank account. Your BFF (Budget Flight Finder) takes away the frustrations of searching for travel destinations by showing you a list of roundtrip flights that fit your budget. If your budget can’t afford flights, your BFF will give you a list of nearby campsites for possible road trip plans. Knowing your options will help you explore the world! Check out Susan’s GitHub
Vanesa Ortiz graduated in 2014 with a Masters in Latin American Studies from the University of Cologne, Germany. She taught herself HTML/CSS/JS/JQuery/PHP and has been working professionally as a web developer for 15 years. After working as an Overseas Researcher for the London School of Economics, Vanesa decided to pursue full-stack development. She loves the structured, logical and analytical thinking of programming and wants to combine her social sciences background with her technical skills. She speaks 5 languages: German, English, French, Spanish, Portuguese, has lived in the Dominican Republic, Germany and the US and has traveled to 40 countries.
For her Hackbright project, Vanesa built Kid-O – It solves common problems for aid workers: maintaining a clear, accurate overview of the children they serve, regardless of internet connectivity. This children’s profile management system provides a clear overview of each child in the overview page and a more detailed view on the profile page, including the their name, age, and home and school situation. Aid workers can create and edit profiles and see in the overview what information is missing. They can also add new profiles via text messaging, so that lack of internet access does not keep the children’s information from being up to date and available. Check out Vanesa’s GitHub
Meet the Summer 2015 graduating class of software engineers on Wednesday, September 9th at Hackbright Academy’s quarterly Hackbright Celebration Dinner in San Francisco! You’ll see project demonstrations from students, network with women in the industry, and learn more about Hackbright Academy’s software engineering fellowship.
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