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Eight exciting web apps built by exceptional female engineers

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In Hackbright Academy’s rigorous 12-week Part-Time Software Engineering Program, students learn the skills to become engineers and build impressive web apps to demonstrate their skills as developers. Learn about our inaugural Oakland cohort of exceptional East Bay women in their own words, and the wide variety of apps they built, each showcasing their unique interests and personalities.


Margaret Cohort: September 2018


Anne Staples

LinkedIn | GitHub

Prior to Hackbright, Anne worked in operations managing both technical and non-technical teams. She has had exposure to database modeling and management in her previous roles and loves leveraging data to reduce workloads and improve scalability. After wrestling unenthusiastically with the idea of going to business school, Anne decided to dabble in tech instead and found that she could not get enough. She quickly enrolled in Hackbright’s Prep program to confirm it was a good fit and hasn’t looked back since. She is so excited to have found a career path that feels challenging, rewarding, and empowering.

Hackbright Project: Gadget

Gadget is an app that allows for flexible and intuitive searching of skincare products, and flags products that contain potentially harmful or undesirable ingredients. There are two built in flags, one for ingredients that are potentially harmful during pregnancy and one for ingredients that can aggravate sensitive skin. Users can also create custom flags with the help of approximate string matching, and can enable and disable flags at any time.

Technology Stack:

JavaScript (JQuery, AJAX), Python, Flask, SQLAlchemy, PostgreSQL, HTML, CSS, Bootstrap

APIs Used:

Clearbit

C.S. or Related Experience Prior to Hackbright:

Anne has extensive experience managing large data sets having worked at an eDiscovery firm that built and maintained searchable databases for civil and criminal legal proceedings, and as manager of a logistical team for a large active travel company. She also has some experience with layout and design as managing editor of her college newspaper.


Cindy Alvarez

LinkedIn | GitHub

Prior to Hackbright, Cindy was an Account Representative at Udemy where she was responsible for sourcing new business opportunities, identifying user needs, and answering product questions. Before then, Cindy was at an early stage startup where she was involved in all areas of the business including driving sales and marketing initiatives. While she enjoyed sales, Cindy found that she is passionate about building, rather than selling, products that people love. Cindy also holds a degree in Cognitive Science from UC Berkeley and in addition has taken courses from Berkeley Extension’s program in User Experience. Cindy is looking to combine her love for being a user advocate with her programming skills into a career in software engineering.

Hackbright Project: Pawfect Match

Pawfect Match is a web application that recommends dog breeds based on a user’s lifestyle and preferred dog traits. After users take a quiz, the inputs are sent to the extensive database that holds information (descriptions, traits, and scores) on over 200 dog breeds. This results in the top dog matches from which the user can then read more about. At the same time, the app uses Petfinder’s API to search and return adoptable pets, helping the user find a furry companion!

Technology Stack:

Python, Flask, Scrapy, PostgreSQL, SQLAlchemy, JavaScript, jQuery with AJAX, HTML, CSS, Jinja, Bootstrap

APIs Used:

Petfinder API

C.S. or Related Experience Prior to Hackbright:

Cindy was first introduced to computer science at UC Berkeley when she learned concepts of computing using Scratch!. She continued to take technical courses covering topics such as Python, Scheme, and Discrete Math. Studying Cognitive Science, Cindy developed computational models of human cognition. She explored concepts like probability and neural networks utilizing Python, NumPy, and the Matplotlib library.


Ione M Axelrod

LinkedIn | Twitter | GitHub

In her early work, Ione learned the universal importance of communication and collaboration. However, she needed a bigger challenge in her life and began taking programming classes at her local community college, ultimately earning an A.S. in Computer Programming. Ione is a software engineer because the software engineer role allows her to work for any mission, project, or company. This flexibility means that no part of the world will be closed off, and she will be able to grow and learn and explore in any direction she wishes.

Hackbright Project: Voter Information Project

The Voter Information Project or V.I.P. is a tool intended to provide a user with non-partisan data about their federal congresspeople, recent bills authored, and how those bills were voted on. The V.I.P. gives non-judgmental information, and does not tell the user how to vote. By providing purely factual information, the user is trusted to determine their opinion about the bill without having to worry about unfair biases. The site provides contact information for their congresspeople to encourage democratic participation.

The hope for this project is so every person can be able to make well informed decisions about the people they vote for, as well gain awareness about the laws being addressed by Congress.

Technology Stack:

Python, Flask, SQLAlchemy, PostgreSQL, Jinja2, Bootstrap, jQuery, Chart.js, Typeahead.js

APIs Used:

ProPublica Congress API, Google Civic Information API, Google Fonts, FontAwesome

C.S. or Related Experience Prior to Hackbright:

Ione holds an A.S. in Computer Programming, and has experience with various languages and technologies. Ione has created a variety of applications in C++, Java, Swift, and Scala as well as Python. She is also familiar with MYSQL, JUnit, JSON, REST, and Git. She is always hungry to learn more technologies!


Jennifer Meara

LinkedIn | Twitter | GitHub

Before studying at Hackbright Academy, Jennifer worked for 10+ years in marketing and project management. She started as a studio coordinator directing creative teams and impacting operational efficiency. Next she managed multi-faceted marketing campaigns and social media channels for Kaiser Permanente. This work allowed her to engage in the technical details of building websites, deploying applications, and training users. Because of this experience, she found a love for coding and decided to embark on a new path in software engineering. She enjoys programming because it allows her to solve complex problems, design and build solutions, and continue learning new technical concepts and languages.

Hackbright Project: JobTracker

JobTracker helps users track status of job applications, store details about companies and contacts, and remember follow up items. After registration, the user adds jobs to track with initial status, and then can find the average salary for the job type in their local metro area with data from Glassdoor’s Local Pay Reports research. Every status update assigns new follow up tasks to the user to complete by a due date. These tasks can be added to their calendar via Google’s OAuth2 authentication system for the Google API. The user can also track interactions with contacts during networking events or informational interviews. The profile page details the user’s analytics from number of jobs interested in to the number of job offers.

Technology Stack:

Python, Flask, Jinja, PostgreSQL, SQLAlchemy, HTML, CSS, Bootstrap, React, jQuery

APIs Used:

Google Calendar

C.S. or Related Experience Prior to Hackbright:

Prior to studying full time at Hackbright, Jennifer completed the Hackbright Prep course, and online self-study courses, such as Harvard’s CS50, Codecademy Web Development and Programming, freeCodeCamp’s Responsive Web Design program, and the 100 Days of Code Challenge.


Kami Karras

LinkedIn | Twitter | GitHub

Kami moved to the Bay Area from Portland, OR after falling in love with code at her art school. She was on the road to becoming a communications designer with an internship at a creative agency and finishing up her BFA senior year with a design thesis that ended up leading her to her new passion. Her thesis was a game concept that she imagined for mobile phones. At the same time she was in a class that used processing to create art with code. She then used processing to create a demo app and was hooked. With a love of design and a new love of software engineering, she plans to move into a role where knowledge of both can be used to create functional and well designed products. In her free time she enjoys petting dogs and trying to be funny.

Hackbright Project: Skillin it

Skillin it is a career development website revolved around the skills needed for a career direction. The app finds the most requested skills in a giant dataset of job postings and gives users visual data about those skills. The app is intended for people entering a new career field and need direction. The user can use this tool to begin their new career change transition before they know which company they want to work for.

Technology Stack:

Python, PostgreSQL, SQLAlchemy, Flask, HTML, CSS, JavaScript, D3, jQuery, Bootstrap, Jinja

C.S. or Related Experience Prior to Hackbright:

Learned processing in “The Art of Programming.” Very comfortable in HTML and CSS. Built her personal website. Participated in Hacking for Humanity. Built an Android game app with processing.


Kristin Lee

LinkedIn | Twitter | GitHub

Before starting Hackbright, Kristin was a Support Specialist at the East Bay Agency for Children, working to keep her team running smoothly, and collaborating on better ideas to solve problems and get things done. She also has experience in the gaming industry as a QA tester on Dark Souls 2, where she had to think outside-the-box to push the limits of the software. In college she majored in Integrative Biology at UC Berkeley. While she loved the people at her old job, she wanted to start a career where she could feel challenged to learn new things. She’s looking forward to being able to mix her love of logic puzzles with the sense of accomplishment from seeing something she made work, in a career where she can continue to grow as an engineer.

Hackbright Project: Pixel Stitch

Pixel stitch lets users create a knitting pattern, and shows them what it would look like as they create it. Users create patterns by typing instructions for each row, and the image is generated as they go. They can change and add colors, use different stitches, and add or remove rows to create their finished motif. They can also click on a row of either the text or the image, and it highlights both the text and image of that row, to help fine-tune their creation. When the user is happy with what they’ve made they can name and save it. Users can also search for other people’s patterns by name, or browse all patterns. When users find patterns they like they can mark it as favorite and access it later.

Technology Stack:

Python3, JavaScript, Flask, PostgreSQL, SQLAlchemy, React.js, JSX

APIs Used:

Snap.svg, React-strap

C.S. or Related Experience Prior to Hackbright:

Kristin worked for Namco-Bandai on the QA team black-box testing Dark Souls 2 and documenting bugs. She also completed the Codecademy Python course.


Laural Horton

LinkedIn | GitHub

Before Hackbright, Laural’s career focused on social justice and advocacy. She graduated from Univ. of Michigan and studied law at the Univ. of Denver. Volunteering with the Peace Corps in Senegal triggered her to focus on international human rights and practice as an asylum attorney. Feeling limited to address only one aspect of her client’s story, she transitioned to education. Through Teach for America, she taught high school Special Education in Oakland for five years. With a desire to grow professionally, Laural began to explore tech. The nature of programming suits her problem-solving and goal-oriented perspective. She is excited for the opportunities tech provides to combine her background with new tools to shape social change.

Hackbright Project: Carrot, a behavior intervention tool

Carrot is an intervention tool aimed at teachers and parents to monitor targeted student behaviors with specific interventions and dynamically chart progress over time. Users register and add students they would like to monitor. They can then identify behaviors they would like to target and choose associated interventions. Users can target multiple behaviors for each student and enter multiple progress reports to gauge the success of the intervention. Student progress is dynamically charted to visualize progress and the intersection of multiple behaviors. With the click of a button, users can text progress reports and comments to parents to facilitate collaboration between families and schools

Technology Stack:

Python, Flask, Jinja, SQLAlchemy, JavaScript, Bootstrap, HTML, CSS

APIs Used:

Twillio, Random User Generator, Faker

C.S. or Related Experience Prior to Hackbright:

Laural first got interested in coding through online courses through Codecademy. Wanting a more interactive and personal experience, she enrolled in the Hackbright Prep class where she learned basic Python skills. That course got her excited to learn more and led her to the Full-Time Software Engineering Program at Hackbright.


Rachel Lynch

LinkedIn | GitHub

Before starting her journey to become a software engineer Rachel was working in the transportation industry where she learned how to adapt to an environment in which everyday could bring a new challenge. She helped to fill a variety of roles as needed performing warehouse audits, administrative duties, managing food safety protocols, and driver dispatch responsibilities. She learned how to adapt to working within a new and diverse workforce while growing in her ability to communicate effectively. This experience helped to hone many of the creative problem solving skills developed in college to work in a extremely fast-paced environment. Rachel holds a BS in Society and Environment from UC Berkeley College of Natural Resources.

Hackbright Project: National Disaster Declarations

This project’s goal was to explore improving the user experience when an app is data-heavy. The intended audience are those interested in education or government run conservation programs. FEMA’s database on disaster declarations was used because disasters garner a lot of media coverage today. Having greater awareness of the risk and impact of disasters is critical to lessening their effect in the future. So, an added feature is the user’s ability to save events either for educational or personal purposes. The future goal is to improve in conveying data trends without having to display the raw data so that this project may one day have a larger effect beyond the intended audience.

Technology Stack:

Python, Flask, Jinja, PostgreSQL, SQLAlchemy, HTML, CSS, JavaScript, jQuery, AJAX, Bootstrap

C.S. or Related Experience Prior to Hackbright:

Her first exposure to programming came from her all-girls STEM program in middle school with a robotics competition. That experience led to more exploration in workshops throughout high school. She created her own portfolio site in high school teaching herself more HTML and CSS which was possible due to her workshops. She was drawn back to technology because she loved the fun challenge it presented so she planned to switch industries.


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