10 Black Female Leaders in Tech to Watch

WilliamWilliam Hill is a Software Engineer at Lawrence Livermore Lab and former Senior Instructor of Hackbright Academy’s part-time Intro to Programming night course. He developed a passion for teaching while earning his Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in Computer Science from Mississippi State University.  He has a drive for increasing diversity in tech and has volunteered with Black Girls Code, the Hidden Genius Project and is a member of /dev/color. When he isn’t churning out code, he enjoys playing basketball, strength training, and playing video games. Follow him on twitter at @emjay_hill.

“I’m no longer accepting the things I cannot change…I’m changing the things I cannot accept.”

Despite becoming one of the most educated segments of the population in the past decade, black women continue to be woefully underrepresented in the tech industry. According to recent reports by NCWIT, black women only hold 3% of computing jobs . The problem is not being ignored, though. Organizations such as Black Girls ROCK! and Black Girls Code are doing tremendous work in exposing black girls to coding to strengthen the pipeline. Industry professionals have gotten in on the act as well by using their energy and expertise to create opportunities for younger generations. Here we highlight 10 dynamic black women who are making an impact on their company and community!

Sheena Allen


Sheena Allen Headshot

Sheena Allen is a founder and CEO at Sheena Allen Apps and InstaFunds. She earned her B.A. in Film and B.S. in Psychology from the University of Southern Mississippi. Sheena Allen has grown her app company, Sheena Allen Apps, to have millions of downloads and is featured in She Started It, a documentary that focuses on 5 women working on their startups . She has successfully completed an internship program back in her home state of Mississippi for local college students and often speaks to minorities about the possibilities in the tech industry.

Follow her on Twitter at @whoisSheena.

Jasmine Bowers


Jasmine Bowers

Jasmine Bowers is a PhD student at the University of Florida. She earned her B.S. degrees in mathematics and computer science from Fort Valley State University and an M.S. in computer science from North Carolina A&T State University.

Over the last year, Jasmine was named a GEM Fellowship scholar and a Committee of 200 scholar finalist.

Over the years, she has worked with several community organizations, including Big Brothers Big Sisters, Boys and Girls Club, and Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Incorporated. Recently, she served as a guest speaker at the InTech one-day tech camp for girls. In addition to her interests in computer science and cyber security, she also has a passion for financial education. After graduating, she visited her alma mater FVSU to teach students about budgeting during their annual iLead Leadership Conference.

Follow her on Twitter at @JasmineDBowers.

Khalia Braswell

 N7wWGrdcKhalia Braswell is a User Experience Designer at Apple, Inc. She earned her B.S. in Computer Science from North Carolina State, and her M.S. in Human Computer Interaction from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. Last year, Khalia had the chance to attend The White House’s first annual Computer Science Tech Jam to kick off Computer Science Education Week. She was afforded this opportunity, in part, because of her non-profit INTech, whose mission is to inform and inspire girls to innovate in the technology industry.

Follow her on Twitter at @KhaliaBraswell.

Dr. Jamika Burge



Dr. Jamika Burge owns a startup, Design and Technology Concepts, that specializes in computer science design and education, where she has worked with Google and the National Center for Women and Information Technology (NCWIT) to develop strategies for technical inclusion. She is also the new Senior Manager for Research Curriculum and Outreach at Capital One. She earned her PhD in Computer Science from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, where she won an IBM Research Fellowship.

Jamika has worked across multiple sectors, from IBM Research to Defense Advanced Research Project Agency (DARPA), and she is active in computer science education and STEM preparedness efforts, providing expertise for a host of funded programs funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF) and the Computing Research Association (CRA).  

Follow her on Twitter at @JDBurge.

Lauren Frazier


Lauren Frazier

Lauren Frazier is a Software Engineer at Google. She earned both her B.S. and M.S. in Computer Science from the University of Pennsylvania. have been a professional iOS developer since graduating from the University of Pennsylvania in 2012. Lauren was the lead engineer on Google Wallet for iOS before moving to the Android Wear team. She is a member of /dev/color and a tutor with the Second Start Adult Literacy Program in Oakland. She was recently featured in Techies, a photo project focused on sharing stories of tech employees in Silicon Valley.

Follow her on Twitter at @laurenfraz.

Hadiyah Mujhid



Hadiyah Mujhid is the founder and developer at Playpen Labs, a software and design company. She earned her B.S. in Computer Science from University of Maryland Eastern Shore. Hadiyah has fifteen years experience working as a software engineer. Her experience spans from working with government agencies to launch satellites into orbit, to more recently helping startups to launch web products. In addition to being an engineer, she’s an advocate for underrepresented groups working in tech. She created a non-profit called Black Founders to increase the number of black tech entrepreneurs. She’s also the founder of HBCU to Startup, which serves as a bridge for students and alumni from historically black colleges interested in working in tech.

Follow Hadiyah on Twitter at @hadiyahdotme.

Tiffany Price


Tiffany PriceTiffany Price is the Community Engagement Manager at the Kapor Center for Social Impact. She earned her B.A. in Chemistry and International Studies from Emory University and an M.A. in International Comparative Education from Stanford University.  She also graduated from Actualize, a Ruby on Rails web development bootcamp.  Tiffany serves on the advisory board of /dev/color, a network for black software engineers, and is a mentor for STEMinist, a new data science program for underrepresented women at UC Berkeley.

Follow her at @thoodprice.

Mandela Schumacher-Hodge


Mandela Schumacher-Hodge

Mandela Schumacher-Hodge is the Founding Portfolio Services Director at Kapor Capital. She co-launched the first ever VC-backed diversity pledge, called the Founders’ Commitment. In less than one year, 84 Kapor Capital portfolio companies signed on. Mandela works with diversity and inclusion expert and Kapor Capital Partner, Dr. Freada Kapor Klein, to develop custom workshops and resources to help these companies fulfill their commitment to build diverse teams and inclusive workplaces. Mandela earned her B.A. in Intercultural Communication, with a minor in Spanish, from Pepperdine and her M.A. in Education, Administration & Policy from Loyola Marymount University. In 2014, Mandela’s name graced the Forbes’ 30 Under 30 in Education list, in 2015 Mandela gave her first TEDx speech, and in 2016, Mandela was named to the Case Foundation’s Top 50 Inclusive Entrepreneurship Champions list, The Registry’s 40 Under 40 Tech Diversity: Silicon Valley list, and LinkedIn’s Top 10 Voices in Venture Capital and EntrepreneurshipShe’s the author of three Top 20 Medium Posts, and My White Boss Talked About Race in America, This is What Happened, a piece that went viral and has been featured in Medium, LinkedIn, Huffington Post, and Black Enterprise magazine.

Follow Mandela on Twitter @MandelaSH.

Kamilah Taylor


Screen Shot 2016-10-24 at 12.56.41 PM

Kamilah Taylor is a Senior Software Engineer at LinkedIn. She earned her M.S. in Computer Science from the University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign, and her B.S. in both Mathematics and Computer Science from the University of the West Indies, Mona Campus (in Jamaica).

While at LinkedIn she’s worked on multiple project launches, most recently the new LinkedIn Learning app, an online learning platform. Other projects include the complete rewrite and redesign of LinkedIn’s flagship app, messaging, mobile accessibility and infrastructure. Previously she did robotics at Wolfram Research and in graduate school at UIUC. Kamilah is a co-author of the recently released “Women in Tech: Take Your Career to the Next Level with Practical Advice and Inspiring Stories”, and is helping to organize the inaugural Tech Beach Retreat in Jamaica. She volunteers for many organizations aimed at encouraging more women and people of color to choose STEM as a career field, including Black Girls Code, Technovation, MEDA, and the Palisadoes Foundation.

Follow Kamilah on twitter at @kamilah.

Rachel Walker


Rachel Walker is an engineer at Chalk Schools. She earned her B.S. in Computer Science from Illinois Institute of Technology. Rachel helped build out the part-time educational program at Hackbright Academy that served over 100 students and recently made her first open-source contribution. She is regional director for Lesbians Who Tech East Bay and regularly volunteers at hackathons for local youth.

Follow her on Twitter at  @Raychatter.

Hackbright Academy is the leading engineering school for women in San Francisco dedicated to closing the gender gap in the tech industry offering 12-week software engineering programs and night courses for women. 

Must-See Web Apps Built by 41 Brilliant Women Engineers!

During Hackbright Academy’s immersive and rigorous 12-week software engineering fellowship, students build impressive web apps in just 4 weeks! Get ready to be inspired by these amazing women and their creations ranging from trip planning to ride sharing apps that showcase their unique personalities.

Ada Cohort

Amanda Stephano

GitHub | LinkedIn
Amanda graduated from undergrad with a degree in computer science and from there decided to go directly into graduate school to pursue a double masters in human computer interaction and computer science. After she graduated, she worked as a user experience designer in a wide variety of industries. In 2013, she decided she wanted become an in-house product designer and joined Uber. After working in-house with developers that inspired her, she decided to revisit her engineering roots and join Hackbright. She looks forward to using her design experience and building more skills as a front end software engineer after Hackbright.

Hackbright Project: Recruiter

Recruiter is a tool that makes it easy to recruit users for usability and research studies. Startups and small businesses will no longer have to rely on Craigslist or expensive recruitment agencies. Recruiter leverages the Facebook API in the same way that dating apps like Hinge, Bumble, etc do. This makes it easier for researchers to find legitimate users and get basic data without requiring people to fill anything out when they sign up. Recruiter also automates the task of emailing potential participants with a screener survey.

Technology Stack:

PostgresSQL, SQLAlchemy, Python, Flask, Jinja, Javascript, JQuery, Bootstrap.

APIs Used:


Carly Weinstein

GitHub | LinkedIn

Carly previously spent most of her time in the Quality Assurance realm at several companies across the Bay Area. She got to work closely with many talented developers to help them get critical features and fixes released. In the process, she rediscovered her childhood love of coding. At her previous company, she completed a summer software engineering internship on the front-end web team, and got to help build some cool features that are live in production today. Carly is excited to keep building her skills as a full-stack software engineer.

Hackbright Project: Level Up

Level Up is an application that allows users to add habits and keep track of how often they complete them. Users can add specific goals to their habits, like “no more than 3x per day” or “at least 5 times per week” and get a weekly success metric. Users can also see visual representation of their progress via a calendar view and a line chart.

Technology Stack:

Python, Flask, PostgreSQL, AngularJS, Moment.js, Chart.js

APIs Used:

Google Timezone, Google Geocoding

Catherine Karra

GitHub | LinkedIn | Twitter

Catherine is currently a software engineering fellow at Hackbright Academy. Preceding Hackbright, she worked as an office manager for a naturopath and acupuncturist, where she attempted to maintain and improve upon the doctor’s website. Toward that end, she practiced web design basics, which segwayed into to doing a web design program at Epicodus, a programming school in Portland, Oregon. On four group projects there, she was divvied front-end tasks, and in the process became fascinated with back-end work. At Hackbright Academy, she hopes to tie her front-end and back-end skills to create beautiful applications that help people understand the way complex biological and ecological systems work through data visualization.

Hackbright Project: Migration

Migration allows the user to visualize animal movement data over time with charts and Google Maps API. The user can access information on migration patterns for humpback whales using Movebank.

Technology Stack:

Python, SQL, Flask, Ajax, Javascript/jQuery, Geojson

APIs Used:

Google Maps

Charley McLean

GitHub | LinkedIn

Prior to Hackbright, Charley McLean worked as an environmental engineer at an environmental consulting firm for six years. She acted as a liaison between project managers, large clients, property owners, and subcontractors, and managed teams to implement environmental work and enforce safety. During three years of self study, she realized her passion did not lie in the environmental world, but instead with programming full time. A math minor in college and artist at home, she is enthusiastic about the combination of technicality and creativity that embodies computer coding.

Hackbright Project: Believe

Inspired by the National UFO Reporting Center Online Database, Believe was created to help people visualize where the most frequent UFO sightings are. UFO reports and population data from the U.S. Census Bureau were used to create heat map layers for interesting data comparison. Both heatmap layers may be toggled on and off, and there are buttons to toggle gradient color, radius, and opacity for each layer. Users may also view charts representing the number of UFO reports per capita for each state, and the number of UFO reports for each day of the week.

Technology Stack:

PostgreSQL, SQLAlchemy, Python, Flask, JavaScript, HTML, CSS, JQuery, Beautiful Soup, Chart.js, Bootstrap.

APIs Used:

Google Maps with visualization library, Geocoder

Chloe Condon

GitHub | LinkedIn | Twitter

Before Hackbright, Chloe spent her nights and weekends performing around the Bay Area as a singer/actress on stage in musicals and solo performances. To support her theatre career, she spent her days working the tech world- ranging from working as an executive assistant to CEOs, working at large online video game companies, and even being the first in-house hire at a virtual personal assistant company. Seeing all these companies from support roles piqued her interest and she wanted to learn how the products she was working on were getting made. So, she started to learn to code on her own through online resources like CodeAcademy and TreeHouse. Chloe is looking forward to bringing her artistic background into the tech world as an engineer!

Hackbright Project: LaterGator

LaterGator is a delayed status posting app that allows the user to post their status or tweet at a later scheduled time. In addition to letting the user choose their own time, the app also provides suggestions for the “next best time” to post content. The app uses Chrono (a natural language date parser in Javascript) to easily allow the user to adjust the time by simply typing in sentences such as “Next Wednesday at 1pm EST”. LaterGator was originally intended to be used by people traveling internationally, so that they could make sure their awesome status updates were being posted at good times for their friends back home. However, it can also be used to help the user post during heavy traffic times on Twitter and Facebook.

Technology Stack:

PostgreSQL, SQLAlchemy, Python, Flask, Jinja, Javascript, JQuery, Bootstrap.

APIs Used:

Facebook Graph API, Twitter API.

Christy Chen

GitHub | LinkedIn | Twitter

Christy graduated from UCLA with a B.S. in Molecular Biology and a minor in Film. She moved to the Bay after college, and started her career in the biotech field where she worked as a clinical lab accessioner. During her time in the lab, she assisted the clinical team by preparing samples and inputting patient data into system. She discovered her passion for coding, specifically her interest in building and problem-solving process in programing. As a self-motivated individual, she began her programming journey with all the resources she could find online. At work, she was presented an opportunity to work with the engineering team on a system overhaul, which made her realize that engineering is the career path she wants to embark on.

Hackbright Project: I’m Feeling Lucky

I’m Feeling Lucky is a trip generator that searches for the most affordable flights and Airbnb listings for users.
This app provides information regarding cheap flight options and affordable Airbnb listings based on users entered criteria. I’m Feeling Lucky enables users to set default departure airports, search trips, save trips for later, view or delete saved trips, and view photos of the destinations. I’m Feeling Lucky is great for people who love and want to travel with affordable prices. Planning trips is never easier!

Technology Stack:

PostgreSQL, SQLAlchemy, Python, Flask, Jinja, Javascript, JQuery, Bootstrap.

APIs Used:

Google Flight (QPX), Google Maps, The Unofficial AirBnb API

Jené Scott

GitHub | LinkedIn | Twitter

Jené’s professional experience is highly diverse. Prior to pursuing a career as a full stack engineer, she held positions within private, nonprofit, and federal organizations. As a technical professional, Jené’s focused on quality assurance, user experience, and web development. As a Software Specialist at the Bank Administration Institute, Jené worked closely with the engineering team to ensure quality development of software applications. This experience ensured her success in her next position as a Development Operations Manager. Her eagerness to learn more about programming and experience working with so many engineers fueled her desire to attend Hackbright Academy and transition into a career as a full time Software Engineer.

Hackbright Project: Bookoo List

Bookoo List is a simple task manager application that allows users to track individual tasks and group projects. Users have the option to prioritize and add due dates to individual tasks. Users can send emails and sms text message reminders for each task directly from their dashboard. Bookoo List simplifies task management by providing users with an accessible one-page dashboard where they can manage tasks, view projects, and share documents with their team via Dropbox.

Technology Stack:

Python, Flask for Python, Javascript, jQuery, HTML/CSS, Bootstrap, SQL Alchemy

APIs Used:


Jennifer Brabec

GitHub | LinkedIn

During undergrad, Jennifer studied linguistics (UC Berkeley) and, later, biology (SF State). She worked for over eight years in molecular diagnostics, and while working earned a Masters in Biotechnology with a concentration in Bioinformatics from Johns Hopkins University. During her grad program, she found she most enjoyed the opportunities to solve problems through coding. After grad school, she continued to dabble in programming at Codecademy and Coursera, but it was ultimately the desire for a bigger change that led her to Hackbright. She greatly looks forward to the continuously-changing challenges of a career as a software engineer. In her free time, Jennifer’s interests include video games, crafting, quality social time, and her pets.

Hackbright Project: SNAPPy Finder

SNAPPy Finder is a tool designed to make it easier for users to find retailers near them that accept SNAP/EBT as a form of payment, and to obtain additional information about those retailers, in one centralized location. Users can let the app find their location for them or manually enter in a target address, and then specify a search range limit. The app will return a list of nearest retailers and show their corresponding locations on a map, and will provide basic information about the retailer. Users can click on any result to get more information in the form of total Yelp rating and Yelp review snippets. Users can send themselves a link to the Yelp business listing for any result via email or SMS.

Technology Stack:

PostgreSQL, Python, SQLAlchemy, Flask, Jinja, Javascript, AJAX, JQuery, JSON, HTML, CSS, Bootstrap, Regex

APIs Used:

Google Maps JavaScript API, Google Maps Geocoding API, Yelp Fusion API, Twilio.

Katherine Liang

GitHub | LinkedIn

Katherine graduated from UC Berkeley with a degree in Economics. In her five years working as a financial analyst in the real estate industry, she enjoyed the challenge of analyzing financial data and calculating projections by building complex Excel spreadsheets. Fascinated with the power of formulas and parallels to programming logic, she began to study programming in her free time prior to attending Hackbright. She looks forward to building her skills as a full stack engineer, with a focus on backend. When she’s not coding, Katherine can be found running and crafting.

Hackbright Project: IngrediYUM

IngrediYUM provides the hungry user with an all-in-one tool to discover recipes, compile shopping lists, and monitor ingredients. Integration of the Spoonacular API allows the user to search for recipes they want to cook. The user can then generate shopping lists with aggregated and categorized ingredients to make grocery shopping more convenient. As the user confirms ingredients purchased and recipes cooked, IngrediYUM will calculate the new ingredient amounts accordingly in the user’s current inventory. Lastly, the user can search for recipes by items in their inventory and generate shopping lists with missing ingredients to make it easy to make use of leftovers.

Technology Stack:

Python, Flask, SQLAlchemy, PostgreSQL, Javascript, JQuery, AJAX, Jinja, HTML, CSS, Semantic UI

APIs Used:


Kelly Young

GitHub | LinkedIn

Kelly studied Geography and Geographic Information Systems (GIS) at UCLA. After graduating, she worked as a GIS Analyst at an environmental consulting firm, conducting spatial analyses for various environmental scenarios and producing visually communicative maps and graphics. At the same time, she taught herself how to code and also completed the Front End Certificate with Free Code Camp. While learning web development, she realized becoming a software engineer could fulfill her passion for improving the interconnectedness of the world and for creative problem solving. This realization inspired her to pursue software engineering full time. When she gets the chance, she enjoys plein air painting by the beach.

Hackbright Project: JourneyTeller

JourneyTeller is an interactive tool where users construct their travel stories as a map. The map medium allows users to create a streamlined, informative, and engaging travel narrative to share with friends and family. In the application, users create trips and store places in it. Each place stores user-entered information such as notes, a photo, and geographic data (via Google Places API). Once places are added, a dynamic map is generated with all of the trip’s places as markers on the map. Viewers of the map can learn about the user’s travels by clicking on the markers for more information. Furthermore, viewers can also store the places’ locations in their own Google Maps for future travels.

Technology Stack:

PostgreSQL, SQLAlchemy, Python, Flask, Jinja, Javascript, JQuery, Bootstrap.

APIs Used:

Google Maps JavaScript API, Google Places API.

Maddie Cousens

GitHub | LinkedIn

Maddie loves the tools that software engineering gives her to create. Born and raised in the Bay Area, she recently moved back from NYC where she worked in data operations at Yext, an enterprise SaaS company, managing their technical integration with Facebook. This is where she first got a taste for software development, working alongside engineers and teaching herself Python to build internal tools for tracking and quantifying API data transfer issues. She is a graduate of Princeton University where she studied mechanical engineering and played on the varsity softball team. When she’s not nerding out, Maddie can be found outdoors. Her most recent adventure was a 220 mile solo hike on the John Muir Trail.

Hackbright Project: Carseat

Carseat is a green platform for connecting travelers with open seats in cars. Travelers can efficiently search the ride database by location, date, pickup time, and cost. Drivers can post rides, specifying details such as drop-off and pickup-points, seats available, space for luggage, cost, and flexibility on pick-up time and detours. A request system allows drivers to approve travelers for their trip.

Technology Stack:

Python, Javascript, Flask, PostgreSQL, SQLAlchemy, jQuery, AJAX, JSON, Bootstrap, Heroku

APIs Used:

Facebook OAuth (Javascript SDK), Google – Places, Geolocation, Maps, & Directions

Maria Moy

GitHub | LinkedIn

Maria became interested in programming after college, when she realized she was more interested in how her WordPress blog worked than in blogging. She took a slew of codecademy classes while working in administration, and eventually decided to make a full career transition. She took a paid web internship at Education Week, then accepted a job in web production at NAR. She freelanced as a WordPress developer and designer, helping clients like www.dreamyweddingcompany.com redesign, launch and manage their websites. After a year in web production, she took a job as a Web Developer at the Associated General Contractors of America. She came to Hackbright to learn more back-end programming, and become a more versatile full-stack developer.

Hackbright Project: Farm to Front Door

Farm to Front Door is a food delivery web app built in Python with Flask, SQLAlchemy & AngularJS. The database was scraped from Good Eggs and The Noun Project using the BeautifulSoup library and a Selenium script. Users can add products to their cart, filter products by category and search for products by name. While the user is viewing or editing their shopping cart, the app calculates the cart’s weight and price, and suggests recipes based on the cart’s contents. Users can “favorite” recipes, and revisit favorite recipes in their account, as well as view the details of their past purchases. Online checkout via credit card is implemented with the Stripe API.

Technology Stack:

Python, Javascript, PostgreSQL, SQLAlchemy, AngularJS, Flask, jQuery, Bootstrap, HTML5, CSS3

APIs Used:

Edamam API, Stripe API, Google Maps Javascript API, Google Maps Geocoding API

Michelle Kim

GitHub | LinkedIn

Michelle grew up in the Los Angeles area and attended the University of California, Berkeley, where she studied Geography and learned GIS. During college, she took two computer science courses as a supplement to GIS, and ended up loving the computer science courses more. After graduation, she worked as a GIS Technician for Apex Systems, where she worked on Apple Maps data and became solidly convinced that her interests centered around creating software. This led her to Hackbright, where she’s been able to continue her education in programming, as well as learn new skills in full-stack software engineering. In her spare time, she enjoys cooking and eating with her friends, playing guitar and piano, and reading biographies.

Hackbright Project: Eat Together

Eat Together helps two people decide on a place to to share a meal together. Each user can input their locations and the types of restaurants they’d like to visit and search on Yelp according to both sets of preferences. The search results are then shown on a map with markers that provide more information about each business in the search results. Users can create accounts and keep track of visits, and Eat Together will provide a recommendation on which restaurant is ‘similar’ to their most highly rated restaurant.

Technology Stack:

Python, JavaScript, jQuery, AJAX, PostgreSQL, SQLAlchemy, Flask, SciPy Libraries, HTML, CSS, Material Design for Bootstrap

APIs Used:

Yelp, Google Maps Javascript, Google Places Javascript Library, Google Maps Distance Matrix

Nicole Negri

GitHub | LinkedIn | Twitter

Nicole is making a transition from the entertainment industry, where she was working in theatrical distribution at Sony Pictures. There, she performed cross-media analyses to determine international release strategies for low-budget films. Seeing the challenges that the industry faced in the rapidly evolving media landscape is what first got her interested in tech. She is looking forward to pursuing a career in full-stack development, with a particular affinity for backend logic. Nicole still loves going to the movies, and misses singing in her local chorus back in LA; she is excited to explore the artists’ culture of San Francisco, and find ways to use her technical skills to give back to the community.

Hackbright Project: Ride Thrift

Ride Thrift provides price comparisons for rideshare apps, using the Uber and Lyft APIs to retrieve on the minute estimates for a route chosen by the user. Google Maps and Places APIs provide autocomplete and geolocation functionality, as well as a route map. Users have the option to save and delete addresses in their account, which are stored in the database. Users may request rides from their own accounts through OAuth, and the status of the trip is dynamically updated via AJAX. C3.js, a D3-based libarary, is utilized for data visualization of historical surge/primetime rates for any given day and time. Data on surge pricing was collected via automated API requests running over the course of a week.

Technology Stack:

Python, Flask, PostgreSQL, SQLAlchemy, JavaScript, jQuery, AJAX, Jinja, Bootstrap, HTML5, CSS

APIs Used:

Uber, Lyft, Google Maps, Distance Matrix, Places Autocomplete and Geolocation

Paulina Ng

GitHub | LinkedIn

Paulina studied bioengineering at UC Berkeley and University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign. She specialized in biomechanics and bioinstrumentation, researching animal movement and building medical devices. Though she started learning to code on the side to complement her projects, her interest in programming quickly outgrew her original intentions. With a deep appreciation for the impact of technology on our quality of life, she is excited to enter the tech industry after Hackbright. In her spare time, she continues to indulge her fascination with animal movement by wrestling with her dog.

Hackbright Project: MoodWatch

MoodWatch helps users be mindful of their mental well-being. Users record numerical ratings of their moods for events and days. To keep users active, a daily email reminder is sent to those who have not logged that day. These records are displayed in an interactive chart to help users gain perspective by adjusting the time scale and viewing statistical. A special user account is available to healthcare professionals who provide patients with a second set of eyes. These accounts allow access to information users have agreed to share. Physicians get a high level view of their patient’s logs, as well as the ability to prescribe medication and contact other professionals who share the same patient to discuss treatment.

Technology Stack:

PostgreSQL, SQLAlchemy, Python, Bcrypt, Pandas, Cron, Flask, Flask-Mail, Jinja, Javascript, Jquery, AJAX, Bootstrap, Chart.js

Rebecca (Becca) Saines

GitHub | LinkedIn | Twitter

After graduating college Rebecca was scooped up by TFA (Teach for America), teaching middle school math and science for 5 years. Her enthusiasm for incorporating technology in the classroom made for a quick transition into the realm of EdTech and Technical Customer Service. She taught herself how to navigate APIs and SQL in order to better assist clients with the issues they reported, soon coming to manage the Customer Service Team and developing experience in management, hiring, and on-boarding. She then transitioned to Product Management, where she managed the user research process to build a new product from the ground up. When Rebecca isn’t working, she can be found with her husband and 3 cats or playing escape-the-room games.

Hackbright Project: Shnerdy

Shnerdy is a tool for more efficiently finding (generally nerdy) t-shirts. This web-app saves the search terms for a user and then searches the Etsy API for all terms at once, quickly returning multiple and varied search results to the user with an image, price, and link to access the shirt for purchase. The user is able to rate shirts and visit a page of their favorites. Sign-in is done exclusively via OAuth.

Technology Stack:

Python, Flask, Flask OAuth, Jinja, SQLAlchemy, PostgreSQL, Javascript, jQuery, AJAX, Bootsrap, Masonry, HTML, CSS

APIs Used:

Etsy, Google (OAuth)

Ritu Virmani

GitHub | LinkedIn | Twitter

Ritu Virmani is a Full Stack Software Engineer who is energized by learning new things regularly. With almost a decade of experience as educator, she has trained, managed and led many teams. Ritu is a skilled presenter with strong communication skills. Her specialization in teaching those with dyslexia and other populations, lends a unique perspective on problem solving, learning, and collaboration. She has a Masters in Teaching from the Johns Hopkins University and loves to crochet complex patterns for friends and family.

Hackbright Project: Play by the Bay

Play by the Bay allows parents and caregivers in San Francisco to connect over playdates. They can create playdates as well join others. The purpose of Play by the Bay is to give parents and caregivers the ability to build community and friendships while their kids are having a great time with one another!

Technology Stack:

Python, JavaScript, JQuery, PostgreSQL, SQLAlchemy, Flask, Jinja, HTML, Bootstrap

APIs Used:

Google Maps

Salomé Chamma

GitHub | LinkedIn | Twitter

In Paris, Salomé completed a Master’s degree in Mathematics at Dauphine University including some coding classes followed by a Master’s in Business at ESSEC. She then moved to New York where she took on strategic and analytical marketing roles in the cosmetic field, growing from a Coordinator at LVMH to a Manager at Chanel. In her marketing roles, Salomé played a large role in the brand’s launch, digital and pricing strategy. Witnessing the growing presence of technology in luxury goods, Salomé became more and more drawn to the technological problems being tackled. She decided to pick up coding where she left off and to join Hackbright. When not coding, Salomé loves to explore San Francisco, Flamenco dance and participate in her book club.

Hackbright Project: What’s Up Doc

Finding a doctor is hard. What’s up Doc offers users a unique tool to discover physicians’ compensations from pharmaceutical companies. Intended to educate patients, the app allows users to gain greater transparency and strengthen the trust between patients and doctors. To help better interpret the results, What’s up Doc compares payments received by a doctor with the state average compensation rate and pulls reviews from various sources. For users looking for a different physician, the app also provides an alternate list of doctors in the same city who have accepted less compensation. Authenticated users can refer to a list of their saved or ‘liked’ physicians and email themselves the information for future reference.

Technology Stack:

Python, Flask, PostgreSQL, SQL Alchemy, Flask-mail, Jinja, Javascript (Jquery, Ajax, JSON, Chart.js), HTML, CSS, Bootstrap, Passlib, Unit and Integration Testing.

APIs Used:

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services Open Payments data, Yelp, Google Maps (including Google Maps Geocoding and Google Static Maps).

Valerie Wilson

GitHub | LinkedIn

Valerie graduated with a B.S. in Industrial Engineering from Cal Poly and an M.Eng. in Operations Research from Cornell University. She started her career at a green tech company as a QE in 2011, then moved on to an Ad Tech company as a QE Manager. Fascinated by the concept of being a maker in the world of software, she took Hackbright Academy’s part-time course earlier this year before she took the plunge with the full-time Software Engineering program, where she has taken an interest in everything from algorithms to ORMs and data visualization. She is excited to start a full-stack software engineering position after Hackbright. Outside the engineering world, she loves cycling, traveling, photography, and dancing.

Hackbright Project: Vélocity

Vélocity is a tool allowing cyclists to discover new and interesting bike routes. This app dynamically generates and stores bike routes based on a user-specified location and either total distance or a midpoint location. On the backend, it uses Markov Chain logic to determine the cardinal direction for the route based on the user’s historical route choices, generates a loop based on this information, and displays the route with corresponding metrics using Google Maps APIs. Saved routes can be filtered and sorted to allow the user to find a route suiting their needs.

Technology Stack:

SQLAlchemy, Python, Flask, Jinja, Javascript, JQuery, Bootstrap

APIs Used:

Google Maps Javascript API, Google Maps Elevation API, Google Maps Geocode API

Yusra Ahmed

GitHub | LinkedIn | Twitter

Yusra made the move to SF from NYC after working in recruiting for a large advertising agency where she collaborated with teams across the globe to support their hiring initiatives. A bulk of her experience, however, comes from working in the non-profit sector, primarily at a small education advocacy start-up, where she had the opportunity to establish its operational and technological infrastructure–which is also where her interest in programming grew. She worked closely with developers and designers in order to build the organization’s website and micro-sites. This exposure ignited a passion to actively pursue a career as a full-stack developer.

Hackbright Project: Babilim

Babilim is a web-app that serves as a medium for language learners to find friends with whom they can practice their speaking skills. Through a SQL Alchemy query, users are symbiotically matched based on the language they’re learning, their fluent language, and their city, wherein, a match only occurs with people who fluently speak the language they’re learning and those people are also learning the language in which the user is fluent. Upon creating an account, users automatically receive a welcome email, a feature that was implemented using the Mandrill API. Additionally, their passwords are protected via bcrypt hashing. Users are able to interact with each other by email or private chat rooms that were created with Flask Socket.io.

Technology Stack:

Python, Flask, Javascript, jQuery, Ajax, HTML, CSS, Jinja, SQL Alchemy, PostgreSQL, Flask Socket.io, Bootstrap

APIs Used:

Mandrill API

Grace Cohort

Anka Kondraska

GitHub | LinkedIn | Twitter

Anka Kondraska was born in Suwalki, Poland where she spent the first 7 years of her life standing in lines and snow under communism. As a child, her father was an avid Americophile, and she followed in his footsteps. After graduating high school, she travelled by herself to the US to begin her American journey in NYC. She attended Hunter College where she studied political science with the intention of going to law school to advance social justice. After graduating, she began her career in operations. She quickly identified her proclivity for concrete problem solving and organization and taught herself accounting. Outside of work she has run a marathon, volunteered building natural steps on Bear Mountain and organized an LGBT conference.

Hackbright Project: SwiftSwap

When bartering, its hard to find what you want from the person who will barter for the skill you have. SwiftSwap searches the user network to find a closed path between users which means every user gets access to the skill they want without a one to one exchange. SwiftSwap utilizes a NetworkX method of finding elementary circuits based on Johnson’s algorithm called simple_cycles. It locates a closed loop where the beginning and ending of the path is the same user.

Technology Stack:

Python, NetworkX, D3, flask, flask-sqlalchemy, PostgreSql, SQLAlchemy, bcrypt, faker, pandas, numpy, sklearn, geocoder, bootstrap, Jinja2, Javascript, jQuery, unittest

APIs Used:

Google Maps API

Catherine Liaw

GitHub | LinkedIn

In middle school, Catherine picked up building websites as a hobby, creating layouts with Photoshop and bringing them to life with HTML/CSS. In college, she studied marketing and international management. Afterwards, she found a role as an email marketing developer. For the next 3 years, Catherine worked on many email campaign using HTML/CSS. She also learned that she had an eye for detail. Catherine wanted to learn more about web development and taking night classes 2015. She decided to take the plunge with Hackbright to study full-stack web development. She enjoys working through problems with code and seeing everything come together. After Hackbright, she will continue to develop her skills in both front-end and back-end web development.

Hackbright Project: Playfest

Ever attend a music festival and wish you had sampled more of the lineup beforehand? Playfest eliminates the need to manually create a playlist in Spotify. With Playfest you can select artists you wish to sample from a music festival lineup and create a playlist with a few of each artist’s top songs that are selected using the Spotify API and raw data from the music festival websites. Once generated, the playlist is automatically saved to your Spotify account and accessible via the Spotify app for your listening pleasure.

Technology Stack:

Python, Flask, SQLAlchemy, PostgreSQL, Javascript, AJAX, HTML, CSS, Bootstrap, Scrapy

APIs Used:

Spotify API

Chung Nguyen

GitHub | LinkedIn | Twitter

After receiving a Bachelor’s degree from UC Berkeley in English, Chung attained 10 years of experience in providing top-notch customer support and engagement in tech companies around the San Francisco Bay Area. In her last role, she worked closely with UX researchers, developers, and product managers to train them on remote usability testing. It was in working with tech professionals at other startups and small businesses that made her fall in love with the software building process and agile development, which led her to Hackbright. Outside of writing code, Chung loves making puns, petting dogs, organizing things, photographing people, and going on adventures outdoors.

Hackbright Project: Destination: Anywhere

Destination: Anywhere is an airfare search for the flexible adventurer. Users enter in their starting destination, month of travel, and trip duration and they are provided with search results based on historical fare data to select locations that are likely to be the most economical (primarily based on the month of travel). Users are linked to view and book real flights on Kayak.

Technology Stack:

Python, Flask, SQLAlchemy, Jinja2, PostgreSQL, Scrapy, JavaScript, jQuery, Typeahead, Bootstrap

APIs Used:

Google Maps

Erin Woodworth

GitHub | LinkedIn | Twitter

Erin moved to the Bay Area in 2009 to complete her degree in Astrophysics at UC Berkeley. She loved the vast perspective of getting to analyze… everything, the magic of teasing big ideas out of data with limited dimension, and writing code to untangle gigantic data sets. After college she worked in a thriving local bakery, addressing challenges of scaling and developing strategies to solve the myriad daily challenges of a customer facing environment. Erin has been a coding hobbyist for years, and Hackbright has offered her the chance to accelerate her knowledge in the field. She looks forward to coding professionally, where she can pick apart challenges with these new tools, and practices of learning that will continue to expand them.

Hackbright Project: Happy Home

HappyHome offers residents of shared housing arrangements (roomates) a tool to help with time management and labor distribution on household chores. Using user surveys to gather data about the nature of these chores, and individual opinion of them, HappyHome offers a recommended division of labor to best suit the preferences of the group, and reminders to individual users about upcoming chore agreements they’ve made.

Technology Stack:

Python, Flask, inflect, JavaScript, JQuery, PostgreSQL, SQLAlchemy, AJAX, Bootstrap, HTML, CSS, dateutil (relativedelta and rrule), datetime, unittest, xml

APIs Used:

Google Maps Geocoding, Google Login/OAuth

Eshita Thakkar

GitHub | LinkedIn

Eshita loves to see her code in production as soon as possible. With the longer release cycles of the semiconductor industry, the switch to software seemed the obvious decision for her. Already aided with a Masters in Electrical Engineering and over 5 years of design and testing experience in semiconductors and hardware, she started exploring software programming about a year ago. With formal training at Hackbright academy, she looks forward to being a full web stack developer. When not coding or solving problems, she loves travelling and exploring new places.

Hackbright Project: Movie Advisor

Finding movies as per your individual taste has always been a hassle. Movie ratings and long reviews are your only ways to filter out movies.

Movie Advisor App deals with these problems for you and suggests you movies which are customized to you.

Technology Stack:

PostgreSQL, SQLAlchemy, Python, AJAX, Flask, Jinja, Javascript, JQuery,Bootstrap,k means clustering, Machine learning, scikit-learn, bcrypt

APIs Used:

Guidebox, OMDb

Esther Xinyi Tan

GitHub | LinkedIn | Twitter

Esther Xinyi Tan graduated with an international business degree and she is an accounting/procurement professional turned software engineer. Esther worked in the East Coast as a purchasing assistant responsible for collaborating with procurement teams in China and resolving product defects. During her free time, Esther started to learn coding by taking free online courses. Since then, Esther developed a passion for solving problems with code. Upon graduation of Hackbright, she would like to apply her professional skills along with her coding skills to a full stack or backend software engineering career. When Esther is not at the computer, she likes to go out with friends and enjoy tasting foods she’s new to.

Hackbright Project: San Franasia

San Franasia is a web app for local foodies with specific interests in Asian Cuisine. Registered users have full access to the app, and with queried results through the search feature, they can not only browse all the restaurants with the most up-to-date business info, but also can view, add, and edit restaurant comments and ratings from their enthusiastic fellows. Moreover, they can unveil more tasty places and share with others simply by adding new restaurant to the pool. Users can also check out accurate distance and direction routes between their current positions and the restaurants. This app serves as a platform where lovers of exotic flavors can gather and share excitement.

Technology Stack:

Python, Flask, SQLAlchemy, Javascript, jQuery, Jinja, AJAX, PostgreSQL

APIs Used:

Yelp, Google Map

Franziska von der Goltz

GitHub | LinkedIn | Twitter

Originally from Germany, Franziska graduated with a degree in Marketing Communications. She comes to Hackbright with a variety of experiences in Project Management, PR, and Operations. In her most recent role as an Operations Manager at a startup, she oversaw the process of establishing the company as a U.S. entity, including supporting customers with technical issues. She got to interact with the development team and saw first-hand what their projects involved, and that –combined with all the self-learning she had been doing–convinced her to make a career change into this field. When she is not trying to solve problems or puzzles, she can be found outside enjoying the great outdoors.

Hackbright Project: Podcastr

Podcastr was inspired to solve the problem of choosing what podcast to listen to. The app allows the user to select a category and based on the selected category, Podcastr will start playing podcasts continuously. The user can skip or like podcasts and Podcastr will keep track of the history: which podcasts where listened to and when, which podcasts where liked, and which podcasts where skipped. The user can change categories as often and anytime they like. Once a new category is selected, a new podcasts matching the selected category will start playing. It’s like Pandora, just for podcasts!

Technology Stack:

Python, Flask, PostgreSQL, SQLAlchemy, AJAX, JSON, Jinja, Javascript, JQuery, HTML, CSS, Bootstrap. Tests: Python Unit Tests, Selenium, Jasmin

APIs Used:

Python Feedparser API

Jacqui Watts

GitHub | LinkedIn

After studying neuroscience and psychology at Boston University, Jacqui moved to San Francisco and began exploring careers in the social sector, first with Kiva and, most recently, at IDEO.org. At IDEO.org, Jacqui learned the ropes of human-centered design and became enthralled with the world of fast-paced, innovative problem-solving. It was also here, where she project managed the build of two websites, that Jacqui began diving into programming. Given how impactful technology could be to social issues around the world but how relatively inaccessible those solutions are to organizations, Jacqui is excited to learn how to bridge that gap. On her off-time, she enjoys long-distance cycling trips, camping, and baking.

Hackbright Project: Markov Melodies

Markov Melodies is an exploration into algorithmic musical composition. Given a small amount of user input, the application generates melodies via second-order Markov chains. Generated melody outcomes are then compared to user preferences for major and minor keys using classification machine learning techniques to find a suitable match. Users can share their melodies on their profile, follow other users, and like other users’ melodies.

Technology Stack:

Python, PostgreSQL, SQLAlchemy, Flask, Jinja, Javascript, jQuery, AJAX, Bootstrap, HTML5, CSS, Scikit-Learn, ChartJS, Music21, PySynth, VexFlow, HTML5 Piano

APIs Used:

APIs: Facebook OAuth

Jahlela Hasle

GitHub | LinkedIn | Twitter

Jahlela is a software engineer with experience in Python, JS, SQL, and CSS3. She has a strong business background founding startups and developing products. After several years of focusing on product, she has become enamored with engineering, and transitioned to software development. She is well-versed in test-driven development and contextual design, and brings keen business sense and technical acuity to any team. When she’s not building new products and features, Jahlela is either at the climbing gym, getting lost in the redwoods or picking up a new extreme sport (most recently, hang gliding).

Hackbright Project: Paleta: Color Palette Generator

Paleta is a machine learning-driven color palette generator. The app uses k-means clustering to analyze any image and return 5 dominant colors.

Users can: create a color palette from any image URL, create an account to save favorite palettes, search for similar palettes by color, browse Paleta’s palette gallery, add any image from the gallery, and remove any image from their profile.

Technology Stack:

Python, Flask, PostgreSQL, SQLAlchemy, Jinja, Javascript, AJAX, JQuery, Bootstrap, bcrypt, Pexel API.

APIs Used:


Janine Cephra Stuart

GitHub | LinkedIn | Twitter

Cephra graduated from the University of Virginia where she double majored in Public Policy & Spanish. For the past two years, she has worked in human resources and people analytics, in the areas of diversity and inclusion, employee engagement, civil rights, and organizational behavior. Cephra is passionate about psychology, history, public service, social justice, diversity, inclusion and education for all. She hopes to integrate her technical, policy, and business strategy experiences to be a change-agent, build meaningful products, and inspire others to think outside the box. In her spare time, Cephra enjoys playing sports, running, singing, learning new languages, personality psychology, board gaming, and thrift-shopping.

Hackbright Project: Leisurely

Leisurely is an event aggregator that provides users with a list of events and meetups based on their choice of location, category, time frame, and price. Users can filter for events happening today, this week, or this month. Users can also filter for free or paid events.

Technology Stack:

PostgreSQL, SQLAlchemy, Python, Flask, Jinja, Javascript, JQuery, Bootstrap, AJAX, bcrypt.

APIs Used:

Eventbrite, Meetup, GoogleMaps

Jill Berardini

GitHub | LinkedIn | Twitter

Jill graduated from Princeton University with a BA from the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs. After graduation, she worked at Deloitte Consulting, where she helped federal government agencies define strategy and measure performance. She also worked at ideas42, where she helped non-profits use insights from behavioral economics and social psychology to improve the design of products, programs, and policies. After some initial forays into the world of coding and CodeAcademy, Jill realized that a software engineering career would allow her to combine an interest in policy and city management with a love of logical thinking and a desire to create. She moved from NYC to San Francisco in September to attend Hackbright.

Hackbright Project: Welcome to the Neighborhood

Welcome to the Neighborhood helps newcomers quickly settle into a new neighborhood. The app uses Yelp’s API to get recommendations for the types of businesses newbies might be in search of (e.g. dry-cleaning, grocery stores, coffee spots). Users can search for recommendations using either their neighborhood or their address. When provided with an address query, the app uses PostgreSQL’s PostGIS extension to locate the address within a particular neighborhood. Users of Welcome to the Neighborhood can save their favorite places and get recommendations for other businesses they may be interested in.

Technology Stack:

PostgreSQL, PostGIS, GeoAlchemy2, SQLAlchemy, Python, Flask, Jinja, Javascript, JQuery, Bootstrap, Jasmine, Unittest, AJAX, HTML/CSS

APIs Used:

Google Maps, Google Maps Geocoding, Yelp

Lauren Gordon-Fahn

GitHub | LinkedIn

Lauren is a software engineer with a background in acupuncture and theoretical mathematics. She specializes in finding time efficient, unique solutions to difficult patterns and puzzles. Her approach is fueled by creativity and logical thought, this has been true whether working on a theoretical math problem, an acupuncture patient, or a piece of software code. Lauren graduated from Hamilton College in 2006 with her undergraduate work in Theoretical Mathematics. She completed her Masters Degree in Oriental Medicine and Acupuncture at The New England School of Acupuncture in 2014. Lauren is versed in the computer languages of Ruby, Javascript, Python, HTML, CSS, SQL.

Hackbright Project: Read&Black

Read&Black is a news article aggregator, which enables users to get news at their fingertips without having to scour the internet themselves. This site offers easy access to news from 70+ news sources from around the world. Source access is powered through a third party API, News API. Users can search for news by country, language and by major news topics, such as business, general, music, sports and gaming. Features offered to the user are the ability to build out multiple newspapers allowing users to have specially grouped content. News sources for a particular topic search can be changed dynamically at the click of a button. Articles of interest can be saved and deleted by choice.

Technology Stack:

PostgreSQL, SQLAlchemy, Python, Flask, Jinja, Javascript, JQuery, Ajax, Bootstrap, Unittests.

APIs Used:

News API

Mackenzie Dolginow

GitHub | LinkedIn | Twitter

Mackenzie graduated with a degree in neurobiology from Harvard in 2013. Deciding to pursue roles in publishing post graduation, she moved to California and found editorial work at an online publishing startup, Inkling. There, she realized her passion for scripting to automate routine tasks and make workflows more efficient. Her next position was as a publicist at No Starch Press, a publisher that specializes in technical books on topics like computer security and programming. She loved having such a wealth of knowledge at her fingertips and continued to write scripts. Eventually, she decided to pursue programming full time and is looking forward to embarking on a career full of problem solving and ingenuity as a software engineer.

Hackbright Project: Poetry Project

The Poetry Project allows people to explore how masters of language use words. The application allows users to search for a particular word and see all instances of that term across the text corpus. The search is quick because it takes advantage of Postgres’ full text search capability using a GIN index. Users can also explore by author and subject—the author page sorts authors by breadth of vocabulary, and the subject page lets users build a table to see the top terms used per subject. Lastly, users can see the results of a K-Means analysis of the corpus, plus compare Latent Dirichlet Allocation topic analyses on an author-by-author basis. These forms of unsupervised learning involved transforming each poem into a TF-IDF vector.

Technology Stack:

Python, PostgreSQL, SQLAlchemy, Flask, scikit-learn, Jinja, JavaScript, jQuery, AJAX, Beautiful Soup, Bootstrap

Nada Bseikri, J.D.

GitHub | LinkedIn | Twitter

Nada graduated from the University of Washington and Wayne State University Law School with bachelor and juris doctor degrees, respectively. As a lawyer, Nada supported startup and enterprise clients with business transactions, entity formation, licensing and trade secret IP. In earlier project manager roles, Nada launched national class action settlement programs. Working with software development clients and technical teams, Nada became interested in coding. She is passionate about privacy and information security as an intersection of technology and law. Nada is pursuing security roles that leverage her programming competencies. To complement these skills, Nada intends to sit for the CIPP privacy regulation exam after the new year.

Hackbright Project: To-eat List

To-eat List is a tracking tool for the foodie who loves trying new restaurants. Using a host of Google API solutions, users can search for restaurants they are interested in and save them to a personalized To-eat List. The web application allows users to view, filter and sort their stored restaurants and update a restaurant’s status from not-visited to visited. For each saved restaurant, a user can view Google-sourced details (ex. map, ratings, price level, reviews, etc.) to inform their next dining choice. Lastly, To-eat List enables users to build a community of friends whose own To-eat Lists can be viewed.

Technology Stack:

Python, JavaScript, jQuery, AJAX, JSON, Flask, Jinja, HTML/CSS, Bootstrap, PostgreSQL, SQLAlchemy and Bcrypt.

APIs Used:

Google Place Autocomplete, Google Place Search, Google Place Details, Google Place Photo and Google Maps.

Natalia Brokaw

GitHub | LinkedIn | Twitter

Natalia graduated from the University of Chicago with a degree in History in 2009. She is fascinated by the power of language. Natalia has had roles in publishing, admissions and public relations. It was in her recent position in PR that inspired her to pursue programming. She strategized with CEOs and told reporters about how companies in Silicon Valley were changing the world in cybersecurity, education, business and entertainment. With every pitch, Natalia realized that she didn’t want to just talk about tech–she wanted to help create it, one line of code at a time. She is working towards building her skills as a full-stack engineer after Hackbright. When not chasing errant bugs, Natalia enjoys Bikram Yoga and exploring the Bay Area.

Hackbright Project: Trippy

Trippy is a travel management application that allows users to keep track of their past and future travel destinations. This app allows users to customize a map of the world with pins that represent cities. A user can add, edit or remove a pin, and can designate what type of pin to use for a city. Color-coded pins help the user distinguish between a city a user wants to visit, has visited and wants to go back, or has visited but never wants to return. Trippy — the app that gives globetrotters a high-level view of their travels.

Technology Stack:

Python, PostgreSQL, SQLAlchemy, bcrypt, Flask, Jinja2, Javascript, JQuery, Bootstrap

APIs Used:

Google Maps, Google Places

Natalia Zhoglo

GitHub | LinkedIn

Imagine having your future mapped out- straight A’s in high school and university, a great career in accounting after graduation, living in one of the world’s largest and most dynamic cities. Now imagine that suddenly, you had to restart from zero – new city and country, new language that you don’t speak, no job, career or friends. That’s what Natasha did 5 years ago when she left Moscow for San Francisco. Since then, she’s learned English, made friends and switched careers, worked as a QA for several companies and learned a lot in the process. Hackbright is the culmination of a 5 year journey for Natasha, she’s excited to apply her background and learnings to solving problems that are challenging and allow her to think creatively.

Hackbright Project: Best Books

Best Books helps users answer the question “what should I read today?” The app takes years of “books of the year” award data from publications such as the New York Times and The Economist (among others) and gives users an easy way to browse or search through the data to discover books that they should read. Having the data in one place allows the users to see things like all awards a book has received or all award winning books written by an author. The app improves the original award data by pulling in book and author information and book reviews from the GoodReads API.

Technology Stack:

PostgreSQL, SQLAlchemy, Python, Flask, Jinja2, AJAX, JSON, Javascript, JQuery, Bootstrap, unittest.

APIs Used:


Noelis Soto

GitHub | LinkedIn | Twitter

Noelis graduated from Rutgers University with degrees in graphic design and marketing. She joined Rdio in 2013 as a Spanish community support rep, where she led a team of 5, collaborated with the product team on new releases, as well troubleshot issues with users and reported bugs to the engineering team. It was here that she became interested in learning to code as a way to improve her debugging techniques and streamline processes on her team. She later joined Practice Fusion’s Technical Support team, where it finally dawned on her that she would rather be creating awesome features and fixing bugs instead of reporting them. In her spare time she enjoys cooking, reading and listening to musicals (currently obsessed with Hamilton).

Hackbright Project: LitBits

LitBits gives you access to public domain books. It allows you to search for your favorite classics by title, author or genre, as well as download e-books to your mobile device. With a LitBits account you can also rate books and get book recommendations tailored just for you.

Technology Stack:

Python, PostgreSQL, SQLAlchemy, Javascript, jQuery (widgets: Autocomplete and Validation), Flask, Jinja2, HTML5, Bootstrap, rauth, bcrypt, xmltodict, requests, unittests, Travis CI

APIs Used:

Feedbooks, Goodreads

Pascale Pierre

GitHub | LinkedIn | Twitter

After moving to SF from NY for art school, Pascale became enamoured with a company’s culture and growth opportunity and moved up in the company to manage 45 plus employees remotely and 3 employees directly. She became more involved with the technical aspect of her position and frequently partnered with the developers on various projects. This sparked her interest in programming and the user experience on got her on the path to Hackbright. She is looking forward to putting all of her past skills to use to build a solid foundation as a front end developer. When she is not coding, she is experimenting with food, curating her hot sauce collection and getting into passionate discussions like who would win in a fight, Batman or Superman.

Hackbright Project: ReRoute

In an attempt to avoid learning how to drive, ReRoute’s developer became an expert in SF public transportation. Reroute is a peer to peer rating app that would facilitate in sharing that information. Though the use of database queries, and the Nextbus API, the app is able to display comments and ratings for each bus line, along with finding the nearby bus times and stops. The goal is to provide up to date, relative information for the SF commuter on the go.

Technology Stack:

Python, Flask, Javascript, SQLAlchemy, jQuery, Charts.js, Ajax, HTML, CSS, Bootstrap, Jinja.

APIs Used:


Rebecca Dacso

GitHub | LinkedIn

Rebecca graduated from college with a degree in sociology and then immediately embarked on a very diverse career path that would eventually lead her to tech. In the non-profit field, she enjoyed researching efficient processes and writing documentation. This lead her to work as an administrative assistant, followed by several analyst positions. Although she started to study programming in her free time in 2012, it wasn’t until her last position as a QA Analyst that Rebecca discovered a passion for logic puzzles. She looks forward to building her skills as an automation engineer after Hackbright. When she’s not at the computer, Rebecca is often working her way through a new knitting pattern.

Hackbright Project: Green Light

Do you forget to take care of your plants? Green Light gives users a tool to not only track the plants in their gardens, but also set care alerts to help maintain a healthy, happy garden. Authenticated users will be able to add plants from the database to their personal gardens via a dropdown index. Once the plant is added, they’ll have the option to include a quantity as well as set task reminders for each plant. Once a task is complete, they can select a checkbox and the task will be removed from their display.

Technology Stack:

PostgreSQL, SQLAlchemy, Python, Flask, Jinja, Javascript, Ajax, JQuery, JQuery UI (form validation), Bootstrap

Talia Trilling

GitHub | LinkedIn | Twitter

Talia Trilling is a recent graduate of Pitzer College, where she majored in Psychology with honors and minored in Media Studies. She worked for three years as a Psychology research and teaching assistant, and her experience with large empirical data sets motivated her to discover more efficient ways to analyze data programmatically. She soon discovered her love of Python and software engineering more generally, leading her to apply to the Hackbright fellowship, and she looks forward to a future career as a backend software engineer. In her free time, Talia enjoys playing video games, overanalyzing movies, and thinking of new ways to use coding to unite her interests.

Hackbright Project: UpdateMe

UpdateMe is a Twitter-like communication app built primarily in Python and the Flask web framework, with the front-end implemented via JQuery, AJAX/JSON, and the noty plugin. Features include an infinitely-scrolling feed of public, site-wide “updates” as well as updates from one’s “connections,” the ability to comment on updates, direct messaging between connected users, and a basic search functionality that queries usernames and updates. All application data are stored in a PostgreSQL database. At present the application smoothly hosts 50,000 mock-up users and 65,000 mock-up updates. Additionally, 90% of the backend code is covered by unit testing, ensuring that the application will continue to run as new features are added.

Technology Stack:

Python, Flask, Jinja2, PostgreSQL, SQLAlchemy, JavaScript/JQuery, AJAX/JSON, Bootstrap, BCrypt/Passlib, Faker/factory boy, unittests, noty, Travis CI

Thao Le

GitHub | LinkedIn | Twitter

Thao Le has extensive experience in solving complex business and scientific research problems as a technical account manager and business analyst. Her experience in contributing to business cases and project management tools catalyzed her efforts in becoming a life-long learner of technology. Leveraging her academic background in Biology and Chemistry, she has contributed to her local community as a STEM advocate and mentor. She has also worked on reforestation efforts in the Ecuadorian Amazon rainforest and collected migratory data on humpback whales for the Pacific Whale Foundation. When she’s not in front of her a computer screen, Thao enjoys rock climbing and hiking in the Sierras.

Hackbright Project: PoolaVan

Poolavan is ridesharing flask application that brings adventurers into the great outdoors. It solves the problem of planning for a long-distance carpool into the wilderness, while reducing costs and environmental impact. Users can create trips, search for other users with common activity interests, and join existing trips. Poolavan connects people to opt outside.

Technology Stack:

Python, Flask, Jinja, Javascript, jQuery, AJAX, HTML, CSS, Bootstrap, SQLAlchemy, PostgreSQL, Git, Unittests

APIs Used:

Google Maps

Want to Learn to Code? Start Free Today!

Anna AkullianAnna Eventbrite is the Program Manager of Part-Time Education  at Hackbright Academy in San Francisco. Prior to working at Hackbright, she was an engineer at Schoolzilla, a teacher, a researcher at Children’s Hospital, Oakland, and a Hackbright fellow herself. When she’s not at Hackbright, you can find her hiking in the Berkeley Hills or biking around the city.

Coding is powerful. It should be in the hands of smart and critically thinking people like you! It’s a super-useful skill these days, whether you want to become a software engineer, or are just living in the world today and want to understand the jargon and how things work. So many things that we have and use today are based on code. People and policy, not technology, are the solution to the world’s systematic problems. But smart people who learn and understand coding can go out into the world to create and do important things.

If you know you want to code, but aren’t sure where to start, here are three steps to get rolling on a sure-to-succeed path.

Step 1: Watch this video

Screen Shot 2016-12-02 at 10.47.10 AM

The Secret Rules of Modern Living: Algorithms is a 50-minute BBC documentary from 2015. It shows all the myriad ways, all the surprising places, that code now serves and influences our personal lives and society at large. Movies, travel, medicine — all these and more have been empowered by computerized math and logic we may not recognize when we look right at it.

You’ll come away much more aware of all the potential for understanding and building the world we are moving into.

Step 2: Spend 60 minutes with Python

Screen Shot 2016-12-02 at 10.51.41 AM

Sign up for free at Codecademy, which hosts a free hands-on Python course that takes an estimated 13 hours to complete. (Look for the link to the course catalog to find the Python course, and to see the many paths a coding career can take. You don’t need to upgrade to the paid Pro membership.)

Why Python? Because it’s one of the most in-demand languages today in many areas of computing, from recreational websites to serious data science. That’s why it’s also the highest-paying language to know for new engineers. Once you’ve learned one programming language, learning others is much easier. So you might as well start with the one that currently maximizes your opportunities.

To avoid feeling overwhelmed, start with just one hour of the tutorial. You’ll get an overview of concepts, and you’ll write and run your first simple Python program. That will give you a basic idea of how code works, and what a software development environment looks like.

Slow and steady learning will get you where you want to be. You’ll be spending a lot more time playing with Python — a lot, because coding is addictive rather than a chore. But before you do, there are some people you should meet.

Step 3: Meet your local community

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Don’t go it alone! Get out and meet local fellow coders, especially Python coders to start. For one thing, a support group will encourage you, reward you, guide you, and make you feel you are part of something real, rather than just sitting alone at your keyboard.

Second, personal networks are how most jobs of any kind are found today. The people clicking through resumes and applications won’t know and recognize your skills and potential. Real-life colleagues with whom you frequently interact will ignore the keywords on your LinkedIn profile and recruit you for your actual skills and personal traits they’ve come to know.

There are PyLadies meetings in cities around the world. There, women who work and play with Python gather to share ideas, questions, and work opportunities. Don’t worry about being seen as a novice at your first meeting. It’s OK. Everyone was on Day One once. Tell them you’ve done an hour of Codecademy and will be going home to do more after the meeting — unless they invite you for coffee first!

If there isn’t a PyLadies meeting you can get to, google “python meetup” for cities and towns near you. There are Python people everywhere.

Congrats, you’re coding!

That’s it! You’ve taken your first steps into a new life, and already have new friends with whom to make the journey. You’ll also find them — and others — online. Stack Overflow is where you can talk about coding. GitHub is the go-to place to peruse and share working Python (and every other language) examples with other programmers. Both are also places where managers looking to hire new engineers look for promising candidates.

Bookmark our list 7 Online Coding Resources For Beginners for more tutorial and help sites.

As you progress, you may want some classroom education. Hackbright offers a part-time Intro to Programming night course in San Francisco that runs five hours per week, for 12 weeks. You may find similar courses in your area.

Whatever you do, keep coding, whenever you have even a few minutes. Once you get rolling, it’s as addictive as Facebook. The more time you spend editing, running and debugging algorithms on your screen, the better — and better — you’ll get. Welcome to the club!

Hackbright Academy is the leading engineering school for women in San Francisco dedicated to closing the gender gap in the tech industry offering 12-week software engineering programs and night courses for women.