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Incredible Web Apps Built by Female Engineers

In Hackbright Academy’s immersive and rigorous 12-week software engineering fellowship, students built 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: September 2017


Screen Shot 2017-09-18 at 5.50.38 PMBrigid Walsh

Twitter – LinkedInGitHub

Brigid has spent many years teaching creative coding languages to all different age groups and skill levels. She also spent two years as the technical founder of a Smart Jewelry startup company based in New York and San Francisco. Her experience in starting a company from the ground up, helped her develop many new technical skills, as well as knowledge of the Bay Area startup industry. In the future, she looks forward to working as a full-stack developer who can lend her design skills to dev teams at large local startups and world class companies based in the Bay Area. Brigid holds a BFA in Multimedia Design from The University of the Arts in Philadelphia, as well as an MS in Integrated Digital Media from NYU Tandon School of Engineering.

Hackbright Project: Mixed Feelings

The Internet can be a scary place in which people are apt to forget that behind that username is a person with real feelings! Mixed Feelings is a web app that aims to remind people to be kind to their fellow humans, while also giving them a place where they can take a second to be mindful of their own feelings. MF prompts the user to fill out information about their current emotional state. The app then uses sentiment analysis to poll Twitter and Giphy for text and image related to their current feelings. Once they have spent time reflecting on how they are feeling, a user can then also take a look at how other users are feeling by looking at a map of other saved results that are color coded based on emotional state.

Technology Stack:

Python, Flask, Jinja, JavaScript, JQuery, Ajax, PostgreSQL, SQLAlchemy, NLTK, Tweepy, Textblob.

APIs Used:

Google Maps, Flickr, Twitter, Giphy

About Brigid Walsh

C.S. or Related Experience Prior to Hackbright:

Brigid has gained most of her technical experience through creative programming languages such as Arduino, Processing and Max/MSP. Her proficiency in these languages has come mostly through teaching, but she also has a lot of experience building hardware prototypes. She has also spent time in the hardware startup industry, learning the in’s and out’s of business development, product development and brand development. 


 

Screen Shot 2017-09-18 at 5.51.52 PMCarolyn Webster

LinkedIn – GitHub

Hailing from the world of legal graphics and strategy, Carolyn brings a unique blend of problem solving and technical skills. While her career began as a graphic designer, she began to delve into building interactive tools and programs with Flash and got her first taste of coding. She then taught herself JavaScript and began to look at ways that code could help streamline her firm’s day-to-day production processes by building scripts that could be run in the Adobe Suite. Looking at workflow processes and seeing how they could be simplified or eliminated with the click of a mouse has become one of her greatest joys. She is looking forward to using her full-stack knowledge to build a wider library of tools to make people’s jobs easier.

Hackbright Project: Cut To The Point

Cut to the Point is a video trimming app built with the legal industry in mind. A user can upload deposition videos and trim out clips based on timecodes or page/line numbers, which is how transcripts are often cited. Clips can then be tagged for different phases of trial. They can be downloaded as a merged highlight reel, a zip of individual clips, or a PowerPoint deck. If the user provides a transcript, the matching transcript text can also be included on the PowerPoint slides. Cases can have many team members allowing for a division of labor. Case messages are implemented using socket.io which allows team members to quickly communicate case updates. Cut to the Point allows access to premium trial tools without the premium price.

Technology Stack:

Python, JavaScript, jQuery, AJAX, Socket.io, PostgreSQL, SQLAlchemy, Flask, Jinja, Bootstrap, MoviePy, Python PPTX, Boto3

APIs Used:

AWS S3 file storage

About Carolyn Webster

C.S. or Related Experience Prior to Hackbright:

6 years of Actionscript (Adobe Flash/Animate)

4 years of JavaScript

Web Design (HTML/CSS/Bootstrap) – UC Berkeley Extension Fall 2016

Actionscript 3.0 intensive – Academy X


 

Screen Shot 2017-09-18 at 5.52.21 PMCharlotte Sarfati

LinkedIn – GitHub

Charlotte is currently a software engineering fellow at Hackbright Academy. Previously, she graduated from nursing school at USF, ultimately obtaining her RN license in September, 2016. During the program, she acquired 3 years of hands-on nursing experience in prestigious hospitals such as UCSF and Stanford, doing 12-hour shifts in specialties such as labor and delivery, ICU, and pediatrics. While she still believes nursing is one of the noblest professions, her transition to computer programming stems from her itch to become a “modern inventor”. The ability to unlock human potential through automation and the never-ending learning embedded in this industry perfectly align with her aspirations.

Hackbright Project: Aislander

Aislander is intended to automate a task we all spend too much time on: manually creating a grocery list. This project takes into account that we meal plan differently than we shop. A user can search for recipes, and append those recipes’ ingredients into one grocery list with a single click of a button. The grocery list is organized by aisle categories, saving users from scavenger hunting in grocery stores. Users can also bookmark recipes, which can be accessed in their profile page, and create many grocery lists, intended for meal planning purposes. By considering various permutations of how a user might interface with their data, this app creates a planning interface and a shopping plan where the priority is efficiency in the store.

Technology Stack:

PostgreSQL, SQLAlchemy, Python, Flask, Jinja, Javascript, JQuery, AJAX, Bootstrap, Selenium

APIs Used:

Spoonacular

About Charlotte Sarfati

C.S. or Related Experience Prior to Hackbright:

She completed Hackbright’s 2-month prep program to learn Python as her first programming language. Part of her nursing education also tapped into Healthcare Informatics, targeted at electronic healthcare record systems. Additionally, she participated in MedHackathon 2016, acting as a Healthcare consultant for software engineers. Lastly, she regularly attends tech meetups in SF such as those hosted by The Expat Woman, particularly those focused on diversity, inclusion, and UX design.


 

Screen Shot 2017-09-18 at 5.53.23 PMColleen O’Rourke

LinkedIn – GitHub

Before Hackbright, Colleen was working in a product-facing role in the mobile gaming industry. She ran the day-to-day operations of a live mobile title, created new events in the game, was responsible for all revenue targets, and led the team to success. While she enjoyed that work, she found herself interested in the more technical side of game development. She also holds a BFA in technical design for fashion and has always enjoyed creative endeavors and problem solving, be it by hand or machine. She’s excited to combine her interests and background in gaming and fashion with the skills she’s gained in software engineering into a full-time position.

Hackbright Project: Game Recommendations

This app provides video game recommendations to users who aren’t sure what to play next. The user can make an account, rate games they like and don’t like, and get a recommendation based on which platform they want to play on, and which genre of game they’re looking to play.

Technology Stack:

SQLAlchemy, PostgreSQL, Flask, Jinja, Python, IGDB API, schedule, unittest, Javascript, Chart.js, JQuery, json, AJAX, Bootstrap, HTML/CSS

APIs Used:

IGDB

About Colleen O’Rourke

C.S. or Related Experience Prior to Hackbright:

Took introductory C++, Java, VisualBasic, and HTML classes in college and completed Accelerated Prep program at Hackbright prior to Hackbright Fellowship. At previous job built automation tools via Google Sheets, ran deployment via Jenkins, and utilized Subversions via Versions.


 

Screen Shot 2017-09-18 at 5.53.59 PMDanya Dye

Twitter – LinkedInGitHub

After graduation, Danya worked through several client-facing service oriented roles but always found herself gravitating back to data and creative problem solving whenever a project could be enhanced with its use. One of her greatest achievements was through crunching data to reveal she had increased participation in a client based program by 400% in 2 quarters. She hopes to use her full stack skills to not only create beautiful websites for the public to interact with, but also to increase seamless programming integration. She loves working on the back- end, building from broad strokes to tinkering with finite data in order to and hopes to bring her real world perspective to the technical side.

Hackbright Project: AccountaBill

This is an accountability partner in web-app form, that reminds users to check off objectives via text messages. Users are encouraged to set aside a specific amount of money they want to spend on something else (their prize). With each objective, users will earn their way towards their self identified prize.

Technology Stack:

Python, JavaScript, jQuery, Flask, AJAX, PosgreSQL, Jinja, SQLAlchemy, HTML, Bootstrap, Chart.js

APIs Used:

Twillo

About Danya Dye

C.S. or Related Experience Prior to Hackbright:

She has worked in organizational roles supporting those in tech and is excited to build a portfolio. She can’t wait for a full-stack engineering role at a company that fosters innovation, learning and growth.


 

Screen Shot 2017-09-18 at 5.54.58 PMDeanna Gao

TwitterLinkedIn

Deanna is a passionate advocate for social justice and has worked as a community organizer with youth from primarily low-income backgrounds. Through this work Deanna began to notice a major disparity: young people she was working with are a heavily targeted consumer base, but grossly underrepresented in the development of many of the technologies they use. This observation inspired Deanna to pursue her own knowledge, skills, and leadership in software development, as a tool to support community empowerment. Deanna will begin graduate studies at UCLA this fall, where her intensive software engineering training will be combined with her interests in statistics, data science, and public policy.

Hackbright Project: GWhatUG – Resource Sharing Application

A web application where users create an account and participate in an online community for resource sharing. Users can create postings where they can announce items to give away and/or items they are seeking. The app allows users to interact socially and to the extent of their resource sharing interests via private messaging, public commenting, user profile pages with user activity, and making requests to each other.

Technology Stack:

Python, Javascript, jQuery, AJAX, SQLAlchemy, PSQL, HTML, CSS, Bootstrap

APIs Used:

Google Maps API

About Deanna Gao

C.S. or Related Experience Prior to Hackbright:

Previously enrolled in Hackbright’s Prep Program and did self-study using online resources e.g. codecademy.


 

Screen Shot 2017-09-18 at 5.55.40 PMGari Chu

LinkedIn 

Gari graduated from UC Berkeley with a bachelor’s degree in Art and got her master’s degree at Academy of Art University in Animation.  In the past, she worked as a 3D Modeler for a video game company for six years. At this company, she saw software engineers programming the animations for 3D modeling and was inspired to learn programming online. For the past couple years, she built websites for friends and family and also worked as a Web Designer to build websites before joining Hackbright. Because she enjoyed this work and loves working with new technology, she made the decision to change her career to become a software engineer. When she’s not coding, she enjoys watching movies, reading, hiking, and traveling.

Hackbright Project: Dream Away

Dream Away is an online shopping website for users to enjoy exploring the world through photos and products available in the selected regions. The website allows users to view a world map and buy their favorite products from the regions that they like.

Technology Stack:

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

APIs Used:

simple-amazon, google-map

About Gari Chu

C.S. or Related Experience Prior to Hackbright:

Bootstrap, CSS, HTML, Codeacademy, Python meetups and Hackbright full-time prep class.


 

Screen Shot 2017-09-18 at 5.56.06 PMHaven Giguere

LinkedIn – GitHub

Haven is currently studying software engineering at Hackbright Academy and learning full-stack development in order to be prepared for a career in web development. Before Hackbright, Haven worked for a number of years as a free-lance illustrator. She also created a business selling custom wedding invitations and it was during this time that she discovered programing. She used to do logic puzzles in her spare time and so when she realized that there was a job out there that might combine her abilities she decided to start studying. Creativity has been a huge asset in Haven’s journey to becoming a programmer and she hopes to utilize all of her abilities when she finds a position as a full-stack developer.

Hackbright Project: Plan-It

Plan-it, a responsive web app is a one stop shop for planning a day or night out. The user can login, look up events by location, keyword and category and then save any events that interest them. Based on the location of the event, the user is offered a choice out of three randomly selected restaurants. Once their event and restaurant are saved, the user has the option to email the details to a friend.

Technology Stack:

Python, Flask, Jinja, jQuery, SQLAlchemy, Ajax, HTML, CSS

APIs Used:

Eventbrite, Yelp, SendGrid

About Haven Giguere

C.S. or Related Experience Prior to Hackbright:

Python for Everybody: taken through Coursera; JavaScript Road Trip 1, 2 and 3: taken though CodeSchool; Interactivity with JavaScript: taken through Coursera; HTML, CSS, and Javascript for Web Developers: taken through Coursera; Front-end Foundations: taken through CodeSchool; Flying Through Python: taken though CodeSchool


 

Screen Shot 2017-09-18 at 5.56.42 PMJenny Lam

LinkedIn – GitHub

Jenny recently obtained a certificate in computer programming at UCSC Extension. She completed the majority of the courses online, and wanted to get a more interactive and hands-on experience in the field of software engineering, so she enrolled in Hackbright Academy. Prior to this, Jenny worked as a bioprocess technician at Genentech. She also participated in rotational programs in developing a training program and automation engineering. Through those experiences, she realized she wanted to do more work involving creating and problem solving. She hopes to advance her programming skills further and have a career in software development in the future.

Hackbright Project: Present Finder

Present Finder is an application that helps users find presents for events based on their contacts’ interests. When the user enters a contact’s events and interests, a list of suggested presents will be generated. The user can bookmark presents, get notifications for upcoming events, see past presents they have given someone, and more.

Technology Stack:

Python, PostgreSQL, SQLAlchemy, Flask, Jinja, Javascript, JQuery, Ajax, Boostrap, Chart.js

APIs Used:

Amazon Product Advertising API, Mailgun

About Jenny Lam

C.S. or Related Experience Prior to Hackbright:

Obtained certificate in computer programming at UCSC Extension, completed online courses at Codecademy and Flatiron, completed Intro to SQL at Oracle.


 

 Screen Shot 2017-09-18 at 5.57.27 PMJosephine Lipkin

LinkedInGitHub

Josie graduated Linfield College with a Bachelors in Studio Art, where she used a variety of media (woodworking, painting, printmaking, drawing) for her thesis show. Already interested in visual culture, she then became interested in Data Visualization, which she soon realized involved programming. She then graduated from Foothill College with an Associates in Computer Science, where she developed a computer science foundation. Unsure of how to meld theory with building and creating, she then found Hackbright to help her out.

Hackbright Project: Arts Trek

Arts Trek maps locations of public art around San Francisco and presents two options on how to visit them. One option allows the user to click on markers (representing public art) to curate a walk from art piece to art piece. The other option curates the walk for the user, by randomly selecting art pieces to visit. Arts Treks also allows for filtering the markers by the artist’s name.

Technology Stack:

Python,JavaScript(Ajax, JQuery), Flask-SQLAlchemy, PostgreSQL

APIs Used:

Google Maps API, SODA API

About Josephine Lipkin

C.S. or Related Experience Prior to Hackbright:

Josie Lipkin received an Associates in Computer Science from Foothill College, where she took C++ programming classes. After, she attended “Girl Develop It!” meetings and workshops, learning a little bit about Javascript. She also took Udacity and Treehouse course online. She completed the Hackbright Part-time prep program in May.


Screen Shot 2017-09-18 at 5.58.06 PMJulie Norris

GitHub

Julie worked in elementary education for over two decades providing instruction and support to students, teachers, and administrators. Through that experience she discovered strengths in identifying the nuances of a project and supporting others to understand. Despite having a successful career, her love of math and science never diminished and she decided to pursue a second career. In 2014, Julie began studying programming in her free time. She finally took the leap of faith and committed to making coding her full time pursuit by attending Hackbright Academy. Julie looks forward to working with a team as a backend engineer where her strengths can be brought to a team at a small tech company.

Hackbright Project: CarPool!

CarPool! built with the idea of busy mothers needing to shuffle children is a platform for car users to share seats with non-drivers. Using the Google Maps API, drivers can input start and end destinations, arrival time and date, and available seats, which then get saved as a route. Riders are shown seats available on a route when they input their data. After a driver and a rider are matched, the Twilio API connects users so that drivers and riders can confirm the arrangement and provide details. Built with busy mothers in mind, the app is useful in other contexts including: getting to a particular venue for an event; carpooling to public transportation stations; or getting a ride home from a university on holidays.

Technology Stack:

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

APIs Used:

Google Maps, Twilio

About Julie Norris

C.S. or Related Experience Prior to Hackbright:

Introductory computer science courses in college and self-study prior to Hackbright, including several Codecademy courses.


 

Screen Shot 2017-09-18 at 5.58.36 PMMegan Dose

LinkedIn – GitHub

Megan graduated from Louisiana State University with a Bachelor of Arts in Art History. She has experience with multiple museum industry roles, serving as a registrar and curator intern with LSU’s Museum of Art and then as a tour guide and customer service associate at the Walt Disney Family Museum. These experiences have given her a wide set of practical skills that can transfer to the tech world, including strong organizational skills, the creativity to parse a large story to the specific needs of the different audiences, and problem solving on a day-to-day basis. She is looking forward to combining these skills with her newfound love of coding.

Hackbright Project: Xibbit

Xibbit is a tool for learning about some of the most famous masterpieces of Art History. It allows you to search a database (similar to IMDB for movies); create an account; and save your favorite art, artists, and museums to your user profile. Whether you are a student, teacher, or traveler, your profile will also map out where the art lives in the world, telling you exactly which cities and museum collections to visit to see the art in person.

Technology Stack:

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

APIs Used:

Google Maps API, Google Cloud Vision API

About Megan Dose

C.S. or Related Experience Prior to Hackbright:

Prior to the Hackbright Fellowship, Megan took several Codecademy online courses throughout 2016 and 2017, mostly for Ruby and Ruby on Rails. She also completed the Hackbright Prep part-time course in April-May 2017 to learn Python. She plans on making a career transition from the museum industry to the tech world, but is also open to the possibility of returning to the museum industry as a software engineer that understands the unique needs of that world.


 

Screen Shot 2017-09-18 at 5.59.23 PMMichelle Luu

LinkedIn – GitHub

Michelle attended UC Berkeley where she studied psychology and did research in cognitive science and personality psychology labs. She enjoyed working with programs such as R to understand data and loved the precision and accuracy of coding. She became more interested in coding and studied various programming languages from codeacademy and freecodecamp. She’s interested in front-end engineering and game development.

Hackbright Project: SET Puzzle

The SET puzzle is similar to the well-known SET game for puzzle enthusiasts. There are 81 cards, and each card has 4 different attributes: color, shape, pattern, number. A user picks three cards and the program will check to see if all the attributes are the same or all different to find a set. If attributes are not all the same or all different, the user has not found a set, and will be asked to try again.

Technology Stack:

PostgreSQL, SQLAlchemy, Python, Flask, Jinja, Javascript, JQuery, Ajax, Isotope, CSS, HTML, Bootstrap.

About Michelle Luu

C.S. or Related Experience Prior to Hackbright:

freecodecamp, codeacademy, and computer science courses from Mill’s College.


 

Screen Shot 2017-09-18 at 6.00.29 PMRamona Soderlind

Twitter – LinkedInGitHub

Ramona’s prior experience includes an extensive foundation in administrative support, as well as a technical background in software programming building websites for small businesses. Before Hackbright, she temped for Robert Half and Scion Staffing as an administrative assistant. With her love of coding, she decided to switch careers to pursue her dream of software engineering full-time. Ramona looks forward to sharpening her technical skills. In the fall she plans to take an algorithm class at UC Berkeley Extension. Ramona also has an entrepreneurial spirit and her ultimate dream is to open a non-profit to teach economically disadvantaged people how to code.

Hackbright Project: Fashion Friend

Clothing search app that makes suggestions on future clothes purchases based on your searches

Technology Stack:

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

APIs Used:

Shop Style Collective: https://www.shopstylecollective.com

About Ramona Soderlind

C.S. or Related Experience Prior to Hackbright:

Ramona previously worked for World Savings Bank as a web developer working with JavaScript and HTML. She also has worked with small businesses to create bootstrap web sites. She also completed coursework in C.


 

Screen Shot 2017-09-18 at 6.01.29 PMSarah Lamb

LinkedInGitHub 

Sarah holds a Liberal Arts degree with a Music minor. Pursuing creative avocations on the side, she has worked in business administration. While learning new industries quickly – specific lexicons, procedures and technology – she also found an affinity for data analysis/reporting, streamlining systems, and creative problem solving. As software became more ubiquitous, customized, and cloud-based, Sarah noticed it became hard to find out-of-the box solutions, or a company willing to tailor one, to fit specific business needs. Rather than using her mad skills to create work-arounds, Sarah became interested in software engineering, to bring her business expertise to the development of more agile, comprehensive solutions.

Hackbright Project: Quirify

Quirify’s mission is to provide musicians, particularly Choral Directors, with all of the tools they need to manage their groups…in one!

And two… search for, upload, and store pieces, favorite editions of sheet music, and associated audio files, and keep them in a personalized virtual music library. And three… easy concert creation; from programming repertoire, to set-list assignments by performer and part, to generating your program notes for ticketing and print materials. And four… so much more: manage rosters and schedules, budgets, licenses, concert logistics, and historic data. Time..4/2..Quirify!

Technology Stack:

PostgreSQL, SQLAlchemy, Python, Flask, Jinja, Javascript, JQuery, Beautiful Soup, AJAX, Bootstrap.

APIs Used:

MediaWiki API (for CPDL.org, a ChoralWiki).

About Sarah Lamb

C.S. or Related Experience Prior to Hackbright:

Sarah completed a preparatory course in python at Hackbright Academy, where she is currently pursuing a fellowship in full stack web development. She has completed online courses in python at codecademy. She has also done online modules on computer science, javascript, html and CSS at codecademy and Khan Academy. Back in the day, Sarah worked at a VAR, CTR Business Systems – one of her roles there was in order fulfillment for the sale of custom hardware/software systems.


 

Screen Shot 2017-09-18 at 6.02.15 PMVera Milagro Arias Bolanos

LinkedIn – GitHub

Mila is a student at Foothill College, pursuing an AS in Computer Science, and has a BS in Computer Science from the University of Costa Rica. She is attending Hackbright during the summer quarter to continue building upon her foundations in computer science and prepare her for her next steps in her engineering career. Previously, she founded several businesses in Costa Rica. One is a Spanish and cultural immersion program for US students where she handled all of the outreach and logistics in the US. She looks forward to bringing her skills and interests in organization, problem-solving, localization and team work to her software engineering career.

Hackbright Project: Peers @ the Park

Parents and caregivers can post a date and time they plan to take their kids to a specific park. They can also look up a park at a particular date and time and will see how many kids are attending based on posts that other parents and caregivers have made. After looking at the results, they can make an educated decision about what park they will take their kids.

Technology Stack:

Python, JavaScript, Ajax, Flask, Jquery, SqlAlchemy, Psql, Bootstrap and Jinja

APIs Used:

Facebook login and Google Maps (Geolocation (current location), Places Library: nearby search of a specific place, Markers, Autocomplete search bar, Infowindows, ClickEventHandler, Referencing a place with a place ID.

About Vera Milagro Arias Bolanos

C.S. or Related Experience Prior to Hackbright:

Pursuing AS in Computer Science at Foothill College, Los Altos, Ca

BS in Computer Science from the University of Costa Rica

Computer Lab assistant at University of Costa Rica


Are you ready to get started with your career in tech? Enroll in our 12-week immersive program and Hackbright Prep Part-Time.

Diversity – It’s good for business

Diversity in the workplace — specifically the tech workplace — has been thrust into the spotlight again by the Internet explosion over a Google engineer’s internal post questioning the level of science behind the company’s diversity initiatives.

But even the skeptical Googler updated his memo with the opening line, “I value diversity and inclusion.” He should: thorough studies by corporate consultants McKinsey and financial services giant Morgan Stanley have found undeniable correlations between diverse teams and company success as measured in financial returns. The less diverse a company’s staff, the less profitable they are likely to be.

Morgan Stanley analysts ranked more than 1,600 stocks around the world with “a proprietary gender-diversity framework.” The results were plainly visible: Companies in the upper third of having the highest percentage of women employees were profitable, while those in the lower two-thirds actually lost money over time.

Screen Shot 2017-08-29 at 12.52.03 PM

The McKinsey report’s conclusion: “A persuasive argument for diversity and equality can be anchored to the bottom line … Ensuring that more women are working and leading in the workplace is simply good business.” Its one caveat is that far more companies still don’t provide gender-related data, and that data is not standardized from company to company. But among the 1,600 for which data was available, the value of diversity didn’t need to be searched for.

McKinsey’s study focused on company leadership roles, rather than entire employee counts. Given that many engineers go on to become executives, the findings are important to coders as well as CEO search committees: “Companies that commit to diverse leadership are more successful. The existence of the relationship is statistically significant.”

While no company wants to be singled out as “those bros who are losing money,” McKinsey provided aggregate data showing that among the 366 companies they studied, “The reverse is also true, companies in the bottom quartile in both gender and ethnicity underperformed the other three quartiles.”
Screen Shot 2017-08-29 at 12.52.47 PM

That’s solid evidence for diverse leadership, and a diverse company overall, but what about coders, and code-adjacent roles like product management? There aren’t any publicly-available studies on the dollar value of diversity in software engineering yet. But there are plenty of companies, from Slack to Salesforce, who claim their relatively high ratios of women in technical roles are a driver of their success as business.

The most common argument against hiring more women into engineering is, bluntly, “Women just aren’t good at this.” Even the supposed “anti-diversity screed” at Google only claims that qualified women are harder to find.

Venture capitalist Steve Herrod, who served as Chief Technology Officer for tech success story VMware for five years, holds a computer science Ph.D. from Stanford, and was an Infoworld CTO of the Year, wrote a guest column for Recode that broke down the source of the myth: Many people still presume engineering teams are “a bunch of loner nerd boys who grew up playing video games and tinkering with code by themselves in their parents’ basements.”

Not true, he says: “Today even a code ninja is part of a team. That’s why you also need people who can keep track of product priorities and schedules, who can make difficult trade-offs, and who have the people skills to keep team members focused on the goals and deadlines that matter. Technical teams also need people who can interface with marketing, sales, operations, human resources, customers and everyone else so that the company, as it grows bigger, stays headed in the right direction. “Soft skills” are just as critical as coding chops.”

Those soft skills aren’t developed by spending one’s formative years alone at a keyboard. A Hackbright study of unfilled positions at Silicon Valley companies found that while senior coders are always in demand, the larger unmet need is for those with some engineering experience, but who are able to act on broad directives. “That’s two and a half times more empty mid-level spots on the org chart,” former Hackbright CEO Sharon Wienbar wrote last year.

Recruiters who stick to the safe traditional pipeline of candidates whose entire lives have been devoted to teenage hacking, computer science degrees, and a string coding jobs — for whatever reason, a male-dominated demographic — are limiting their options to people who are actually overqualified for many coding jobs, and quite possibly underqualified to grow into more senior roles. The result: More than 8,000 unfilled mid-level positions at tech companies in the Valley alone, many of those at companies which McKinsey’s study predicts will, without a commitment to diversity, lose money.

hackbright-academy-1.0

Hackbright Academy’s approach is to avoid complaining about barriers and focus on opportunities — to give women with proven potential the specific coding skills they need, which don’t require four years in a computer science department. And to connect them with the companies that actively seek not only diversity, but inclusion. That’s an important difference ignored by headcounts of employee ratios: Do diverse hires feel they’re a welcome and equal part of the team? Diversity is a number HR can point to. Inclusion is something every member of the team needs to feel from within.

Calling all Women! Join HACKING FOR HUMANITY – July 8th and 9th in SF!

Join HACKING FOR HUMANITY – July 8th and 9th in SF!  Hackbright Academy, Girls in Tech (SF) and DocuSign are proud to sponsor: Hacking for Humanity, a social innovation Hackathon, uniting women to Solve Global Challenges!

Join us as we innovate for social change for girls and women on this exciting 2-day event.  We’ll be hacking away on topics that deal with girls and women including (but not limited to) the following:

  • Homelessness
  • Sexual Assault
  • Domestic Violence
  • Human Trafficking
  • Women’s Health

Hackathons exist to enable the rapid prototyping of a complex problem and provide a range of solutions in a short period of time. By hacking with us, we are aiming to think bigger for global change with tech, whilst also allowing impassioned women to engage in innovation and entrepreneurship within our tech ecosystem.

Join the the upcoming Hackathon by purchasing a $20 ticket, which covers meals & snacks during the 2-day event!  This hackathon is beginner friendly and for participants new to coding or hackathons. However, any and all levels are welcome.

For more info and to purchase your tickets, click here. Hope to see you there!

Hackbright Academy is the engineering school for women in San Francisco dedicated to closing the gender gap in the tech industry.  Learn more about Hackbright’s 12-week software engineering program