Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Online Communities are Why I'm Excited for GHC15

I've attended almost every Grace Hopper since 2008.  The one exception was 2011, when I was too pregnant to fly.  I found an old blog post about enjoying the conference from afar, where I reflected about being sad to be missing out once the conference started.  Since I'll be missing this year as well, it's nice to re-read this:
Fortunately, the very thing that I have worked so hard to make awesome when attending GHC in the past is allowing me to enjoy this year's edition from afar: the online communities. 
I have a whole new appreciation for the many awesome posts on attendees' blogs and Twitter accounts. While seeing conversations between all the people I am missing out on meeting up with makes me feel sad, I also find myself vibrating with excitement with all the amazing things happening in Portland. From the wonderful keynote speakers to the fantastic panels to the neat e-textile workshop, this conference must be the best one yet.
While there is nothing at this year's conference on e-textiles (at least, not that I know of!), the conference is once again gearing up to be the biggest and best.  Along with that comes our largest set of amazing volunteers ever – they will be giving their time as always to share the conference through our online communities.  And so, the reason I'm excited about GHC15 is the fact that I'll have more blogs, notes, and tweets to enjoy from afar than ever before!

If you'd like to enjoy GHC from afar as well, be sure to check out these amazing sources.

Perhaps I'll see you on Twitter this October (I'm @gailcarmichael), and we can share the conference from afar together!

Monday, September 28, 2015

Native American Women in Computing (NAWiC)

Native American Women in Computing (NAWiC)
By Andrea Delgado-Olson 

Native American Women in Computing is a community that brings support and inspiration to indigenous women in technical fields across North and South America.  The NAWiC community was inspired by the women leading other communities of Underrepresented Women in Computing of Anita Borg Institute during the Grace Hopper Celebration in 2014.  Native women need a safe space to share their work, ideas, experiences, and accomplishments and get recognition for them.  There are native women currently in the tech industry, learning to code, or just haven’t figured out that tech is the place for them…yet!  NAWiC is a community to bridge that gap between a new coder and a tech executive, and everything in between.   

 NAWiC is working on reaching out to native/indigenous communities to host workshops, meetups, and hackathons within the next calendar year.  We are on Twitter and you can follow the community @NativeAmerWiC and we would love to say hi!  There is a NAWiC Facebook group as well. You can send a request to join and we would love to have you as a member.  As founder and member of the Ione Band of Miwok Indians, NAWiC is attending their first annual Chaw'se Indian Big Time at Chaw’se State Park in Volcano, CA this Saturday and Sunday, September 26th & 27th You can also visit the Anita Borg Institute website and join NAWiC as an official member of the community.  We hope to be announcing more events in the future as they are confirmed!  Also, if you would like to host an event, or know an event we can promote to the community, please let us know!

For the official debut of Native American Women in Computing, we will be in the ABI Communities Booths!  There will be t-shirts that sport the new NAWiC logo, just drafted and printed for this occasion.  The shirts will be sold at our community booth to help support and fund groups of native women attending the conference, and to provide financial assistance to women in the future.  NAWiC provided funds for a group of young women from Salinas, California to attend the Grace Hopper Celebration in Houston, TX and we hope to meet them there.  Every year we grow, we can inspire others to do the same!  We look forward to meeting everyone at Grace Hopper, come by and say hello!

Thursday, September 24, 2015

GHC15: I’m Here Because Of GHC14!

GHC15: I’m Here Because Of GHC14!
By Andrea Delgado-Olson

As I prepare myself for the busiest week of the year, I can’t help but look back at where this all started.  Last October was my first time attending a Grace Hopper Celebration and I asked all of the FAQs a first time attendee would…What do I wear?  How many resumes should I bring?  How do I network?  Imposter syndrome was in full effect as well, but I didn’t let that hinder me.  I was able to attend last GHC as a Hopper, which gave me a small glimpse into the hard work and organization that goes into this amazing gathering of technical women. I made the mistake of wearing heels on the first day and I worked a full 8 hours on my feet and still walked around the event! Note to self: invest in, and wear, comfortable shoes at GHC15.  But it was during my first Hopper assigned event where I heard an ABI staff member talking about the groups of Underrepresented Women in Computing at ABI, and I asked if there was a group for Native American women.  The look I got from the women around me was one I cannot describe, but it was a look of excitement.  I was inspired by GHC14 and determined to make Native American Women in Computing happen for indigenous women like me.  I wanted to be able to look to Native women in the industry and ask questions, but there were few women to reach out to, so I became that person.  I am working to grow this community, sponsor young women to attend their first GHC, and provide support to Native women across the Americas. 

I am returning for my second Grace Hopper Celebration in Houston, Texas as the founder of Native American Women in Computing (NAWiC), an ABI Scholar, and an ABI Community Engagement Intern.  I am looking forward to sharing my experiences with others and inspire others to make the same inquiries as I did, which got me to where I am today!  I am grateful for the opportunities I have been given by ABI, the support and encouragement I have received has been driving me to get this community up and running.  I am looking forward to sharing stories of my experiences as a California Native American, as well as hearing from others who have similar stories or completely differing ones.  I am looking to connect with other indigenous women to offer support and get support as well.  Being an American Indian/Native American/Alaska Native/Indigenous to the Americas is challenging in and of itself, but add on being a woman and being in tech are added challenges that need to be recognized and supported.  Please come and find myself, my husband (who has been an amazing support system and ally for NAWiC!!!

I am excited to be a Scholar!  As a scholar I am excited to meet other women who are working on their educational goals, as I am.  I would also like to encourage them to join groups, like Systers, to stay connected with other technical women.  I am honored to have the support of ABI to attend this event.  I am looking forward to meeting other Scholars at the dinner and meetups.  I know I will be meeting some pretty incredible and talented women who I hope to learn more from. 

Last, but certainly not least, I am attending as an ABI intern!  I was so excited to get this position, especially since a summer internship never materialized.  I have been assisting the community committees, I am a member of the UWiC committee, I am writing blogs, tweeting from two Twitter accounts(personal & professional for double the coverage!), and getting to be a part of the best gathering of women in the industry!  I wish I could share more about what I have been doing, but come by the NAWiC community booth in the Town Hall at GHC and I would love to tell you more and how you can get involved too!

So much has happened in a calendar year and I attribute it to the one question I asked at my first GHC!  I am looking forward to another amazing experience at the Grace Hopper Celebration 2015 in Houston, Texas.  I can’t wait to meet all of you there.  See you all in Texas!

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

GHC15: Extended Deadline to Apply for Lunch Time Table Topic Leaders

Do you have something you really want to talk to other women about at Grace Hopper Celebration next month? Whether you feel like an expert, or you want to learn from other women - please apply to host a table topic.Topics can be specific: "Entering Tech Later in Career", "iOS Game App Devs", "Switching from Technical to Management Track" - to more broad: "FOSS", "Security","Privacy", "iOS", "Traveling for work", "Working with Toddlers at Home", "Finding Sponsors" - etc. Note - even feel free to host one of these topics!

What does it mean to host? Start the conversation, have a few questions or discussion points up your sleeve and share your enthusiasm for the topic with others.

Please note: On the application, Thursday is noted as going until 3:30. That end time is optional, as there is a break after lunch. If you can't commit to that entire time, simply committing for the lunch "hour" is good, too!


We'll be closing applications on Friday, September 25, 11:59PM PT.

Please spread the word! Thank you!
Valerie Fenwick, GHC Communities Co-Chair

Systers: Local Syster's Meetups

Did you know you can connect with Systers at the Grace Hopper Conference as well as in your home town?  Are you in Boston, Mountain View, Atlanta, Seattle, New York or San Francisco?  Then we have a meetup coming up for you!
Come meet other women in technology, talk about the Grace Hopper Celebration for Women in Computing and learn about cool stuff happening in your area.

See you there!

Friday, September 18, 2015

GHC15: Last chance to apply for Blogging, Note-taking, Speed Mentoring Mentor and Lunch Time Table Topics

Hi again everyone!

The applications for our communities volunteers closes TODAY, September 18!

We are looking for people that can write blogs or take notes for at least 3 sessions, for video bloggers, for folks to lead lunch time table topics and for others to volunteer to be a speed mentoring mentor.

If any of those things sound interesting to you, please make your way over to our Volunteer Website and fill out the relevant applications: http://gracehopper.org/volunteer/

We are less than a month away!!

See you there!

Valerie Fenwick
GHC15 Online Communities Co-Chair

Thursday, September 10, 2015

GHC Getting Closer - Can't Wait!

by Zaza Soriano


    <GHC type="Community Committee">
    <GHC type="Inspiration"/>


for Topic in Excitement.Children:

    print """I work at the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics 
    Laboratory (APL) as an embedded software engineer. This will 
    be my 6th year attending GHC, my 2nd representing APL, and my 
    first on the ABI Communities Committee."""

        if Topic.Type == 'APL':

            print """APL is a non-profit company and because of that
            it’s not an easy task to justify spending money on a 
            non-technical conference. This however has been
            changing,and is one of the things I am really excited
            about this year."""

            for Info in Topic.Children:
                    case 'Coworkers':

                        print """It’s exciting to watch the GHC bug
                        start to spread to other departments in the 
                    case 'Committee':
                        print """A couple of us started up a
                        committee to help with the influx of
                        APL’ers attending. The road has been
                        bumpy so far and I am very excited to
                        see how this year goes!"""

                        for Item in Info.Children:
                            if Item.Type == 'Purpose':

                                print """Our motivation behind the
                                committee had a lot to do with
                                wanting to make the experience as
                                smooth as possible for new
                                attendees, as well as making sure
                                we as a lab are able to
                                continually benefit from what was
                                learned at GHC."""

                            if Item.Type == 'Benefits':

                                print """I’m really excited about
                                seeing how each pair of APL’ers
                                will share what they learned 
                                this year."""


                    case 'Recruiting':

                        print """Last year I headed up the
                        recruiting for our department. This year
                        I am excited to see how my friend does
                        with recruiting. So far I am extremely
                        happy and love to witness young woman
                        gaining confidence and experience doing
                        something they love."""


        if Topic.Type == 'GHC':
            if Topic.getAttribute('type') == 'Community Committee':
                if Topic.ChildNode(0).Type == 'Members':

                    print """I LOVE working with everyone on the
                    committee! It’s like being surrounded by 
                    amazing woman all the time! I am looking 
                    forward to finally meeting everyone next
                    month. :)"""

                else if Topic.getAttribute('type') == 'Inspiration':

                    print """I saved the best for last...The thing
                    I get the most excited about GHC is the
                    inspiration you get from attending. Yes the
                    sessions are great, very informative, generally
                    always useful, but there is something about
                    being in a room full of THOUSANDS of other
                    technical woman that is just SO INSPIRING!!
                    It’s not something that can be described with
                    words, so I hope that every technical woman at
                    some point gets to experience that amazing
                    feeling at least once in their life."""

“Think Outside the Box”

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

GHC15: First Timer Questions

I heard about the Grace Hopper Conference (GHC) in 2006 from my former mentee, Dr. Cyntrica Eaton. Didn’t think much about it, again, until 2015. This year, my inner desire to learn coding languages has come back. I want to know what’s out there, what is trending, what training is needed, what new technologies are out there, etc. So, I registered for this year’s GHC in Houston, after having attended the ABI.New York Presents GHC/1: A One-day GHC Conference this year (which sent my curiosity about GHC over the edge).

So, having NEVER attended a GHC before, what should I expect? I mean, I hear 12,000 people are expected at this conference (the largest ever), but how do I navigate an all female tech conference of that size and magnitude? Have you seen the schedule: http://schedule.gracehopper.org/? Seriously, there are very important questions that I need answered like, when should I arrive, what sessions do I attend, if I am an introvert, how to “extrovert”, how do I truly get the best experience from the GHC 2015? I don’t want to be “lost in the sauce” of 12,000 amazing and incredibly smart female engineers.

Well, I compiled a list of questions and former attendees and was able to garner some pretty nifty and helpful answers! Let’s take a look below.

When should we arrive and what do we need to do when we first get to Houston?
  • Gail: Depends on the day you arrive. If you get there before the conference starts, you can go to your hotel, settle in, and sight see! If you get there day-of, you may still want to check into the hotel if possible to at least drop off your luggage. If you can’t get to the hotel, use the coat check at the conference and use cab/shuttle to get to the hotel during a break.
  • Charna: I agree with Gail, even if you get there day of, and you can’t get to your room yet as check in is in the afternoon most hotels have bag check, this is easier than lugging them on the shuttles later. Then before any sessions you need to get your badge and bag before going to sessions
  • Valerie: Check in your hotel and make some new friends! Other attendees tend to stand out of the crowd: generally very excited, often wearing a geek t-shirt, and found in large clusters of other women at the airport, hotel, bars and restaurants. Or for the introverts - take a few moments to find a quiet place in your hotel and near the convention center. You’ll need it to keep your batteries recharged throughout the conference.
  • Zaza: I agree with everyone here. I do like to explore the area a bit though too, that way when Saturday comes I have a better idea of what I can do to pass the time before I have to go back to the airport.
Are there going to be long lines? If so, is there a strategy to avoid having to stand in long lines?
  • Gail: In some years, the registration lines were veeeeery long. If this happens, not much you can do. Watch for early registration opportunities if you arrive in time to make use of that. Most likely things will run smoothly this year, though.
  • Charna: There can be long lunch lines, try to go places that aren’t where the primary flow of traffic is, there are also long coffee lines at the hotels in the morning so be sure to have a strategy for that. Bathroom lines can be long to so I’d make sure you know where multiple locations are soon after you arrive.
  • Valerie: Some sessions fill up, and they will have a line. If a session is really important to you, make sure you go straight there. Save your networking for the next break!
  • Zaza: Planning! It&#82#8217;s all in the planning (well it helps anyway).
What day/time of day should we arrive in Houston? What day/time of day should we depart?
  • Valerie: If at all possible, arrive the day before the conference begins. This helps you to avoid some of the lines at hotels and airports, and get yourself organized for the event. Leave Saturday or Sunday - you do NOT want to miss the big event Friday night! If you fly out on Sunday, you can do some sightseeing (and often save money on your flight).
How early do we need be at the convention center? Do we need to stay for the full day?
  • Gail: You can stay the entire length of the conference day, but you may find yourself getting really tired. Don’t be afraid (or feel at all guilty) to sleep in one day or skip some sessions to recharge.

  • Valerie: Arrive early for the first day, if you can, to register so you don’t miss the first sessions. Set prioritize those, and know where you won’t mind missing a session or two. There’s always something interesting and exciting going on, but make sure you take care of yourself, too!
If I am not within walking distance, how often do the shuttles run to/from the hotel and conference center?
  • Valerie: Fortunately, there are free shuttles! Schedules are not posted, yet, but in previous years they run more often in the AM and end of the day - less so in the middle of the day. Pro tip: Since the shuttles do run less often mid-day, plan your day in advance and have all the extra things you need like charging cables, backup phone and laptop batteries (outlets are ALWAYS hard to find), chapstick, headache medicine, water bottle, etc.
Are they crowded?
    • Valerie: They can be, but I’ve never seen anyone turned away.
Is there a “strategy” for boarding times?
    • Valerie: Try to get there a bit earlier than the time, as that’s the time the bus leaves.

Which sessions should we try to attend and why:
  • Valerie: I always love the New Investigators forums - new research, no matter what field, is very exciting. The keynotes are always informative and inspirational, and the plenary is interesting, too. Also, don’t miss the ABI Award winners - always amazing technical women!
  • Zaza: I try not to think about what track to attend, but focus more on the content of each session. Because of that I tend to jump around the various tracks. This is definitely a personal decision, so spend the time to research the different sessions and see what interests you.
What is the attire for each day and sessions?
  • Gail: I have observed a huge range of clothing styles, so in the end, I would just wear what you find comfortable. Many aim for something business-casual. You may want to go back to your hotel and change before the evening parties. Don’t forget to bring layers in case the conference centre a/c is mega cold.
  • Valerie: I second the layers comment! If you are searching for a job, you may want to dress a bit more sharply. Keep in mind, though, you will be doing a TON of walking in sometimes very crowded corridors, so no matter what - be comfortable. Lots of ladies also opt to wear their “geekiest” shirts - lots of computer jokes, like “There’s No Place Like” :-)
If we can’t get to a speaker/sessions leader, personally, will there be contact information for each speaker?
  • Valerie: Many speakers will include their twitter handles and personal websites in their slides. Be ready to take notes! In general, though, their email addresses will not be available from the conference site.
How do I break the ice with someone (especially if I am an introvert)?
  • Gail: Being a Hopper is actually a great way to meet new people just by doing your duties. Otherwise, try and force yourself to sit with new people at lunch, and just ask where everyone is from. You can also use talk content to have some common ground when striking up a conversation. You also know people attending the same talk have similar interests as you.
  • Valerie: Chat to your seat mate on the shuttle bus, talk to the ladies sitting next to you in a session, comment on their geek wear or laptop/phone, arrive early for sessions, and talk to others in line for the bathroom. We can all gripe about “what are they DOING in there!?” :-)
  • Charna: Use the ribbons on your name badge, and others, if you dont know what one means or how to get it next year ask! The app is also underutilized, want to learn something about a presenter or connect before meeting in person check them out! Twitter is also great. I’ve followed and chatted with people on twitter first which lets you plan out what you want to say before inviting for coffee in person.
What things should I avoid?
  • Valerie: It’s easy to get over (or under caffeinated) or dehydrated at the conference. Pay attention to what your body is saying, and take breaks when you need to, even if it means missing a session. Don’t stay up too late if you have an important session first thing in the morning. Don’t skip meals - and if you are like me and feel like you’re STARVING if there is too much time (as defined by my body) between meals, bring snacks!
  • Charna: Speaking of meals there are special meals for those who sign up ahead of time. and if you find that the meals that you are getting as part of your special category are making you sick ask for help! I’ve helped people find food many times after I had the experience of one of my friends passing out due to her eating too much processed grains when she was used to a diet of all vegetables.
  • Zaza: Something that Charna taught me at one of our first GHC’s together: Try to avoid wearing your badge when walking to/from your hotel, or anywhere outside the convention center really.
Should we bring copies of paper resumes? If so, how many copies?
  • Valerie: Yes, definitely! Keep them in a folder, though, so they don’t get all wrinkly. Consider making up business cards with a URL to your online copy of your resume. Twenty or thirty copies should be good - think about who you really want to talk to, and bring a few extra. Most importantly: Submit your resume in ADVANCE to the online resume database, then employers can schedule time to chat with you if they are interested.
  • Charna: If you forget to bring them, there are usually print shops but they can be expensive and mess up your formatting. Also though dont stop talking to the recruiters if you run out, make sure your linked in is up to date, whip out your computer or use theirs and pull up your profile. They are going to make you fill out an online application any way so sometimes this is greener in a pinch.
Should we bring business cards? If so, how many copies?
  • Valerie: YES, absolutely!!!! Even if you don’t have a job. Scratch that, ESPECIALLY if you don’t currently have a job and are looking. You want people to be able to find you! You probably want to carry around 20-30 copies, but keep extras in your suitcase at the hotel. You can’t usually get an order of less than 2-300 anyways.
  • Charna: I love moo.com, with enough lead time they are not that expensive but great quality and innovative. You can order in smaller batches than 300. Vistaprint is a good cheap avenue with enough lead time if you don't want to go with moo.
What information should business cards have on them?
  • Valerie: Your name, title (if you have one - if you don’t, what you WANT to be doing/area of technical focus and interest), website, email address, twitter handle (if you want to share), link to your resume or LinkedIn profile and phone number! Ideally, get a NON-glossy card, then people can make notes about you (like which session they met you in, what you have in common, etc) directly on your card.
  • Charna: It depends on what you want to be doing, if you want to be a UX designer, I’d get creative and not put all the traditional info but at a minimum your name and at least one way to contact you. I have two cards one with my cell phone one without. It lets me be personal when i want to be.
If we miss certain sessions, are the sessions recorded?
  • Gail: Most are not, but note-takers and bloggers cover many sessions, and speaker slides are sometimes available.
  • Charna: The ones that are recorded are usually the general session big time speakers and the links will be tweeted and posted on the website when they happen.
Are there capacity issues for certain sessions, luncheons, etc.?
  • Gail: Popular sessions absolutely fill up, so if there’s one you really want to see, show up early to avoid being turned away.
  • Charna: I’ve even left a different session early to be sure I made it to one important to me. Last year there were a few with people sitting on the floor and standing along the walls.
WHEW! Okay. I think I just may be ready to navigate GHC 2015, now. These answers from prior attendees were extremely helpful.

Hope to see you all at GHC 2015! This is #OurTimeToLead !

Thursday, September 3, 2015

Meet our 2015 GHC Community Committee!

We have returning committee members and new members that are managing various community activities at GHC like note taking, blogging, lunchtime table topics, and more. The committee has been working for months to prepare for volunteers to step in and participate in a wide range of activities at GHC. Their management of these activities and volunteers are phenomenal. These members serve as volunteers providing their time and talent to engaging GHC community and beyond. All of these women are committed to ensure the community have a wonderful experience and contribute to the voice of the community. On behalf of Anita Borg Institute and our communities, we Thank GHC Community Committee for their incredible volunteer service.

Without further ado, please meet our GHC Community Committee!

Dr. Charna Parkey (co-chair) joined Textio in March just after seed funding was raised as a Senior Software Engineer with 10 years of experience in digital signal processing. Through the use of signals and subject matter experts she aims to change the way we interpret the world for the better.  She is now on a mission to change the way we hire by reducing biases in job listings to attract the most diverse set of candidates. 

She has been involved with the GHC Communities Committee for 6 years and other women in STEM activities for the past 15 years.  Charna holds a Ph.D. and M.S. in Electrical Engineering from the University of Central Florida, two B.S. in Computer Engineering and Electrical Engineering, and she has authored or co authored 11 publications, holds 3 patents, won 2 best paper awards, and continues to contribute to her field. For fun she makes pottery, practices yoga and martial arts, and loves hiking, baking, and anything crafty or DIY. 

Valerie Anne Fenwick (co-chair) is a Manager in the Solaris Security Technologies group at Oracle Corporation with over two decades of experience in computer security. She helped to design and develop the cryptographic framework for the Oracle Solaris operating system, and previously worked as a developer on the SunScreen Firewall. She co-chairs the OASIS PKCS#11 (Open Standards Based Crypto API) technical committee.

Valerie has a B.S. in Computer Science from Purdue University.  She is a co-author of the Solaris 10 Security Essentials book and writes a blog on bicycling, beer and security. In her spare time, she enjoys performing at community theaters, riding her bike, and skiing.

Gail Carmichael has been an advocate for women 
in computer science for more than seven years.
She co-founded Carleton University’s Women in Science and Engineering group, was a member of the now disbanded advisory board for the Anita Borg Institute for Women and Technology, and is working on bringing Girl Develop It! back to Ottawa.  She is currently a part-time PhD students at Carleton University and a software developer at Shopify in Ottawa, Canada.

Vivian Andreeva is a 25 year old Software Engineer working on Universal Apps at Microsoft, located in Redmond. She previously worked as an intern at Research in Motion, Electronic Arts Mobile Division, and Carleton University’s Network Management & Artificial Intelligence Lab. She graduated with a Bachelor’s Degree in Software Engineering from Carleton University in Ottawa Canada. She attended Grace Hopper for the first time in 2014.

Zaza Soriano is a full time Embedded Software Engineer at the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory (APL). There she solves hard problems, increases national security, and delves into biomedical engineering.
She holds a double Bachelor’s Degree in Computer Engineering and Electrical Engineering from the University of Central Florida. She is currently working towards her Masters in Computer Engineering at Johns Hopkins University Engineering for Professionals.

This will be her 6th year attending and volunteering at GHC, and first year on the Communities Committee. She is extremely active in STEM outreach and has been recognized multiple times for her STEM efforts at APL. When she is not working, studying, or volunteering, Zaza likes to hike, cook, and participate in the APL Drama Club.

Gehana Booth is a new member to the GHC Committee, but has been attending the Grace Hopper Celebration for a few years now. The conference is a continual inspiration for her and has pushed her to get involved with outreach initiatives to encourage and mentor young girls, particularly at the high school level, who are interested in computer science. She is currently working on her MCS with the Carleton Computer Security Lab in Ottawa, specializing in new approaches to network traffic analysis and security. She also works as a software developer on the merchant protection team at Shopify, an Ottawa-based e-commerce company setting out to make commerce better for everyone.

In her spare time, she enjoys rock climbing, hiking, and dancing West Coast Swing. 

Tamara Y. Washington is a Patent Examiner at the United States Patent and Trademark Office. She completed her BS in Electrical Engineering from Tuskegee University and her MSEE (optics) from North Carolina A&T State University. She also holds an MBA (finance) from Wake Forest University. Tamara is passionate about learning object oriented languages as well as full-stack programming languages. She is energetic about S.T.E.M. education for women and a huge advocate/supporter of Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs).

She is actively involved in efforts to search out and uncover all of the super smart and talented technology people and companies that the DC/MD/VA area has to offer as well as bring together those people and companies to technical community groups for education and collaboration. 

Ilke Demir is a PhD candidate in Computer Science department at Purdue University, and a research assistant in Computer Graphics and Visualization Lab. Her research interests lie in the fields of procedural modeling, 3D urban reconstruction, and interactive shape editing. She obtained her B.S. degree in Computer Engineering from Middle East Technical University, with an Electrics and Electronics Engineering minor. Currently she is an Intern at Pixar Animation Studios. 

In her spare time, she is a gamer, a dancer, a blogger, an explorer, and a dreamer! And always a strong advocate of the female to shift the balance. 

And last but certainly not least, Rose Robinson is Her Systers' Keeper and Sr. Manager with Anita Borg Institute. Rose manages all of ABI communities including Systers' affinity communities and special interest groups. She's been a long time Syster, ABI family member and GHC conference goer. Rose has undergraduate and graduate degrees in Mathematics applied CS and has been working in the technical industry for more than 20+ years. She has extensive experience in software implementations, telco provisioning and GIS (Geographical Information Systems) and is a advocate of open source technologies. She also manages all of ABI open source projects and Systers initiatives such as Systers Google Summer of Code program, Systers open source mentor program, Pass-It-On awards program and all community presence and activities and events at GHC.

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