Tag Archives: IWD 2023

GDE Women’s History Month Feature: Jigyasa Grover, Machine Learning

Posted by Kevin Hernandez, Developer Relations Community Manager

For Women’s History Month, we are celebrating Jigyasa Grover, ML GDE.

Photo of Jigyasa Grover, holding a cup of coffee, smiling
Jigyasa Grover, ML GDE, Senior ML Engineer, Twitter

Jigyasa Grover is a 10x award winner in AI and open source, a published book author in machine learning, and was most recently named one of the 50 most powerful women in technology to follow for 2023. Jigyasa has always been inspired by technology – with her father being a computer scientist for the government of India and playing with a toy laptop as a child. Google has also played an integral role in her career by providing resources and community every step of the way: from early in her university days through Google Summer of Code to today, where she is a Senior ML Engineer at Twitter and leverages the Women Techmakers and Google Developer Experts programs to connect with other developers and pay it forward through programs like Google Code-In.

Getting involved in the developer community

Things started rolling for Jigyasa in her first year at university when she discovered Pharo at the library, where she spent a lot of her time. As she started to dive deeper into Pharo, she read more and more about the open source community and eventually started reaching out to members of the community online. This led her to discover Google Summer of Code, an open source internship, where she was selected to participate as one of the youngest developers. After a successful stint in the program, Jigyasa was invited to participate again the following year, which proved to be a pivotal moment in her academic career. Up to this point, Jigyasa was working primarily on mobile and web app development. “The second year, the project that I was working on was more focused on building web scrapers, machine learning, NLP chatbots, and so on. That was my introduction to the world of machine learning which got me intrigued”, Jigyasa says. After this experience she started taking more courses related to machine learning, watched talks, worked on more machine learning projects, and interned at the National Research Council of Canada and then the Institute Research and Development in France. These experiences helped shape her career vision and she knew that machine learning would be her field of expertise.

Finding community through Google

Up until college, Jigyasa had always gone to all-girls schools so when she first got to engineering school, it was an eye-opening experience for her. She reflects, “I felt like a minority coming from a place where I was surrounded by girls all the time. That's when I started Googling different organizations and found organizations like Women Who Code, Women Techmakers, and Google Developer Groups.” These organizations exposed her to mentorship, resources, and events, and more. One such event was Google I/O, where she was invited to attend online. Many developer events reminded her of the lack of women's representation in the developer community. This inspired her to commit to the saying, "be the change you want to see in the world." Jigyasa would go on to pursue speaking opportunities at tech events and inspire other women developers with her passion and support.

After university, Jigyasa discovered the GDE program and the strong community the program offers. Jigyasa adds, “I think one of the most meaningful parts of the program is the community. I like how different Google programs cater to different kinds of audiences. For example, when I became a GDE, I was a part of the wider developer community but also connected with developers in my field of expertise - machine learning.” Jigyasa appreciates being able to interact with people in her field and is motivated by being surrounded by like-minded people. She has even been a guest on another GDE’s YouTube channel and was also given a chance to connect with Laurence Moroney, Lead AI Advocate at Google, who wrote the foreword for her book. Jigyasa credits Google developer programs for developing her career and expertise, “All of these programs have brought me great opportunities. Summer of Code, Google Developers Groups, Women Techmakers, and now GDE. All these programs have been so important in my journey and I'm forever grateful to them.”

Inspiration and advice

As an award winner and influencer in technology, Jigyasa is a role model for other women and is committed to helping women developers in their careers. She says, “It has definitely been a journey. From being involved in these communities, giving talks in numerous countries and cities. It's just been a domino effect.” In addition to speaking events, Jigyasa has published content, mentored through Google programs and has even designed curriculums at local colleges in the Bay Area.

Jigyasa urges other women developers to pursue opportunities for development and connection. Jigyasa has accomplished a lot in her career by reaching out to her communities and by saying yes to challenging opportunities. She is committed to supporting more women in their developer journey and driving representation in the field of machine learning.

You can find Jigyasa on LinkedIn, Twitter, or her personal site.

The Google Developer Experts (GDE) program is a global network of highly experienced technology experts, influencers, and thought leaders who actively support developers, companies, and tech communities by speaking at events and publishing content.

Developer Journey – Women’s History Month: March 2023

Posted by Lyanne Alfaro, DevRel Program Manager, Google Developer Studio

In honor of Women’s History Month, it’s our pleasure to feature members across the Women Techmakers ecosystem for March’s Developer Journey profiles. These are community leaders who have explored, navigated and built using Google tools. They are active members of the broader Google Developers community.

In March, the WTM program will also celebrate International Women’s Day, centered on the theme “Dare To Be,” celebrating the courage and strength that this community demonstrates, made of thought leaders who are creating a world where women can thrive in tech. You can find more about the Women Techmakers program during IWD here.

Headshot of Ezinne Osuamadi smiling

Ezinne Osuamadi

Women Techmakers Mentor and Ambassador
Waldorf, Germany (A proud Nigerian!)
Software Developer/ Technical Product Manager

What Google tools have you used to build?

Android Studio, Firebase, Google Play Services, Google Analytics. I'm a mobile developer and recently started getting my hands on technical product management and agile product owner. The tools I use for development are Android as the framework and Android Studio as the integrated development environment.

Which tool has been your favorite to use? Why?

I would say Flutter. The Flutter toolkit has a layered architecture that allows for full customization. The fact that Flutter comes with fully-customizable widgets allows you to build native interfaces in minutes. I also love the fact that some of these widgets’ features like scrolling, navigation, icons, and fonts provide a full native performance on both iOS and Android. Flutter is one code base and it makes building mobile applications much easier. I don't have to build a separate app for Android, and another separate app for IOS. Another Flutter feature I like so much is the “hot reload.” It allows me to easily build UIs, add new features, and fix bugs faster. It also allows easy compilation of Flutter code to native ARM machine code using Dart native compilers.

Please share with us about something you’ve built in the past using Google tools.

The first app I built was for one of my former employers. It happened almost three years ago, and it was the first project I worked on when I started learning Flutter. I was super excited about it. It was a timesheet app targeted specifically for employees. The sole purpose of the app is for employees to be able to schedule tasks and also give a time slot to each task.

What advice would you give someone starting in their developer journey?

From my experience running an NGO called Ladies Crushing IT Africa and organizing a couple of tech events, I would say this: Don’t go into software development if you are not passionate or interested in it. Going into development because you think they pay developers well or because your friends are earning money from it is a wrong reason to start your development journey. A tech career journey should be about what you want to be in the future. Does it align with your future goals and objectives? How or what are strategies in achieving that path? Also note that the path to becoming a successful developer is a process. It is not all roses, and there are times when debugging will make it look difficult. But you should be resilient and diligent in making the most out of it when you encounter difficulties. It is always about continuous improvement. Never stop learning to keep yourself up to date with latest technologies and development tools.


Headshot of Patty O’Callaghan smiling

Patty O’Callaghan

GDG Glasgow and Women Techmakers Ambassador
Glasgow, Scotland
Tech Lead @ Charles River Laboratories

What Google tools have you used to build?

I use the Chrome DevTools daily. I find them very helpful. I also enjoy working on projects using TensorFlow.JS and Firebase.

Which tool has been your favorite to use? Why?

I would have to say TensorFlow.JS and its pre-made models are my favorite. I enjoy the fact that I can build cool machine learning projects directly in the browser. Even developers unfamiliar with this technology can quickly build, train, and deploy machine learning models using just a few lines of code. Some kids at my code club have used TensorFlow.JS for amazing projects, like building class attendance applications using facial recognition, or a site that checks correct form while practicing karate at home, and another for studying with the help of an AI agent.

Please share with us about something you’ve built in the past using Google tools.

I've worked on several side-projects using TensorFlow.JS for my workshops. One of my favorites is an emotion recognition app, using the Teachable Machine. Additionally, for work, I used TF.JS to develop a machine learning solution that suggests taxonomies for articles based on their content. It analyzes over 30 taxonomies to find the best match for the given article.

What advice would you give someone starting in their developer journey?

First of all, focus on learning the fundamentals of programming. A strong foundation will benefit you in the long run. Practice coding regularly and find a mentor or a community to help you along the way. For example, contributing to an open-source project is an excellent way to learn. And remember: Making mistakes is a natural part of the learning process, so don't get discouraged if you encounter difficulties. Keep pushing forward!

Headshot of Alexis and David Snelling smiling

Alexis & David Snelling

Alexis – Women Techmakers Ambassador & Lead
Named as Top 10 Women founders to Watch in 2023 by Forbes Group
San Francisco, CA
CEO WeTransact.live

David – Google Developer Groups
San Francisco, CA
CTO WeTransact.live

What Google tools have you used to build?

Here’s just a few of the tools we’ve used:
  • Angular 15
  • Material Design
  • Google Cloud / Firebase
    • Authentication
    • Hosting
    • Firestore
    • Functions
    • Extensions
    • Storage
    • Machine Learning
  • PWA Standards
  • Chrome / DevTools
  • Android

Which tool has been your favorite to use? Why?

Firestore has been our favorite due to its scalability and real-time data capabilities, through websockets and triggers, the data flexibility, plus query capabilities. This is how we’ve built out our modern event-driven architecture to allow for a completely real-time application providing immediate data and collaboration across our entire white label application suite.

Please share with us about something you’ve built in the past using Google tools.

We built the WeTransact Innovation Platform: From Idea to ROI which offers a learning-based distributed social platform for learning, collaborating and presenting yourself and your innovations.

For customers, we’ve created a White Label SaaS Platform, licensed by universities, incubators, developer groups and any program looking to provide education, collaboration, and AI assisted auto generated presentation and communication tools. Our platform combines features similar to LinkedIn, Coursera, AngelList and Zoom in one simple and modern unified platform for communities to make collaboration & lifelong learning globally accessible to everyone. The WeTransact platform accelerates & scales your program’s impact to solve the world's biggest problems better together.

Here’s just a few other ways we’ve used Google tools:

What advice would you give someone starting in their developer journey?

There’s a few pieces of advice we’d offer! Among them is to start early. Find a friend who is already developing or shares your passion. Find an open source project that inspires you or represents something you're passionate about. Dig in, change stuff, break stuff and then learn why. Search is your best friend – use it to always question and reset your assumptions, learn new approaches, and practice not getting stuck in a “boilerplate” or “standard” solution to each problem. It’s not about memorizing – technology changes every day and you should too. Finally, know that it’s about the process and the journey, not the destination.