Tag Archives: women techmakers

Developers Share How They Built Their Careers: From Machine Learning to Cloud

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

Google Developer Student Club Alums Reflect On Their Journey To Google Developer Experts

Developer Journey is a monthly series highlighting diverse and global developers sharing relatable challenges, opportunities, and wins in their journey. Every month, we will spotlight developers around the world, the Google tools they leverage, and the kind of products they are building.

This month, we spoke with several Google Developer Experts to learn more about their path from being Google Developer Student Clubs leads to connoisseurs of their craft.

Suvaditya Mukherjee

Headshot of Suvaditya Mukherjee smiling
Mumbai, Maharashtra, India
Google Developer Expert, Machine Learning
Google Summer of Code Org Admin + ML Research Engineer Intern at Ivy
Research Intern at IIIT-Hyderabad

What are some key skills and knowledge you gained as a Google Developer Student Clubs Lead that helped you excel in your role as a Google Developer Expert?

Every day I spent as a lead was a learning experience, but what stood out to me was the holistic learning opportunities that the program brought. For example, as someone specializing in AI, I never found a need to learn Web Development until I had to help audit and create complex web apps for hosting competitions. Additionally, I learned how to absorb newer technical skills as quickly as possible, which proved to be incredibly valuable over time. I also learned the importance of soft skills, which helped me communicate better with my community. As an expert, it’s important to steward your community, and the leadership skills imparted by the program helped me build a deeper understanding of communication, logistics, and team-building.

What has been the impact of being part of the Google Developer Student Clubs community on your personal and professional growth?

As a Google Developer Student Clubs (GDSC) Lead, I benefited from participating in networking opportunities with like-minded folks and potential mentors who helped immensely in my journey. They helped shape my technical skills, and improve my soft skills. I also had the opportunity to speak in front of large crowds, develop content, manage teams, and closely understand what makes a community tick. As a GDE, it becomes important to have a pulse on the community's needs and requirements. The GDSC Program taught me how to measure these metrics at a grassroots level. I have had the privilege of working with the most skilled, dedicated, professional – and most importantly – humble folks as part of the GDSC Community. The program allowed me the privilege of communicating and building friendships with awesome people over time.

What Google tools have you used to build?

I have used quite a few Google tools in different projects and endeavors, including but not limited to Firebase, Flutter, and Android for hackathons. I have also made use of the Google Cloud Platform to develop and host scalable backend infrastructures during projects and internships in different places. But my most used tool is TensorFlow.

Which tool has been your favorite? Why?

As an ML Practitioner, TensorFlow and Keras have been a boon to simplify days of work into potentially hours or even minutes. The power it delivers to end-users in the most open and democratic way possible while constantly innovating for newer advances is something I have always appreciated. One of the biggest reasons I love Keras has to be the awesome community around it that welcomes everyone with open arms.

Tell us about something you've built in the past using Google tools.

I have hacked around a few projects over time. The most notable among them was an application I personally call TranscribeMate. Imagine you’re in an ongoing lecture and the professor is going quicker than usual, hindering your ability to take notes. TranscribeMate (built with Flutter, Firebase, and MLKit) allows you to use OCR technology to transcribe notes from simple photos of the classroom blackboard, allow newer annotations as a note-taking application, and save them for later use. This was an application I developed for a college course- but I ended up tweaking it a bit more and making use of it on my personal device as well for more general tasks too.

What will you create with Google Bard?

I have been using Bard for a while now; it has a permanent home on my browser. Bard helps me with random questions I have, and Python-related problems. Bard has helped me find solutions in seconds, compared to hours of work when done through traditional search methods. I have been using Bard's help on several projects I have been working on within my research, in projects at Ivy, and the Keras Team. Stay tuned for what comes next!

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

Seek new experiences to learn. No one can learn by working within a narrow niche. Having a working knowledge of different technologies at once allows you to have a diverse and multi-faceted approach to problem-solving. Optimizations in your systems become far more apparent, and you slowly end up learning how to write better code and design scalable systems with ease. Lastly, find a community. Find like-minded folks, talk to them, share notes on what you're building, and if you find yourself too shy to do so, then try anyway. Start by just showing up for one event near you. Then make it two. Then ask a question. The power of collaborative learning is immeasurable.

Veronica Putri Anggraini

Headshot of Veronica Putri Anggraini, smiling
Jakarta, Indonesia
Google Developer Expert, Android
GDSC Semarang State Polytechnic Lead Alumni (2017)
Google Developer Group
Women Techmakers Ambassador
Software Engineer Android, @ eWIDEPLUS

What are some key skills and knowledge you gained as a Google Developer Student Clubs Lead that helped you excel in your role as a Google Developer Expert?

Through GDSC, I learn a lot about Android technology, practice building Android projects, and do workshops for our members every week. This process improves my technical, writing, problem solving and public speaking skills at the same time. I started presenting as a student with a small group workshop of 5-10 people and grew to speaking in front of 1,000 people. This was also one of the necessary criteria to become a GDE.

Can you share some insights on the impact of being part of the Google Developer Student Clubs community on your personal and professional growth?

Exploring different resources while I was a student helped me develop sample app portfolios. I feel like I actually started my professional career as a curriculum developer and trainer for mobile development. I got an offer when I was a speaker at a tech event that discussed Android technology through the GDSC program. In fact, the CEO immediately offered the position after the event ended.

What Google tools have you used to build?

I have a lot of exploration with Jetpack Compose. I currently work closely with the CameraX, AndroidX Library, Google Analytics and Maps API.

Which tool has been your favorite? Why?

CameraX is one of my favorites, because it automatically manages camera resources and avoids unnecessary background work, so I got better performance.

Tell us about something you've built in the past using Google tools.

At my current company, we build a digital bank app product natively. This allows users to use Liveness as a verified onboarding process, QRPay, personalize promo campaigns, and other financial services that we build using Google tools.

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

Gain experience in dealing with issues in the stack that serve as a focus. Be consistent in learning, and don't give up easily when stuck. In other words, be the person that says: "Challenge Accepted".

You should know that learning together is more fun than learning alone, so join the community and learn everything you need and extend your network.

Anubhav Singh

Headshot of Anubhav Singh, smiling
Prayagraj, India
Google Developer Expert, Firebase
GDSC NSEC Kolkata Lead Alumni (2019-20)
GDG Cloud Kolkata Organizer & TFUG Kolkata Co-Organizer
Co-founder, Dynopii

What are some key skills and knowledge you gained as a Google Developer Student Clubs Lead that helped you excel in your role as a Google Developer Expert?

A major part of being a Google Developer Student Clubs Lead was to enable growth for those around me by learning together. I would often find myself guiding club members on various fronts – sometimes by taking knowledge-sharing sessions on technical topics, sometimes by diving deep into their projects’ code to help them overcome challenges they were facing and sometimes creating videos or written content for them to be able to follow along later.

Through partaking in these activities, I learned public speaking skills, mentoring, and how to be helpful to others experiencing roadblocks. These skills have proved important in my role as a Google Developer Expert.

What has been the impact of being part of the Google Developer Student Clubs community on your personal and professional growth?

Being a GDSC Lead helped me further steer teams with the same passion I have for building communities. As a GDSC Lead, you get to connect with a lot of amazing people. The community itself is highly diverse and vibrant. When I was organizing a workshop for the club during my time as a GDSC Lead, I was fortunate to meet two individuals who later became the co-founders of my startup. In that same club, three of our members became Google Developer Experts in the fields of their interest. Thus, being a GDSC Lead has had a very positive impact on both my professional and personal growth.

What Google tools have you used to build?

I’ve been working in the software development field for almost 12 years now and have used several Google tools over the years, including some that no longer exist. Some of the currently available tools that I most often work with are:

  1. Google Cloud Platform: Cloud Run, Cloud Functions, Cloud Firestore, Cloud Workflows, GKE, GCE, App Engine, Vertex AI and other AI based products, etc.
  2. Google Postmaster Tools, Search Console Tools, Analytics, Pagespeed Insights
  3. TensorFlow, Keras
  4. Google Maps API
  5. Firebase
  6. reCaptcha

Which tool has been your favorite? Why?

Firebase, hands down. As someone who loves building solutions that are useful to people, Firebase has been my go-to tool for prototyping solutions and MVPs rapidly. I’ve used it to build some simple tools which have been used by thousands of people over the years - all hosted for free and delivered with blazing speed! Even today, during my sessions as a GDE, I always use Firebase to build the UI part of the demo applications I present during the talk.

Tell us about something you've built in the past using Google tools.

I built Fireshort - a URL shortener solution running purely on Firebase. This project is completely open source and has been used by several companies as a base for their in-house URL shortening needs. I’ve been working on the next version of this project at Linkborg.

I’ve also built several real-time updating monitoring products using Firebase and Pub/Sub, mostly for enterprise clients.

As a proof of concept, I also built KolPay, which is a completely event-driven clone of EasyCard - RFID based payment wallet using Firebase, Pub/Sub, Cloud Firestore and Cloud Functions, along with hardware components like Raspberry Pi, RFID Reader/Card.

What will you create with Google Bard?

Building with Google Bard is an exciting prospect. It will be fun to no longer have to write the repetitive parts of code which I need whenever I am setting up a new project or a module within an existing project. Since I spend a lot of my day coding, I will be very happy to automate parts of it and having an AI do that would be amazing!

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

Starting a developer journey can be a daunting prospect - everyone’s talking about AI and everyone wants to build the next viral thing. If you are new to this field, step back, relax and start building a solution to any problem that has irked you for a long time. While you’re at it - read a lot of tech blogs about solving that problem, become a part of developer communities, either virtual or in person, and meet people who will share their insights about building similar products.

Kartik Derasari

Headshot of Kartik Derasari, smiling
Ahmedabad, Gujarat, India
Google Developer Expert, Google Cloud
GDSC Silver Oak University Lead Alumni (2020-2021)
Google Developers Group Cloud Organizer
Full-Stack Engineer at Persistent

What are some key skills and knowledge you gained as a Google Developer Student Clubs Lead that helped you excel in your role as a Google Developer Expert?

As a GDSC Lead, I’ve had the opportunity to collaborate with Googlers, Google Developer Experts, and Google Developer Groups Community Leads on various projects which helped me explore different technologies and choose what’s best for me. Knowledge sharing and public speaking is what I learned from the Google Developer Experts. Since then, I started my journey as a Technical Speaker where I share my learnings on Machine Learning & TensorFlow, Web, Firebase, and Google Cloud. I also had the opportunity to share my learnings across conferences like DevFest, Google Cloud Community Days, and GDSC WOW. These are some of the learnings that really helped me shape as a Google Developer Expert and excel in my journey.

Can you share some insights on the impact of being part of the Google Developer Student Clubs community on your personal and professional growth?

Being a GDSC Lead created a positive impact in my personal and professional journey. I came in touch with the tech community and I learned about Google Developer Groups & Google Developer Experts programs. I started volunteering for the GDG Cloud Ahmedabad chapter during my GDSC tenure and later I became one of the Community Organizers. I also started collaborating with Google Developer Experts on Web, Firebase, and Machine Learning projects and made some open-source contributions.

Everyone from the community was so welcoming and helpful. I’d highly recommend everyone join these developer programs by Google and get the best out of it. I also received mentorship from GDG Community Leads and Google Developer Experts for my professional career. They helped me connect with the right set of people and guided me to kick-start my professional career with MediaAgility, which is part of the Google Cloud Partner ecosystem. Since then, I have been working on Web & Google Cloud in my professional capacity and in my personal capacity as well.

I was motivated by the Google Cloud ecosystem in India and I cleared six Google Cloud Certifications, which created a huge impact in my personal and professional growth.

What Google tools have you used to build?

I started using Firebase as a Web Engineer. It has been very helpful when it comes to adding Authentication, storing application data in Firestore, and hosting web-app front-end static files over a CDN using Firebase Hosting. While building a set of web apps, I started exploring Machine Learning and used TensorFlow for building ML models for different use cases. Since then, I started using Google Cloud ML APIs and Cloud Functions for adding more functionalities to my web apps.

While working on these projects, I came across the Google Cloud Partner ecosystem and joined MediaAgility (now part of Persistent Systems) as a Full-Stack Engineer. Since then, I have been working on Google Cloud with Google Cloud PSO and enterprise customers.

Which tool has been your favorite? Why?

Cloud Run is something that I really like as an Application Developer. Since it’s a serverless compute platform, I can spend more time on building my application rather than worrying about my infrastructure. Firebase Authentication, Cloud Firestore, and Cloud Storage are also tools that I really love. They help me create full-stack apps and ship faster to production.

Tell us about something you've built in the past using Google tools. What will you create with Google Bard?

Since we’re in the wave of Generative AI right now, I have been working on building a number of apps using Google Cloud Run, BigQuery, Cloud Storage, Generative AI studio, Model Garden on Vertex AI and PaLM models. Recently, I built a chat application interface which provides insights from structured enterprise data warehouse and unstructured files, along with enterprise-grade data governance and security.

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

Be a consistent learner and a persistent explorer. It’s great to cultivate a learning habit, which will help you all the way in your personal and professional journey. This will not only help you explore new things, but it will also help you master something that you really love to do. As a beginner, it would be good to start with something that you find interesting, and then you can add a flavor of other things. For example, if you find building web apps interesting, try it. When you think you’re good at it, you can add a flavor of Machine Learning to it. That’s how you explore new things and experiment with what you know.

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.

Google Developer Group Spotlight: A conversation with software developer Aditi Soni

Posted by Manoranjan Padhy - Developer Relations Lead, India

Six years ago, Aditi Soni was new to computers and programming when she learned about Google Developer Groups (GDG) and Women Techmakers (WTM) from a senior at her university, the Shri Vaishnav Institute of Technology and Science, Indore. Then, everything changed when she joined a Google Developer Group in Indore, the largest city in Central India, which began as a 16th century trading hub.

“Initially, it was extremely overwhelming for me to be in that space, where so many accomplished professionals were present,” Aditi says of her first experiences attending GDG Indore. “I was very hesitant to go and have a conversation with them.”

But Aditi felt determined. Her friend Aditya Sharma taught her C and C++, and she practiced her programming skills on her smartphone, using tools like the C4droid Android app, because she didn’t have a laptop. By the time she got a laptop, she was off and running. Aditi began teaching herself Android development and landed an internship after her second year of college.

image of Aditi standing at a podium

“I consider myself as an opportunity grabber,” Aditi writes in a post on her Medium blog. “ I never miss a single chance to become a better version of myself. I used to attend all community meetups and did not miss a single one.”

All her hard work paid off. In 2017, she became a Women Techmakers lead in Indore and took her first flight on an airplane to the WTM Leads Summit in Bangalore. The same year, she became a Microsoft Student Partner and attended Google Developer Days India. In 2018, Aditi earned the Google India Udacity Android Developers Nanodegree Scholarship, as one of the top 150 students from India, and graduated with a Bachelor’s of Engineering degree in computer science. In 2019, Women Techmakers awarded Aditi a travel grant to Madrid, Spain to attend the Firebase Summit.

image Aditi at Firebase Summit 2019

Using the experience of being a woman in tech to encourage others to pursue STEM careers

Now, Aditi is a full-time software developer at Consultadd Incorporation, India, and a Women Techmakers Ambassador, and a GDG organizer for her local chapter in Pune. She contributes to the community as an organizer, speaker, and mentor.

“We organize monthly technical meetups to empower women and provide them with a platform to achieve their goals,” Aditi explains. “Being able to help others feels like I am giving it back to the community.”

Aditi says GDG and WTM have helped her develop technical skills and have also positively impacted her personal life.

“I had significant life experiences because of the Google Developer Group and Women Techmakers communities, including my first flight, my first hands-on experience with Google's trending technologies, and one-on-one interaction with Googlers and many great personalities while attending global summits,” she says. “All these things have helped me to be a person who can guide and help others and share my knowledge and experiences with hundreds of professionals today.”

Aditi describes herself as a community enthusiast, using her platform to encourage other women and students to pursue careers in technology, even if they’re brand-new to the field. She also enjoys mentoring new programmers.

“I am passionate about making an impact on others’ lives by sharing my journey and experiences and helping people face hurdles like mine with courage and confidence,” she says. “I enjoy helping people who are struggling to learn to code or who want to switch their careers to tech.”

image of Aditi presenting in a classroom

Supporting budding developers

Aditi acknowledges the adage, “Change is not easy,’’ especially when preparing for a career in technology.

“You may try very hard, give up so many times, and go through all that frustration, but remember not to quit,” she advises. “The moment you feel like quitting is the moment you need to keep pushing and get your reward.”

She has specific suggestions for making it easier to build new tech skills, too.

“Before learning a specific technology, understand yourself,” she suggests. “What works for you? What's your learning process? Then look for the appropriate resources. It can be a simple one-page tutorial or a full-fledged course. Everything is easy when the basics are clear and the foundation is strong.”

Aditi plans to continue contributing to the tech community in India and around the world, by sharing her insight, connecting with new people, and developing new technical skills. She recently welcomed a new member into her family–a baby girl–and she is growing her own regional tech community and providing so much to others in her area and the STEM field.

Know someone with a powerful story? Nominate someone in your community to be featured, or share your own personal stories with us through the story submission form!

Irem from Turkey shares her groundbreaking work in TensorFlow and advice for the community

Posted by Jennifer Kohl, Global Program Manager, Google Developer Groups

Irem presenting at a Google Developer Group event

We recently caught up with Irem Komurcu, a TensorFlow developer and researcher at Istanbul Technical University in Turkey. Irem has been a long-serving member of Google Developer Groups (GDG) Düzce and also serves as a Women Techmakers (WTM) ambassador. Her work with TensorFlow has received several accolades, including being named a Hamdi Ulukaya Girişimi fellow. As one one of twenty-four young entrepreneurs selected, she was flown to New York City last year to learn more about business and receive professional development.

With all this experience to share, we wanted you to hear how she approaches pursuing a career in tech, hones her TensorFlow skills with the GDG community, and thinks about how upcoming programmers can best position themselves for success. Check out the full interview below for more.

What inspired you to pursue a career in technology?

I first became interested in tech when I was in high school and went on to study computer engineering. At university, I had an eye-opening experience when I traveled from Turkey to the Google Developer Day event in India. It was here where I observed various code languages, products, and projects that were new to me.

In particular, I saw TensorFlow in action for the first time. Watching the powerful machine learning tool truly sparked my interest in deep learning and project development.

Can you describe your work with TensorFlow and Machine Learning?

I have studied many different aspects of Tensorflow and ML. My first work was on voice recognition and deep learning. However, I am now working as a computer vision researcher conducting various segmentation, object detection, and classification processes with Tensorflow. In my free time, I write various articles about best practices and strategies to leverage TensorFlow in ML.

What has been a useful learning resource you have used in your career?

I kicked off my studies on deep learning on tensorflow.org. It’s a basic first step, but a powerful one. There were so many blogs, codes, examples, and tutorials for me to dive into. Both the Google Developer Group and TensorFlow communities also offered chances to bounce questions and ideas off other developers as I learned.

Between these technical resources and the person-to-person support, I was lucky to start working with the GDG community while also taking the first steps of my career. There were so many opportunities to meet people and grow all around.

What is your favorite part of the Google Developer Group community?

I love being in a large community with technology-oriented people. GDG is a network of professionals who support each other, and that enables people to develop. I am continuously sharing my knowledge with other programmers as they simultaneously mentor me. The chance for us to collaborate together is truly fulfilling.

What is unique about being a developer in your country/region?

The number of women supported in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) is low in Turkey. To address this, I partner with Women Techmakers (WTM) to give educational talks on TensorFlow and machine learning to women who want to learn how to code in my country. So many women are interested in ML, but just need a friendly, familiar face to help them get started. With WTM, I’ve already given over 30 talks to women in STEM.

What advice would you give to someone who is trying to grow their career as a developer?

Keep researching new things. Read everything you can get your eyes on. Technology has been developing rapidly, and it is necessary to make sure your mind can keep up with the pace. That’s why I recommend communities like GDG that help make sure you’re up to date on the newest trends and learnings.

Want to work with other developers like Irem? Then find the right Google Developer Developer Group for you, here.

Daring to code: How one young developer found her way in a rural community in Russia

Posted by Jennifer Kohl, Google Developers Global Communities Program Manager

Luiza in her hometown, Magas

Magas is the capital of the Republic of Ingushetia, the smallest region in Russia. Centered between Chechnya and North Ossetia, the area is no stranger to conflict. Even as it rebuilds, the region has seen its unemployment numbers rise to as high as 50 percent. Magas, a mostly rural area, is home to a small population of just under six-thousand people - it’s estimated that under 100 of them are developers.

Yet one day that small group of developers decided to take their first step towards becoming a community. These founders heard of Google Developer Groups (GDG) and had seen their community meetups in action on trips to other larger cities in Russia. Inspired by how GDG brought developers together, they believed starting a community in Magas was just what they all needed to grow.

GDG Magas was up and running immediately, hosting small community events in classrooms and meeting spaces across town. And it was there, at a local meetup, where GDG Magas met Luiza.

Luiza speaking at a University competition

At the time, Luiza was a student at a local university. Equipped with a curious mind, she was hungry to learn more. She often challenged herself to think about how women could grow professionally and personally within traditional cultures. Luiza was interested in technology, a mostly unheard of career path in this small town. At the same time, Women Techmakers, a Google program that provides resources for women in technology, started collaborating with GDG chapters around the world to help women like Luiza get started on their journey.

So together, GDG Magas and Women Techmakers started hosting talks and workshops for women in the community. Eventually, they began running a programming class for beginners, and that’s where Luiza realized she had the space to truly explore her interest in code. The community organized thirteen classes, and each Saturday Luiza would join GDG Magas to learn everything from arrays, to Python, to JavaScript, and more.

“I learned everything a beginner needs: numeral systems, loops, algorithms, and even the basics of web development. I was able to work with GDG mentors to improve my skills both in the backend and frontend. Someone was always there to answer my questions.”

With GDG Magas providing Luiza with this access to learning materials and mentorship, there has been no turning back. Luiza landed a competitive role working for an internet company, will soon give her own talks at GDG events, and is even starting her own Google Developer Student Club as she completes her studies in Magas. Luiza is now at the forefront of helping a rural town become a growing tech scene, taking the lead to shape her future and that of many young developers around her.

GDG Magas and similar developer communities are growing faster than ever, thanks to determined developers just like Luiza.

Ready to find a developer community near you? Join a local Google Developer Group, here.

Introducing Spotlight: Women Techmakers series on career and professional development in tech

Posted by Caitlin Morrissey, PgM for Women Techmakers

On July 9, Women Techmakers launched the first episode of “Spotlight”, a new global program focused on amplifying the stories and pathways of women in technology across the industry. The idea for this series came from our community who were looking for more help with navigating their careers, especially during this time. We quickly realized that with our extensive network of professional women in all different parts of the tech industry, we could play a part in scaling this kind of guidance and advice to women all over the world.

The first video features Priyanka Vergadia, a Developer Advocate for Google Cloud, who shared advice on taking risks, career paths in tech, and dealing with failure. “I wanted to be on the show because I am a firm believer that hearing someone's story can inspire you to create your own beautiful journey.”

Image of Priyanka Vergadia with Spotlight host Caitlin Morrissey

Since then, we’ve been releasing weekly episodes featuring women from all over the world on themes from finding the job that’s right for you and what’s needed to be successful in that role to overcoming imposter syndrome and leading with confidence. Each woman brings a unique perspective to the table -- some have their masters in Engineering, while others went through a coding bootcamp and got into tech as a second career. This diversity in experience and backgrounds brings a richness and variety to the advice shared across the episodes, providing valuable guidance a viewer can take away, regardless of where they are in their careers.

Image of Spotlight guests: Pujaa Rajan, Jessica Early-Cha and Jacquelle Horton

The response to the series has been overwhelmingly positive so far - “I am honestly blown away by the reception of the video,” said Priyanka, who received many heartfelt messages after her episode was published. And as Spotlight continues, we’re excited to tell more stories of more women in tech and build a library of career advice that anyone can use to help navigate the tech ecosystem.

You can check out all episodes of Spotlight here, and make sure to subscribe to the Women Techmakers channel so you don’t miss out on future interviews.

Celebrating International Women’s Day with 20 tech trailblazers

Posted by Google Developer Studio

Today is International Women’s Day and we’re kicking off the celebration with a profile series featuring 20 tech trailblazers who have made significant contributions to the developer community. Many of the women we spoke to work directly with some of our educational outreach and inclusivity programs like Google Developer Groups and Women Techmakers, while others are Google Developers Experts or Googlers who do amazing work around the globe. One thing they all have in common is a dedication to making the developer community more approachable and inclusive for generations of women to come.

Read the interviews below to learn more about these amazing individuals whose passion and drive contribute to a better workplace and world.

We’re proud to celebrate #IWD2020 with them.

Garima Jain

Bengaluru, Karnataka, India ??

Android GDE
Photo of Garima Jain

Photo of Garima Jain

Tell us about something you’re working on?

I am currently working on learning OpenGL for my next task on Over’s Android application, i.e. porting image filters to use OpenGL. Last time, when I implemented filters, I used RenderScript with Lookup Tables (LUTs), which was an educational journey in itself. The team recently migrated to use OpenGL for some other features on the application and I am excited to learn and apply it to port image filters. This could then be extended and will act as a building block for video filters in the future. Personally, I am exploring Kotlin Multiplatform (KMP) as I believe multi-platform is the future and looks quite promising for it.

What is one tip you would give your fellow women developers or developers in general?

My suggestion to fellow developers is to believe in yourself and focus on positive things. The world is full of both enablers and disablers, do what is best for you :)

Do you have any special interests, hobbies, or other fun facts you’d like to share?

I love watching TV shows, dancing, and playing basketball. Recently, I have a new hobby of creating and sharing videos on TikTok :P

Moyinoluwa Adeyemi

Lagos, Nigeria ??

Android GDE, Women Techmakers Ambassador, GDG Lagos
Photo of Moyinoluwa Adeyemi

Photo of Moyinoluwa Adeyemi

Tell us about something you’re working on?

I’m currently preparing to give two talks. The first one will introduce two programming concepts to beginner Android developers. I’ll also teach them how to build a portfolio which will come in handy when they are job hunting. The other is a Keynote Address for a developer festival focusing on my journey to becoming a GDE.

What is one tip you would give your fellow women developers or developers in general?

Keep learning. That’s probably the only task that’ll remain constant throughout the span of one’s career.

Do you have any special interests, hobbies, or other fun facts you’d like to share?

Ich lerne Deutsch and I run marathons for fun.

Amanda (Chibi) Cavallaro

London, United Kingdom ??

Assistant GDE, Women Techmakers Ambassador, GDG London

Photo of Amanda (Chibi) Cavallaro

Tell us about something you’re working on?

I’ve been currently working on presentations about Actions on Google, Firebase and web technologies to give presentations and share the knowledge.

What is one tip you would give your fellow women developers or developers in general?

If you’re a beginner in tech, one thing I wish I knew before is how to study, model and understand the problem and then try to code it - ask ‘why?’ and ‘what if?’. To practice as much as I could. Not just read books and other resources but to challenge myself into practising more.

Do you have any special interests, hobbies, or other fun facts you’d like to share?

I’m an aikidoka and practicing martial arts helps me both physically and mentally. I’ve also created an action about aikido you can check it out here.

Eliza Camberogiannis

Utrecht, Netherlands ??

Assistant GDE, Women Techmakers Ambassador, GDG Netherlands
Photo of Eliza Camber

Photo of Eliza Camber

Tell us about something you’re working on?

As I work for a creative tech agency, most of the apps and tools we develop are under NDA, so, unfortunately, I can't share something specific. I am lucky enough to work somewhere I have the chance to play with all the different Android and AoG SDKs, and not only! From pilots to doctors and from athletes to anyone that takes a bus, seeing something you've built making someone's life easier or better is priceless.

What is one tip you would give your fellow women developers or developers in general?

To ask themselves every day: if not you, then who? Sometimes we assume that someone that "knows better" will reply to that Stackoverflow question; that someone else can give that talk because "I don't have something interesting to say"; or that someone else will raise their voice about the lack of inclusion in the tech world because "what do I know about this"? And at the end, we end up with dozens of unanswered questions, or only a handful of people talking about diversity, because everyone made the same assumption.

Do you have any special interests, hobbies, or other fun facts you’d like to share?

I'm a person with 100 hobbies! I get easily bored so I try to learn and do as many things as possible. One day I'll be learning how to knit, the next how to box, the other one how to decorate cakes and it goes on and on. The only two hobbies that I have since I can remember myself are books and puzzles.

Evelyn Mendes

Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil ??

Firebase GDE, Women Techmakers Ambassador
Photo of Evelyn Mendes

Photo of Evelyn Mendes

Tell us about something you’re working on?

Today I am a mobile architecture consultant and software engineer, helping my team improve the software we develop, both in the back-end and front-end and, of course, implementing Firebase in mobile applications.

What is one tip you would give your fellow women developers or developers in general?

For women, never give up. I know, sometimes it's hard to wake up every day and fight something that never seems to end, facing people who never appear to learn that we just want a place to work like anyone else without worrying about harassment, sexism, prejudice or other kinds of discrimination. Together we will end these places and create more and better places, not just for women, but for all people, because I believe this is equity, this is the future, and we just want to be respected, happy and welcome where we work.

Always remember, we are together, we fight together, we win together! <3

Do you have any special interests, hobbies, or other fun facts you’d like to share?

I always pay attention to what happens in the IT world when it comes to Trans issues and about how companies and people are dealing with it. I work a lot for inclusion and diversity. After all, for me, it's not just values and attitudes. They are part of my life, my struggle, and represent who I am.

I love to find new ways, new technologies, to teach people the things I know, and even express myself better to make the learning experience more pleasurable.

I don't know if I have a fun fact. I consider myself so boring. I spend most of my time in front of the computer or watching series, or, of course, defending my girlfriends on the internet =D

Niamh Power

Wrexham, United Kingdom ??

Firebase GDE
Photo of Niamh Power

Photo of Niamh Power

Tell us about something you’re working on?

I currently work at the bank, Monzo, in the UK. Mainly on iOS, but occasionally on Android tasks that pop up too. I’m in the borrowing team, so I work on the flows for applying for a loan, managing it, and making the experience as delightful as possible. We’re also working on some new tools to help our users understand their credit scores, which is really exciting.

What is one tip you would give your fellow women developers or developers in general?

I think a tip that I would give would be to never be afraid to be wrong and to ask questions. I spent a lot of time in my first few years worrying about what others would think, which only slowed down my own development. Another one would be to get involved in the community side of things - pursuing the GDE program. Speaking and participating in events helped my networking massively and it’s really boosted my career progression.

Do you have any special interests, hobbies, or other fun facts you’d like to share?

I work remotely, living in North Wales, so I get to go on hikes and mountain bike rides straight after work or even at lunchtime. Working in an industry which offers such flexibility is fantastic and not having to commute is such a game changer! I’ve also just returned from a month long skiing holiday in the alps, and hoping to go back again for three weeks in the summer for some mountain biking!

Joannie Huang

Taipei City, Taiwan ??

Photo of Joannie Huang

Photo of Joannie Huang

Tell us a bit about something you’re working on?

I’m now mainly working on the EdTech, teaching kids coding like Scratch and Python basics. I enjoy cultivating a new generation with tech ability through my computer science background. I've also run the Flutter Taipei with some passionate female developers since 2018 and just officially established the local branch in 2020 in order to encourage people to start using/learning Flutter!

What is one tip you would give Flutter developers?

Flutter has a strong and friendly community around the world. I would recommend searching meetup.com to see if there are any local workshops in your city. And just walk in to meet people! People always tell us that following the examples on the flutter.io is a good way to start.

Do you have any special interests, hobbies, or other fun facts you’d like to share?

I love walking in the alleys in Taipei and seeing the combination of old and modern. You might discover unique coffee or noodles from a generational street vendor. You won’t get bored while living in Taipei, a small but energetic city.

Nilay Yener

Sunnyvale, United States ??

#Flutterista, Program Manager

Photo of Nilay Yener

Tell us a bit about something you’re working on?

I work for the Flutter Developer Relations team as a Program Manager, specifically working on community programs. Community is an important part of Flutter. The goal of our community programs is to build, support, and foster the communities around Flutter and make the Flutter developers successful. Some of the programs I work on are, Flutter Google Developer Experts (GDEs) and Flutter meetups.

What is one tip you would give Flutter developers?

I encourage Flutter developers to contribute to Flutter. This has many benefits like improving the technology you work with, as well as improving your existing skills, meeting other people and giving back to the community. Flutter is an open source project and there are many ways to contribute. Flutter has a great team that welcomes everyone to join the project. You are very welcome to contribute to Flutter's code via pull requests, filing issues on Github, adding to documentation, or contributing to packages and plugins. You can help other people by asking questions in the chat channels. You can join Flutter's community programs, be a GDE, and give talks or run a Flutter meetup in your city to help other developers locally.

Do you have any special interests, hobbies, or other fun facts you’d like to share?

Before joining Google, I was one of the Google Developer Groups organizers and ran a Google meetup as a "hobby". Years later, I joined Google and now Google pays me for what I did as a hobby.

Shoko Sato

Tokyo, Japan ??

GDG Tokyo Lead, Women Techmakers Ambassador
Photo of Shoko Sato

Photo of Shoko Sato

Tell us about something you’re working on?

Hi! My name is Shoko, I'm one of three organizers of GDG Tokyo and I host various types of meetups, hands-on workshops, codelabs, and tech conferences. I was also involved in the management of Women DevFest Tokyo which focused more on the career of women engineers. I like promoting activities that support women in different industries related to IT as an engineer. I feel that our tech conferences and others need to be gender-balanced. To achieve this, I have been working to arrange a daycare center at the venues, share information on events to ensure psychological safety before the event, increase the number of women involved, and focus on creating easy access to the event.

I believe an event that women can easily participate in can be one, where anyone, regardless of being a man and a woman, is welcomed. Therefore, I am taking the initiative to create a community where people can easily join.

In my private time, I spend a lot of time planning and going to activities for GDG Tokyo. Professionally speaking, I actually work in Developer Relations at an IT company in Tokyo to support engineers; including technical public relations and tech conference management. I would like to support both the minority and majority, regardless of gender, age, nationality, corporate history, and all types of attributes and layers, working to create a place where each one of engineers can shine.

What is one tip you would give your fellow women developers or developers in general?

You don't need to compare gender, age, nationality, company history, career, and so on to others.

"I'm sure you’re doing great! You should have confidence and believe in yourself."

If there are 100 people, there are 100 ways of living. It may be important to look for a role model thinking, "I want to be like that person in the future." You don't have to think you are inferior, compared to others. What really matters to you? It’s that “you have confidence and you believe in yourself.”

I would say you should work on what you like with confidence. And have a diverse group of friends. If you have any concerns, your friends will help you.

Do you have any special interests, hobbies, or other fun facts you’d like to share?

I spend a lot of my time and work planning activities related to "engineers’ empowerment." The purpose of those activities is different but the basic idea is the same. I have experienced many kinds of jobs and setbacks before. They often told me in the past that life would be difficult because I’m a woman, so I constantly wished I was born as a man. It was an unpleasant experience and I do not want the next generation to experience that.

A lot of people see things in their culture following their experiences, so I think it's inevitable that there is an unconscious bias. This is why I would like to change that bias. I am keen to create organizations and communities where a wide variety of engineers can spend time together. I will continue to work in such a manner so that my work and my personal life can be linked to different activities, leaving eventually a positive impact on the entire IT industry.

Neem Serra

Missouri, United States ??

Women Techmakers Ambassador, GDG St. Louis Lead

Photo of Neem Serra

Tell us about something you’re working on?

I just finished working on a chapter for the Swift For Good book! All revenue from the book goes to Black Girls Code. I wrote my chapter on extensions in Swift, and examples of how a mommy class would interact with a baby class. I plan on writing more things in the future that use real-world examples to make complicated technical topics more understandable.

What is one tip you would give your fellow women developers or developers in general?

Find a safe group of friends that will act as your board of advisors and help you grow towards your best self. Some days, it feels like there can only be one person that can succeed, but it's not true! Every time you feel the urge to tear someone down, try to instead find someone to help out instead.

Do you have any special interests, hobbies, or other fun facts you’d like to share?

I thought that I would have to take a step back after having my baby, but I've learned that I've become laser focused on doing what I want to do. I was able to write a new technical talk with a mommy class learning how to handle a baby class and I even brought my baby on stage while giving the talk at a conference.

Lynn Langit

Minneapolis, United States ??

Google Cloud GDE
Photo of Lynn Langit

Photo of Lynn Langit

Tell us about something you’re working on?

I have been contracting with bioinformatics research groups, providing guidance and artifacts as they adopt public cloud for analysis.

Projects included reviewing, creating and delivering cloud pipelines and training materials. Clients include The Broad Institute, CSIRO Bioinformatics and Imperial College of London. As part of this work, I created an open source course on GitHub `GCP-for-Bioinformatics'.

What is one tip you would give your fellow women developers or developers in general?

Build and iterate often. Get feedback from actual customers. I also say this as `MVP-often`. For my team, this has meant building minimum viable genomics pipelines. I wrote about one example of this, using the `blastn` analysis tool, on Medium.

Do you have any special interests, hobbies, or other fun facts you’d like to share?

I learned Calculus at age 51 from Khan Academy and 3Blue1Brown (Grant Sanderson). I love math.

Daniela Petruzalek

London, United Kingdom ??

Google Cloud GDE
Photo of Daniela Petruzalek

Photo of Daniela Petruzalek

Tell us about something you’re working on?

I’m currently working on a follow up project to my Pac Man from Scratch tutorial. I’ve built this tutorial to teach the Go programming language using game development as a background. Now the next phase will be to make a second game that will be used to teach about cloud technologies and streaming using WebRTC.

What is one tip you would give your fellow women developers or developers in general?

Make a list of the things you hate and study those, and try to understand them to the best of your capabilities. The things that we love are usually easy to learn, but the things that we hate are our weaknesses. You don’t need to become an expert in any of them, but by just understanding you will be able to overcome your weaknesses and maybe even start to love them, at which point they become less of your weaknesses and start compounding to become another part of your strengths.

Do you have any special interests, hobbies, or other fun facts you’d like to share?

I really love video games, and they are the main reason I’ve started my career in IT. I never became a game developer, but I really like how games challenge you to solve cool problems while also allowing your creativity to run free. Nowadays I’m slowly starting to introduce game development as one of my hobbies and I still dream of someday publishing my own indie game. When not working on game development, I’m really into playing classic games from the 8 and 16-bit era.

Katerina Skroumpelou

Athens, Greece ??

Google Maps Platform GDE
Photo of Katerina Skroumpelou

Photo of Katerina Skroumpelou

Tell us about something you’re working on?

Right now, I'm working on an enterprise application using Angular and the Google Cloud. I usually have a side project running, and at the moment my side projects include experimenting with features of the Google Maps Platform!

What is one tip you would give your fellow women developers or developers in general?

I don't know if that feeling exists because I am a woman, or if everyone feels the same, but here it goes: I have most usually worked in teams where there are no other women developers. So I have always felt like I have to push myself and constantly work harder to prove I am worthy of that position "despite being me/despite being a woman". Well, don't do that. Work hard and push your limits if you want to and if it makes you happy. But do it for yourself, if you want to. Don't do it for others. Nobody is in any position to judge you or measure you or question your worthy-ness.

Do you have any special interests, hobbies, or other fun facts you’d like to share?

I love walking and hiking. It clears my mind, and it's one of the few places I really feel "at home". I also like to pole dance, and I have a quest to visit as much of the world as I possibly can. I have an actual paper map, and I pin actual metallic pins on it with all the places I've visited! Fun fact, though, I've lived in the same neighbourhood for all my life, with cats all around me.

Kristina Simakova

Oslo, Norway ??

Google Maps Platform GDE

Photo of Kristina Simakova

Tell us about something you’re working on?

I have recently started working on a side-project: wall decoration AR app. When I moved to a new place, I was struggling with trying to imagine how and where I should place wall decorations, so I hope to solve it with AR.

What is one tip you would give your fellow women developers or developers in general?

Be an expert in your field but keep an eye on other technologies. Challenge yourself, experiment and keep learning. Are you an Android developer? Do Flutter Codelabs, learn about actions for Google Assistant.

Do you have any special interests, hobbies, or other fun facts you’d like to share?

Fun facts:

I have been on a research expedition for 7 days on an icebreaker ship somewhere between Greenland and Svalbard studying ice :)

I made the “Around the World” trip alone.

Hobbies: travel, reading stories about startups, trying to cook Asian cuisine, making cakes when I cannot solve a problem in my code.

Moonlit Beshimov

Mountain View, United States ??

Partner Development Manager, Google Play Games, Google
Photo of Moonlit Beshimov

Photo of Moonlit Beshimov

Tell us about something you’re working on?

I am a Business Development Manager on Google Play's Games business development team. My baby brother thinks that this means that I can play mobile games all day long, which is half true. :) I partner with the best-in-class mobile game developers to help them grow their businesses on Google Play, working together on new games' go-to-market strategies as well as evolving their business models and monetization designs. Representing the world's largest mobile gaming platforms, I often share market and industry level insights that help all developers grow. At the same time, representing the complex ecosystem of mobile game developers, I work with Google Play's product teams to ensure developers' feedback, pain points and needs are addressed by us!

In the past two years, I've been leading a global initiative to boost growth and adoption of a recent monetization innovation in the mobile gaming industry: in-game subscriptions. I partnered with the early innovators to teach other developers, and also consulted developers on how to incorporate the new model into their existing design. Rising tide raises all boats. I love my job because even though the mobile gaming industry is competitive, there are tons of opportunities to learn from each other, build on each other's ideas, innovate and grow together. As leaders of the industry, we also discuss difficult questions such as digital well-being in the context of mobile gaming. More to come on this, let me know if you have ideas!

What is one tip you would give your fellow women developers or developers in general?

Your most valuable asset is your unique perspectives and crazy ideas. Women developers are still the minority in the workforce, but women consumers are a major business opportunity. Your ideas and points of view, especially the ones that no one else seems to have thought of, are the ones that will make the biggest difference. So confidently offer your most unique perspectives and craziest ideas, speak up. Be brave, not perfect!

Do you have any special interests, hobbies, or other fun facts you’d like to share?

I love challenging myself with hobbies that I'm not naturally good at, such as public speaking and athletics. I've been doing Toastmasters to overcome my fear of public speaking. I shared this journey in my recent TEDx talk. I was also that chubby kid growing up, so I signed up for Tough Mudder, Spartan races with my friends and colleagues (peer pressure is the best motivator to work out regularly!) and picked up rock climbing. However, mostly recently, my new found love is my three-months old daughter! Motherhood is probably the most challenging activity I've ever done. Hats off to all the working moms out there!

Vesna Doknic

London, United Kingdom ??

Strategic Partner Manager, Google Play - London, Google
Photo of Vesna Doknic

Photo of Vesna Doknic

Tell us about something you’re working on?

I am currently working as a Strategic Partner Manager on Google Play, helping developers from all over Europe be more successful on Android. I have been in the mobile space for most of my career, working in Mobile Product Management before joining Google.

What is one tip you would give your fellow women Product Managers or Product Managers in general?

Product management work is extremely cross-functional, and it pays to remember that relationships are everything. Making sure all the pieces fit together calls for master planning and lots of trust, so make sure you invest and nurture your key working relationships.

Do you have any special interests, hobbies, or other fun facts you’d like to share?

My other great passions in life are food (I run a culinary blog and have a robust appetite), cinema and its history (Mark Kermode = god), music and festivals (but sadly not the muddy kind), and corgis (especially my own - Taxi. He is a good boy.)

Alexandrina Garcia-Verdin

Sunnyvale, United States ??

G Suite Developer Advocate, Google
Photo of Alexandrina Garcia-Verdin

Photo of Alexandrina Garcia-Verdin

Tell us about something you’re working on?

I am interested in making the word "developer" be more inclusive of citizen developers and creating samples, tutorials, videos, and hopefully a podcast for that audience. These are folks like myself, who do not come from traditional computer science backgrounds but love learning about how to build apps as a hobby or learn from tinkering with projects at work. You see, a "developer" is someone who builds apps or automations on a computer, sometimes it's with code and sometimes it's with programs that abstract code, but people have a strong association with the word as only meaning "coder" exclusively. What that does is it creates limiting beliefs about what content to explore because they see articles with the title "developer" included and think "oh that's not for me", omitting content that is indeed for them. I am actively interested in changing the conversation to make the "developer world" a more inclusive place where anyone who builds SQL queries, dashboards, workflows, or code -- all understand they are developers aka "builders" on computers. I believe this would also make content accessible to more diverse audiences. Google has created so many amazing products, and with user experience always in mind, I think it's important for everyone to feel comfortable reading what's out there before making a decision on whether it's for them, because I have personally found myself building all types of things because of the sheer ease of use of the products, and this is thanks to opening myself up to learning from all developer content.

What is one tip you would give your fellow women developers or developers in general?

My peer Jennifer Thomas upon returning from her first coding bootcamp said it best. She learned there is no "one way" of doing things, and that "every person builds things in their specific area of expertise." I think this is a powerful reminder that "I am enough" whenever we are haunted by imposter syndrome. I strongly believe that conversations like these, where we expose limiting beliefs and create safe spaces for vulnerable and empowering exchanges, are the biggest accelerators to making developer communities more diverse. When people feel like they can be themselves in their own happy capacity as a builder (without expectations imposed), we will rapidly help each other to thrive.

So please keep talking and sharing about your learnings, it helps support everyone on their journey.

Do you have any special interests, hobbies, or other fun facts you’d like to share?

I am extremely passionate about everything I can learn on regenerative ecological design, which is a framework for living in a harmonious way with our planet by optimizing my habits (inputs and outputs). My top three subjects at hand are being plastic free (zero waste), growing food via permaculture methods, and building cob homes (earthquake and fire proof earthen homes). As such l took a week long course to learn how to build a home out of cob (a monolithic structure made of clay, sand, and straw) at Quail Springs (a nonprofit in Santa Barbara). I am in love with how accessible it makes home building, and am working on making that content available on YouTube for my teachers Sasha and Johno. I am also volunteering to modernize a nonprofit's website that has written building codes for cob structures called CobCode.org. Their work is amazing, and I wish to support the movement in whatever way I can so more people can legally build healthy and affordable homes.

Follow updates and content by AGV on Twitter at @TechAndEco

Anu Srivastava

New York City, United States ??

G Suite Developer Advocate, Google
Photo of Anu Srivastava

Photo of Anu Srivastava

Tell us about something you’re working on?

G Suite Solutions Gallery

I created a gallery for both Googlers and external developers to showcase how developing with G Suite solves real business problems. Our goal is to inspire new developers to create meaningful integrations to boost productivity and collaboration like team time management solutions and event planning, etc.

What is one tip you would give your fellow women developers or developers in general?

Find a mentor and create a strong network of developers in your community.

Do you have any special interests, hobbies, or other fun facts you’d like to share?

I used to be a dancer in a group that recreated pop music videos in local performances around the SF Bay Area.

Margaret Maynard-Reid

Seattle, United States ??

Machine Learning GDE, Women Techmakers Ambassador, GDG Seattle
Photo of Margaret Maynard-Reid

Photo of Margaret Maynard-Reid

Tell us about something you’re working on?

I recently curated an awesome-list of TensorFlow Lite models, samples and tutorials on GitHub. This is a project that could be very impactful for the TensorFlow community by helping those who want to implement their models on mobile and edge devices. I’m working on engaging the community to further expand the list. ML practitioners, engineers and researchers can contribute.

What is one tip you would give your fellow women developers or developers in general?

Stay curious and keep learning. My emphasis on continuous learning opens doors for me. It has helped provide the greatest opportunities to solve interesting problems with cutting edge tech.

Do you have any special interests, hobbies, or other fun facts you’d like to share?

Outside of work I write blog posts, speak at conferences, and lead tech communities. I’ve always wanted to study art - I recently started drawing and I absolutely love it! I’m excited about applying AI/ML to art and design.

Lesly Zerna

Cochabamba, Bolivia ??

Machine Learning GDE
Photo of Lesly Zerna

Photo of Lesly Zerna

Tell us about something you’re working on?

I am working on a project to get started with teaching machines to play and compose!

I was inspired by this book: "Generative Deep Learning" by David Foster.

I have loved music since I was a child! And since the first time I learned about Google Magenta, I wanted to learn more about teaching machines about music and art in general.

This is a great opportunity to get started with something a bit different from what I have done before, but one that helps me to combine my passion for technology and music.

What is one tip you would give your fellow women developers or developers in general?

Give it a try!

I think when you are new to something it is normal to be nervous or scared, but everyone should take that first step! It is not easy but it is rewarding. Either you learn or win!

Don't be afraid to try something with tech, just baby steps and you'll have fun!

Do you have any special interests, hobbies, or other fun facts you’d like to share?

Oh I love music, learning about tech and traveling to meet new cultures, people and landscapes. I love outdoor activities as well as staying home or being at a coffee place studying. Also, sharing knowledge and helping other people to find new perspectives to see the world.


Interested in becoming a part of the Google developer community? Here’s more information on the programs we’ve shared above:

GDG logo

The Google Developer Groups program gives developers the opportunity to meet local developers with similar interests in technology. A GDG meetup event includes talks on a wide range of technical topics where you can learn new skills through hands-on workshops. The community prides itself on being an inclusive environment where everyone and anyone interested in tech - from beginner developers to experienced professionals - all are welcome to join.

Join a Google Developer Group chapter near you here.

Apply to become a Google Developer Group organizer here.

Follow Google Developer Groups on Twitter here.

Subscribe to the Google Developer Groups YouTube channel here.

Women Techmakers logo

Founded in 2014, Google’s Women Techmakers is dedicated to helping all women thrive in tech through community, visibility and resources. With a member base of over 100,000 women developers, we’re working with communities across the globe to build a world where all women can thrive in tech. Our community consists of over 740 Women Techmakers Ambassadors across over 100 countries. These ambassadors are the north star of our movement. They are leaders committed to their communities, using Women Techmaker resources to build space and visibility so that all women could thrive in tech.

Become a Women Techmakers Member here.

Follow Women Techmakers on Twitter here.

GDE logo

The Google Developers Experts 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, publishing content, and building innovative apps. Experts actively contribute to and support the developer and startup ecosystems around the world, helping them build and launch highly innovative apps. More than 800 Experts represent 18+ Google technologies around the world!

Learn more about the Google Developers Experts program and its eligibility criteria here.

Follow Google Developers Experts on Twitter here and LinkedIn here.

Women Techmakers Summit Europe: Supporting Diversity & Inclusion in Tech

Posted By Franziska Hauck and Katharina Lindenthal , Google Developer Relations Europe

Once a year, we invite community organizers and influencers from developer groups that support diversity and inclusion in their local tech ecosystem to the Women Techmakers Summit Europe. The Women Techmakers Summit is designed to provide training opportunities, share best practices, show success stories and build meaningful relationships. The fourth edition of the WTM Summit in Europe took place in Warsaw, one of Europe’s most innovative tech and startup ecosystems.

Such positive energy! All 120 attendees of the WTM Summit Europe 2019Such positive energy! All 120 attendees of the WTM Summit Europe 2019

Expertise from the Community for the Community

The Women Techmakers Summit hosted 120 people, all women and men that are leading tech communities across Europe. With more than half of the sessions being delivered by community influencers, the group came together to share their best practices, learn from each other and discuss all things related to diversity & inclusion. “A fantastic opportunity to meet other community organizers across Europe and learn from each other.”

We also invited role models to draw inspiration and motivation from. Head of Google for Startups, Agnieszka Hryniewicz-Bieniek, and Cloud Engineer, Ewa Maciaś, demonstrated that stepping out of our comfort zone is something we should do more and more. No one has the right answers from the start but by trying out new ways, we can carve our individual paths. Fear of failure is real. It should not keep us from experimenting, though.

Google’s Natalie Villalobos, head of the Women Techmakers program, and Emma Haruka Iwao, record breaker for calculating the most accurate value of Pi with Google Cloud, gave a glimpse into their personal stories. Their insights? Sometimes we need to go through hard times. They equipped us with the right mindset to push through, become your boss and succeed.

This left the attendees with the right motivation to get back to their communities: “This was my first WTM Summit, and it was an incredible experience. I met some amazing ladies and role models, and will be happy to share the inspiration I got with my local community.”

Googler Emma Haruka Iwao sharing her journey to break the world record for calculating the most accurate value of Pi Googler Emma Haruka Iwao sharing her journey to break the world record for calculating the most accurate value of Pi

Building the Basis for Diversity and Inclusion

“Being at the WTM Summit felt like being inside a family. I felt really included like at no conference before." To make everyone feel welcome, a code of conduct was visible for all attendees, and prayers and parents spaces were provided for all attendees. The itself needed to become the inspiration for community organizers and influencers to carry the learnings back to the communities.

Organizers working together to develop best practices to foster diversity and inclusion in their tech communities Organizers working together to develop best practices to foster diversity and inclusion in their tech communities

Women Techmakers: Changing the Narrative

One of the core elements of Women Techmakers is creating and providing community for women in tech. Women Techmakers Ambassadors thrive diversity and inclusion initiatives in their local tech community to help to bring more women into the industry. In Europe, more than 150 WTM Ambassadors from 25 countries support their local tech communities to close the gap between the number of women and men in the industry. Meetup organizers and community advocates who want to achieve parity can join the Women Techmakers program. As members, they are given the tools and opportunities to change the narrative.

If you are interested in joining the WTM Ambassadors Program, reach out to [email protected]

International Women’s Day’19 featuring Actions on Google

Posted by Marisa Pareti, Rubi Martinez & Jessica Earley-Cha

In celebration of International Women’s Day, Women Techmakers hosted its sixth annual summit series to acknowledge and celebrate women in the tech industry, and to create a space for attendees to build community, hear from industry leaders, and learn new skills. The series featured 19 summits and 305 meetups across 87 countries.

This year, Women Techmakers partnered with the Actions on Google team to host technical workshops at these events so attendees could learn the fundamental concepts to develop Actions for the Google Assistant.Together, we created hundreds of new Actions for the Assistant. Check out some of the highlights of this year’s summit in the video below:

Technical Workshop Details

If you couldn’t attend any of our meetups this past year, we’ll cover our technical workshops now so you can start building for the Assistant from home. The technical workshop kicked off by introducing Actions on Google — the platform that enables developers to build Actions for the Google Assistant. Participants got hands-on experience building their first Action with the following features:

  • Users can start a conversation by explicitly calling the Action by name, which then responds with a greeting message.
  • Once in conversation, users are prompted to provide their favorite color. The Action parses the user’s input to extract the information it needs (namely, the color parameter).
  • If a color is provided, the Action processes the color parameter to auto-generate a “lucky number” to send back to the user and the conversation ends.
  • If no color is provided, the Action sends the user additional prompts until the parameter is extracted.
  • Users can explicitly leave the conversation at any time.

During Codelab level 1, participants learned how to parse the user’s input by using Dialogflow, a tool that uses Machine Learning and acted as their Natural Language Processor (NLP). Dialogflow processes what the user says and extracts important information from that input to identify how to fulfill the user’s request. Participants configured Dialogflow and connected it to their code’s back-end using Dialogflow’s inline editor. In the editor, participants added their code and tested their Action in the Action Simulator.

In Codelab level 2, participants continued building on their Action, adding features such as:

  • Supports deep links to directly launch the user into certain points of dialog
  • Uses utilities provided by the Actions on Google platform to fetch the user’s name and address them personally
  • Responds with follow-up questions to further the conversation
  • Presents users with a rich visual response complete with sound effects

Instead of using Dialogflow’s inline editor, participants set up a Cloud Functions for Firebase as their server.

You can learn more about developing your own Actions here. To support developers’ efforts in building great Actions for the Google Assistant, the team also has a developer community program.

Alex Eremia, a workshop attendee, reflected, “I think voice applications will have a huge impact on society both today and in the future. It will become a natural way we interact with the items around us.”

From keynotes, fireside chats, and interactive workshops, the Women Techmakers summit attendees enjoyed a mixture of technical and inspirational content. If you’re interested in learning more and getting involved, follow us WTM on twitter, check out our website and sign up to become a member.

To learn more Actions on Google and how to build for the Google Assistant, be sure to follow us on Twitter, and join our Reddit community!

Increasing Diversity: Cloud Study Jam for Women Techmakers in Europe

Posted by Franziska Hauck, DevRel Ecosystem Regional Lead DACH

When we look at the community landscape in programming in 2019, we find people of all backgrounds and with expertise as varied as the people themselves. There are developer groups for every imaginable interest out there. What becomes apparent, though, is that the allocation is not as equally balanced as it might be. In Europe, we observe that more programming women are in front-end development and active in the associated groups.

But what about in cloud? Recently, Global Knowledge published a ranking that showed that Google Cloud Certification is the most coveted achievement in the labor market. We knew that the interest was there. How could we capture it and get more women and diverse poeple involved? [Indeed, we had seen women succeed and in this chosen field at that. It was time to contribute to seeing more success stories coming our way.]

Immediately the Cloud Study Jam came to mind. This campaign is a self-study, highly individualized study jam for Google Developer Groups (GDGs) and other tech meetups. Organizers get access to study materials to help them prepare for their event, register it on the global map and conduct the activity with their attendees in any location they choose. Attendees receive free Qwiklabs credits to complete a number of courses of their choice. The platform even offers a complete Google Cloud environment - the best training ground for aspiring and advanced programmers!

GDGs form one pillar of our community programs. One of the other cornerstones is the Women Techmakers program with which we engage and involve organizers interested in increasing diversity worldwide. Cloud Study Jams in the local groups, with dedicated Women Techmakers, seemed like the most natural fit for us. And, as we soon realized, so thought the organizers.

For us - Almo, Abdallah and Franziska - that was the start of a great initiative and an even bigger road trip. Together with local volunteers from Google and the groups, we held 11 Cloud Study Jams all over Europe in March and April.

Over 450 attendees, 80 % of them women, learned about Cloud technologies.

This was some of their feedback:

“This made me aim for the Cloud Certificate exam as my next goal in my career!”

“I found useful everything! The labs are interesting... and I would like to have more meetups like this.”

“The labs are interesting, at least both that we did. I would like to have more meetups like this!”

As surmised, many attendees were indeed front-end developers. It was amazing to see that, with the courses, they “converted” to Cloud and are now going forward as ambassadors. We also saw quite a big number of data scientists and back-end developers. All in all, it was a great mix of enthusiastic participants.

Cloud Study Jams are a great way to engage group members by guided materials. The way they are designed makes it easy for the organizers to focus on the participants. Since attendees follow their chosen courses on their own organizers act as facilitators. They need only jump in when organizational questions arise.

If you would like to hold a Cloud Study Jam with your group or organization you will find more information here. Register your event via the link to get access to the free Qwiklabs credits for your attendees.

We are very much looking forward to supporting you!

Almo, Abdallah, Franziska & the European DevRel Ecosystem