Tag Archives: women techmakers

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 🇹🇼

#Flutterista
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.







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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

Let’s hit the road! Join Google Developers Community Roadshow

Posted by Przemek Pardel, Developer Relations Program Manager, Regional Lead

This summer, Google Developers team is touring 10 countries and 14 cities in Europe in a colorful community bus. We'll be visiting university campuses and technology parks to meet you locally and talk about our programs for developers and start-ups.

Join us to find out how Google supports developer communities. Learn about Google Developer Groups, Women Techmakers program and various ways how we engage with the broader developer community in Europe and around the world.

Our bus will stop in the following locations between 12.00 and 4pm:

  • 4th June, Estonia, Tallinn
  • 6th June, Latvia, Riga
  • 8th June, Lithuania, Vilnius
  • 11th June, Poland, Gdańsk
  • 13th June, Poland, Poznań
  • 15th June, Poland, Kraków
  • 18th June, Slovenia, Ljubljana
  • 19th June, Croatia, Zagreb
  • 21st June, Bulgaria, Sofia

Want to meet us on the way? Sign up for the event in your city here.

What to expect:

  • Information: learn more about how Google supports developer communities around the world, from content, speakers to a global network
  • Network: with other community organizers from your city
  • Workshops: join some of our product workshops on tour (Actions on Google, Google Cloud, Machine Learning), and meet with Google teams
  • Fun: live music, games and more!

Are you interested in starting a new developer community or are you an organizer who would like to join the global Google Community Program? Let us know and receive an invitation-only pass to our private events.

Google Developers team

Let’s hit the road! Join Google Developers Community Roadshow

Posted by Przemek Pardel, Developer Relations Program Manager, Regional Lead

This summer, Google Developers team is touring 10 countries and 14 cities in Europe in a colorful community bus. We'll be visiting university campuses and technology parks to meet you locally and talk about our programs for developers and start-ups.

Join us to find out how Google supports developer communities. Learn about Google Developer Groups, Women Techmakers program and various ways how we engage with the broader developer community in Europe and around the world.

Our bus will stop in the following locations between 12.00 and 4pm:

  • 4th June, Estonia, Tallinn
  • 6th June, Latvia, Riga
  • 8th June, Lithuania, Vilnius
  • 11th June, Poland, Gdańsk
  • 13th June, Poland, Poznań
  • 15th June, Poland, Kraków
  • 18th June, Slovenia, Ljubljana
  • 19th June, Croatia, Zagreb
  • 21st June, Bulgaria, Sofia

Want to meet us on the way? Sign up for the event in your city here.

What to expect:

  • Information: learn more about how Google supports developer communities around the world, from content, speakers to a global network
  • Network: with other community organizers from your city
  • Workshops: join some of our product workshops on tour (Actions on Google, Google Cloud, Machine Learning), and meet with Google teams
  • Fun: live music, games and more!

Are you interested in starting a new developer community or are you an organizer who would like to join the global Google Community Program? Let us know and receive an invitation-only pass to our private events.

Google Developers team

Announcing the Women Techmakers Udacity Scholarship

Posted by Amy Schapiro and the Women Techmakers team

The community of women in tech is growing in numbers and influence, which we witnessed firsthand just last week at Google I/O, Google's biggest developer conference of the year. Our total attendees were 25% women, thanks in large part to creating a number of cross-industry partnerships supporting women developer communities. 25% of the speakers were women as well.

We know working together as a community is key to supporting women in tech. To that end, we are excited to announce a new collaborative resource. Women Techmakers is launching a new scholarship for women in tech around the world to increase their skills through enrolling in an online technical degree - the Women Techmakers Udacity Scholarship. Women Techmakers, Google's global program for women in technology, provides visibility, community and resources for women and allies around the world. Women Techmakers has partnered with Udacity, one of the world's leading online training platforms, as Udacity's flagship partner for women in technology to provide this scholarship to women across experience levels and geographies.

This new scholarship provides the opportunity for women to earn online certification in Android Basics , Android Developer, Front-End Web Developer and Full-Stack Developer, all courses co-designed by Google experts, and includes opportunities for women at multiple skill levels. Benefits include special access to a community of Googlers and a cross-cohort global online community. Upon completion of the Nanodegree within one year, scholars will receive certification from Udacity, a certificate of completion from Women Techmakers, a resume review by a Googler, and more.

This scholarship is the newest offering in a portfolio of Women Techmakers programs to support women and allies globally, including Membership for curated, personalized professional support, our video series and guides on building inclusive tech hubs, and our Scholars program, which provides funding and support for university women studying computer science.

Click here to learn more and apply by June 9th, 2017.