What do I do with a Computer Science degree? Is writing code for a living boring? What is the starting salary for a person with a CS degree? Get all these questions answered and more …

Seattle Girl Geek Dinners is excited to collaborate with the Computer Science Department at University of Washington in putting together a fun, interactive, informative event the evening of April 24th. The goal of the event is to highlight a variety of professional career options that are available in the field of science/engineering to women who are considering or are in their first year of studying computer science.

Our evening will entail networking games, dinner, Q and A for our panelists, and door prizes ( I hear rumors of an Xbox and Surface being given away as some of the prizes …) What a great way to get your questions answered about all of the cool career options available in computer science, as well as expand your network, find a professional mentor, and have some fun!

Panelists will be representing the following companies: Microsoft, Google, Facebook, Expedia, Salesforce and Amazon.com.

This event is for students only!

Date: Thursday, April 24th, 2014

Time: 6-8pm

Location: Paul G. Allen Center for Computer Science & Engineering,

185 Stevens Way, Seattle, WA 98195


6-6:30pm Networking game/Dinner

6:35-7:30pm Panel Discussion

7:30-8pm Networking/Wrap up/Prizes

Our Amazing Panelists!

Joy Chik – Microsoft

As Partner Director of Development, Joy Chik is responsible for delivering a rich and fluid desktop and application remoting solution called Remote Desktop Services (RDS) which generates $1B revenue as of FY12.  RDS  is the workload within Windows Server that enables users to connect to virtual desktops, session-based desktops and RemoteApp programs.  The key value that RDS provides is the ability to centralize and control the applications and data that employees need to perform their job, while making them accessible from the wide variety of devices the employees use.  This provides “work anywhere from any device” while ensuring that your control and compliance needs are met. Joy joined Microsoft in June 1998.  She started as a software design engineer in the Windows NT Terminal Server group and worked on features such as Remote Desktop Protocol.  Prior to joining Microsoft full time, Joy interned at Microsoft with the Exchange team in 1996.  She graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in Computer Science from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Troy, NY in 1998. Joy enjoys traveling; she has visited every continent except Antarctica.  Joy practices yoga on a daily basis.  She also enjoys biking, hiking and watching movies on weekends.

Dana Zhang – Google

Dana Zhang is currently a Software Engineer at Google working on quality and optimization of real time bidding of display advertisements. She completed a PhD in Data Mining for Role Base Access Control at The University of Melbourne and was sponsored by CA Labs, CA Technologies. Prior to her PhD, Dana completed a Bachelor of Computer Science (Honours) at the same institution, focusing on Network Intrusion Detection Systems in her final year. During her studies, she interned in both research and industry, including the identity services team at Amazon.com, web services at CSIRO and maps monetization at Google. Dana enjoys practical data mining projects with real world applications. 

Komal Kashiramka – Facebook

Komal Kashiramka has industry experience of more than 11 years. Her passion for software started from 5th grade. While pursuing her MS in Computer and Information Science at University of Minnesota, she did a co-op with IBM. In 2004, she joined Microsoft as a Software Design Engineer and continued to work on different products: Corporate Error Reporting, System Center Operations Manager and Exchange Server. In 2013, Komal changed companies to join the Facebook Ads Interfaces team. During her tenure, she has been technical lead on various teams. She has experience building large-scale enterprise and cloud products, as well as, easy to use well-crafted user interfaces. She has provided technical and career mentorship for over 10 years. She has also developed stand-alone and mobile apps in her leisure time. She strives on helping other women succeed both as an engineer and homemaker. 

Anna Cavender – Google

Anna Cavender is a Software Engineer at Google working on Google+ Hangouts video calls focusing on accessibility for deaf, hard of hearing, and blind users. She earned her Ph.D. in 2010 from the Department of Computer Science and Engineering at the University of Washington and her B.S. in Computer and Information Science from the University of Oregon in 2004. Both her work and research interests lie in accessible technology for people with disabilities. Her dissertation projects focused on technology that encourages communication and educational access for deaf and hard of hearing students (specifically, MobileASL for enabling real-time sign language video over cell phones; ASL-STEM Forum for on-line video discussion about signing for Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math; and ClassInFocus to provide better visual access to mainstream classrooms including remote interpreting and captioning resources). She has contributed to a number of other accessibility research projects that target children with mobility impairments and blind people. She was the recipient of the Computing Research Association (CRA) Outstanding Undergraduate Award in 2004, was a National Science Foundation (NSF) Graduate Research Fellow from 2005-2008, and was the winner of the Graduate Medal at the University of Washington in 2010.

Diana Omuoyo – Expedia

Diana Omuoyo is a Performance Engineer on the Expedia Worldwide Engineering group at Expedia inc. She has been with Expedia almost 3 years. Prior to Expedia, she worked for a couple of Fortune 500 companies in Cleveland OH. She graduated with a Masters Degree in Information Systems from Baylor University, and holds a Bachelors Degree in Finance and Banking. Her career in IT has spanned different roles; including Web/Application Development, Network Tech, Business Intelligence and now Performance Engineering. During her free time she enjoys playing tennis and travelling.

Sandra Lemon – Microsoft

I graduated with Honors from Meredith College with a degree in Mathematics and a minor in Computer Science.  I worked as a Developer for 8 years, mostly focused on web sites and web services, before becoming a Development Lead at Microsoft in 2009.  I led a team of engineers to build the current WindowsPhone.com website and the Windows Phone Find My Phone feature.  I am now a Senior Development Manager at 343 Industries (still at Microsoft) working on new and yet to be announced Halo products.  I also manage the HaloWaypoint.com website.  I get geeked out by web technology, user experience, search engine optimization, monitoring systems and I absolutely love video games.  I am also a mother to 3 adorable, tech savvy and Halo crazed kids. 

Bhavani Rehani  – Salesforce.com

Bhavani is a Senior Member of Technical Staff with Salesforce.com. She holds a MSIT-SE in Software Engineering from Carnegie Mellon University.

Alyssa Pitman – Google

Alyssa Pittman studied computer engineering at the University of Washington and received bachelor’s and master’s degrees. She is currently a Software Engineer at Google.

Crystal Hoyer – Microsoft

Hello everyone!  Almost 10 years ago I graduated from the UW with a degree in Computer Engineering and Business.  During my time at UW I worked as a research assistant with Professor Richard Anderson around tablet technology in classrooms and created a seminar course targeting women interested in CSE.  From there I joined Microsoft as a program manager.  During my time at Microsoft I have worked across the company in teams such as Office, Azure, Yammer and am now a manager in Skype.  Computer engineering captured my interest because I love working through challenging problems, being a part of a highly interactive team and being a part of creating technology to improve people’s lives.  In addition to my work at Skype, I enjoy hosting murder mystery parties, learning new hobbies, building robots and reading. 

Esin Saka, PhD – Microsoft

Dr. Esin Saka is an applied researcher at Microsoft since 2011 and the Vice Chair of the recently founded ACM SIGKDD Seattle Chapter. She earned her PhD degree in Computer Science and Engineering from the University of Louisville, and received the BS (with a double major in mathematics) and MS degrees in Computer Engineering from the Middle East Technical University (METU), Turkey. She has published several scientific articles and received multiple honors, including but not limited to being recognized by Who’s Who Among Students in American Universities and Colleges, receiving A Google WSDM and WAW Conference Grant and Travel Award from among only two recipients worldwide, and representing Turkey as Turkey Team Deputy Leader at X. Balkan Olympiad in Informatics.  Prior to joining Microsoft, she was with the Scientific and Technical Research Council of Turkey (TÜBİTAK) as a researcher. She has been supporting events that encourage computer science education, such as International Olympiads in Informatics, CRA-W Grad Cohort, Grace Hopper Conference, IGNITE (Inspiring Girls Now in Technology Evolution), INSPIRE (Program for minorities -&females- and non-minorities to increase interest for engineering), and others.

Tricia Lee – Expedia

Tricia Lee is a UW alumni working as a Software Development Engineer at Expedia.  While studying for her undergraduate degree, she has interned at Microsoft, Boeing and PureNetwork (which was acquired by Cisco).  After her graduation from UW CSE in 2007, she joined Expedia as a full time Software Test Engineer and eventually moved to her current role as a development engineer.  Outside of her engineering activities, Tricia enjoys exploring Pacific Northwest through snowboarding, hiking, running, and strolling in the parks. Tricia currently lives on the east side with her husband and is expecting a baby in August.

Margaux Eng – Amazon.com

Margaux Eng is a Sr. Technical Program Manager at Amazon.com. She works in Retail Systems which builds and maintains technology that supports much of Amazon’s retail business. She started at Amazon after graduating from the University of Washington in Computer Engineering and Business Administration. 

Gowri Venkatesh  – Microsoft

Gowri  joins us from Microsoft where she is a Software test lead for Microsoft OneNote.  With 10 years of experience, Gowri has worked on multiple consumer and information worker products, platforms and technologies.  Her current role is focused on leading a team of engineers working on developing and testing user facing and data center oriented technology for highly visible world class productivity applications. She believes that her background in computer science has given her the foundation to effectively solve complex problems that impact and improve millions of lives. Gowri is most passionate about mentoring and developing her team and solving everyday problems using technology.

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