12 Inspiring Female Architects in Software and Data!

Hollywood’s Silicon Valley TV show continues the long-established narrative the Silicon Valley, technology and startups is synymous with guys in hoodies and jeans. That’s not always the case; leading ladies who code in Halt and Catch Fire (“West Wing with computers”) and Mr Robot are worth watching. 

Here are 12 female architects in software, data and more to inspire the next generation of girl geeks and women leading tech companies:

Aruna Susarla, Senior Architect, PayPal

Aruna is a Senior Architect at PayPal, with over 15 years of industry experience. She was responsible for building scalable, high performance innovative solutions that PayPal can deploy on mobile as well as traditional Point of Sale systems for retailers. Aruna cares deeply about performance and reliability and redefines the payment experience to delight customers and also make sense for the bottom line. Follow her on Twitter at @aruna_susarla.

Avery Wong Hagleitner, Software Architect, IBM

Avery is a Software Architect for IBM, working on Cognos Dynamic Cubes at the IBM Silicon Valley Laboratory. Her interests range from high-performance Java server applications to engaging graphical user interfaces; her areas of expertise include BI, data warehousing and analytical processing. Avery has over 16 years of software development experience at IBM. She earned her graduate degree in software engineering from San Jose State and a undergraduate degree in computer science with a minor in psychology from UC San Diego. She shares fun pictures of her view from IBM as well as her travels on Instagram. Follow her on Instagram at @flav0rave.

Denise McInerney, Data Architect, Intuit

Denise is as a Data Architect at Intuit, where she designs and implements BI and analytics solutions with a focus on enabling the work of analysts and business users. She advocates for the advancement of women in technology, as illustrated in Vinay Pai’s blueprint “how to be a male ally for women in tech”. Denise began her career as a database administrator, managing and developing databases for online transactional systems. She frequently speaks at conferences and serves as VP Marketing for PASS, an international organization of data professionals. Follow Denise on Twitter at @denisemc06.

Gwen Chen Shapira, System Architect, Confluent

Gwen is System Architect at Confluent, and currently specializes in building real-time reliable data processing pipelines using Apache Kafka. She is an Oracle Ace Director, an author of “Hadoop Application Architectures”, and a frequent presenter at data driven conferences. Gwen is a committer on Apache Kafka and Sqoop. Gwen has over 15 years experience working with code and customers to build scalable data architectures, integrating relational and big data technologies. Her first job was as a web developer during her studies at Tel Aviv University, and she dreamed of writing kernel drivers and network algorithms instead of web applications. Follow Gwen on Twitter at @gwensnap.

Jeanine Walters, Software Architect, Salesforce

Jeanine is a Software Architect at Salesforce. Her biggest success was architecting a solution and building a team for a feature that no one else thought was possible. In addition to architecting and writing code, her work includes mentoring and guiding other engineers, and working with product management on direction. Prior to Salesforce.com, Jeanine held multiple technical positions for companies great and small, including an internet company that she founded. She first learned how to program when she was in the 1st grade and strongly believes in the saying, “You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take.” In her spare time, Jeanine enjoys dancing and playing Capoeira. Follow Jeanine on Twitter at @jeaninesw.

Jen-Mei Wu, Software Architect, Indiegogo

Jen-Mei is a Software Architect at Indiegogo, where she works on engineering guidelines and architecture for the engineering team. Her current focus at Indiegogo is on infrastructure (e.g. cloud hosting), performance, and front-end architecture. Her previous roles include engineer, founder, CEO, product manager and more. Jen-Mei is a founder and organizer of Liberating Ourselves Locally, a social-justice-oriented, people of color-led, and gender diverse maker/hacker space in Oakland. She is also one of the organizers of Indiegogo’s Diversity and Inclusion group, and has volunteered for RailsBridge to teach women Ruby programming. Follow Jen-Mei on Twitter at @jenmeiwu.

Kristen Robbins, IT Architect, VMware

Kristen is an IT Architect at VMware in Palo Alto, where she created Storage-as-a-Service and Backup solutions for OneCloud. She designed the platform for wired & wireless network monitoring and optimized the company WAN design. Prior to VMware, she was Datacenter Architect at Cisco and Director of Systems Engineering at DataRunway. Kristen’s career began at Cisco as a software engineer and engineering manager, where she architected interface management software for Cisco CRS-1 Carrier Routing System. Kristen has authored 10 patents since graduating from Caltech with a degree in computer science.

Linda Liu, Big Data Architect, IBM

Linda is a Big Data Architect at IBM in Silicon Valley. She contributes to the IBM developerWorks and keeps a blog on big data, analysis and case studies at Big Data Farm. She is a guest speaker and panelist for UC Berkeley Data Analytics Bootcamp, and presents at IBM conferences. Linda started her career with a degree in marketing, followed by graduate studies in computing. At IBM, she works with customers on big data use case implementation, focus primarily on Hadoop, Spark, open source and machine learning technologies.

Senda Gopalakrishnan, Senior Staff Architect, Tesla

Senda is currently a Senior Staff Architect at Tesla. She is an expert in data architecture and analytics product development. Prior to Tesla, she was Senior Data Analytics Architect at GE Healthcare for hospital operations products, Data Warehouse Architect at MobiTV, and Senior BI Architect at Qualcomm. Senda has over 18 years of experience in data architecture, design, analysis, development, implementation and management of analytics and BI applications in telecom, hi-tech, consumer products, and healthcare verticals. Follow her on Twitter at @senda_g.

Smita Wadhwa, Architect, InMobi

Smita is an Architect at InMobi. Prior to InMobi, she was a Tech Lead at Yahoo! and began her career as a research intern at Yahoo! on video advertising. Smita earned her M.S. in computer science from Netaji Subhas Institute of Technology in India. Follow her on Twitter at @smitaw.

Snezana Sahter, Principal Software Architect, eBay

As a Principal Software Architect at eBay, Snezana has led and been a major contributor to complex business critical initiatives. She has led and been major contributor to complex business critical initiatives, including the feedback system re-design, seller standards, identity verification and entity resolution. Snezana joined eBay in 2004 as an engineer. Over the span of decade, she has grown into an architect role, and has authored several patents.

Ümit Yalçınalp, Architect, Oracle

Ümit is an Architect at Oracle in Identity Management. Her technical leadership and people management experience spans over 20 years. Prior to Oracle, she taught computer science at Mills College and worked as a Lead Architect at Adobe and Evangelist at Salesforce and Architect at SAP. Ümit co-founded a Turkish Women in Computing group in 2011. She authored a SOA book; edited and contributed to well-known WS-*, Java, SOA specs and contributed to the development and delivery of standards from 1998 to 2006. Follow her on Twitter at @umityalcinalp.

Join us at a future Girl Geek Dinner in San Francisco & Silicon Valley – all genders welcome at Girl Geek Dinners!

Come meet hundreds of inspiring women in tech! Girl geeks are welcome to bring geeks of any gender, their mentees/coworkers, daughters/sons, nieces/nephews – ALL are welcome!

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