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Speakers

We're excited to bring you some of the industry’s brightest engineering leaders:

Eileen Burbidge is a Partner at Passion Capital, the pre-eminent early-stage technology venture fund based in London. She brings extensive operational experience to her investment activities gleaned from business and product roles at Yahoo!, Skype, Apple and elsewhere. On behalf of Passion, Eileen serves as non-executive director on a number of fast growing SMEs including Monzo Bank, Digital Shadows, Tide, Butternut Box, Prowler.io and Focal Point Positioning, among others.

In addition to Passion Capital, Eileen is also the Chair of Tech City UK, which is the British government-backed organisation supporting the digital economy across the UK. She is also the UK Treasury’s Special Envoy for FinTech appointed by the Chancellor; Tech Ambassador for the Mayor of London’s office and served on former UK Prime Minister David Cameron’s Business Advisory Group. Eileen was made an MBE for services to Business in June 2015 and holds a BSc Engineering degree in Computer Science from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

@eileentso 

Jean-Michel Lemieux is the Chief Technology Officer at Shopify and joined the company in 2015. Prior to joining Shopify, he served as the Vice President of Engineering at Atlassian and as the Chief Architect for Rational Team Concert, a division of IBM. Jean-Michel co-authored the book, Eclipse Rich Client Platform and has filed two U.S. patents on software configuration management. Jean-Michel holds a Bachelor's Degree in Computer Science from the University of Ottawa.

Charity is CTO and cofounder of honeycomb.io and fundamentalist preacher of the Way, the Light and the Truth of Observability.

@mipsytipsy

Dana Lawson has 20 years of experience as an engineer and engineering leader. She has worn many hats to complement a product’s lifecycle through her leadership roles at Heptio, Invision, New Relic and GitHub where she currently serves as VP of Engineering. With a background in fine arts, she brings her creative vision to chart new waters and lead the engineering teams of the future.

Rukmini Reddy is the VP of Platform Engineering at Slack. She joined Slack earlier this year to lead teams that deliver exceptional first-party and third-party app experience, as well as drive the vision of Workflow Builder - Slack's no-code automation tool. Before Slack, she was VP of Engineering at Abstract, Model N, and other enterprise SaaS companies.

Her experience as an immigrant, a woman, and a developer with nearly 15 years of technical experience, have prepared her to lead large and diverse engineering teams, and forge genuine human connections with her colleagues. She is based in the San Francisco Bay Area and has been juggling work and home-school like most parents in 2020 for her 7-year-old twin boys.

Bruce has been an engineering leader for 15+ years, and currently an Engineering Director at Netflix, leading API Systems. The team creates a unified abstraction and aggregation layer over disparate Netflix mid-tier systems, enabling device teams to build innovative user experiences through a consistent API layer. On the consumer side they enable signup, content discovery, and partner experiences on 1000+ device types, and on the studio side, they maintain a federated GraphQL service that powers dozens of internal applications that enable Netflix’s global studio functions. Prior to that, he was the Sr Director of Eng at Shippo, VPE at Packet and CTO, Co-founder or Eng Leader at various startups and enterprises. He is also a serious foodie and resides in San Francisco with his wife and two daughters.

Nimisha Asthagiri is Chief Architect at edX where she drives strategic technical initiatives to implement an intentional architecture for the next generation of large-scale online learning. She aligns developers on design principles to enable an extensible and innovative open-source platform, with the help of a global community. In her role as Director of Engineering, she proudly serves a group of driven, compassionate, and open-minded core-platform engineers.

Prior to joining edX 7 years ago, Nimisha led security development at Groove Networks, a startup focused on peer-to-peer group communications. Her journey also included taking several years off to raise a family and to lead local community volunteer efforts in various educational contexts. Nimisha remains passionate about education as an avenue to inspire and improve the lives of many. Her current employer, edX, is a non-profit open-source education movement for restless learners to unlock their potential.

Papanii N Okai is an executive who is currently a Director of Engineering and Architecture at Venmo. Papanii has been in the tech world since the early 2000s and has worked at numerous startups over the years.

Prior to becoming a Director at Venmo, Papanii was the Chief architect of Venmo given the task to help build the next generation of Venmo’s payment platform. Papanii is a software engineer at heart and loves to build solutions that delight customers. From building mobile apps, backend distributed platforms from monoliths to micro services, Papanii indulges himself in technology both new and old.

Papanii also has a unique background and perspective based on growing up and studying on multiple continents that include Africa, Europe and America.

Papanii holds multiple degrees from the University of San Francisco in Computer Science and Internet Engineering. He loves food, languages and Japanese anime.

Currently, VP of engineering at Impira, responsible for the execution and delivery of the entire product line. Previously, as Sr. Director of engineering at Reddit, progressively managed the Web experience, Search, Data, Platform, ML, and Ops teams over a span of 2.5 years. Notably, led the teams responsible for Reddit’s web redesign and a native video platform that contributes well over 1 billion monthly views. Prior to that, over eight years at Microsoft, grew from an Individual Contributor to an Engineering Manager and led the execution of the Power BI web app, creating next-generation business intelligence experiences.

Born and raised in South India, an MS graduate from Purdue University, I am passionate about learning, teaching, and sharing. Led a boot camp with MySkills4Afrika, teaching startups in Uganda how to use PowerBI over 2 weeks. Hosted a video series to profile Seattle startups as co-ordinator with StartedinSeattle.

Anjuan Simmons is a technologist with a successful track record of delivering technology solutions from the user interface to the database. He is an energetic and informative speaker who presents at conferences, seminars, schools, and community centers around the world on topics including Agile software development, diversity, and leadership. Anjuan has an undergraduate degree in electrical engineering from the University of Texas at Austin and an MBA from Texas A&M University.

@anjuan  // anjuansimmons.com

Anna Shipman is Technical Director for Customer Products at the Financial Times, leading on the award-winning FT.com website and the FT iPhone and Android apps.

She has been a software developer for over 15 years. Before working at the FT, she was a technical architect and the UK government's Open Source Lead at the Government Digital Service.

She speaks at conferences, blogs on her personal website, tweets and is always up for a game of pool.

@annashipman

Arquay is the Senior Director of Engineering for Expansion. Prior to Slack she was a Web Development Manager at Google where she lead a team of Information Architects, Developers and Designers. Before that, as Director of Engineering at CBS Interactive, she oversaw the development teams for the B2B brands including ZDNet and Moneywatch. Arquay is a developer who also has a Masters in Design and she loves the marriage of form and function. When not working she can be found cooking, stumbling over guitar and piano chords or watching Seinfeld.

Asanka Jayasuriya brings over 20 years of SaaS and software engineering expertise and technical leadership to SailPoint. In his role as Senior Vice President of Engineering and Chief Technology Officer (CTO), Asanka is responsible for the entire SailPoint engineering organization across all products and DevOps, in addition to CTO responsibilities. Prior to joining SailPoint, he served as the senior vice president of engineering for InVision, head of engineering at Atlassian and senior engineering and site leader for Amazon in Toronto.

Banjo is a Senior Research Engineer at Two Six Labs, where he develops platform solutions for productizing various researched-based projects. Banjo is passionate about operationalizing data and has started a podcast, a meetup, and open source projects around utilizing data.

Claudius Mbemba (mem'buh) is CTO & CoFounder @ neu. A Speaker & Tech Entrepreneur who advises early-stage founders and aspiring entrepreneurs using the tips and tricks he's learned along the way. He has a background in software engineering having previously worked as a top software engineer at Microsoft on Outlook, Cloud, Bots, and Emerging Technologies.

Along with his CoFounder @ neu, Claudius was nominated for the GeekWire Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award (2020) and graduated from the Techstars Seattle Startup Accelerator.

Claudius holds a Bachelors in Computer Science from The Ohio State University. Played D1 NCAA Football at his alma mater. And now sits on the Ohio State University Alumni Board of Seattle.

He has a long history and passion for entrepreneurship having started entrepreneurship-focused student orgs, organized Startup Weekends, and founded 2 startups while he was in college.

Claudius has been invited to speak to everyone from University students to CTOs/Engineering Executives at the Nasdaq in NYC.

He is passionate about raising the number of marginalized people (BIPOC, Women, LGBTQIA+) in Tech & VC by paving the way, holding the door open, and paying it forward.

Claudius believes the most important thing to do, is just get started. His personal motto is, "The sooner you start, The sooner you finish." He even has this tattooed on his arm! And in code, no less!

Daniel Burke has more than 12 years of software development experience and has 6 years of engineering leadership working at companies on the east and west coasts including Yelp, Handshake, and currently Square. Burke, as he likes to be called, leads a team of backend and Android engineers building elegant ways for businesses to take payments with Square.

Burke has also invested time in organizing and facilitating coding events for underestimated youth across the country, partnering with organizations like Boys & Girls Club, Mission Bit, and SFUSD.

Burke also draws experience from his past time as a small business owner, a traveling preacher, and a father of a 8 year-old princess and a 14 year-prince. He currently leads his team remotely from sunny Virginia Beach, VA

@d2burke

Duana has been building web applications and APIs since 2006 in a mix of start-up and enterprise companies. She was fortunate to accompany SoundCloud for 5 years on their microservices journey and is interested in how distributed architecture is evolving and the gains and pains associated with it. She currently works as a Software Engineer for Cash App in Brisbane, Australia.

Elaine Zhou is the Chief Technology Officer of Change.org, the world’s largest social change platform with more than 400 million users in 196 countries. As Change.org’s technical leader, Elaine leads a global engineering team to drive Change.org to the forefront of Responsible AI, to elevate the platform capability to reach a larger community, and engage repeat users who can lead change for their causes.

Most recently, Elaine was the CTO at Vidado.ai, an Oakland AI startup, dedicated to use Artificial Intelligence to help organizations unlock critical insight trapped in handwritten documents to drive their operations and strategy. Previously, Elaine was the SVP of Development overseeing engineering and product development at Clean Power Finance (CPF), a solar leasing & financing startup backed by Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers and Google Ventures.

Elaine’s 20+ years of experience includes technology strategy, AI research and development, software product development and process improvement. Elaine received her B.S. in Industrial Engineering and Operations Research from UC Berkeley. In her free time, Elaine can be found traveling to some far flung island, paddleboarding Richardson Bay, hiking a local peak or discussing life in a startup over milk tea with her husband, Ken.

elainezhou 

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Ellen Wong is a Director of Engineering at Calm, where she leads their B2B Product Engineering and Backend Platform. Before that, she was at Periscope Data By Sisense, where she led their product integration post merger. She prides herself in building happy and productive teams and believes that teams work best when they are having fun.

She lives in San Francisco with her husband and pup, and loves nothing more than snuggling with her pup on a beach with a glass of wine

Ezechi Britton, Code Untapped CEO, Impact X Founding Member, Principal & CTO in Residence. A tech founder with over 15 years experience in FinTech.

Ez’s journey has taken him from Software Developer to Co-Founder and CTO to Venture Capital He is currently a Founding Member, Principal and CTO in Residence at Impact X Capital Partners LLP a venture fund focused on supporting underrepresented entrepreneurs.

He is the Co-Founder of Code Untapped, a digital skills accelerator that helps companies find innovative product solutions by giving them access to diverse and underrepresented technologists through their innovation labs events.

He is a former Co-Founder of Neyber a multi-award-winning Fintech firm focused on financial wellbeing, where he was the founding CTO and held numerous roles during his tenure including brand ambassador and NED Ez also advises a number of boards.

He is currently advisor to the board of UKITL (UK IT Leaders Network) and Albany Group. Ez is also a NED for Findexable the real-time Fintech Index.

@EzechiBritton

Farhan Thawar is currently VP, Engineering at Shopify via the acquisition of Helpful.com where he was co-founder and CTO. Previously he was the CTO, Mobile at Pivotal and VP, Engineering at Pivotal Labs via the acquisition of Xtreme Labs. Farhan is an avid investor and advisor to startups in Toronto and San Francisco, including being a mentor at yCombinator and First Round Capital. Prior to Xtreme, Farhan held senior technical positions at Achievers, Microsoft, and Trilogy. Farhan completed his MBA in Financial Engineering at Rotman and Computer Science/EE at Waterloo.

Ines Sombra is a Senior Director of Engineering at Fastly, where she spends her time helping the Web go faster. Ines holds an M.S. in Computology with an emphasis on Cheesy 80’s Rock Ballads. She has a fondness for steak, fernet, and a pug named Gordo. In a previous life she was a Data Engineer.

@randommood

Julia Ferraioli is a Technical Program Manager with Google’s Open Source Programs Office. She's a polyglot, though in code only, and is excited about accessibility, open source, machine learning, and sprinkles. She’s also a fierce supporter of LaTeX, the Oxford comma, and small pull requests.

juliaferraioli.com/

Katie is the VP of Engineering at Buffer, which is a globally distributed team with no offices. She’s co-authored “97 Things Every Engineering Manager Should Know” and "Atomic Migration Strategy for Web Teams", both with O’Reilly. Katie is currently lead author on the definitive guide to remote work, coming soon through holloway.com. She champions remote work and personal flourishing.

@katie_womers

Kevin Goldsmith has been a developer, software architect, technology manager, and senior technology executive for over 28 years. He is the Chief Technology Officer at Anaconda, overseeing innovation for Anaconda’s current open-source and commercial offerings, as well as developing new solutions to bring data science practitioners together with innovators, vendors, and thought leaders in the industry.

Formerly, Kevin was the Chief Technology Officer at Onfido; Chief Technology Officer at Avvo; the Vice President of Engineering, Consumer at Spotify; a Director of Engineering at Adobe Systems; and, development lead at Microsoft.

@KevinGoldsmith

Leemay Nassery is an engineering manager at Spotify working on homepage personalization. Prior to joining Spotify, she led the engineering efforts for personalization and a/b testing on Comcast's video products.

Leila is a founding partner at Kindred Capital, a London-based venture capital firm founded in 2015. Kindred is pioneering so-called equitable venture, where they share the profit of the fund (the carried income) with every entrepreneur they invest in - turning founders into partners in every sense of the word. Leila is on the board of companies including Polywork, Pollen, and LabGenius, and serves as senior advisory board member to Entrepreneur First. She is both an investor and an entrepreneur, with over a decade of operating experience in technology businesses, including cofounding her own health technology business in Silicon Valley. Leila is a mathematician by training with a first class degree from Yale University and a Harvard MBA.

Meri is a geek, a manager, and a manager of geeks. She’s a CTO and also runs micro-consultancy ChromeRose, helping digital & technical teams be brilliant. An alumna of Procter & Gamble and the Government Digital Service, she has had a career spanning development, project, programme & product management and more recently engineering & operations leadership. She’s led teams ranging in size from 30 to 300, mostly with folks spread across the world.

@Geek_Manager  // blog.geekmanager.co.uk

Nick is SVP of Engineering at Fastly, the Edge Cloud platform. Prior to Fastly, Nick was Chief Technology Officer at The New York Times, overseeing product engineering, infrastructure and R&D. Previously he was Chief Technology Officer of Conde Nast, and Digital CTO at MTV Networks. Throughout his career, Nick has worked at the intersection of media and the Internet, building digital products at scale. Nick graduated from Yale in 1990 with a B.A in Literary Theory.

Randy has been building distributed systems and high performing teams for 30 years, and has worked as a senior technology leader at eBay, Google, Stitch Fix, and WeWork. He coaches CTOs, advises companies, and generally makes a nuisance of himself wherever possible. He talks a lot, sometimes at conferences about software. He recently returned to eBay as VP Engineering and Chief Architect.

Ryn Daniels is a staff site reliability engiqueer who got their start in programming with TI-80 calculators back when GeoCities was still cool. Their work has focused on infrastructure operability, sustainable on-call practices, and the design of effective and empathetic engineering cultures. They are the co-author of O’Reilly’s Effective DevOps and have spoken at numerous industry conferences on devops engineering and culture topics. Ryn lives in Berlin, Germany with a perfectly reasonable number of cats and in their spare time can often be found powerlifting, playing cello, or handcrafting knitted server koozies for the data center.

Sarah Milstein is a Senior Director of Engineering at Mailchimp. Previous roles include Head of Sales & Marketing for 18F.gov; VP of Programs for indie.vc; CEO and co-founder of Lean Startup Productions; and co-author of The Twitter Book. She's also held senior management positions at O’Reilly Media, UBM TechWeb, and several startups. Earlier, she was a freelance journalist writing regularly for The New York Times, she co-founded a record label with children’s musician Laurie Berkner, and she started Just Food's CSA program. She holds an MBA from UC Berkeley and a BA from Rutgers University. Bonus fact: She was the 21st user of Twitter.

@sarahm 

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Wambui Kinya is the Vice President of Partner Engineering at Andela, a technology company that builds high performing distributed engineering teams by investing in Africa’s most talented software engineers. Founded on the premise that brilliance is evenly distributed, Andela has hired more than 1,300 software engineers, with its largest engineering centres in Lagos, Nairobi, Kampala, and Kigali, a growing presence in Cairo and Accra, and offices in NYC, SF, and Austin. As Vice President of Partner Engineering, Wambui leads Andela’s technology delivery to the global engineering teams we have embedded our developers, supports our developer integration and their capacity to go on and become leading technologists. Wambui was formerly Group Managing Director, Pan Africa and South America, for global technology consulting firm ThoughtWorks.

Currently based in Nairobi, Wambui has been in the professional services (digital, mobile marketing and technology consulting) industry for twenty years and has worked in North America, Europe and Africa for companies such as Praekelt Consulting, IBM Global Business Services and Digitas (Publicis Groupe). Wambui is currently on the boards of Andela Kenya Limited (Chair), Building Markets and a member of ConvrtX and WorkTribe Dyanmics advisory clouds.