zulily knows that women in tech rock! On January 28, 2015 zulily hosted the Women Who Code Seattle chapter’s kick-off meeting, bringing women in technology together to discuss their passions. zulily has built its business on providing great value to moms. Our female engineers are a big driving force in delivering this expectation, so we were very excited to partner with Women Who Code.
Women Who Code is a global nonprofit organization that supports women in technology, helping them advance their careers. They provide supportive environments where women can learn from each other while offering mentorship and networking.
The night started with mingling in a variety of technology discussions ranging from software, robotics, data analysis and bio engineering! College students and seasoned professionals gathered to share experiences, answer questions and consume food and wine. The atmosphere was inspiring and empowering.
Kristin Smith, CEO of Code Fellows, shared with us her story and career path from Amazon to zulily to CEO of Code Fellows. Kristin talked about how women should be persistent in constantly learning new things and trying new technologies to empower their skills and overcome their self-doubt. “Embrace the ambiguity. Embrace the fear. That’s the time when things are going to explode!”
We continued the night with interesting tech talks from women who work in zulily tech. Jaime Dughi is Sr. Product Manager of zulily’s Mobile Development team. She walked us through zulily’s unique business model and core development principles: fearless innovation and moving fast. She described the future of the mobile app platform in zulily’s business and how her team is advancing mobile development to tackle the demands of zulily customers while embracing the ever-changing mobile app landscape. (slides)
Our next speaker was Sara Adineh, Software Engineer on the Personalization Team. Sara remarked on her passion in bringing more women in tech, and shared her past volunteer activities: helping run a club for female students at her school to support women in the tech and science fields. She dove deep into what the Personalization Team does at zulily. “Personalization is the heart of zulily’s business model, presenting something special every day for each member” said Sara. She described the mathematics and Machine Learning techniques that zulily uses to understand what zulily’s customers need, so we can provide them something fresh every day. Sara talked about one of the engineering principles of zulily’s tech culture: zulily had open-sourced some of its projects as well as contributed to open-source technologies (such as Go, Kubernetes, and NSQ) used by the company. (Slides)
Our last speaker was Echo Li, Data Engineer on the Business Intelligence and Data Services team at zulily. She started with “I’m a woman, I’m a mom, I’m an engineer and I’m proud!” and the crowd went wild! She continued explaining her work as a data engineer at zulily, and spoke on how to understand data and get meaningful information out of it. She talked about different stacks of the data-processing pipeline and analytics here at zulily. She shared with us the growth of zulily’s big data platform from SQL server to Hadoop, Google Cloud and Big Query. (Slides)
It was a night of thoughtful questions, engaged attendees and new friendships made. You can find it on the comments. We are looking forward to hosting the next Women in Tech event! Follow us if you want to hear about our future events!