In honor of Ada Lovelace Day, I’ve chosen to highlight Amy Chen and Melanie Archer. These two amazing women have agreed to lead the next SFRuby Outreach Workshop for Women. They are each strong developers, but I also want to acknowledge their ability and willingness to take on a leadership role.

Melanie Archer attended the first workshop in June ’09 and has volunteered ever since. Her main professional focus is front-end HTML, CSS and Javascript, but she has worked consistently to help make these events happen, taking on some of the critical behind-the-scenes jobs that glue an event together. I’m so excited that she has agreed to take on a leadership role.

I got to know Amy Chen through her volunteering at the most recent worshop. She agreed to “shadow” me during this event in preparation for leading the next workshop with Melanie. We got to talking about Javascript and I mentioned how I did test-driven Ruby, but had never done that with Javascript. She said she had done a lot of work with Selenium and somehow we hatched the idea of an evening workshop. At the last minute I turned it into a fundraiser since the February outreach workshop didn’t break even. She hadn’t taught Selenium before, nor given a hands-on training in this format, but she stepped up. I had so much fun in one of her prep sessions creating my first-ever test-driven jQuery… so cool. She even volunteered to teach a crew of interns I was training that week, since I had come to the realization that Javascript, HTML and CSS were as essential a foundation as is the Ruby language and SQL to a Rails engineer. The Selenium workshop was a success and I look forward to seeing Amy join Melanie in leading the next Outreach workshop.

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