2015 Year In Review

Spending a little time reflecting back on my 2015 felt really positive overall. Some of the numbers surprised me (hi, one entire day spent giving advice/mentoring folks over coffee) and I feel really excited about some others — I spoke at six conferences and visited a ton of cities (in 14 states) this year. Also, celebrated a few happy milestones.

Perfect is the enemy of done. My goal in writing this is to get it done. So, here it is:

2015 in numbers


news results in which my name appeared (via Google News)

screenshot of Newsworks website page featuring photo of woman Corinne Warnshuis
Interview with WHYY


conferences I attended, including: NCWIT Summit, WITI Summit, Philadelphia Women in Tech Summit, WordCamp Philly, TechHire Community Action Summit, ELA Conf (more below)

Of 13 total, there were…


conferences at which I had the opportunity to speak. This was definitely my biggest year speaking at conferences, averaging one big event every two months, with plenty of smaller presentations/shout-outs to GDI in between. (I also declined a keynote offer that would have been my largest conference speaking event yet — including this note here, because: impostor syndrome.)

  • Qualcomm Women’s Collegiate Conference – keynote: Kicked off the year with my first keynote at a conference for ~55 talented young women studying CS, CE and EE from universities across the country and 50 STEM-interested middle school girls from the San Diego area.

  • Lesbians Who Tech – panel: “Building Powerful Communities in Technology” — This may have been my favorite conference of 2015, maybe ever. So many fantastic, brilliant speakers. Intersectionality was a huge topic here. Met plenty of awesome folks. The programming was top notch. Also :raised_hands: US CTO Megan Smith is the most inspiring. ED I aspire to be more like: Leanne Pittsford.

    Speaking about Girl Develop It at the White House Tech Meetup. April, 2015. Photo by Liz Gorman.
    Speaking about Girl Develop It at the White House Tech Meetup. April, 2015. Photo by Liz Gorman.
  • White House Tech MeetupDefinitely consider this as one of most exciting professional milestones of the year/my life. I. spoke. at. the. White. House! And I was invited to speak by US CTO Megan Smith (again: hero). On top of that, my apparel designer best friend designed and made a dress for me for the occasion, covered in artichokes.

Caught a glimpse of my bestie's desk… 💓

A photo posted by Corinne (@corinnepw) on

  • GitHub’s CodeConfSpoke here about Girl Develop It’s successes with our open source initiatives. Met a ton of awesome people/Githubbers here, and the talks were diverse and all very good. Felt okayyy about my talk, but this made me want to try to work more on my stage presence. I had a 4:30pm time slot, which, admittedly…is a difficult time to hold people’s attention.
  • Tech Inclusion panel: “How Bootcamps and Code Schools are Changing the face of Engineering” — GDI is neither of these, but it was a good conversation. Enjoyed this inaugural inclusion and diversity-focused conference and met some great folks.

  • Dreamforce – Thanks to an invite from the very badass, lovely Mary Scotton, I had the chance to speak (during the first session of the first day)! DF15 wins for the time I felt most comfortable and gave what I think was my best talk yet. (Time slot is key.)
Corinne Warnshuis on a stage speaking in front of a crowd at Dreamforce 2015.
Unlocking Tech Potential at Dreamforce 2015. Photo courtesy of Salesforce.
  • Girl Develop It Leadership Summit: more on this below!


number of events in which I played an organizer or host role. (Down about 150% from 2013/14. :sigh of relief:)

  • Galentine’s Day: a casual get-together of talented, driven women from various sectors in Philadelphia who are inspiring on February 13th, aka Galentine’s Day. (Thanks, Leslie Knope.)

Happy Galentine's Day, y'all. 💝👌

A photo posted by Corinne (@corinnepw) on

  • LadyHacks III: third annual all-women hackathon hosted on International Women’s Day in Philadelphia. Really great community event.


  • Ignite Philly 15: We invited Ariell Johnson to speak and she blew us away with her story and ambitious project: building a comic/coffee shop hybrid in Germantown. Colorlines.com recently featured her as one of 15 Remarkable Women of Color who Rocked 2015.

  • Mogulette & GDI Philly gathering: bringing together women of color entrepreneurs and coding students
  • Girl Develop It’s annual Leadership Summit
85 women leaders posing for a group photo
These 85 women are making a huge impact on the world. Girl Develop It Leadership Summit 2015. Photo by Paul Searle.

This event was huge for connecting our leaders — to each other, to our mission and vision of change for the world. I have unlimited gratitude for the invaluable guidance and mentorship of our cofounder, Vanessa Hurst, in helping making this event amazing…and of course for her year-round support. Huge thank you to Gretchen Kastetter, Jen Myers, Cara Jo Miller, Kristen Curtze, Sylvia Pellicore, Brenda Jin, and LeeAnn Kinney and all of the leaders who spoke at the Summit.

Here’s a great recap of our wonderful annual summit, courtesy the very awesome Paul Searle:

  • Ignite Philly 16


states I visited, including: AZ, CA, DC, DE, IL, MA, MD, NJ, NY, OR, PA, RI, SC, TN. First time in Tennessee! We loved Nashville and had a chance to spend some time on an 18th century farm 45 minutes south of the city, near Franklin.

The pond.

A photo posted by Corinne (@corinnepw) on


hours spent offering professional advice, providing mentorship. Mostly over coffee, but there were a few phone calls, too. That’s a lot of hours, and I want to get more strategic about this in 2016.


friends and colleagues I helped transition careers by providing a reference or making an introduction. High fives!


new Twitter followers. Cool! Hi, y’all.


awesome things I applied for and was granted/accepted to.

Other good things

  • Rad Girls: Published a Rad Girls profile of Margherita Urbani, an incredibly talented Philadelphia-based illustrator. This was sadly my only Rad Girls interview in 2015 (down from half a dozen interviews in 2014!). Hope to find more time this year to interview women who inspire me (and will inspire you). Know of someone I should interview? Let me know!

  • Bold is Beautiful campaign: partnered on a large-scale fundraising campaign with Benefit Cosmetics called Bold is BeautifulFor Girl Develop It, this partnership was our largest to date and one I am very proud of. We worked with them on a number of events, calling on participation from chapter leaders in multiple cities and requiring an incredible amount of coordination. All so worth it. Grab a tissue and watch the campaign video for highlights of the four amazing orgs (GDI, Step Up Women’s Network, Girls Inc. and Dress for Success) that benefited from the proceeds of the campaign

Some 2015 milestones

  • Lived in the same place for the longest stretch of time since graduating high school and moving out of the place I grew up: 2.25 years in Old City.

Coffee table is finally finished! #woodworking #diy #salvaged

A photo posted by m. bun (@michael_bunnington) on

  • We met Lumpy at PAWS, and decided to bring him home.

Lumpy hanging onto an angled drafting table for fun

A photo posted by m. bun (@michael_bunnington) on

  • Celebrated seven awesome years with Michael Bunnington. (Also spent a lot of time on our roof deck.)

👌🏼best roof deck this side of Market.

A photo posted by Corinne (@corinnepw) on

  • Went on some fun hiking excursions, including Pinnacles National Park, Henry Coe State Park, Kaaterskill Falls, Ricketts Glen State Park, Wharton State Forest

Just a little day hike near home.

A photo posted by Corinne (@corinnepw) on

Also feel pretty accomplished about completing:

  • Phoenix Summit Challenge: 4 peaks in 8 hours
    • Lookout Mountain
    • Shaw Butte
    • Piestewa Peak
    • Apache Wash

I see you, Phoenix.

A photo posted by Corinne (@corinnepw) on

  • Got really into biking. Started doing 20+ mile rides on weekends on the lovely Schuylkill River Trail. Went on an epic bike-camping trip to French Creek State Park, logging by far my longest ride ever: over 120 miles in two days with some badass gals, Cat, Laura and LeeAnn.

Just a coupla gals on the open road.

A photo posted by Corinne (@corinnepw) on

  • Learned guitar in one weekend and performed in front of a huge crowd with some more awesome gals (including my wonderful friend, Juliana Reyes) at Ladies Rock Philly.

Playing my first show with our new band, The Pits. Regram via @girlsrockphilly ☺️

A photo posted by Corinne (@corinnepw) on

There’s a lot more cool stuff that happened, and I could spend forever regaling all of the lessons I learned and how I much I grew both personally and professionally…but this already took too long…

Really glad I committed to writing this stuff down though. Also encouraged some friends to do the same.

Check out their recaps: LeeAnn Kinney, Juliana Reyes, and Lisa Yoder.

Happy New Year!

CODE Documentary Trailer

Check out Girl Develop It board member and VP of Engineering at Stripe, Marc Hedlund talk about the importance and urgency of getting more women into tech now in this trailer for the CODE documentary:

You have to be impatient. Whatever it takes to move the number now, we have to do that.

Well, I’m excited to see this doc.

It’s really amazing to be at the forefront of this industry-wide movement. Since our founding in 2010, Girl Develop It has grown — in a very grassroots, bootstrapped way — to the size that we are today: bringing thousands of women into tech each month.

Look out for forthcoming stats and stories on the women who we’ve helped transition from non-tech to tech careers, who’ve received promotions and who’ve changed their lives through GDI’s programs — now in 40+ cities in the US.

Speaking at OSCON 2014

Our talk was accepted!

On the final day of 2013, Happy Cog developer, Girl Develop It Philly instructor —also longtime friend—Cat Farman and I got together and finished up our OSCON speaker proposal: Lessons from Girl Develop It: Getting More Women Involved in Open Source. We recorded our required video and shipped off our packet.

OSCON Proposal Video Screen Shot

In March, we were notified that our talk was accepted and that we’d be heading to the O’Reilly Open Source Convention (OSCON) in Portland, OR this July. Ecstatic, we started building out the plan for the Summer of Open Source Fellowship as a pilot program to engage local members more deeply in open source.

We launched the program at the end of May and have been meeting up regularly to work on our proposal. Really excited to share what we’ve learned with a broader audience.

Cat Farman and I working on our OSCON presentation
Cat Farman and I working on our OSCON presentation at NextFab.
  • Read the description and find out more about our talk here.
  • Going to OSCON this year? Stop by our office hour after our talk and say hello!
  • If you’re interested in seeing the projects our fellows worked on this summer, mark your calendar for Wednesday, August 27 to join our fellows and mentors for the Summer of Open Source Fellowship Show & Tell.

Girl Develop It Philly’s Summer of Open Source

The following post was co-written by Cat Farman.

Last year, Girl Develop It Philly sent out a survey to our members. We asked questions about courses, what students are learning, what their careers are like and whether they’ve ever contributed to open source projects. To our delight and surprise, we learned that 10% of members surveyed had contributed to free and open source software in some way.

This number stood out, as the number of women in open source projects is depressingly small – less than 2% of open source contributors identify as women. Since we seemed to be helping improve the numbers locally, we decided to make a more sustained and conscious effort to get ever more GDI Philly women contributing to open source. And voila! – the GDI Philly Summer of Open Source Fellowship program was born!

Summer of Open Source Fellowship is Open for Applications!

We’re now accepting applications and nominations for those who identify as women who want to receive one-on-one code mentoring and a leadership role in the Philadelphia tech community in exchange for their sustained participation in free workshops and contributions to open source projects throughout the summer of 2014 (June-August).

Interested in improving your coding skills with experienced mentors? Want to be a part of a team that works on a meaningful project? Looking to add experience and projects to your resume? We strongly encourage you to apply or nominate others using our short form.

GDI Philly Open Source intro
GDI Philly Intro to Open Source Software with Mark Headd. Photo by Erin Allen.

Not sure if the Summer of Open Source Fellowship is for you? Here are 3 reasons you should apply to become a fellow:

  • Join a strong local community of open source developers in Philly who are supportive of women in tech – and want to help you with your goals.
  • Become a better coder through one-on-one mentoring and gain valuable team-building skills. As a fellow you will receive feedback through code reviews and regular workshops while writing code for projects you can use as code samples and in your resume.
  • You’ll become a leader in the open source community. Many of the most powerful tools in the technology community are free and open source and thrive with contributions from developers like you.

Potential projects for you to work on include:

Want to get involved?
  • Project Mentors: Please reach out to Corinne or Cat if you’re interested in coming on board as a project mentor/shepherd. This requires a light time commitment, but helps a lot.
  • Student-Beginners: Don’t have the time commitment to become a fellow? We still want you to get involved! We’re hoping to increase the amount of participation in open source contributions by GDI members and students across the board – whether it’s just starting your GitHub account and making your first commit or working on a bug here and there. There are many ways to contribute.
  • Sponsorship: If you’re interested in sponsoring this initiative (in-kind food donations, laptops, monetary support, etc), please reach out directly to corinne AT girldevelopit DOT com.
  • You tell us: How can you help make the GDI Philly Summer of Open Source even more awesome?
Come to our Kickoff Event!

Join us on Wednesday May 28th for the ­GDI Philly Summer of Open Source Kickoff to find our more info, learn about existing projects and more! Want to learn more about Open Source in general and get started on GitHub? We’ve got you covered with a free workshop on just that led by Mark Headd.

Have questions? Let us know in the comments, tweet at us (@gdiphilly, @cfarm, @corinnepw) or email us (corinne AT girldevelopit DOT com; cfarman AT gmail DOT com).

Exciting bonus news: GDI Instructor and Happy Cog developer, Cat Farman and I will be speaking about this program and other work GDI has done to get more women involved in the open source community at OSCON (O’Reilly Open Source Convention) this summer!