Madison+ Ruby Speaker Line-up

We are very much looking forward to hosting you at our upcoming event, Madison+ Ruby! Last year was a blast, and this year is going to be even better.  It is our pleasure to announce the speakers that will be presenting at this year’s Madison+ Ruby conference.

This Year’s Line Up:

Sharon Steed (@sharonsteed): Sharon is a content specialist and a life long stutterer. She  works with companies on content marketing from concept to strategy to management to execution. When she’s not working with clients, she spends her free time speaking and writing about stuttering. Public speaking started out as a way to overcome her fear of stuttering, and it has turned into a whole new career path that she is in love with.

Coraline Ada Ehmke (@bantik): Coraline Ada Ehmke is a speaker, author, teacher, open source advocate and technologist with 20 years of experience in developing apps for the web. As a founding member of,, and, she works diligently to promote diversity and inclusivity in the tech industry. Her current interests include small-application ecosystems, APIs, business intelligence, machine learning, and predictive analytics.

Prathamesh Sonpatki (@_cha1tanya): Prathamesh works as a Software Consultant at BigBinary LLC. He loves contributing to Ruby and Rails Projects. He also loves playing with Emacs in spare time. He helps running RubyIndia Community Newsletter, and is co-organizer for Deccan Ruby Conference.

Brian Shirai (@brixen): Brian is the creator of RubySpec and the maintainer of Rubinius.

Ben Bleything (@bleything): Ben Bleything is widely recognized as the Puget Sound Convergence Zone’s leading expert on Clown Computering. He holds certifications in keyboard typing and computer technicianing from BrainBench: The Skills Authority. When he’s not managing various parts of GitHub’s cloud infrastructure, he dreams of burning down the internet.

Bryan Liles (@bryanl): What happens when you take an inquisitive kid who disassembles alarm clocks and radios and give him a computer for his 12th birthday? In 2014, he’ll probably ignore it because he’s posting selfies to Instagram, but in 1988, things were quite a bit different. That moment sparked a mini revolution and led Bryan to where he is today. From writing Linux kernel drivers for obscure sounds cards to building software to help pharmaceuticals price their drugs treatments for entire countries, Bryan has seen all the ins and outs of software development.

Haleigh Sheehan (@ScarlettSparks): Long ago, in a faraway land called Canada, Haleigh was a professional circus weirdo. Now, as one of GitHub’s friendly Supportocats, she solves mysteries and sees the connections between seemingly unrelated things. (Still a weirdo, just – mostly – on her own time.)

Brent Beer (@brntbeer): Brent Beer has used Git and GitHub for over 5 years through university classes, contributions to open source projects, and professionally as a web developer. He now enjoys his role teaching the world to use Git and GitHub to their full potential as a member of the GitHub Training team.

Lauren Voswinkel (@laurenvoswinkel): Lauren has been professionally programming since 2006. She started doing front-end work primarily, and transitioned to back end development using primarily Ruby and Rails.

Currently, she works for LivingSocial, and has been thoroughly enjoying that endeavor. In her spare time, she likes to do fire breathing, fire spinning, and trick shots with a whip.

She’s also been more than a little obsessed about Netrunner, and is working on an HTTP client to play with her friends who live across the country.

Abraham Sangha (@abrahamsangha): Abraham’s first taste of programming was writing violent choose-your-own-adventure games in TI-BASIC on his graphing calculator instead of paying attention during algebra class. A former civil engineer and minister, he learned web development through Dev Bootcamp Chicago and is currently solving problems in advertising technology as a software engineer at Centro. He studied the virtuous life in graduate school but has still failed to obtain it.

Amy Wibowo (@sailorhg): Amy is a software engineer at Airbnb. Prior to Airbnb, she’s done machine learning research on the ASIMO team at Honda Research Institute in Japan and HCI research at the University of Tokyo. She also enjoys hardware hacking and the intersection of art and technology– in particular, making tools that enable people to be more creative.

Lark Paulson: Lark Paulson was first introduced to yoga in 2000, fully embracing the healing power of this practice the following year when she sought remedy for a knee injury from dancing. Following a year-long life changing solo journey to India, she became a 200 hr. – RYT Prana Vinyasa teacher having trained with international teacher Shiva Rea.

Vipul A M (@vipulnsward): Vipul works as a Software Consultant at BigBinary LLC.

He is an avid Rails and Ruby Projects Contributor. His spare time is spent exploring and contributing to many Open Source ruby projects, when not dabbling with Clojure or Rubymotion.

Vipul loves Ruby’s vibrant community and helps in building PuneRb, is the founder of and runs RubyIndia Community Newsletter, and is an organiser for Deccan Ruby Conference.

Blithe Rocher (@blithe): Blithe has a PhD in physical chemistry but recently changed careers to become a web developer at Big Nerd Ranch in Atlanta. Blithe has grown from RailsGirls participant to coach. She helps organize a monthly meetup for women interested in continuing to learn about Ruby on Rails.

Kronda Adair (@karveldigital): Kronda Adair is an independent WordPress developer and consultant who loves helping people make their sites more effective.

She’s spoken at Open Source Bridge, Wordcamp Portland, Lesbians Who Tech SF, and last year gave an Ignite talk titled ‘Stop Making Senseless Websites’.

Renée Hendricksen (@gigglegirl4e): Renée Hendricksen is President and Chief Adventure Officer of NIRD, LLC, a technical consulting company in Seattle, WA. Renée also teaches Ruby on Rails courses for the University of Washington, Code Fellows, and corporate clients. She specializes in Ruby, Rails, software architecture and business intelligence. Before founding NIRD, Renée applied to the Star League to defend the frontier against Xur and the Ko-Dan armada, but was sadly rejected.

André Arko (@indirect): Bundler & Cloud City, San Francisco,

Carina C. Zona (@cczona): Carina C. Zona is a developer, advocate, and open source community manager. She teaches for many women’s tech outreach groups, and served on RailsBridge core team. She is the founder of @callbackwomen, an initiative to connect first-time speakers with conferences. Carina is also a certified sex educator. In her spare time, she engineers baked goods.

Jessie Shternshus (@theimproveffect): As the founder and owner of The IMPROV EFFECT, Jessie weds her lifelong passion for and expertise in applied improv with the fast pace and demands of the corporate world. She helps people become better listeners, team players, problem solvers, leaders, and communicators. Throughout her career, Jessie has worked with companies such as Microsoft, Skype, Living Social, Expedia, Fidelity Investments and Groupon. Her workshops have been successfully implemented with start-ups, as well as Fortune 500 companies. Jessie has also been speaker at conferences such as CodeMash, Madison Ruby, NDC London, UXMad, Scrum Alliance, and Agile DC.

Liz Abinante (@feministy): Liz Abinante is an engineer for Instructure and co-leader of the Girl Develop It Chicago chapter. She is infectiously enthusiastic about web development, teaching, learning, and tacos. She enjoys writing and speaking about education, diversity, and happiness in engineering. Previously, Liz has worked as a writer, editor, and knitwear designer.

Noel Rappin (@noelrap): Noel Rappin is a Senior Developer and Table XI’s Agile Coach. Noel has authored multiple technical books, including “Rails Test Prescriptions” and “Master Space and Time With JavaScript.” Noel is also the author or co-author of “Professional Ruby on Rails,” “wxPython in Action,” and “Jython Essentials.”