Hey tech rookies, have you ever gotten advice like this?
“You need to get involved in the tech community. Start talking with your tech idols on Twitter. Develop a social media presence so people know you want to code.”
Me, too. The thing is, when you’re first starting out, you don’t know WHO to follow on Twitter. Sure, you can Google “important women in tech,” but that will probably pull up the big names, like Sheryl Sandberg, Virginia Rometty, Susan Wojcicki and Marissa Mayer. Sure, that will get you started, but what if you want the chance to talk with a senior developer or founder who doesn’t have 3 million followers, or a gaming pro who is space for women in the field?
Well, I rallied the Skillcrush team to share some of their favorite women in tech to follow on Twitter and came up with this awesome starter pack. Give these women a follow, and hold on for a future installment.
Which of these women is ridiculously inspiring to you? Who do you want to add to our next list? Tell me in the comments.
Megan is the recently appointed CTO of the United States and an Assistant to the President. The former VP of New Business Development at Google was appointed to run the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy and is charged with “unleashing the power of technology, data, and innovation to help meet our nation’s goals and the needs of our citizens.”
Ayah Bdeir is the founder of Little Bits, the electronic building blocks that snap together with magnets to create interactive gadgets in seconds. Everyone from kids making light-up teddy bears to engineers who are prototyping new products use the product.
Poornima Vijayashanker is the founder of Femgineer, a business that helps tech professionals (especially women!) level up their high-tech careers.
Kimberly Bryant is the founder of Black Girls Code, an ambitious nonprofit that aims to tackle the racial and gender disparities in tech.
Reshma Saujani is the founder and CEO of Girls Who Code and the author of Women Who Don’t Wait in Line.
Padmasree Warrior is the Chief Technology and Strategy Officer at Cisco.
Gina Bianchini is the former CEO of Ning and current head of Mightybell, a social networking platform for building communities. We happen to use Mightybell for all of our Skillcrush classes, so count us in Gina’s fan-girl club!
Gina Trapani is the founder of Lifehacker and the co-founder of ThinkUp. She also hosts two of Skillcrush Podcast Master Kelli Orrela’s favorite podcats: This Week in Google and All About Android.
Vanessa Hurst is the CEO of Code Montage and co-founder of Girl Develop It and Write Speak Code.
Caterina Fake is the founder of Findery and co-founder of Flickr and Hunch.
Sara Chips is the CTO of Flatiron School and a co-founder of Girl Develop It. She also founded Jewliebots, an open-source programmable jewelry.
Atefeh Riazi is the Assistant Secretary-General, Chief Information Technology Officer of the United Nations. She previously served as Chief Information Officer and Acting General Manager at the New York City Housing Authority, among other public and private IT leadership positions.
The CEO and Co-Founder of Women 2.0, a media company with content, community and conferences for women innovators in technology, Shaherose Charania is in-the-tech-know. She has been a mentor for 500 Startups, the leader of a mobile-focused incubator and advisor to many tech startups.
Kristen Titus is the Founding Director of the NYC Tech Talent Pipeline, a new initiative to grow the pipeline of qualified potential workers in New York City and to diversify the tech workforce. She tweets about tech education, NYC tech and a bit of tech-y inspiration.
With a twitter bio that states: “lover of Drupal, bacon, bad music, and my family,” you can perfectly understand Holly Ross. She is the Executive Director of the Drupal Association, an educational nonprofit organization that fosters and supports the Drupal software project, the community and its growth.
Rebecca Garcia is a Developer Evangelist at Squarespace and founder of Coder Dojo NYC, a non-profit teaching youth age 7-17 web, games and app development.
Hilary Mason is the Founder of Fast Forward Labs and the Data Scientist in Residence at Accel. She formerly worked as the Chief Data Scientist at bit.ly and co-founded HackNY.
Jennifer Dewalt is the creator of 180 Websites in 180 Days and hacker at Wit.ai.
Iris Classon is a London-based UX Developer at IdentityMine.
Lara Hogan is the Senior Engineering Manager of Performance at Etsy and the author of Designing for Performance.
Nicole is a CSS and Performance Consultant and works as a Software Engineer at Pivotal Labs. We love her tweets about CSS.
Sam Kapila is a web design instructor at The Iron Yard and responsive web design expert. She’s also the sister of Skillcrush’s very own Deepina Kapila!
Vanessa Larco is a mobile product designer and lover of tech wearables.
The co-editor of TechCrunch is well summed up by her twitter bio: “Breaks news, hearts.” She tweets about the best tech news and doesn’t hold back from sharing her well-informed and often chuckle-worthy opinions.
Suw Charman-Anderson is a social technologist, journalist and writer and the founder of Ada Lovelace Day.
Joanna Stern covers personal technology for the Wall Street Journal. Think sleep-tracking gadgets, all the apps you can dream of and tablets and phones galore.
Nguyen is a reporter for POPSUGAR Tech.
Kara Swisher is Co-Executive Editor at Recode.
Milena Berry is the CEO and Co-Founder of PowerToFly, an organization connecting female talent—primarily in tech—with (remote!) jobs across the globe. The former CTO of Avaaz.org has built and managed huge tech teams—on six continents!
Beth Kanter is an instructional designer with expertise in data and social media for nonprofits.
Pamela Fox is a developer and computer science instructor at Khan Academy.
32. Amy Hoy: @amyhoy
The creator of several awesome business—including Unicorn Free, a blog on bootstrapping businesses, and Freckle, a time-tracking app—Amy Hoy brings a refreshingly sarcastic take to the tech twitterverse.
Currently the CMO of Cuurio, a startup index and partnership platform, Kelly Hoey tweets actively and often about women in tech, angel investing and tech startups.
Swift is a video game designer known for her work on Portal and Left 4 Dead.
Jane McGonigal is a gamemaker and author of the New York Times bestselling book, “Reality is Broken: Why Games Make Us Better and How They Can Change the World.”
Laura Thomson is the Director of Engineering Operations at Mozilla, where she has worked for 7+ years. She also wrote the book on PHP and MySQL (no…seriously. Here’s the book.).
We know that this list barely scratches the surface (Skillcrush twitter-queen-in-chief Dee Kapila could make a list of 1,000+!). Who else belongs on the list of amazing ladies in tech to follow on twitter? Let us know in the comments–we’d love to create a post Part II!
Randle Browning manages content and works on product development for Skillcrush. Randle got her start in tech in a Skillcrush 101 class. Since then, she has become a freelance web designer and co-founded a local WordPress Meetup in Waco, TX, where she lives with her husband and two rescue dogs. When Randle’s not promoting women’s tech education, she runs her food blog, Crandlecakes, and helps out at the pizza place she and her husband own. She is on a mission to make like the French and revel in food, while consuming as much olive oil as possible.