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The Leaders


Mary Rocheleau

Mary Rocheleau graduated from McGill University with a degree in neuropsychology in 2012. As an undergrad, she took a Java class and realized that she would like to continue learning more about the field. She went on to earn a masters degree in Computer Science from Brandeis University in 2014. While she was a student, she worked as a researcher in groups that bridged the gap between social sciences and computer science. Since graduating, she’s worked at athenahealth, a company which builds health technology software. In her role she acts as a liaison between development teams and clients, both writing perl and SQL and discussing business goals with clients. In addition, she serves on the executive board of the company’s Women’s Leadership Forum. As a graduate student Mary served as a teaching assistant in her department, and continues to enjoy tutoring high school students in math and science. Mary is passionate about sharing her knowledge and encouraging women to be involved in Computer Science, knowing first hand the challenges facing women in this field.

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Liz Shaw

Liz Shaw is a web developer who harnesses the power of CSS, Javascript, HTML, C#, and PHP on a daily basis. She's a fan of fast sites, clean code, and mastering the latest and greatest coding techniques. She has developed sites for organizations including The PGA Tour, FOX Sports, Tufts University, and Roger Williams University. She is currently a Senior Front-End Web Developer at HubSpot, where she happily codes usable, sleek responsive websites and web apps. Her work has recently won Interactive Media Awards.


Liz Krznarich

Liz Krznarich is a fledgling front end developer and experienced technical trainer with a background in graphic design. After studying design at the University of Wisconsin back in the days when phones were attached to walls and designers worked in picas instead of pixels, Liz quickly realized that the Web was not just a passing fad and began teaching herself HTML and CSS by night while working as a print designer and account manager by day. She later returned to the University to pursue a Master's Degree in Library & Information Studies and paid her way by working as a technical trainer at the University's Division of IT, where she developed curriculum and taught classes in HTML, CSS, Javascript, Wordpress and Adobe Creative Suite software. She loved teaching technology so much that she stayed on as manager of Student Technology Training after completing her degree. A recent transplant to Boston, Liz worked in technical support at ORCID, a small non-profit organization, before assuming her current role there as Front End Web Developer.


The Instructors


Amanda Cheung

Amanda Cheung is a front end developer at DockYard, a web and mobile web app consultancy based in Boston. Amanda grew up in Boston and went to school at the University of Wisconsin - Madison where she studied fine arts with concentrations in painting and graphic design. After graduating she started taking web development classes at night while working as a graphic designer. She has been doing front end programming ever since and loves it! She joined GDI because she wants others to have just as much fun doing work as she does.


Lauren Fazah

Lauren graduated from Northeastern University with a BA in International Affairs and Middle Eastern Studies. Passionate about culture, language and travel, she also realized she had a great passion for web development. Eager to switch into a career involving building, creating and fixing, Lauren enrolled into General Assembly's Web Development Immersive. She now is working as a full-stack developer at Hill Holliday and spends much of her free time helping others take the same leap into the world of development.


Laura Vecchio

For Laura Vecchio, web development was love at first sight. After writing her first lines of code while pursuing a Marketing degree from Bentley University, she knew she was destined to be a geek. After Bentley, her desire to live at the intersection of marketing and technology fueled her to pair her business background with a Web Development Certificate from Boston University's CDIA. She has since worn many hats in the tech industry including social media marketer, digital strategist and now works as a front-end engineer at Bose Corporation. As the head of curriculum and as a core teacher with Girl Develop It, Laura is excited to instill her passion and energy for technology in the women of the Boston area.


Amy Chenault

At Society of Grownups, Amy is an Interaction Designer helping to tackle the challenge of how to translate the location’s emotionally rewarding, community-based experience to the digital space. In some of her other UX lives, she’s had the opportunity to collaborate with amazing teams to give local communities a voice while maintaining a newspaper’s journalistic integrity (Neighborhood Square), find new and innovative ways to get kids moving in the classroom (Pearson), and build an entirely new community platform for one of the most robust communities on the Internet (The Huffington Post). Work she has contributed to has garnered the 2011 Italian national prize for innovation, an acknowledgement prize in the 2011 Holcim awards for sustainable construction, and a 2014 CODiE nomination for Best Professional Learning Solution for Education.

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Abby Howell

Abby is a front-end web developer at Scholastic, where she builds educational software using AngularJS and JavaScript. She has a M.Ed. from Boston University and spent five years as a classroom teacher. She is a graduate of the first Boston class of General Assembly's Web Development Immersive program. She loves solving problems, helping people, and pair programming.


Elizabeth Long

Elizabeth Long made the transition into the tech industry in 2014. Her prior experience is in legal administration and non-profit management. After taking classes through GDI and completing the intensive product and design program at Startup Institute in Boston, she's found a job she loves as an Application Specialist for MOCA Systems. When she is not at work she can be found at the gym, doing yoga, cooking healthy food and exploring the beautiful city of Boston.

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Diane O'Connell

Diane is a self-taught web developer with 15 years of experience developing websites and web applications and adapting to fast-changing web technologies. An early significant achievement was building an enterprise-level CRM web application, Salesnet, from the ground up with a team of colleagues until the company and products were acquired. More recently, as a Senior Lead Developer at Velir, a full-service digital agency in Somerville, MA, Diane has led development on large web solutions for enterprise-class clients such as Bayer, Society for Neuroscience, and Kaiser Family Foundation.


Stephanie Viccari

Stephanie studied Entrepreneurship and Business Management in college before deciding to leave a position in marketing to pursue a career in programming. Eager to make the transition, she attended Launch Academy in Boston and works for MeYou Health as a Rails Engineer. She believes in the power of community, hard work, and loves helping others discover, or share, their passion for coding.

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Kate Bronstad

Kate is the web developer at Tufts University's Tisch Library. She was as a librarian at a medical school where the favorite part of her job was running the database-driven website, and was thrilled to get hired on at the main library at Tufts to do web development full-time. 3 years later, she is still pretty excited about it.

Kate has a masters in information studies from UT Austin, meaning she is a librarian and schooled in information architecture and database management. She wouldn't be a web developer without the help of some brilliant and encouraging women (and men) along the way, and is happy/required-by-librarian-values to share whatever knowledge she's gained so far.

She's also grateful to developers who encouraged her to use git & github - she wouldn't want to do any web-work without the safety net of version control again, and git & github make the process pretty easy. She's been using git for over a year and git has saved her **s plenty of times.


Desirae King

While pursuing a career in Audio & Media Technology at The New England Institute of Art, Desirae King found herself interested in running a music distribution company on the side. She figured if she could build and manage her own website, in addition to learning some new useful skills, she would be able to save money that she would have spent on a hiring a developer. A couple web classes later, she realized that she would much rather spend 20 hours coding a website than 2 hours in the studio recording. She switched her major the next semester and graduated with a BS in Web Design and Interactive Development in 2010. During her time at NEiA, she was a teacher's assistant and tutor for various web and video classes. She makes learning a priority in her life and loves to share that knowledge whenever she gets the opportunity. She has had the pleasure of building websites and emails for companies such as Bose Corporation, America's Test Kitchen, Neoscape, Boston Neighborhood Network and Putnam Investments. She is really looking forward to aiding in cultivating some new (or brushing up some existing) skillsets with women on their quest towards development. She’s excited to have the opportunity to work with Girl Develop It to give back to the community of women in technology.

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Jamie Lee Connor

Jamie Lee Connor is a designer with a passion for making the web beautiful and usable. She works as a User Experience Designer at Epsilon.

Jamie studied Graphic Design at Massachusetts College of Art & Design and has been continuously learning ever since. She is excited to help women transition into the tech field and expand their skill set. Jamie lives north of the city in Newburyport where she enjoys paddle boarding, spin class and the beach!

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Steve Hickey

Steve Hickey is a User Experience Strategist at Fresh Tilled Soil in Watertown, MA. Educated in print design at UMass Dartmouth, he jumped to the web immediately after graduation. He started out building marketing emails but quickly moved into creating sites and applications built with clean and semantic code. A proud and meticulous craftsman, Steve loves a good design/dev/UX challenge. He's the company typography nerd and is always keeping up with (and mercilessly criticizing) the latest trends and techniques. He's a craft beer aficionado and brewer, an unapologetic Star Wars fan, an aspiring handyman, and a future marathoner.


Alicia Sedlock

Alicia Sedlock is a web developer and conference speaker. She has been developing web sites and applications for over five years, with a focus on front-end technologies like JavaScript, CSS, and HTML. When she’s not programming, she loves playing video games and brewing hard cider. She currently works for Society of Grownups in Brookline.


Nicole Theon

Nicole Thoen graduated from Cornell University in 2013. Since then, she has been working with Girl Develop It and works as a Java Web Applications Engineer at The MITRE Corporation in Bedford, MA. Her daily work includes Java, JavaScript, MySQL, User Interface design, and database maintenance. Initially, the field of computer science seemed intimidating and huge. Course by course in college, she began to realize that software and web development was a process. A solid foundation in some core basics could be built upon over the course of a lifetime. Thus far it has been a fascinating endeavor with new more to be explored and learned at each turn. For Nicole, learning has and will always continue to be a priority, and she loves to share knowledge whenever possible. She loves working alongside women and hopes to help as many as she can join her in learning all she can.

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Colleen Mirabello

Colleen Mirabello has been writing code since childhood, programming her VTech computer to play music and her graphing calculator to play games. When she was sixteen she realized that programming could be a career and since that moment has never wanted to do anything else. She has a B.S. in Computer Science from the University of Pittsburgh. After graduating she was hired to do web development at a small company called SurfMerchants. Fourteen years later, she is still there, Director of Engineering and specializing in backend development.

Colleen comes to GDI with the hope that she can help other women realize that programming can be their career as well. She is looking forward to bringing her experience as both a coder and a manager to the GDI team.


Tairema Dailey

Tairema Dailey [pronounced (ty-ree-ma) who goes by Tai] decided to change careers in 2011 from finance to web development. She went back to get her second degree in Web Design and Interactive Media at The New England Institute of Art and graduated in the fall of 2013. She specializes in front-end development which includes HTML, CSS, JavaScript, and PHP but continues grow and learn more programming languages. She has built sites for Northeastern University and has worked and developed website work for She is currently a Web UI Developer for

In her spare time she geeks out by coding and continuing to learn in her craft. She became involved with GDI in 2014 by volunteering as a teacher assistant and now on to teaching in addition to helping the leadership team of GDI. Tai is passionate and loves what she does and if she can empower other people then she can call that a good day. :-)


Emily Xie

Emily Xie grew up building hilariously ugly 90s sites replete with scrolling marquees, blinking text, and lo-fi MIDI soundtracks. She loved coding because it allowed her to channel her creative energy into building things with real application.

Though she decided to pursue her passion for aesthetics in full at Harvard by studying history of art and architecture, Emily reunited with the web soon after graduating when she joined an art tech startup as a product manager, and eventually transitioned into software engineering at Wayfair. As a TA and member of the Leadership Team at Girl Develop It, Emily is eager to help other women discover their love for coding.

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Annette Arabasz

Annette Arabasz is a developer with a background in graphic design. She joined GDI because she wanted to show women that coding can be fun, rewarding and not scary.

She attended Hartford Art School and the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth, graduating in Graphic Design & Letterform with a Business minor. She is currently a Senior Creative Technologist at Mad*Pow in Boston, managing a group of brilliant developers.


The Volunteers

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Ace Peckham

Ace Peckham is a nonprofit administrator by day, a coder by night. After taking an intro course with GDI, she fell head over heels in love with web development, and started spending her free time learning as much as possible. She loves the open community of coding in general, and GDI in particular. When she’s not on the computer, she’s probably cooking a delicious vegan meal or reading a good book.


Celia Ho


Lara Shkordoff


Nhori Lopchan Tamang

Nhori is a software engineer and Northeastern graduate who is very passionate about software development practices and quality improvement through effective use of knowledge. She is a Full-Stack Web Developer at MedTouch, where her daily responsibilities include creating fast interactive responsive sites for clients. Her skills include extensive knowledge in ASP.NET, C#, ADO.NET, SQL Server, and Sitecore (CMS) on the backend, as well as HTML, CSS, JavaScript and jQuery on the frontend. When she is not busy coding, you can find her hidden in her bed surrounded with junk food and binge-watching TV or movies.


Leise St. Clair

Leise (lie-zuh) grew up in Cupertino, California and made her first website when cross-browser compatibility just meant Netscape and Internet Explorer. She studied graphic design at RISD before entering the roguish landscape of freelance graphic design work, and wasn't formally introduced to programming until taking a Girl Develop It class on Java. She went on to learn Ruby on Rails and full-stack web development at Launch Academy, and is jazzed to now be part of the GDI learning cycle. Beyond coding and making things look pretty, Leise enjoys trivia nights, beekeeping, and showing pictures of her cats to random people.


Jessica Marcus