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The Leaders


Katy Exline

Katy Exline is an engineer for Fooda by day and co-leader of Girl Develop It Chicago by night. She began her journey into web development by taking a GDI Columbus class, which inspired her to attend Dev Bootcamp, where she currently serves as a mentor. She worked as a policy researcher and a GIS analyst in a previous life. New food, family, scotch, her dog, and maps are just a few of her favorite things.


Paige Crum

Paige is a software developer at Signal and co-leader of Girl Develop It Chicago. She discovered her love for coding by taking classes with GDI Austin, and decided to make it a full-time venture by attending Dev Bootcamp, where she later worked as a junior instructor. Paige enjoys patios, talking to strangers on airplanes, and the Oxford comma.


The Instructors


Stephanie Finken

Stephanie is a front-end web developer at GiveForward ( She studied graphic design and quickly learned she loved the problem solving that came with it. She was fortunate enough to be introduced to web design and development where she could combine her interests in design and technology. She has a passion for learning and giving back to the community. She loves supporting local businesses and restaurants, and enjoys traveling, drawing and zoo visits.


Lauren Scott

Lauren is a full-stack web developer, poet, Dev Bootcamp graduate, and general life enthusiast. She loves programming because it combines her passion for creating things with her love of problem solving. Girl Develop It gave her a safe space to throw herself whole-heartedly into web development, and she's ready to pay it forward! She's passionate about teaching, learning, coding, feminism, tabletop RPGs and a good dumpling.


Maria Tzeka

Maria Tzeka is a part of the Engineering team at SitterCity. She is an alumni of the Interactive Arts and Media BFA program at Columbia College Chicago and has been previously worked for The Field Museum and Mediafly, Inc. Having volunteered for the Adler Planetarium's Girls Do Hack event last year, Maria has developed a strong interest in continuing to help out in the community.


Monica Friend

Monica is currently a Quality Assurance and Application Operations Support Specialist at Groupon. A little over a year ago, she took her first Girl Develop It class and instantly fell in love with all things web. After completing more classes, Monica started to TA for GDI and shortly thereafter received a promotion to a technical role at Groupon. In her free time, Monica runs half-marathons, tends to her dog Leland, dance/walks around Chicago, and babysits her favorite niece and nephew.


Meagan Evanoff

Meagan Evanoff, Senior Front End Developer at Organizing for Action. Meagan started out as a designer, and now she spends her time building things.

Jen new

Jen Myers

Jen Myers is a web designer/developer, speaker, writer and teacher in Chicago, and the Director of Open Source Curriculum at online training course provider Pluralsight. She founded Code and Cupcakes, a series of mother/daughter coding workshops she leads regularly, and has been involved with Girl Develop It, an organization that provides introductory programming classes for women, as a chapter leader, instructor and advisor since 2011. She speaks extensively about design, development and diversity, and focuses on finding new ways to make both technology and technology education accessible to everyone.


The Volunteers

Coffee selfie

LaToya Allen

LaToya is a resident apprentice at 8th Light. Her favorite languages to work in are Ruby and Clojure. In her free time LaToya enjoys exploring neighborhood restaurants, practicing yoga, and contributing to open source projects.


Elizabeth Engelman

Elizabeth Engelman is a Software Craftsman at 8th Light who enjoys the collaborative nature of creating software. She was inspired to learn to code after attending a Ruby on Rails workshop for women, and moved from D.C. to Chicago to attend Dev Bootcamp. Elizabeth enjoys tinkering her way through problems in iterative ways, whether they're complex software interactions or finding the best recipe for chocolate chip cookies. She loves hosting GDI Code & Coffee events because she gets to meet other coders who are passionate, excited, and just plain cool.