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Flourish

The Leaders

Parker Dyer

Parker Dyer

Parker got into coding somewhat by accident. She took an HTML class as an elective in high school, but didn’t continue down the coding path for another eight years. She graduated from The Ohio State University in 2010 with Bachelor of Arts degrees in English and French, with the intention of working in book publishing. (Obviously, that didn't work out.) After working in publishing, marketing, public relations, and communications, Parker realized that she preferred writing code to prose and made the decision to dive head first into the wide world of programming. She's been working professionally as a front end developer for nearly four years, and in May 2018 she joined a small web and mobile app development agency in Columbus called Dynamit.

Flourish

The Organizers

Mary Ellen Novak-Bibyk

Mary Ellen Novak-Bibyk

Out of curiosity, Mary Ellen took an online intro to Computer Science course. Expecting to learn a bit about hardware and software, she was surprised when the professor jumped right into coding. She loved it and has been coding ever since, taking online courses in both front and back-end languages.
Mary Ellen has a degree in nursing with experience in critical care and a keen interest in health promotion and health maintenance. She has had many roles as an instructor, teaching varied groups of people on a wide variety of topics, believing anyone can learn whatever captures their interest. She loves helping create a welcoming, non-judgemental environment for people to learn to code.

Flourish

The Instructors

Andrea Jessup

Andrea Jessup

Andrea got into programming the way a lot of people do - she wanted a website that didn't exist yet. She was afraid of computers (they are complicated and she always broke them!), and thought coding was some sort of secret magic thing. But a programmer friend showed her Notepad, Firefox, and a tutorial on HTML/CSS, and she made that website herself. Andrea fell in love with coding, and ended up getting a Certificate in Computer Science (along with a BA in Human Geography - yes, that's a real thing). Since then, Andrea has gone back to school, this time adding in .NET and mobile development, while working as a part-time web developer and tutor. She graduated (again) in December of 2012, and moved to Columbus in January of 2013 for her first full-time programming job. She now works as an IT consultant doing mobile and web development.

Andrea started volunteering with GDI because of how she started out. She was 25 when she wrote her first line of code, and she never would have learned if her friend hadn't taken the time to show her where to start, answer her questions when she got stuck, and, most importantly, tell her that she could make a website. Somehow, she thought programmers were just born knowing what to do. She wants everyone to know that programming is just another skill that you can learn (and it's super fun!).

Kim Hamper

Kim Hamper

Kim started coding in 2011, after a battle with a Thai waterfall left her with a broken leg and a lot of free time. On a whim, she picked up a book on HTML and CSS, started learning, and has yet to turn back. She's now a software engineering graduate student, a freelance web designer, an enthusiastic TA for GDI's classes, and a chapter leader. But mostly, she's still learning. Kim is passionate about building an open, friendly environment where women can discover that same excitement she felt on creating her first website.

Jan Humphries

Jan Humphries

Jan Humphries is a Web Developer with experience in the front-end, back-end, and design aspects of websites. From healthcare and non-profit, to ecommerce and marketing, she has worked in many industries. Jan champions the idea that UX is everyone's job, from first sketch to final QC. When not building amazing things online, she loves empowering communities offline, developing open-source projects, and finding new places to have drinks and a bite.

Caitlin Steinert

Caitlin Steinert

Caitlin Steinert is a UX Developer working for Base Two in Columbus. She has been messing around with HTML and CSS since middle school, and has no intention of stopping any time soon. Caitlin is passionate about sharing her love for front-end development - and tech in general - with anyone willing to listen. She spends her free time hanging out with friends and family and hanging upside down from the nearest trapeze.

Karen Kiener

Karen Kiener

Karen is a developer at Fuse by Cardinal Health where she works on applications that pharmacists use to help patients reconcile medications leading to better outcomes for patients and their families.

She’s only been a developer for a year and a half. Before that she explored many roads including sales, healthy lifestyle coaching, business communications, and marketing. Her zig-zag professional path might have been foretold by a grade school teacher who had a tradition of selecting a poem for each student at the end of the year. The poem he chose for Karen? Robert Frost’s “The Road Not Taken”. Seemingly ever since, Karen hasn’t resisted following all the interesting roads she’s had a chance to explore, but at long last she may have found her “forever home” with being a developer.

When she isn’t working Karen loves taking off with her husband to a warm beach, skiing some amazing mountains out west, or just hanging out around at home biking or taking a walk.

Bindu Verma

Bindu Verma

Bindu started learning about computers in high school. She finished her Bachelors in Education and at the same time took some additional computer classes. Her previous job involved operating various softwares and teaching customers how to use them. Her job furthered her interest in computers. She went back to school and got two Associates degrees, one in web development and one in networking. While earning her Associates, she also gained experience as a math peer tutor at the community college. She not only loves learning but also loves to help others in their learning.

Todd C. Harris

Todd C. Harris

Todd began programming in a high school course in Turbo Pascal where he learned that writing code was not nearly so intimidating and arduous as he imagined. He earned a degree in Computer Science as well as in Classics (that's Homer and Virgil, not Beethoven and Mozart) at Case Western Reserve University in beautiful Cleveland, Ohio. Todd picked up an interest in teaching as a Latin 101 instructor at Ohio State and went on to teach Java and intro programming as a corporate trainer. These days he earns a living as a software developer working mostly in Java and MySQL and spends much of his free time with cats and old books. He always includes his middle initial to disambiguate himself from other instances of Todd Harris which include the sportscaster, and the Republican strategist.