Finding Ada — Chandni Verma and Tiffany Antopolski

October 7th is Ada Lovelace Day. A day that showcases women in science and technology by profiling a woman technologist or scientist on your blog.

This year I wanted to write about two women who I’ve met and worked with in the last year as a mentor of the GNOME Outreach Programme for Women and the Google Summer of Code.

Chandni Verma
I met Chandni when she applied to be an Empathy intern for the GNOME Outreach Programme for Women. Chandni had never worked in open source before, but she approached it with an amazingly keen enthusiasm. Before too long Chandni began to grasp the ropes, learning GTK+ and Telepathy. She then went on to fix bugs in Empathy as well as the Telepathy connection managers.

Chandni studied computer science at the Dr M.C. Saxena College Of Engineering & Technology and has a passion for algorithms and would regularly participate in algorithm competitions. She learned about open source from a friend and in her final year of college and ordered Ubuntu CDs to check it out. Chandni says “I liked the idea of open source particularly since it allowed one to learn and evolve without any restrictions even if you are a student.

Chandni applied for GOPW after completing her final year and has remained working on Empathy since the end of her internship. Chandni gave her first conference presentation, detailing her experience with the programme, at GNOME.Asia. She had hoped to give it again at the Desktop Summit, but unfortunately bureaucracy got in the way. She looks forward obtaining a position with a company working on GNOME.

Tiffany Antopolski
Tiffany was in the same intake of the GOPW as Chandni, working on the documentation for GNOME with Paul Cutler. I then met Tiffany when she applied for the Google Summer of Code to work on integrating Empathy and Evince.

Tiffany is studying software engineering at McMaster University and also taught first year programming to students of the same course, having helped to design the curriculum. Before studying software engineering, Tiffany was a veterinary technician, and used to work in an emergency vet clinic. She also works part time in a neuroscience research lab.

Tiffany got involved in GNOME through the GNOME Documentation Project after being an Ubuntu user for around two years prior. In 2011 Tiffany attended the GNOME docs hackfest, the Open Documentation Conference and the Desktop Summit, where she worked on improving the documentation for GNOME. She successfully applied for Google Summer of Code with a project to work on integrating Telepathy into Evince. Recently Tiffany began working on the Esperanto translation for GNOME.

About Danielle

Danielle is an Australian software engineer, computer scientist and feminist. She doesn't really work on GNOME any more (sadly). Opinions and writing are solely her own and so not represent her employer, the GNOME Foundation, or anyone else but herself.
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9 Responses to Finding Ada — Chandni Verma and Tiffany Antopolski

  1. Thanks Danni :) That made me feel really honored!

  2. Carl says:

    I have mentally filed the paragraph saying, “Tiffany is studying software engineering […] neuroscience lab.” under ‘Paragraphs that Implicitly End With, “Why? What have you done?”‘ :D

  3. Hi Danni,
    I made for you a new hackergotchi from the photo Verma posted about you, it took me just 3 minutes and I think in it you have a very happier look ;)
    Here it is:
    http://dl.dropbox.com/u/212852/danni.png

    and here the source .xcf:
    http://dl.dropbox.com/u/212852/danni.xcf

    Hope you enjoy it!

    p.s.: I couldn’t find any other way to contact you than abusing a comment here, sorry about this.

  4. Nancy Hill says:

    Having had the pleasure of meeting Tiffany recently, it was really nice to read this.

  5. Danielle says:

    @Carl: what do you mean?

    @Ulisse: oh wow, thank you! I’ve just filed a bug to get my hackergotchi updated.

  6. Carl says:

    @Danielle

    Oh, just that it’s a really impressive list of things. It seemed both amusing and incredible to me that you started listing at documentation, proceeded through curriculum design and ended at neuroscience. The thought was, “Wow! Surely no-one is supposed to achieve ALL these things at once?”

    Maybe that didn’t come across. Problems of British humour, maybe? We express our veneration of acheivements through making jokes about how comparatively rubbish we are.

  7. Danielle says:

    @Carl: yeah :)

    The problem with relying on self-deprecating humour (also popular in Au) is that on the Internet no one knows you’re a Brit.

  8. Carl says:

    I’ll bear that advice in mind, the next time I comment on the Internet.

    I hope I didn’t come across as rude.

  9. Danielle says:

    @Carl: it’s all good :)

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