To empower girls by providing engaging and accessible
educational programs in software development.
Gender equality in the software development profession.
App Camp For Girls seeks to address the gender imbalance in technology professions by inspiring middle-school age girls with a broad introduction to the process of app development, from brainstorming and designing ideas to building and pitching their apps. We believe that the experience of creating an app that runs on a device in one week can spark the enthusiasm that will propel girls to pursue further tech education.
In addition, App Camp For Girls is a place for women in the tech community to come together, network, and provide mutual support in their endeavors to advance in the field of software development. We encourage and support our volunteers to continue their own education in programming and design.
The inaugural season of App Camp for Girls took place in Summer 2013 in Portland, Oregon. Since then, we have expanded to Seattle and Vancouver (Canada). In 2016, we will launch new locations in Phoenix and Orange County, California.
camp organizers and lead developers
App Camp For Girls is the brainchild of Jean MacDonald, former partner at Smile, a well-known company in the Mac and iOS developer community. She worked there for 9 years, developing marketing plans, managing public relations and nurturing the Smile customer community. Prior to Smile, she was sole proprietor of Well-Tempered Web, a website design and online marketing consultancy. In March 2014, she left Smile to focus her attention full-time on App Camp For Girls.
Jean is an alumna of Big Nerd Ranch, where she took the Beginning iOS Bootcamp intensive course to prepare for App Camp For Girls. Jean has been an active participant and supporter of the Rock 'n' Roll Camp for Girls in Portland, which is the source of her inspiration for App Camp.
Grey Osten, Director of Curriculum and Engineering, is responsible for creating the curriculum and codebase used at camp. By day, Grey works at Smile as an iOS Developer. Prior to that, Grey's journey as an iOS developer began in 2010 when close friend and founder of Fish Hook, Evan Delaney, took Grey under his wing. Grey's existing background in computer repair, customer service, and a bachelor's in fine art turned out to be the perfect foundation for learning to build iOS applications. As a self taught developer, Grey believes that teaching is just as important as doing. Grey usually spends downtime hiking with Wendall the Wonder Dog.
Follow Grey on Twitter.
Shonna Lemke joined the App Camp For Girls team in 2016 as Operations Manager. She is an independent website designer who has worked with many clients, including App Camp For Girls and Smile. She became interested in tech when she first studied web design at Pacific Northwest College of Art and considers herself a geek. She is dedicated to promoting inclusivity in technology fields, and hopes that her young daughter won’t think twice about learning to code, if that’s what she wants to do.
app camp portland
Laura Savino (Camp Lead Developer, July) is an iOS developer with a penchant for languages, travel, and education. She's worked on all sorts of client apps through mobile agencies, and most recently built apps to transform students' learning at Khan Academy. In between conference speaking and training, she codes independently in Seattle.
Diana Zmuda (Camp Lead Developer, August) is an iOS developer at thoughtbot. After graduating with a degree in Math and Economics, she decided to take a hard right turn into the world of app development. Once she finished App Academy's inaugural session in San Francisco, she did an iOS apprenticeship and is now building mobile apps for startups at thoughtbot. She co-wrote a book, iOS on Rails, and is currently having a blast with the new hottest language, Swift.
Momoko Saunders (Special Projects Organizer) is an software engineer at Fish Hook. She volunteered as a project team manager at three sessions of App Camp in 2013 and 2014, and is one of the original "beta" camp volunteers. While she has been working in software since 2010, her involvement with AC4G spurred a self-education in mobile development that has her now coding new features and squashing bugs. As an avid cyclist and advocate for bicycles, she also volunteers at a Portland bike collective, Bike Farm, a space that teaches people how to fix their bikes.
Danielle Kulczyk (operations assistant and Portland camp organizer) is a product owner at OMBU, tasked with guiding products from ideation through launch. As a project team manager in Portland for summer 2015, Danielle enjoyed helping the young developers through the same process. Prior to OMBU, Danielle worked on the web team at Metro, and her background includes a degree in organizational psychology and time working on student newspapers at Portland State University. In her spare time she enjoys planning parties and game nights.
APP CAMP SEATTLE
Seattle lead developer 2014-2015, is an iOS developer who currently splits time between building apps and watching (chasing) her two young children. After graduating with a degree in computer science from the University of Washington, she spent the next 10+ years working at companies ranging from start-up to established. She made the switch from web development to iOS development in 2014 after completing a certificate program with the UW. She currently works for her own company building apps for kids. She loves teaching at App Camp for Girls and sharing how delightful it can be to code.
Kristina Sontag is the Software Test Manager at The Omni Group, a 20-year software industry veteran and is a Seattle camp organizer (2014 & 2015) as well as a Portland 2013 volunteer. In addition to gleefully contributing to Omni's software quality, she knits, supports her local soccer teams and explores the Pacific Northwest with her son.
Liz Marley, Seattle organizer 2014 & 2015 and Portland 2013 volunteer, started her career as a software tester. She is currently a product manager at The Omni Group, crafting productivity software for Mac, iPhone and iPad.
Virginia Roberts is the MC for App Camp Seattle. She's an online dating coach turned Program Manager at Microsoft, and she loves geeking out about everything from line height to hashtags to batch scripts. She learns a little more about making apps each year with App Camp, and can't wait to someday ship her own indie app to help people take more flattering selfies!
app camp vancouver
Shayla Sawchenko is a senior mobile developer at Two Tall Totems in Vancouver, working on multiple projects of varying sizes. She has a B.Sc. in Computer Science from Simon Fraser University, with ten years of experience developing both web and native mobile applications. She loves how software development is a mix of structure, theory and creativity. Outside of work she loves hanging out with friends, going skiing when she can, and tries her best to keep up on her "Lego a day" photography project. Shayla is excited to be part of the first Canadian AC4G.
Briana Sim is Chief Operating Officer for Radical I/O Technology Inc, a custom software development company that specializes in mobile, web, APIs and the cloud. Prior to joining Radical I/O, she spent over 8 years working in higher education administration & student services. Briana is a lifelong learner and cares about under-represented groups having equal and supportive access to jobs, education, and skills. She’s also a travel fanatic, believes in global citizenship, and gives back to the local and global community. Briana holds an MEd from York University and a BBA in Management from Golden Gate University. She is a proud Co-organizer for bringing App Camp for Girls to Vancouver in 2015. Follow Briana on Twitter @simbriana.
App Camp Phoenix
Aleen Simms is co-organizer of App Camp for Girls in Phoenix, Arizona. She has a diverse background with experience in writing, editing, design, press relations, software development, and consulting. Her podcast, Less Than Or Equal, is focused on pursuing equality in geekdom by celebrating the diverse and their accomplishments. She currently works as a writer, editor, and does media outreach for a software development company in addition to her duties as a lounging spot for her two cats.