Alumna Rupa Dachere, also known as Vaijayanti Roychowdhury Dachere, CU-Boulder Computer Science BS 1994, has received a 2013 Meritorious Achievement Award in Informal Education from the IEEE “for establishing a non-profit organization that provides educational programs and mentoring for females in computer programming.” This award recognizes her work as President and Founder of CodeChix in advancing the education, promotion, and mentorship of women engineers and students.
CodeChix, tagline “May the Code Be with You…”, is a non-profit public benefit organization based in San Jose, CA., with chapters in the Bay Area and Seattle/Redmond. It’s run by local women developers for local women developers of all skill levels, and provides hacking sessions, technical talks and hands-on workshops, some of which are open to the public (including men), and some of which are restricted to members.
Rupa started CodeChix as a grassroots group in her living room in 2009 and it was the first group dedicated to women engineers and developers who program on a regular basis for work or fun.
CodeChix defines a woman as anyone that identifies as a woman, and holds its events in a “non-alpha, language/os agnostic, supportive environment with an emphasis on face-to-face communication.” Speakers can be women or men.
Rupa writes, “…we had the first all-women-engineering-team submission to an international coding competition in September and, also, our events towards increasing the number of technical women speakers at conferences resulted in speakers at PyCon, OSCON, Grace Hopper (2012, 2013), USENIX and several other conferences both domestic and international.
We will be launching an Indiegogo campaign to raise funds towards our federal non-profit filing, update our website and expand our programs, and plan to launch in mid-October. We are completely volunteer-run and really need some funds at this time."
Rupa was interviewed for the O'Reilly Programming podcast this year at OSCON. O'Reilly Media bills themselves as 'a chronicler and catalyst of leading-edge development, homing in on the technology trends that really matter and galvanizing their adoption by amplifying "faint signals" from the alpha geeks who are creating the future.'
Rupa is also an MTS at VMware working full-time on vSphere. Congratulations on winning the IEEE award!