Core Team 2017 Year End Review

Core Team 2017 Year End Review

Written by WWCode HQ

Maker Bytes

Issue 107

In 2017, we built features for the Women Who Code community. Let’s run through some of the highlights throughout the year. Along the way we’ll be thanking key contributors that helped make that happen.

TL;DR Product/Feature Highlights 

  • Job Board Features: Improved Job Board functionality
  • Member Experience Features: Upgraded our member experience
  • Network Features: More Network and operations features to serve our Volunteer leadership team, events and members.
  • UX/UI: Incorporated a User Testing model with the help of VMWare!

TL;DR Development Highlights

  • More continuous development and devops tooling
  • Re-architected our code based on user behavior, access management, scalability and product growth.
  • Synchronized our member preferences and profiles.
  • Built our user authentication system leveraging vetted open source libraries to build a scalable authorization system to support apps to come. Both internally and from the community.
  • Isolated our branding and assets with Glitter. Now you can use them too :). Special thank you to Tyson Gach at Thoughtbot for your help with this.  


Job board features

  • Built a customizable plans system to support the needs of the customers and partners that support our community.
  • Designed a new “Companies” page to increase job board conversions.

  • Developed plan “show” pages to better communicate options to our customers. 

  • Improved categorization, search, and filtering of remote Jobs.

  • Tag clickability for search on Jobs index page

Membership Experience Features

  • Launched Synchronized Profiles to enable communication of customized, highly relevant career content and opportunities to members. 

  • Improved search for Networks, Blogs, and Jobs. 

  • New about page with updated style and content. 

[The member benefits portion of the new member Profiles dashboard.]

Front End Perspective

  • Search on Networks: Allows members to quickly find a network to connect with. This is great, because now you can register as a member of several networks on your profile!
  • Search on Jobs: Allows members to search jobs in a meaningful way. Unlike other job boards, we allow search by: Benefits and stack! (in addition to title, description, company, etc)
  • Manually clicking tags such as location, benefits, company. This gets the user engaged in exploring the job board without having to come up with tags to search by on their own.

Back End Perspective

  • Allow members and leaders to be part of multiple networks
  • More accurate location searching by using geolocation features and Google Maps API

Networks Features

  • Network events page. 

  • Recurring Network events.
  • Local jobs. 

  • Leadership Guides

Lead UX/UI decisions with User Testing

With the support of VMWare's amazing User Research team, specifically Varsha Jagdale, Anna-Marie Panlilio, and Pamel Khara, we undertook a project to determine the optimal focus for our development efforts.

This involved the following steps. 

  • Isolate the problem.
  • Create an initial flow based on existing user knowledge
  • User test on target audience.
  • Interviews.
  • Highlight key learnings.
  • Assess how key learnings align with our mission and intentions.
  • Re-draft.
  • Build.

Employing this method yielded improved results from development efforts including a three times increase in member conversion on the home page, and a 25% increase in revenue from the job board.

Continuous Development and Devops Tooling

  • Faster code reviewers leveraging Code Climate, Codeship, and Heroku pipelines. Thank you to those companies for generously providing us with free subscriptions!
  • Safety checks for deployments. We love our contributors, and to enable merging to a master branch while maintaining deployment, we added a staging base branch that points to master. This reduced our rollbacks on master by 100%! 
  • Thanks to a free Vagrant license from we were able to go from 0 to start building in 15 minutes. 
  • Security improvements.
  • Infrastructure improvements.

Thank Yous

This year Women Who Code's CTO and Board Vice Chair Zassmin Montes de Oca is transitioning to new opportunities. We want to thank her for her incredible contributions to the organization, and wish her well in all of her future pursuits.

“Our community started out of a desire for belonging in our industry. Since then, we've started and sold companies together. We've helped each other get promoted. We've gotten each other jobs, and we've even been to each others weddings and baby showers. You are transforming this industry into one that's stronger because you are in it. It's been a pleasure helping to grow and lead this community. Thank you for inspiring me to continue to grow in my career. :)”

– Zassmin Montes de Oca 

Notable Contributors: 

























All of this happened with the leadership of the Core Team including Toni Wells, Kaitlyn Hova, Jeanine Soterwood, Sinead O’Gorman, Vinu Charanya, and Zassmin Montes de Oca. 

Our Member Experience Team brought together people from different specialties to help conceive, plan, and drive the direction of feature upgrades to improve the experience and benefits of our WWCode members. This team included Joey Rosenberg, Sherice Avant, Kaitlyn Hova, Zassmin Montes de Oca, Alaina Percival, Sinead O’Gorman, and JL Lewitin.

Credit for our Illustrations goes to Murray Clement.

We also received support last year from Auth0, Papertrail, Chartio, Cloudflare, Code Climate and Fastly. Thank you!