Ashley Holcomb!

Software engineer at JPMorgan Chase, lead instructor at Girls Who Code Otterbein

Ashley Holcomb is a native of the greater St. Louis area (Go Blues!) who landed in Columbus, OH after interviewing for a job at the Grace Hopper Celebration in 2018. She has been a software engineer at JP Morgan Chase ever since. Ashley taught herself about robotics during the pandemic (much to the detriment of her cat) and brought that experience to local coding club, Girls Who Code Otterbein, where she spends her weekends--building weird things with tiny geniuses! She doesn't have any hobbies because she doesn't care about anything other than cats, kids, and ice hockey.

Joe the Axolotl, Clever Closet, & Demonic Robots - Weird Projects of Tech-Savvy Middle School Girls

Joe the Axolotl, the lovable amphibian with an impossible name, titular character in a platformer game destined to rival Mario Clever Closet: The Smart Way To Dress, an app to help you pick your outfit in the morning LEGO robots programmed to take over the world and then some, possessed by a demon named...Bob? The minds behind these impressive projects you’ve never heard of are not available to give a presentation during the academic year. They’re in class right now…just like the other middle school students in Columbus, Ohio. A local chapter of Girls Who Code, hosted by Otterbein University, has some particularly bright participants. Lead instructor is here to tell their story: how they learned to code, where their inspiration comes from, and how they influence the world around them by being brave, not perfect. Girls Who Code clubs, like the one at Otterbein, are similar to scouts—anyone can start a club in their community or school. There is a lot of material available to run a coding club, making it a low-lift way to put more STEAM into the world. But the Otterbein chapter is doing things a little bit differently. The team of volunteers has put technology into the tiny hands of middle school students and armed them with software practices such as agile and test-driven development. They’ve designed five years of lesson plans for local school kids. Hear instructors brag about everything the kids have accomplished (as though they did it themselves) and how they have empowered participants to build weird things with technology unapologetically. They will share the fan-favorite activities, failed experiments, and everything that keeps the kids coming back to this STEAM club--from free t-shirts to gender-inclusive policies. Most importantly, learn how any technologist (YES, YOU!) can get involved and become a better cheating off of 6th graders!

3:30 PM

New hope (Live 15 - Simul 10, 11)