Guest Post: Estefania Ortiz and the Latin@ Coder Summit

On May 2nd, 2015, CODE2040 Alumna Estefania Ortiz hosted the Latin@ Coder Summit at Stanford. The following post, written by Estefania, recounts the process she and her CODE2040 advisory team went through in order to make the summit happen.

The Latin@ Coder Summit was a day-long event in May that brought together more than 200 Latino/Latina programmers for networking, learning, and sharing. The day was full of interactive technical workshops, discussions, and speakers. 

The original idea stemmed from a conversation with a CODE2040 mentor,  Jennifer Arguello’s and my desire to connect with Latina programmers. After that conversation, we initially decided to host a small “get-together” of Latina programmers at Stanford. However, that plan quickly increased in scale. Soon after we began planning the event, Tiq Chapa, another CODE2040 mentor, connected me to students who worked at the Hispanic Heritage Foundation that summer. They had begun to plan a similar event and wanted to join forces. The plan for the event was suddenly much larger: we wanted to bring together 200 Latino and Latina coders to Stanford for a whole day of activities. With the support of CODE2040 and the Hispanic Heritage Foundation, we made the Latin@ Coder Summit possible. 

CODE2040's support was crucial in finding both presenters and attendees. Incredibly, all of our workshops had CODE2040 representation in them:

  • Danilo Campos, a CODE2040 mentor, taught the Introduction to iOS workshop
  • Luis Fernando de Pombo (alumnus) taught Big Data Processing
  • Andre Woodley (alumnus) taught Growth Hacking
  • An amazing group of volunteers from the CODE2040 community taught Technical Interviewing 101:

Vicky Lai, Software Engineer at Palantir Technologies
Sonia Fajardo, Software Engineer at Brightroll
Ned Rockson, Co-Founder at Doublie
Paola Castro, Mobile App Engineer at SurveyMonkey
Brian Lumpkins, Engineer at cPacket Networks
Robert Scott, Software Engineering Manager at Inkling
Pascal Carole, Lead Engineer at Do
Ragib Jones, Technical Lead at Brocade
Jose Rojas, Software Developer at Redline Solutions, LLC
Christian Ambriz, Software Engineer at Bloc, Inc.

It is an anomaly to be a Latino/a in tech the same way that being an engineer in the Latino community is uncommon. Our vision was to create an event in which Latino/a engineers could connect and celebrate while listening to great technical speakers and participating in helpful workshops. The event dispelled the tale that there are no Latino/a engineers while also challenging the idea that tech companies simply can’t find us. It was a way to strengthen the community by uniting it in a way that has not been done before.

The high concentration of talented, passionate, and supportive individuals in the CODE2040 network made bringing together more than 200 Latin@ Coders in one room possible. has more information on the event.