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A Woman's Place is at the Command Prompt

Lara Hogan (Wherewithall), Ryn Daniels (HashiCorp), Jennifer Davis (Microsoft), Bridget Kromhout (Microsoft), Samantha Grumdahl (University of Minnesota)
Average rating: ****.
(4.36, 14 ratings)

This panel moderated by Lara Swanson will showcase women working in Operations as they discuss their experiences in the field, the challenges they’ve faced, and the advice they have for both women who want to join Ops and those in the industry who work with them. Participants will discuss what brought them to Operations, what encourages them to stay despite its challenges, and how they balance a career that frequently involves being on-call with the demands of life outside the workplace. The panel will also discuss how companies can recruit women for their Ops teams and create the right culture to retain them, and how the industry can work to make Operations more friendly to women and other under-represented groups.

Photo of Lara Hogan

Lara Hogan


Lara Swanson is an Engineering Manager at Etsy. She champions page load time, experiment-driven design, and delivering a consistent experience to screens of all sizes. Lara is currently writing a book called Designing for Performance which aims to empower designers to understand their impact on page load time.

Photo of Ryn Daniels

Ryn Daniels


Ryn Daniels is a staff infrastructure software engineer who got their start in programming with TI-80 calculators back when GeoCities was still cool. Their work has focused on infrastructure operability, sustainable on-call practices, and the design of effective and empathetic engineering cultures. They are the co-author of O’Reilly’s Effective DevOps and have spoken at numerous industry conferences on devops engineering and culture topics. Ryn lives in Berlin, Germany with a perfectly reasonable number of cats and in their spare time can often be found powerlifting, playing cello, or handcrafting knitted server koozies for the data center.

Photo of Jennifer Davis

Jennifer Davis


Jennifer Davis is a cloud operations advocate at Microsoft. Previously, she was a principal site reliability engineer at RealSelf and developed cookbooks to simplify building and managing infrastructure at Chef. Jennifer is the coauthor of Effective DevOps and speaks about DevOps, tech culture, and monitoring. She also gives tutorials on a variety of technical topics. When she’s not working, she enjoys learning to make things and spending quality time with her family.

Photo of Bridget Kromhout

Bridget Kromhout


Bridget Kromhout is an operations engineer at DramaFever, the largest streaming video site for international content. She’s been paying the bills with Unix sysadmin work since the last time ‘flannel shirt over babydoll dress’ was a trendy look. Her CS degree emphasis was in theory, but she now deals with the concrete (if ‘cloud’ can be considered tangible). She likes finicky wide-column data stores, stats-driven monitoring, formal grammars, bicycle-powered camping, and butchering pumpkins for home canning.

Photo of Samantha Grumdahl

Samantha Grumdahl

University of Minnesota

Samantha works as a network and systems administrator for the College of Science and Engineering at the University of Minnesota. Providing IT support for a variety of academic departments and supporting researchers from all over the world allows her to bring a unique multicultural perspective. Her volunteer efforts are focused on increasing interest in the STEM fields, especially among women and minorities.