Meet Our Speakers


Abu Qader


Abu Qader is an 18-year old entrepreneur with a passion for innovation in fields such as healthcare and computing. As a kid, his goal in life was to read the entire encyclopedia until he touched a computer, his world was then flipped. It was uncommon to see Abu tinkering with wires and motors as his love for technology and science grew after that.

 When Abu was 14, he traveled to Afghanistan and saw the issues that an impoverished healthcare infrastructure brought to the country. Issues such as a lack of medicine and resourced healthcare professionals plagued millions of families. When he came back to the states, he was inspired to begin building tools for the betterment of 3rd world countries. Beginning with breast cancer, Abu built an analytics platform that could detect and diagnose tumors in mammograms with superhuman accuracy. He later on cofounded GliaLab, an artificial intelligence company utilizing AI to build data driven healthcare solutions with a vision of bringing first world healthcare to third world countries. Abu was featured at Google I/O, the O'Reilly AI conference  as well as becoming a Posse Scholar at Cornell University. 

In his free time, Abu enjoys spending time with friends and family, volunteering at hackathons and refugee non profits and scrolling through Joe Biden memes. 

Google Cloud

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Andrew Levine

Andrew is a Google Customer Engineer who brings the power of the Google Cloud Platform to businesses in the Greater Atlanta area. Andrew supports the entire spectrum of Google’s Cloud offerings from Infrastructure and Storage to fully managed collaboration tools. In addition to Cloud technology, he is extremely interested in how Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence will revolutionize how we do business and communicate with others.


Dustin Hiatt

I have spent the last 5 years working with nearly every technology available on Google Cloud platform. Originally starting with Google Appengine on datastore to perform asynchronous mapreduce operations, I now primarily work with analytics engines using Google Dataflow and BigQuery. I use these services to help customers derive insight about their massive data repositories. On the side, I enjoy hiking, flying, and diving.

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Erik Rahtjen
Stable Kernel

Erik Rahtjen is a software engineer from Atlanta, GA. After graduating from Emory University, he became the lead software engineer for Longstreet Solutions before joining the stable|kernel team. He spends most of his time working on mobile apps for both iOS and Android and for fun he reads sci-fi and cooks elaborate meals.

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Marcus Smith
Stable Kernel

Marcus Smith is a Myrtle Beach native who graduated from Furman University. Following college, he spent 3 years in Japan where he taught English and met his wife of 2 years. He came to stable|kernel after working for BMW as a software engineer and running his own software development company called Frozen Fire Studios, though he’s been programming since he was 11. Marcus enjoys traveling, learning new languages, and taking walks.

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Robert Kluin
Real Kinetic

Robert is an experienced technology executive, system architect, and Google Developer Expert for Cloud Platform. At Workiva he created and led the Infrastructure & Reliability organization that empowered dozens of engineering teams to release and own container-based microservices in production environments - aka DevOps. He is passionate about helping companies develop engineering organizations that reliably deliver business value.

Machine Learning / AI

Kesha Williams

Kesha (pronounced KEY-SHA) is a software engineer with over 20 years’ experience specializing in full stack web application development using Java and Amazon Web Services (AWS). She's trained and mentored thousands of software developers in the US, Europe, and Asia while teaching Java at the university level. She did her summer internship with the National Security Agency (NSA) and most recently won the Think Different Innovation Award from Chick-fil-A for her work on investigating how emerging technologies and Artificial Intelligence (AI) can enhance restaurant operations and customer experiences. She also leads the Georgia chapter of Technovation, speaks at technical conferences across the country, serves as a mentor with the New York Academy of Sciences, and conducts free "Hour of Code" workshops for children at her local library.


Nathan Burnham
Peachy Bots

Roboticist, entrepreneur, and community organizer - Nathan spends his time building robots for his company, Peachy Bots, and helping organize events and members at Freeside Atlanta. When Nathan isn't thinking about tinkering, he spends his time sailing with his family.

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Samuel King

Sam is a creative and a software developer. When he's not managing the tech stack at Culturebase, he loves to write poetry. Walt Whitman's Leaves of Grass has been a major influence for him recently.

Android (Mobile)

Bolot Kerimbaev
Big Nerd Ranch

Did you know 20/20 vision is a requirement for cosmonauts? As a kid, Bolot had no idea. Once he found out, he abandoned his childhood dream, packed up, and moved from Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan to Atlanta. Why? To study Computer Science at Georgia Tech, of course! Study he did - receiving both his B.S. and M.S. Degrees - while also teaching Taido Karate. Bolot has been developing web applications for over 14 years using Smalltalk, ColdFusion, Java, and even his own web server.

Matthew Compton
Dragon Army

Matt Compton is the Android Lead at Dragon Army, where he works to build top-notch mobile apps for a variety of clients. Matt's been tinkering with Android for around 7 years now, ever since the days of Froyo. From his home in Midtown, he enjoys playing board games, solving puzzles, and experimenting with new technology. His favorite thing about Android is the kind and open community - we all help each other build better apps.

Naveen Nigam

Naveen Nigam is currently the Head of Developer Relations for Canada and East Coast USA. Previously, Naveen was on Google Play - driving strategic policy and operations to build a trusted marketplace for Android users. He has over 11 years of experience in building successful App Ecosystems and knows the ins and outs of being successful on Google Play. In his current capacity, Naveen is driving programs that enable developers to better understand and use Google technologies while empowering them to be ambassadors to other aspiring developers.

Rashad Cureton
Big Nerd Ranch

Rashad has worked in sales and as an operations analyst, but as soon as he discovered Android development, he knew he’d found his true calling. He dove into app development, drawn to the satisfaction of creating something useful to help many end users.

Riaz Virani
Hexiant Labs

Riaz is the CEO of Hexient Labs, a web and mobile development firm, in the Atlanta area. While his first love is Ruby, he spends most of his time tinkering with JavaScript and Node. You can read more about his musings at

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Zack Simon
Big Nerd Ranch

Zack Simon is a UX/UI designer at Big Nerd Ranch, where he conducts user testing and designs apps for Android, iOS, and web. He works closely with developers to deliver award-winning apps to clients around the globe. In his free time, Zack enjoys designing games and illustrating.


Women Techmakers

Alicia V. Carr
Purple Evolution Inc (PEVO)

Alicia is the first woman of color mobile developer to create a domestic violence app (PEOV) dedicated to helping victims escape abuse. She used her acquired skills as a developer to make a difference. Alicia is also Director of Women Who Code Atlanta she dedicated to empowering women in tech with Women Who Code, she has receive major acknowledgement from Apple at WWDC15 and WWDC16 you could find her on the Apple new beginnings video as well as GitHub video I am a developer.

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Angel M. Banks
Women Who Code Atlanta

Angel Banks specializes in UX strategy and design for enterprise, finance, healthcare, and biotech applications. She has a background in front-end development, project management, and product management. Active in the Atlanta tech community, she is Co-Director of Women Who Code Atlanta and co-organizer of ngAtlanta and We RISE tech conferences.

Jessica Anderson
Spelman Innovation Lab

Jessica is the Assistant Director at Spelman College’s Innovation Lab. Her goals are to build digital literacy and creative problem-solving skills among students and faculty, and her intentions are to push the boundaries of digital art and amplify the artistic voices of young, Black women. Through her personal work and her work at Spelman, she wants to support digital pedagogy so everyone can think more critically and creatively about digital technologies and the ways we apply them in our lives.

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Kristin Marsicano
Big Nerd Ranch

Kristin is an Android developer and instructor at Big Nerd Ranch, and author of Android Programming: The Big Nerd Ranch Guide. Prior to working at Big Nerd Ranch, Kristin taught introductory Computer Science courses at Georgia Tech in Python and Matlab. Always an educator at heart, she is passionate about learning, software development, and the intersection of the two. When she is not teaching or developing apps, you can find Kristin cooking for her growing family, doing yoga, or enjoying chocolate ice cream.

Community Lounges (Chrome + Pixel)

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Beau Lyddon
Real Kinetic

Beau has 20 years of experience in the tech industry. He’s currently a partner at Real Kinetic doing software consulting and development. He’s previously been an engineer, manager and architect. He’s done front-end and back-end development. And has nearly 10 years of experience with cloud services specifically Google Cloud Platform and Amazon Web Services. He loves working with large, complex systems and has spent the past few years leading teams focused on distributed systems.

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Shanice Graham-Merrill
Black Tech Women

I am a strategy professional, with the ability to conceptualize abstract problems, design analytical requirements and comprehend the implications. As a Digital Marketing and Brand Strategy professional I have worked with major Fortune 500 companies and small business to develop digital strategies for business growth and brand engagement. I am currently the City Lead for Black Tech Women Atlanta


The Glad Scientist

The Glad Scientist is the pseudonym of Puerto-Rican artist Daniel Eric Carlos Hector Alberto Sabio. His works range from witty 2D digital creations to fully immersive code-driven installations. They have garnered diverse international attention, from ISEA (International Symposium of Electronic Art) to Chale Wote Street Art Festival and beyond. He wields a BSc in Computational Media (Computer Science+Art) from Georgia Tech, and currently works closely with tech startups at the Atlanta incubator & seed fund TechSquare Labs.