Who I am

Bio 41c5384b1dab3fb87d430e1e08710a788a165cbf1309e50d6951d3caaaa6b7c8

My programming origin story starts when I was a tween in the middle '90s, muddling my way through CSS and HTML with my identical twin sister as we lovingly crafted an internet homage to "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" (this was basically my life.)

After several years in journalism, from design to online to radio (including freelance work for NPR), I decided to return to that childhood passion.

I left the prairies of Nebraska for the forests of Wisconsin, and have been a software developer for Ten Forward Consulting in Madison since mid-2015. In addition to full-stack programming (Ruby/Rails, PostgreSQL, Sass, Coffescript and Haml) and some design, I spearheaded and now direct our company blog.

My writing skills also come in handy as a speaker; I regularly present at conferences around the country and at local meetups, including a session at RailsConf 2017, keynoting That Conference 2017 and Write/Speak/Code 2018, and speaking at SXSW 2018.

I’m passionate about increasing inclusivity in tech, and volunteer regularly at the Madison YWCA’s web development bootcamp. I'm also the primary organizer for the Madison Women in Tech community group, helping plan and execute three to four workshops, panels, lectures and/or socials per month for our 1,000+ members. Last year, I also joined the organizing committee for Madison Startup Weekend and the board for Forward Fest.

Outside of work, I’ve built and now maintain two Ruby gems and have the first of several open-source "feminist lorem ipsum" sites up and running ("Shonda Ipsum").

Find me on twitter at @hilarysk.

Key stats


  • Immune to poison ivy
  • Encyclopedic knowledge of Buffy the Vampire Slayer
  • Lucid dreamer

Current Favored Board Games

  • Above and Below
  • Castles of Mad King Ludwig
  • Carcassonne


  • Chips and queso blanco
  • Bourbon barrel-aged stouts
  • Mango sorbet

Ask me about ...

  • playing the "jug" in a national jug band competition
  • fishing for wild piranha in Bolivia
  • attending Twin Days, the world's largest gathering of multiples


  • Identical twin sister
  • Gus and Baxter, ragdoll-siamese cats
  • Ginny, my 4-year-old niece (she gives the best fashion tips)

Current Sci-Fi/Fantasy

  • Brandon Sanderson
  • NK Jemisin
  • Kristin Cashore