Ada Lovelace Day 2010: Sadaf Shahsahebi of the Yahoo! Developer Network

By YUI TeamMarch 24th, 2010

Nicholas C. Zakas is the lead frontend engineer on the Yahoo! home page, a YUI contributor, and author. This article supports YUIBlog’s Ada Lovelace Day pledge; Ada Lovelace Day celebrates the contributions of women in technology and science.

Sadaf Shahsahebi working on her laptop

Growing up in the heart of Silicon Valley, one could argue that Sadaf Shahsahebi was always destined to work with technology. Her father brought home her first computer when she was 7 and by middle school she was already programming in Pascal at school while taking summer courses to learn C++. Even so, a part of Sadaf was equally drawn towards medicine and the potential to help treat and cure children. It wasn’t until right before college when she definitively decided to focus on technology. The medical profession’s loss turned out to be Yahoo!’s gain.

A chance summer internship at Yahoo! following her sophomore year in college began a relationship that lasted through to graduation, when she decided to work for Yahoo! full time. Though her internships weren’t focused on frontend engineering, she gravitated towards the discipline when she learned about the Juku program. Sadaf spent several months learning the ins and outs of frontend engineering before graduating with the first-ever Juku class.

Sadaf then joined the Yahoo! Application Platform (YAP) team as one of their first frontend engineers. She was part of the team that created YAP from scratch and grew it to the feature-rich platform that developers enjoy today. Quite an accomplishment for anyone, let alone for someone’s first job out of college.

Because of her depth of knowledge regarding YAP, Sadaf was also tasked to work on the technical integration of YAP into My Yahoo! She worked closely with the My Yahoo! team to create a seamless experience with the existing product, making a huge impact on the millions of My Yahoo! users worldwide.

Sadaf’s current role as part of the Yahoo! Developer Network team has her developing and maintaining the developer tools that allow third-party developers to create and manage their YAP applications. Suffice to say, if you’ve ever created a YAP application, then you’re thankful for Sadaf’s work.

What Sadaf brings to her work is evident when she speaks: a passion for the Web, a love of challenges, and a thirst for knowledge. She can regularly be found trying to expand her own understanding of all things software, as she’s an avid reader and just recently began a master’s program in computer science.

The challenge of the Web, a constantly changing, ever-evolving realm of APIs is perfectly tuned to Sadaf’s considerable talents. Although she is quick to admit that IE6 drives her nuts, Sadaf’s passion for front-end engineering and her dedication to continue learning ensures a bright future for her and any of her future projects.

3 Comments

  1. Sadaf’s amazing, and it’s awesome to have her here at Yahoo! Great idea to profile her for Ada Lovelace Day!

  2. I definitely miss working with Sadaf. She approaches problems with a calm and efficient attitude and makes the work environment more fun too!

  3. Joshua Harlow said:
    April 9, 2010 at 4:11 pm

    Go sadaf! Great to know a little bit about your daily work life + history, ada would be very proud ;)