Theresa Preston-Werner joining husband Tom as a speaker at Shift conference

After we announced the arrival of the GitHub founder, Tom Preston-Werner, we have another confirmed speaker coming to Shift conference - Tom’s wife Theresa!


Theresa co-founded Codestarter with her husband, Tom Preston-Werner, after years of gaining in-depth and in-the-field knowledge about resources and poor communities. She wanted to do something to help.


Codestarter is the first nonprofit accepted into Techstars, focused on getting laptops into the hands of kids who want to learn to code, but who can’t afford their own computers. Getting laptops into the hands and homes of underserved kids is a missing puzzle piece in the collaborative race to get more kids learning how to code.



To find kids who want to code, Codestarter partners with organizations that teach programming. At Codestarter, Theresa is working with her team to give more kids access to the opportunity to learn programming, a skill that fosters curiosity and ingenuity and which will open doors to future careers.


Before Codestarter, Theresa completed her PhD in Cultural Anthropology. She studied poverty, social status, gender, and work, trying to understand why some people were drawn to and successful at certain careers, and others were not. Ultimately, she showed that the resources and support people have determine how far they go. Theresa left academia to work with Women Work Together, a nonprofit that supports girls’ education and gender equality in Guatemala.