Leah & José

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“The way that I describe it, and this is the god’s honest truth, I’m white enough to get the job, white enough to get hired, but I’m not quite white enough to get paid.” Leah La Salla is a self-taught, polyglot software architect. Her high school years in the Chicago area involved many hours working in her dad’s super-precision tool-and-die machine shop. Leah got started in tech long before there were any initiatives trying to bring women into development. She studied CAD design in college and then spent a decade in software engineering – including five years as a Federal employee - while teaching herself to program in an additional 9 languages. Leah’s worked on wide range of technically unusual products including fabrication application development, industrial printing, and more conventional app development and app security. She’s mentored over a hundred in women in coding as the LAMP/Js curriculum advisor for the Ada Academy, and she’s rated in the top 10% of Stack Overflow (her social media handle is Open Sorceress). Leah built Astral’s original prototype in between assembling the company team out of the personal and professional network she has built over the course of the last seventeen years. As the inventor of toaster-sized neuromechanical drones for unbiased public safety, she hacked NASA with a toaster. José La Placa Amigò grew up in Puerto Rico where his mother is the Dean Emeritus of the University of Puerto Rico School of Science. José served in the US Air Force, as an off-site engineer specializing in installation, fault isolation, and reconstitution of fixed cable and wireless distribution systems, as well as LAN and WAN. As a war veteran, he’s been shot at. Fluently bilingual Spanish / English, he establishes and oversees our Spanish-speaking international strategic partnerships. He also handles WAN network engineering for line-of-sight development at Astral AR. José is also a longtime volunteer and foster parent with the Santa Rosa Dog Den Rescue, helping countless dogs find forever homes. Show Resources: This Diversity-Driven Startup Is Building Drones To Stop Gun Violence All music for the #causeascene podcast is composed and produced by Chaos, Chao Pack, and Listen on SoundCloud

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