You may be in school, thinking about getting into the industry, or struggling with your first tech job. Perhaps you don’t have the opportunity to go to university or college and you’re wondering if technology is a potential career path. Perhaps you don’t identify with a lot of the people you see in tech and you’re wondering if tech will be a rewarding space for you.
We’re founders, designers, and engineers. Some of us work at large companies and some at smaller, established companies. We won’t pretend to have answers or advice for you, but we will try our hardest to relate, and share some of our experiences. Like you, many of us took the traditional university route to the tech industry, and many of us are self-taught.
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Every month we update this site with a group of people volunteering to video chat or meet you in person. We try to have a diverse selection of volunteers because we believe there’s a place for everyone in tech. Having role models you can relate to is important.
I'm an hyperactive creative multitask polyvalent guy. Graduate with a Master of Science, my expertise fields are numerous and diverse : Marketing, Freemium, Social Media, Newsletters, Blogging and webzines,... I'm currently working @ Gameloft and running 2 indies magazine on the side. And I'm also a photographer.
I’m an UI / Front-end Developer and an UX enthusiast based in Bay Area, California. I stand on a sweet spot where design & code intersects. My comprehensive knowledge in design and technology allows me to cultivate productive teams in a synergic environment that meets the requirements of creative and developers concurrently. I work with the latest techniques in UI/ Front End Development along with agile workflow that results in simple, beautiful, intuitive and pixel perfect interface designs & products. I am currently working at DocuSign as Web Developer developing cross-platform compatible,responsive, modern, engaging and highly visible marketing web pages.
I'm an engineer and author. Formerly CTO at Kickstarter, an early engineer at Docker & Puppet, VP of Engineering at Venmo, and the author of ten books on engineering, infrastructure, and operations. Leading/running teams, recruiting, scaling systems and people, systems architecture, deployment, operations, product process, product-market fit, and building customer success functions.
Sandra Macias, is a product designer at @Hipbyte. Previously, Sandra was the Head of Design at Hackers/Founders Co-op. Also, worked as a contractor for Google in LatAm, reviewing and selecting featured apps for Google Play Store. You can talk with Sandra about design process, collaboration with engineering teams, career transition from Architecture to Product Design, networking, and tech communities.
Jeannie is a designer at Adobe, working on Behance. Before Adobe, Jeannie was a self-taught designer and has worked at all sizes of companies, from small 5 person startups to large ad buying agencies. Talk to her about transitioning into the design industry without a design degree, prepping your portfolio and interviews, diversity/working as a woman in the tech industry, and finding your dream job.
My best friend taught me how to write software, and we both worked for Zynga, where I was assigned to Words with Friends. We left, then failed to get into Y-Combinator after a harrowing interview! Several years later, I advise and work with ed-tech and enterprise software companies. You can talk to me about literally anything. I'm particularly passionate about education, tech, product design, business, user experience, gaming, the singularity, singing, content marketing, the list goes on.
I'm an in house design/developer for Jockey (the underwear company!). I started out as an intern 5 years ago and have been here since! Since we're a smaller team my roles vary from marketing design, user experience and some front end development.
Primarily a freelance developer in the e-Commerce space, I formed Mercutio in 2015 as a way to scale my own work and help companies succeed online. I've worked previously as a Full-Stack Developer & Systems Administrator and now love that I get to blend Business Strategy with my technical skills. Talk to me about Engineering, DevOps, Entrepreneurship, or Freelancing
Silvia is a web engineer with 7+ years of combined experience in web development, infrastructure and project management. She started out as a web developer, and later took an interest in UX, interaction design, and product management. She has experienced in website redesigns, migrations and technical projects involving in-house or distributed teams in international cross-cultural environments. She has been working for research institutes such as CERN , non-profit such as Doctors Without Borders, digital agencies and as a consultant.
Mark Hall is a technology expert with deep experience in startup technologies and enterprise infrastructure. Currently working at Google, Mark serves a sales strategist to C-level executives at companies that want to understand cloud and big data technologies. Prior to his 4+ years at Google, Mark worked across a number of tech startups doing sales, marketing and communications. He has contributed to industry publications including The Huffington Post, Business Insider, YFS Magazine and others. He also mentors and advises consumer and enterprise startups across the country.
With a passion for cultivating culture and driving unique employee experiences, Meg is an Office Ninja with over a decade of experience in executive operations, office management, and event planning. In addition to being an office guru, she is an entrepreneurially minded Bay Area native, travel enthusiast, and crazy cat lady. She has an affinity for building relationships and has made it her life mission to empower and help everyone reach their full potential. Currently, she is the Head of People Operations at Pillow Global, Founder of Nesting Ninja, an Office Ninja Ambassador, and Founding Member of TechLadies.
I started out as a freelance web designer & developer back in high school. Around 3rd year of college I joined my first agency — Making Waves in Krakow, Poland. That allowed me to work with a bunch of pretty great clients, from startups to governments and corporates, and travel to Oslo. After a year at Making Waves I switched to a more startup-oriented company called Lunar Logic and in my second year became lead designer for their internal product — Kanbanery. Quit in 2013, went back to freelancing and met my co-founder, Adam, with whom I started Lifetramp.com — a platform that lets you try a job for a day. Right now, I'm part-time working with Lifetramp and part-time working on client projects to pay the bills.
Lisa is on the investment team at NextGen Venture Partners. Prior to NextGen, Lisa worked at Google where she was involved in the launches of several ecommerce and media businesses. Reach out to chat about venture capital, product management, sales operations, big tech (Google), startups (Bookly), MBAs in tech, and diversity initiatives.
Jakob is currently an engineering leader at Pinterest, and was formerly an engineering manager and principal developer at LinkedIn. Jakob's always open to talk about engineering, diversity, startups, UI development, and engineering leadership.
Vinish works with product teams to ensure that the content aligns with the whole product life cycle for business goals and for the customer experience goals. Vinish founded ContentHug, and he owns a digital agency that won the agency partner title for Relayto. Vinish writes at Medium. You can talk to Vinish to refine or scope your business idea for validation, product design and UX, content strategy, or content marketing.
I have worked at Salesforce since October 2015. Previously, I was a UX Researcher at Google for nearly 11 years. I was also the UX Infrastructure Manager for ~3 of those years. Prior to that, I worked at eBay & Oracle as a Sr UX Researcher. I am the co-author of ""Understanding your users."" Learn more at https://www.linkedin.com/in/kathykbaxter I am comfortable talking to people about: User research, research ethics, research methods, UX infrastructure, diversity, job interviewing.
Stephan Ango is the Head of Product and co-founder of Lumi. Lumi was one of the very first Kickstarter campaigns back in 2009. The business has evolved organically towards a platform that today helps thousands of companies with their packaging needs. As a designer and programmer, Stephan leads both creative and technical direction of the company. He has a background in biology and industrial design, and enjoys talking about everything from building physical products, to fundraising, and developing the mental tools to stay positive in the stressful world of technology.
I have worked at Apple, Intel, Unity, AMD and two start-ups to craft and execute go-to-market strategies for B2B video, graphics and gaming products mostly. I have been doing this since the early 90's. I have two tech degrees, which serves most of my work efforts quite well.
Justin got started in tech via software sales and soon after became obsessed with startups. After learning to code he started a company called Late Labs to connect developers to entrepreneurs to work for small sums of equity. He sunset that and joined Keen IO as the 7th employee and has helped build the business to support thousands of customers data analytics needs. You can talk to Justin about community building, growth, product, silicon valley culture, dyslexia and storytelling.
I've founded and scaled several startups. My specialization is finding white space for new products, creating that product and then building a scalable team. I've worked with startups and Fortune 50s to create new products across dozens of industries. I feel comfortable talking about: Product, design, business, startups, product strategy.
Adam Saint is a product designer by trade, and is currently serving the UX community at Shopify. He is a cofounder at Bench Accounting and was formerly the VP of Design. He started his career as an interface designer at MetaLab. Adam tried a mishmash of formal schooling (film school, computer science, philosophy, etc) and never completed a degree. He is proudly Canadian, and believes that design and tech can and should thrive outside of the Popular Hubs™. You can talk with Adam about product design, systems thinking, design leadership, entrepreneurship/startups, mental health, and our professional responsibility to uphold human compassion, dignity, and flourishing.
Formerly a team lead at Sterling Commerce and an architect at Online Development, Inc. I have worked on everything from embedded systems to enterprise Java systems to full-stack web development. Right now I'm working on Gomix at Fog Creek, making it easy for anyone to create their own web applications.
I am a co-founder at Bobble Keyboard, an (iOS | Android) app from India to enable real-time personalization on mobile. Our inventive technology enables instantaneous personalization of content. With just 1 selfie, users get free unlimited personalized stickers and GIFs- with their faces, in any language, in real time. We are the most viral and engaged app from India with 7M+ installs in a year. We are the highest ranking Android app in India at our scale. We have the youngest user base- younger than even Snapchat. 90% of our 5 million+ installs are by users 25 or younger. Our engagement and growth metrics are comparable to the best globally.
Amanda Conrad leads some of true[X]'s largest initiatives and is an integral part of truly innovative work in the realm of monetizing content for some of the country's largest digital media companies. Amanda enjoys working on diverse teams and solving complex market problems. With a long background in product design, she specializes in smart, clean, and usable interface and believes technology should help us work smarter, not harder.
Halfway through my study in industrial design, I discovered that what I love about design is solving problems that will better my community. Since that discovery, I've worked to shape my career around problems and products I believe will make a positive impact on the world. Currently, I am a product designer at eero. You can talk to me about what it's like to transition from industrial design into software product design, working at a fast growing company, and the challenges of being the only designer on a team.
Thomson Nguyen is the Head of Data Science at Square Capital. Previously, he was the Founder/CEO of Framed Data (acquired by Square in 2016). He is also a Visiting Scholar at the Courant Institute for Mathematical Sciences at NYU, where his research is in malicious behavior and parallelized decision trees. You can talk to Thomson about working in startups, building a product from scratch, machine learning, startup fundraising, and how to get started in the tech industry.
Victor Wu is currently a product manager at GitLab, a software collaboration tools startup. He has worked in foodtech (Grubhub), fintech (Enova, BMO Harris Bank), mobile communications (Bytemobile), and software consulting. You can talk to him about product management, data science, software engineering, startups, and remote work. Victor has a PhD in electrical engineering (University of Illinois). So you can also ask him about academia/research versus the business world.
Sahil Lavingia is the founder and CEO of Gumroad, an all-in-one eCommerce solution for tens of thousands of creators. Before that, he was the second employee and first full-time designer at Pinterest. He moved to Provo, Utah in January 2017 to gain some fresh perspective.
Tanner Godarzi, a Front End engineer with a design background helps lead revenue growth at Dropbox. You can talk to Tanner about interviewing in the tech industry, Front End best practices or trying to find a path towards responsible development.
I've worked at a startup, an agency and now a bigger established company. Working to get design at the centre of how the company moves forward. I started as an intern whilst studying at University. I've worked with TfL, News UK and many others.
Janine built her career at the cutting edge of hospitality, first in private equity, where she worked with Ian Schrager's Morgans Hotel Group and then with Standard Hotels. More recently, she has co-founded two venture-backed startups in the hospitality space, including StayAwhile, a membership model for housing that combines accommodations with logistics services and allows people to live in multiple places without maintaining multiple residences. She can talk (for hours) about capital-raising and crossing over from bricks-and-mortar to the startup world. She graduated from Yale.
Bernardo de Seabra has been with Yahoo! since the acquisition of BrightRoll in 2015 where he is responsible for the architecture of data infrastructure (pipelines and warehouses) that provides advertising products with analytics and reporting capabilities. He also led the systems integration effort post BrightRoll acquisition. Bernardo joined BrightRoll in 2011 where he was responsible for the big data infrastructure (analytics, reporting, billing). He lead the effort of re-architecting the infrastructure to scale to ~20TB per day and ~50B transactions per day, as well as establishing a technology roadmap in support of the company’s vision and product roadmap. Bernardo was also key in defining and implementing processes and best practices across engineering through the different stages of BrightRoll’s growth. From 2009 to 2011, Bernardo lead the backend development for all mobile games at Playdom, which was later acquired by Walt Disney. At Portugal Ventures, Bernardo evaluates startups’ pitches to assess potential investments. He is also an investor and board member at boomApp.co, an AR startup. Bernardo mentors at 500 Startups and Portugal Ventures to help startups assess and tackle their technical challenges, align their technology with business priorities, find a balance between premature optimization and scalability bottlenecks, and establish a technical vision. He provides specific expertise relating to ad tech, big data, architecture, distributed and highly scalable systems, databases, infrastructure, engineering team structure/growth and lean/agile execution. Lastly, he provides introductions to investors and other industry experts where appropriate. Bernardo received his Bachelor degree in Computer Science from UC Berkeley and was the recipient of the PSP Pinto/Fialon Scholarship.
Richard Kho is a software engineer at Capital One. It's his first full-time job in the industry, having formerly worked at a startup in a customer support capacity. In 2014, Richard taught himself how to code in his spare time and ended up attending Hack Reactor, a coding bootcamp which let him pivot into the world of software engineering. Currently, Richard is working on an enterprise-scale React application which handles all of the credit card signups for Capital One. Additionally, on the side, Richard is writing a book on React Native development slated for publishing this year. You can talk with Richard about breaking into tech and learning how to code.
Previously, Dan was a front-end engineer at charity: water and was living in Brooklyn, NY. Before entering the nonprofit world, Dan worked at a small creative agency in Philadelphia, PA, as a swiss-army knife web developer. Now, Dan travels the world with Remote Year while contracting work for amazing clients. He writes perfect CSS with no bugs, travels frequently, runs marathons and takes photos.
I was on the US Navy bomb squad for 7 years before starting a company to help fellow veterans break into tech. In the Navy, I traveled to foreign countries to train militaries and police forces to safely disarm anything from improvised devices to nuclear weapons. Now, I'm showing this generation of veterans that the technical and operational proficiency they learned in the military can be a terrific asset to any tech company with shift.org.
Ian got involved in digital and politics in 2003, and since 2013 he’s been a full-time web design & fundraising consultant for some of the world’s leading political campaigns and advocacy organizations. Prior to consulting, Ian was a freelance web designer and an Los Angeles startup employee. You can talk to him about start ups, freelancing, product design, freelancing, career planning for multiple jobs, or really whatever.
Aaina has been designing experience for the past 7 years at places like IDEO, Zendesk and now HelloSign. She started out as a Graphic Designer but quickly transitioned to Experience Design. You can talk to Aaina about Product Design, Product Strategy, branding, start ups, creative blocks, and side projects.
Elena started her tech journey as a self-taught Linux admin (has a degree in biology), then moved to enterprise software consulting, worked for Russian government and Microsoft. A year ago she moved from Russia to Finland, having no idea if it's possible to land a job in IT consulting for a non-Finnish speaker. Since October 2016, she's been working as a Salesforce consultant wearing also hats of a business analyst, project manager and trusted adviser for her clients. You can talk with Elena about getting into the industry, being an immigrant, and any aspect of running enterprise projects.
Creative technologist and entrepreneur with almost 10 years experience working across VR/AR, visual effects, and animation pipelines. I have spent a great deal of my career working in some of the top visual effects studios in New York City and San Francisco building studio technology. Past work experience includes Method Studios and Lucasfilm: Industrial Light & Magic.
Alison Groves started out in the music industry before shifting to tech. At her third startup now called Highrise, previously did support and biz dev at Zapier. Her interests lay in shifting the conversation from selling and growth to helping user achieve their goals and solve their problems.
Craig has worked in a number of industries from combatting counterfeit medicine on the African continent to big banking projects and has experience working for both startups and medium sized companies. You can talk to Craig about navigating your first design job, choosing a good starting point for your career, surviving as the only designer in your team, product design, interacting with clients and building a design team.
I am a Product Designer at mytaxi, formerly car2go & Familonet, based in Hamburg, Germany. I am a lover of grids, good coffee, scandinavian design, pencils, matt black things, bright rooms, drums, walking & creating. I really love what I do.
Chris Kelly is 10+ years into a software engineering career, and has moved from a masters degree in Computer Science from Georgia Tech, through a handful of very technical roles, to his current position where he is leading teams of engineers at Salesforce to deliver value to their customers. Chris lives in Atlanta and is thoroughly convinced that someone can have a complete career in the technology industry in Atlanta. Outside of work, he is a dad, husband, and avid mountain biker. You can talk with Chris about careers in computer science, startups -vs- big companies, code schools -vs- college, and consulting -vs- product companies, and anything else software related.
I've been building websites for 18 years, have built well over 1000 sites, and now work as a software engineer at eBay, building eBay's next-generation UX interfaces. I feel comfortable talking to people about anything, but mostly about being a front end developer and engineer.
I'm a second generation Asian-American, a child of two refugees and born and raised in Portland, Oregon. I began my career as a front-end developer and then entered the world of advertising. Once the iPhone came out, I realized that people began to really understand and care about design. That idea was powerful to me and so I joined a startup accelerator where I led the design, creative and UX for more than 30 startups. After the accelerator wound down, I became a design consultant and worked with local startups and global brands and haven't looked back since.
Muhammad has been designing digital products for more than 7 years across 3 continents. From Cairo to Toronto to San Fran to Berlin. Formerly Senior Product Designer at Circletie, Product Design Lead for Instaradio and Lead Designer at Storenvy. At the moment he's building digital fashion experience at Zalando in Berlin. You can talk to Muhammad about many aspects of design, designing for mobile, prototyping and working in the startup world vs working in the corporate world.
Early in my career, I was a full stack .NET developer (sometimes designer, tester, training leader, project manager) consulting for the government in Washington, DC. A comment from my client about a new feature containing "too many clicks" is what pushed me to focus on design full time. I attended Carnegie Mellon University's Master of Human-Computer Interaction program and rejoined the workforce anxious to find interesting problems worth solving. I joined OpenTable and moved to SF where I design experiences to help restaurants run their businesses and deliver great hospitality to diners.
Matt Spiel is the Director of Design at Treehouse. He's been with Treehouse nearly 4 years spending time as a product designer and engineering manager prior to taken on a director role. He believes very strongly in the power of being a generalist. You can talk to Matt about a variety of topics like remote work, being a multi-disciplinary designer, balancing family and work, design leadership, management, process, and failure.
Kevin Twohy is a freelance Product Designer based in Brooklyn, New York. Previously, he was the Director of Product at Hello Inc., and has freelanced for companies like Everlane, Fitbit, BloomThat, Sony, and the National Park Service. You can talk with Kevin about product design, product management, user interface, and running a freelance design business.
I'm a web developer with a passion for social impact. My work has mainly been as an independent freelancer but I've also worked for startups and large consulting companies. My engineering experience is primarily in the backend, database and DevOps side of things, but I dabble in other areas of the stack too. I'm located in Western Canada and have designed a flexible work-life balance that allows me to pursue a life filled with adventure and travel.
Vlad helped design and define Directly's enterprise product that's being used by companies like Airbnb, LinkedIn, Pinterest, and others. Talk to Vlad about product design, working remotely, being the only designer in a startup, or the nomadic lifestyle.
Keith Kurson is a self taught engineer, currently building government technology to scale at Nava PBC, focusing as a tech lead on Healthcare.gov. He was previously a Code for America fellow, serving the Mayors' Office of Operations in New York City, mostly building tools for social workers to better connect with and serve their clients. He's interested in chatting about front end development, building and designing for government, and LGBTQ issues in technology.
Maya Benari is a designer and front end developer who's passionate about making the world a better place through technology and design. She works at 18F where she helped build a design system for the U.S. government. Formerly at Code for America. Talk to her about design systems, accessibility, user centered design, design for social good, and working your way up in a design career.
Formerly, Chris was the Special Projects Lead at Pebble. Chris worked as both a Software Engineer and Product Manager building Pebble Core, Pebble Concierge, and running Pebble's latest Kickstarter, raising over $12 million. You can talk to Chris about product management, software engineering, product design, working at startups, and failure.
Programmer for 18 years. Worked at a fortune 50 at 15 yrs old, was an exec at fortune 50 at age 25. Did non-profit for a few years. Got 2 masters degrees, one in education. Licensed marriage / pre-marriage counselor. I build startups, most failed, a few worked. I particularly love talking about transitions, helping people discover where they are meant to be and empowering them to be their very best selves. I love people and team dynamics and I particularly love mentoring new and younger leaders.
Wayne has over 9 years of professional design experience, including Jet Cooper (became Shopify Toronto), Uken Games, EventMobi, and more. He's currently a Product Manager at The Working Group, a digital consulting company. Wayne migrated into Product Management over the past 2 years, bringing in a healthy design background into it. He's still learning how to best leverage it while working in a different role. Wayne has a diverse background and has been self-taught for his whole career, but has been fortunate to meet great people in every role that have helped him along the way. He has endless thoughts on design, products, games, and finding your fit in the world.
Dan is the founder of Integraph, an employee lifecycle management tool. Previously, he built the people operations (HR) function for Quixey as they grew from 10 to 250 employees worldwide. You can talk with Dan about people operations, product development, going from non-technical to technical roles or for a quick bit of career advice.
Using design and technology to meet needs is Eric's life's work. He's spent well over a decade nudging pixels, crafting unique experiences, directing product, and building teams. His philosophy is to pair a remarkable level of service with sustainable methods and expressions, believing that taking this approach always creates lasting solutions that people love. He imagines and organizes everything with a focus on emotion informed by data — drawing inspiration from the balance found in music between theory and feeling. He has product leadership and customer-focused design experience, as well as digital branding, agency-based client relationships serving the crazy world of tech, fashion and entertainment.
I'm a designer living in San Francisco. I currently lead the Growth and Monetization design teams at Pinterest. Previously, I cofounded/CEOed Jauntful. I also did stuff for Nokia, Method, Google, Heath Ceramics, amongst others. I co-founded the IxDA Interaction Awards to document and celebrate contemporary design.
I currently manage the GitHub Developer Program, which means I help developers who want to build software with GitHub's REST and GraphQL APIs. I also run a small, full-service digital agency in my free time called Santa Cruz Studios. Previously, I was responsible for the teams that built some of America's most popular banking applications. Before that, I ran a B2B digital advertising program at Google that was centered around the AdWords platform.
Jason is co-founder & CEO of Fieldbook, a seed-stage technology startup. In the past he's been startup CTO, dev manager, PM and engineer. Cool things he's done include co-founding Kima Labs (sold to Groupon) and running the Landing Page Optimization team at Amazon. You might ask him about startups, technology, or general career advice.
Jonas is a product designer at Basecamp, where he's been creating interfaces and ideas for many of Basecamp's products since 2011. He's currently working on user onboarding and conversion-related projects for Basecamp 3. Jonas is also the co-creator of a popular iOS app called Hello Weather, and an avid writer. Prior to Basecamp, he worked as a web/UI designer at Argonne National Laboratory. He's happy to talk about finding your way into product design, web or iOS tech, writing, UX, front end development, side projects, strategy, and project management.
Dan Driscoll is an Austin, TX-based entrepreneur and digital technologist. Technology startups counting him as a co-founder include: * reQwip.com, a local peer-to-peer marketplace for buying and selling sports gear * Prepify.me, an edtech startup offering free SAT and ACT prep online In 2015, Built In Austin included him on its list "50 Austin tech CEOs, founders, designers & hackers you should follow on Twitter." Prior to moving to Austin, Dan co-founded and directed City FC, an urban outreach nonprofit providing academic and soccer coaching to youth in Washington, DC. He has also worked for Expedia, Inc., EnviroMedia, The University of Texas, Universal Sports and NBCOlympics.com’s Emmy Award-winning team covering the 2008 Beijing Olympics. His writing, work and insights have been featured in publications such as The Economist, VentureBeat, Poets & Quants, Universal Sports, NBCOlympics.com, NBCSports.com, Austin Monthly, Bicycling Magazine, The Austin Statesman, The Los Angeles Times, Built In Austin, various local TV news segments and more. Dan received MBA and MA in Communication degrees from The University of Texas at Austin, as well as BA degrees in Environmental Analysis and Politics from Pomona College in Claremont, CA. In his spare time, Dan volunteers with organizations such as StartOut and shares bits of nonsense at Medium.com/@dbdriscoll and Twitter.com/dbdriscoll.
In a former life, Kevin spent time in venture and private equity working with entrepreneurs in mobile, FinTech, and SaaS space. Kevin is an avid fan of leveraging ML to solve big problems. You may talk to Kevin about data science, product management, deal sourcing, managing cross functional teams, working in fast growing companies.
Angus Woodman is the (technical) co-founder of Crew and Unsplash. He has also worked on finance and data-mining startups, as well as being a tech consultant for larger companies. He has built product and engineering teams, and programmed in just about every web language. He's particularly interested in culture building, teaching, and the intersection of technology and business, having studied business and economics himself.
Before Google, I founded Yodel, and was a Product Designer at GrubHub in Chicago. I focused on HCI Design at Cornell. I'd love to chat about design process, building products, founding a startup, working at a big company, staying sane and making decisions, tools/workflow, and interviewing.
Engineer turned UX Designer. Started at an international 80K person companies and now running UX and Product for a 15 person startup.
Shrey is a PM at Google working on Search Ads Quality. Previously he worked as a Software Engineer at YouTube/Google for 4+ years. Within these roles, he has worked on Machine Learning & Large Scale Distributed Systems. Before working full-time, he completed his MS in CS at Stanford and did his undergrad studies at IIT in India.
Formerly Diana was a Senior Product Designer at Etsy, Interaction Designer at Snapguide, and UX Designer at Vast.com. You can talk to Diana about design systems, user-centric design, scalable CSS, design facilitation, and team collaboration.
Greg is a Designer @ Driveway working on product, brand & marketing. Previously he was Sr. Product Designer @ Acorns, a PayPal backed company. You can talk to Greg about Product Design, A/B Testing & getting your foot in the door.
Nadia Barbosa works on developer support at Mapbox. Previously, she worked at an environmental nonprofit while pursuing graduate study in Geographic Information Science. You can talk to Nadia about code schools, working at a startup, getting your bearings as a new developer, and communicating with others in the technical world.
Marc is a self-taught full-stack engineer. With a background in a finance and physics, he switched fields and started programming 5 years ago with an edX's Intro to Programming course. Since then Marc has attended over 70 hackathons and won a third of them. Together with friends, he has founded Hackevents, the world's leading search engine for hackathons. He is the founder and CTO at Hackerbay, a tech company that helps non-tech corporate departments to become more innovative, experiment and release new product ideas faster: the days of the 2-year product release cycle is over! You can talk with Marc about design automation, working in startups, or if you want to learn about how to start to program and what opportunities you can have.
Pete was employee #20 at Yelp and over the past 10 years has helped build the company and Sales Org. You can chat with Pete about starting a career in Tech, scaling a company from 20 to 2,000, managing people & leading teams, working effectively cross-functionally, figuring out your business model, adapting your business model, selling your Product and building a Sales & Marketing machine.
Most recently Nat was a Site Reliability Engineer for Hillary for America. He has been a professional software person since 2005 and has also worked at Google, iFixit, Punchd and other places. He calls himself a Software Reconnaissance Engineer because he loves exploring systems and trying new things. He'll gladly talk about Site Reliability Engineering, DevOps, Open-Source, Distributed Systems, "The Cloud", programming, infrastructure design, job hunting, side projects or his favorite coffee shops.
Paige is currently a member of the product design team at Palantir in Palo Alto and loves the challenges that come along with enterprise software. She has taught with General Assembly, Girl Develop It, AppCamp4Girls, and other organizations. You can talk to Paige about product design, diversity and inclusion, CSS, education, "soft skills" coaching, running small-scale startups, developing and executing large-scale product visions.
Robleh Jama is a Senior Product Manager at Shopify, a commerce platform for entrepreneurs, built by entrepreneurs. Previously, Robleh founded an award-winning mobile product studio called Tiny Hearts that was acquired in 2016 by Shopify. At Tiny Hearts, Robleh launched several highly regarded apps including Next Keyboard (#2 overall), Quick Fit (featured in an Apple commercial, #1 Health), Wake Alarm (#1 Utilities) and Pocket Zoo (#1 Education). These apps have been downloaded over 6 million times and have appeared in the New York Times and Wired Magazine.
Been working in content marketing for 6+ years. Ran content at an email startup (Vero) for two years, where I grew the blog from 10k to 150k pageviews. I've done two agency stints and now run a content operation for Quickbooks. I live and breath B2B content strategy.
Amandeep is the CEO of Cerebro Data, a company in the enterprise data analytics and security space that he co-founded in 2016. Formerly, he was one of the Principal Architects at Cloudera and worked with large customers on their data strategy. Prior to that, Amandeep did engineering at AWS. Amandeep has also co-authored a book on large scale systems, HBase in Action.
Mechanical Engineer turned Tech/Management Consultant turned Product Manager. Most recently at General Assembly as head of the Product Management team. Currently coaching and teach aspiring+experienced PM and consulting with early-stage startups.
Aayush is an experienced designer and front-end developer who approaches products from a growth perspective. His interdisciplinary approach is informed by his past experience as a journalist, copywriter, product manager, and creative director.
Joshua Söhn is a product designer at Kontist and a Design Advisor at Vossy Hotels. Formally, he was working as a Freelance Designer for various clients and agencies in Berlin and worldwide. You can talk to Joshua about freelancing, product design, front-end development, networking, getting clients and how to grow in a start-up.
At Kamcord designed a live streaming service targeted at the mobile game market. Monetized live streams through virtual goods before "bits" on twitch were a thing. Currently helping people share their mobile life 15sec at a time. Formerly worked as a self-taught, solo product designer on two Q&A platforms: Trippy and Women.com; appraised hundred of millions in fine art; and ran a wholesale produce company.
Simon is a self-taught Product Designer with no formal education in the design industry. He is currently designing the future of mobile-only banking at Starling in London, England. Previously, he worked with clients such as Google, Channel 4 and Memrise at the award-winning design agency Ribot. You can talk with Simon about creating a portfolio that will stand out among the rest, and landing your first job in the industry.
I co-created Product Hunt, worked at General Assembly as a PM on a lot of fun products (most notably Dash.ga.co), and now am the CEO and co-founder of Hardbound. We're creating a new medium for visual storytelling. I love talking through startup ideas, product designs, and the future of media.
Patrick started two companies in school before dropping out and joining Techstars NYC. Since then, he's helped startups around the world with their products and volunteer as a mentor for Techstars, ERA, and Startup Institute where he help young designers. Patrick would love to chat about getting started as a designer, freelancing, being the first designer at a company, design management, designing two-sided marketplaces, and starting companies.
Digital Product Designer working the last decade in the startup space. NYC. Currently freelancing while traveling Europe. Fundera / GroupMe / CollegeHumor / BustedTees / Vimeo. I also specialize in Art Direction, Brand Identity and Illustration. I attended School of Visual Arts.
Mike is currently Managing Partner at Evertrue Ventures, the Brown University alumni investment group. He is also working on the launch of Undrdog, a media platform sharing the experiences and actionable advice of founders from underrepresented populations. Formerly, Mike was a teacher with Teach For America, Head of Special Projects at The Influencers, and a behavior science consultant to New York startups. He geeks out about the Marvel Cinematic Universe, bad puns, and how to MacGyver Social Good. You can talk with him about transitioning to the startup world, building communities, storytelling, brand positioning, and combining passion with profitability.
Evan has worked in a bunch of different roles at a few interesting early stage startups – marketing at Justin.tv (pre-Twitch), growth at Automattic (makers of WordPress.com) and engineering at Medium — before co-founding a startup called Run Hop that was acquired by LinkedIn. He'd love to talk to you about engineering, data, product, or fundraising.
Danny Knapp is a software engineer at Salesforce. He is a self-taught technologist that has worked in the industry for over 20 years, starting out as a copier technician in the early 90's. He has worked as a support technician, trainer, tech writer, systems architect/engineer, product manager, before working as a software developer. He's also worked as a audio/video production engineer, a photographer, as well as being a professional musician for over 30 years. You can talk with Danny about technology, mentorship, networking, work/life balance, and working in the startup world as well as large corporations.
Veronica is a freelance designer & full-time mom. She has been freelancing for a decade with clients large and small, her favorite clients are small, mom and pop businesses. She has worked with HoltCat, Edwards Aquifer, KFernandez & Associates, The U.S. Airforce, Earth Mom and others. You can talk with Veronica about freelancing, design, mentorship, and even parenting.
I have a masters degree in Chinese poetry but somehow ended up as a programmer. I am self-taught, including some long digressions into academic/abstruse topics, but mostly focusing on web development for ecommerce. I've previously worked for a nonprofit, two stressful startups, and a big slow public company. But these days I have carved out a peaceful lifestyle working from home for a well-run, bootstrapped company. I currently lead the StickerMule platform team building our core ecommerce platform, from backend services to funnel optimization. I'm happy to talk about: getting more proficient in web development, making the jump from development to management, figuring out if a job is right for you, and finding a life outside of work.
Formerly, Christine was a Product Designer at Facebook, where she helped build Facebook Search and Facebook Workplace. Originally from Norway, she's lived and worked in 4 different countries. You can talk to Christine about Product Design, Visual Design, Prototyping, being a woman in tech, navigating corporate politics, transitioning from Graphic Design to Product Design, US visas, and dealing with impostor syndrome and anxiety.
I'm a scrappy & bootstrapped hacker that has sold several startups.
Buzz Usborne is a product designer and founder of a client presentation tool, Prevue. He is currently Lead Designer at Atlassian. Formerly, Buzz was the UX Director for Campaign Monitor, Head of Product at Sendle and lead designer at Skype — he's also worked for design agencies in the UK and Australia. You can talk with Buzz about anything design related, finding your way in tech, growing teams or progressing in your design career.
Previously Design Director at Shopify. Lead the mobile and core product design teams as well as conceptual products and strategy. Currently helping start-ups get going with design and product direction. You can talk to Greg about management, creative direction, building design teams, design systems and scale, Canadian tech culture and going freelance.
Shaun Moynihan is an product designer and Creative Lead at Scout, a product development studio. Previously, Shaun worked with companies like OpenTable, Grooveshark and Creative Market. You can talk with Shaun about the various facets of design, working with startups, and networking.
Previously, Megan worked in national nonprofit organizations building communities and became hooked to the concept of making a tangible difference in people’s quality of life. She’s consulted with entrepreneurs and companies from across the US and LatAm to help them validate ideas and launch in often complex markets. You can talk to Megan about starting up, setting a strategy for launch, defining your target market, innovating in your existing company, or creating (and measuring) social impact.
Matthew started out his career as a cyber solutions architect working for CACI and Booz Allen Hamilton w U.S. Intelligence and Defense agencies. Ethical concerns caused Matthew to rethink his career and shifted to UX Design. Over the past year he has been working for a data science startup designing a compliance surveillance app for one of the world's largest financial institutions. Matthew is looking forward to discussing Enterprise Design, UI Design / Sketch, Ideation, Wireframing, Prototyping, Information Architecture, Contextual User Interviews / User Research, Requirements Analysis, Stakeholder Relationship Management, and Agile Methodologies
Natalie is a freelance and remote project manager living in Austin at the moment. She has worked with small start ups, large corporations, and agencies of all sizes. Natalie got started in the industry as a graphic designer. You can talk to her about freelancing, remote work, managing projects small and large, tough clients, creating processes, public speaking, and navigating your career.
Marcin grew up in Poland, and lived in a few countries in Europe before moving to America. He has education both in computer science and human-computer interaction. He worked at Google (internal tools, search, Chrome, interactive doodles), Code for America (criminal justice, participatory street design), and Medium (design, typography, engineering, internationalization, platform design). He used to work at a computer games magazine before all that, and he does random creative projects time and again. He’s been writing and giving public talks, too. He’d love to talk to you about any of those previous sentences. :·)
Dimitris has worked as a Software Engineer for 20 years both as an employee and as a freelancer. He has also founded a company which scaled to 15+ people. Currently he's part of Doist, a 50+ remote team working on Todoist, a popular productivity application.
Michael is currently a Product Designer at Sunrun working on internal tools/consumer facing applications. Previously he worked with startups at CAL as a designer in residence where he attended college, worked at Google as a Design Producer, and worked on his own startups. Michael also likes to write on Medium and run workshops on prototyping (Flinto & Framer). You can talk to Michael about all things design, prototyping & product.
David Lee, owner of C2LiB (Choose 2 Live In Balance) a holistic health practice helping driven and inspired people find and live their dreams. With 7 years of Semi and Tech experience David has accomplished much in a short time. Designing and implementing system management technology, evaluating DR products and business continuity solutions to M&A activity at the global scale. His holistic approach optimized growth impact for the business and maintained a high level of customer service based upon his #1 Guiding Principle: Give more than you get. You can trust that David will be your wingman if you're seeking a career in information technology - to follow your passion and live your D.R.E.A.M (Direct Reflection Expressing A Miracle).
Design Director at Peek, the tour and activities industry leading booking platform. I oversee product design of the B2B platform and brand design of B2C marketplace. Responsible for user experience across desktop, mobile web, as well as mobile apps. Previously led UX and VD of online communities for Cisco, Nike, Pearson, SAP, and more. Oversaw Agency of Record marketing projects and led the design of RSA Conference for two years. Senior mentor at Cascade SF, where I mentor new product designers.
Chris is a software engineer and manages an engineering team at Creative Market. Before that he was a tech lead at a major presidential campaign, PACs, and non-profits. You can talk to Chris about growing as a software engineer, interviewing, building teams, and growing companies.
Andrew is a product designer currently building enterprise data analysis tools at Palantir Technologies (sounds scary, it's not). When he realized the corporate business world wasn't for him, he panicked - then quickly found passion in designing digital experiences. Previously, he was a product designer at Acorns, an investing startup backed by PayPal, ran an online design course, and studied business at USC. You can talk to Andrew about your portfolio, self-teaching design, getting your foot in the door, mentorship, and his experience working at a big company vs a startup.
James (@aspenwilder) works for Microsoft where he partners with developers to explore the latest technologies for the web and IoT. Prior to Microsoft, he worked in the web development space for 10+ years working with startups and enterprises to improve the way they do business through technology. James is a regular speaker at local and national conferences and blogs at jamessturtevant.com. When he isn’t practicing his software craft James can be found running through the woods, climbing mountains, or hiking with his daughters. You can hear more about my story at http://developeronfire.com/podcast/episode-199-james-sturtevant-masterminding-engagment
Nicole Patton is the Manager of Desktop Engineering at Proskauer Rose, LLP. Formally, Nicole was an IT Manager at Lockheed Martin. Talk to Nicole about the journey for non-coders in the tech space (they do exist), achieving success in tech as a woman, career development, and engineering solutions that enhance client experience.
After winning a startup hackathon in as a product leader, Alicia got the guts to dive head first into her first product management role at a startup called PowerToFly. Prior to that, she was a freelance web designer and front end developer for many years, helping fledgling companies launch their web presence. She is self-taught in UX, design, HTML, CSS/Sass, WordPress, SQL, and many other things. You can talk with Alicia about product management, web development, mentorship, startups, and working remotely.
Jacob graduated from NYU’s Gallatin school just last May, with a concentration in Ethics of Design, a concentration which he concocted. He’s now figuring out how to design interfaces for IB5k, and also helps curate a design museum in an elevator shaft called Mmuseumm. Talk to Jacob about not being an expert at something when you feel like you’re supposed to be.
Victoria's work is focused on connecting people, ideas and spaces in new ways. Previously regional manager at Techstars and head of community and culture at Second Home, she now runs Malleable - a practice dedicated to community strategy and interdisciplinary collaboration. She has spent the last decade building communities and has had the chance to work with the likes of the BBC, Microsoft Ventures, Hyper Island and the Victoria & Albert museum. She's also a Fellow at the Royal Society of Arts and runs the London chapter of CreativeMornings.
Emily Paul is a user researcher on the Service Cloud UX team at Salesforce. Using a variety of research methods, she brings user-driven feedback and insights to product design and development. She recently completed her master's in information management and systems at UC Berkeley's School of Information. Prior to grad school she worked at a nonprofit book publisher and an international development think tank doing communications, fundraising, and technology project management. You can talk with Emily about user research, changing careers, and graduate programs.
Taught myself the basics of design and development at around 16. Spent the next two years trying to work out what to do when I left school. Looked at a whole manor of different things, from architecture to digital media production. Completely overlooked the one thing that I spent most of my spare time doing: making websites. Spent the next three years on a web design specific university course. Then moved in to my first job as a Front-end Developer at Pusher. Over the past 14 months, I've moved slightly away from 'pure' front-end, and a bit closer to design. Have recently joined Lystable as a design engineer to help close the gaps between creative and engineering.
Formerly, I worked on the Premium product at XING (Germany's LinkedIn competitor) for both, web and mobile, as a PM. Prior to that, I tried to lift off a mobile platform for dog owners (failed) and have been responsible for one of Germany's biggest news apps. I mainly found my way into Product Management by simply writing a lot about it.
I am a Full Stack Developer( 10 years exp. ) based in Dublin, Ireland. I have previously built and launched products named www.localmint.com, www.couponhunt.co and www.leapchat.co Previously worked in Microsoft and Dell in Ireland.
Joey Isaacson is a Product Designer at Facebook in Menlo Park with 5 years of experience. His experience with several start ups include Songkick, where he lead product teams in New York and London. He is also a pretty cool dude if I might add.
I'm a design ethnographer and user researcher currently working in government. I've spent most of my working life trying to make it easier for the people who have a problem that needs solved take part in solving it. Worked in business, community projects, international relief and academia. Now leading the development of the user research and service design profession in the Scottish Government. Our team's mission is to make sure that no public service is designed without service users being involved in defining the problem (design the right thing) and building the solution (design the thing right). Happy talking about user research, ethnography, service design and working in government. Also as a disabled woman and a lesbian happy to to talk about the issues we can face in the workplace. I passionately believe workplaces should be diverse and inclusive because it's the right thing to do and because it's better for the work!
Abadesi Osunsade is founder of Hustle Crew, a career development platform empowering underrepresented groups into senior leadership positions. Formerly, Abadesi has worked in growth oriented roles at Groupon, Amazon and HotelTonight. You can talk with Abadesi about biz dev, marketing, networking and how to get your dream job in the startup world.
Amanda currently works as the Product Manager for a media and e-commerce company that has a website, an iOS app, and a robust email program. Before this, she was the User Experience Lead for a full-service digital agency, specializing in responsive web. In the more distant past, she was a User Experience Designer, and before that, she did 4-5 years of federal and state technology consulting with companies like Deloitte. She's worked in companies from 50 people to over 100,000; public and private sector; and in most of the SDLC. You can talk to Amanda about product and user experience, being a woman in technology, and other stuff about tech.
I bootstrapped Tagbag into RiteTag into RiteKit (a suite of four SaaS products for social media ROI) over the last five years. Still with the original co-founders, we have a team of over 25, an office in Prague, and doubled staff in the last year. You can ask Saul about getting into the best possible internship or job in a startup, as well as founding and building companies, bootstrapping vs. fundraising, product design, recruiting, and launching products.
I have been a developer since high school, and a writer since college. Am about to be an Entrepreneur. :-)
Andy Vitale is a UX Design Principal at 3M, where he translates people’s thoughts and desires, spoken or not, into experiences that improve the healthcare industry for both patients and providers. With more than 15 years of experience in the design industry, Andy has held multiple roles as a designer, entrepreneur, college professor and team leader. His experiences have taught him that a successful product hinges on one principle, truly understanding the end user. Andy has developed strategies and design solutions for diverse organizations ranging from startups to Fortune ranked companies. He is a relentless user experience evangelist, driven by a shared vision and user-centered passion that takes a team, and its products, from good to great. Aside from his primary role at 3M, Andy is also an adjunct professor for Kent State University’s User Experience Design graduate degree program.
Amanda Tessier is a digital marketer at financial services and tech company Altisource. She leads email marketing, landing page implementation, and search engine optimization within the corporate marketing team. Formerly, she worked in a software startup and was a SEO Specialist in agency, plus freelanced on the side. Please feel free to ask about startups, agencies, corporate cultures, any aspect of marketing, learning to code, consulting, and balancing the 9-5 with the 5-9.
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