Out of Office Hours

Creating dialog between newcomers and people working in the tech industry.

Who you are

You may be in school, thinking about getting into the industry, or struggling with your first tech job. Perhaps you don’t have the opporunity 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.

Who our volunteers are

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.

How do you talk to someone?

We ask that you fill out a brief questionnaire. This let’s us learn about you and prevents Out of Office Hours from being first-come first-served. We recognize our privilege and would prefer to elevate voices that are diverse around people of color, gender identity, sexuality, and class.

Fill out the questionnaire

How does Out of Office Hours work?

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.

January 2017 Volunteers

JP Valery Product Marketing Manager @ Gameloft

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.

Jakob Heuser Head of Core Experience, Pinterest

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.

Kathy Baxter Principal User Researcher

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.

Sean Gates MTS 2 - Software Engineer (Front-end) — eBay

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.

Nicole Patton Manager of Desktop Engineering, Proskauer Rose LLP

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.

Jacob Ford Front-end Designer at IB5k

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.

Stanley Idesis Enterprise software and marketing consultant, my own company

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.

Shrey Gupta Product Manager, Google

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.

Maurice Cherry Principal at Lunch; Founder/EIC at Revision Path

Maurice has a rich background of experience, having worked everywhere from garage-based startups to Fortune 500 companies to interning at NASA. You can talk to Maurice about art direction, brand strategy, branding, creative direction, creative strategy, design, digital strategy, diversity, entrepreneurship, and podcasting.

Jonas Downey Product Designer at Basecamp

Prior to Basecamp, Jonas worked as a web/UI designer at Argonne National Laboratory. Jonas is also the co-creator of a popular iOS app called Hello Weather. He's happy to talk about product design, web or iOS tech, writing, UX, front end development, side projects, strategy, and project management.

Evan Solomon Engineer @ LinkedIn

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.

Evan Knight Interaction Designer at Google

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.

Jeannie Huang Senior Product Designer at Adobe (Behance)

Before Adobe, Jeannie was a self-taught designer and has worked at all sizes of companies, from small 5 person startups (Pictorious) to large ad buying agencies (ZenithOptimedia). Talk to her about transitioning into the design industry without a design degree, prepping your portfolio and interviews, and finding your dream job.

Megan Conyers Growth + Impact Strategist, self-employed

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.

Aaina Sharma Creative Director

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.

Adam Wood Founder, Bici Labs

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.

Paige Pauli Product Designer at Palantir Technologies

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.

Dan Gold Freelance Front-End Developer, Photographer and Traveler

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.

Nat Welch Software Reconnaissance Engineer

Most recently Nat was a Site Reliability Engineer for Hillary for America. He's 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 and "The Cloud".

Saul Fleischman CEO @RiteKit: a suite of four SaaS productivity tools

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.

Jimmy Fursman Principal, Mercutio

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

Sandra Macias Senior Designer at Hipbyte

Formerly, Sandra was the Head of Design at Hackers/Founders Co-op. Worked as a contractor for Google in LatAm, reviewing and selecting featured apps for Google Play Store. You can talk to Sandra about tech communities, design process, working with engineering teams, and career transition from Architecture to Product Design

Ian Patrick Hines Founder & CEO of Hines Digital

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.

Lisa Cuesta Vice President, NextGen Venture Partners

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.

Patrick Lewis Head of Design, Button

I started two companies in school before dropping out and joining Techstars NYC. Since then, I've helped startups around the world with their products and volunteer as a mentor for Techstars, ERA, and Startup Institute where I help young designers. I'd love to chat about getting started as a designer, freelancing, being the first designer at a company, design management, and starting companies.

Kevin Liu Product Manager - Data Lead at Mattermark

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.

Pete Hancock VP of Sales @Yelp

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.

James Turnbull CTO @ Emaptico

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.

Michele Larson Engineering Manager at GumGum

Formerly, Michele was a web/product engineer and career changer. You can talk to Michele about making web applications, working at start ups, doing a tech bootcamp, working as an engineer without a CS degree, and making the switch to engineering management.

Natalie Semczuk Freelance Project Manager

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.

Christopher Hendel Product Manager at MongoDB

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.

Vinish Garg Content strategist, Product designer, Storyteller | vhite

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.

John Saddington Founder, Writer, Indie App Developer

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.

Craig Wattrus Product Designer Braintree

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.

Amanda Conrad Director, Product Management

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.

Diana Mounter Product Designer and leads the Design Systems team at Github

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.

Justin Johnson Product Manager at Keen IO

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.

Jason Crawford Co-Founder & CEO, Fieldbook

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.

Christine Røde Independent Product Designer

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.

Vlad Georgescu Design lead at Directly

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.

Michael Lee Product Designer @ Sunrun

Formerly, Michael worked as an economic consultant but decided to pursue design. He worked with startups at CAL as a designer in residence where he attended college, worked at Google as a Design Producer, worked on his own startups and is now a Product Designer at Sunrun working on internal tools/consumer facing applications. 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.

Greg Christian Designer @ Driveway

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.

Chris Winn VP of Engineering, Creative Market

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.

How do you volunteer?

Out of Office Hours exists because volunteers like you—thank you. We’re trying this project for the first quarter of 2017. If you’d like to be part of a future group, please get in touch below.

Become a volunteer