I have experience speaking to audiences of all sizes, from large conferences to small corporate events.

Talks that I give include, but are not limited to:

  • Leadership talks about building and scaling rapidly growing engineering teams.
  • Highly technical talks focused on scaling backend infrastructure.
  • Moderating panels.

RECENT SPEAKING ENGAGEMENTS

 

11/2014 distinguished alumni speaker series at the university of north carolina at chapel hill [slidesVIDEO]

Lessons Learned from the Real World: Software Engineering

Topic of my talk: Since completing my Masters in Computer Science at UNC, I’ve held five engineering and product roles. These positions have been at large companies (IBM Research) to very small startups.

The experiences that I’ve had are very different from what I thought the “real world” would be like when I was in school. They were even different from what I thought they would be like when I was early in my career. Among other things, I’ve learned that the way in which a person is successful in the post-college world is very different from the way in which success is achieved in school. In this talk, I discuss the lessons that I’ve learned, and specify both the parts that I have used from my UNC CS education and the parts that I haven’t.

 

9/2014 BOX speaker series

Spoke on the panel: Fostering Diversity Through Company Culture

 

7/2014 airbnb nerds SPEAKER SERIES

Spoke on the panel: Taking Flight: An Evening for Women in Engineering

 

7/2014 midwest.io [video]

Robots, JavaScript, and Drones: Welcome to the Hardware Revolution

Topic of my talk: As the barriers in both cost and access to hardware come down, you no longer have to be an electrical or mechanical engineer in order to understand how to wire up a circuit board. We see everyone from kids to artists to web developers building on top of Arduino and Raspberry Pi, making everything from intricate light up clothing to home automation systems. So what does all this mean for the future of hardware? And how will it impact all of us software people?

 

6/2014 google i/o

Money, Cryptography and Scandal: A modern tale of mathematics.

Topic of my talk: What happened on a sunny day back in 2010 when a researcher thought he had proved P != NP. (Ignite talk)

 

6/2014 O'Reilly solid

Spoke on the panel: Platforms Accelerating the Hardware Revolution: From Idea to Product OR What You Need to Know about Scaling a Hardware Company

 

6/2014 FOO CAMP [VIDEO]

Money, Cryptography and Scandal: A modern tale of mathematics.

Topic of my talk: What happened on a sunny day back in 2010 when a researcher thought he had proved P != NP. (Ignite talk)

 

5/2014 makercon (conference preceding bay area maker faire)

Spoke on the panel: Minting the Hardware Revolution 

 

3/2014 pyladies meetup & tech talks in san francisco [slides]

Mapping IP Address to Physical Location

Topic of my talk: Advanced talk discussing several options for mapping IP address to country (client side, server side, etc.) that I have used in a large scale, production web applications with tens of thousands of users.

 

12/2013 invited tech talk at box

Robots, JavaScript, and Drones: Welcome to the Hardware Revolution

Topic of my talk: In August 2012 the New York Times proclaimed there is a "A Hardware Renaissance in Silicon Valley." 16 months later Amazon announced "delivery by drone" in the not-too-distant future (publicity stunt or not). 

As the barriers both in cost and access to hardware have come down, you don't have to be an electrical engineer to build some sweet circuits. We see kids to artists to web developers build on top of Arduino and Raspberry Pi, making everything from intricate light-up clothing to home automation systems. So what does all this mean for the future of hardware? And how will it impact all us software people?

In this talk I will answer those questions, discussing my experiences as a "Software Person in a Hardware World", running the engineering team at Tindie ("Etsy for Hardware Makers"). I'll discuss how I started hacking hardware, trends in this nascent market, and how you can start hardware hacking, without even touching C++.

 

11/2013 California Polytechnic State University computer science department invited speaker series

The Urban Dictionary, Arduino & Startups: Lessons learned from Silicon Valley

Topic of my talk: When I finished graduate school in computer science I didn't know what I wanted to do with my life. I got a job offer at IBM Almaden Research in San Jose & moved to California (a placed I had only visited after a long time on the east coast). After several years building experimental systems & writing papers (including several on the Urban Dictionary and MySpace), I jumped into startups and learned a few lessons about building large-scale web startups. Now I run the engineering team at Tindie, a marketplace for items such as printed circuit boards (PCBs), Arduino shields, drones and robots (to name a few). I'll talk about how to choose (or not choose) a career path, the "startup vs big co" debate, and why I think hardware is changing the world.

 

10/2013 new relic's future stack conference [VIDEO]

Hardware Hacking, Soldering and Internet-Connected Chicken Eggs, Oh My!

Topic of my talk: The New York Times recently proclaimed that there is "A Hardware Renaissance in Silicon Valley." The barriers (both in cost and access) to hardware hacking have come down and we have started to see everyone from young kids to artists building on top of Arduino and Raspberry Pi. But what does this mean for the future of hardware? And how will it impact all of us software people? In this talk I answer these questions, expounding upon my experiences as a "Software Person in a Hardware World" and running the engineering team at Tindie ("Etsy for Hardware Makers"). I discuss how I started hacking hardware, the trends in this nascent market, and the impact of the "Internet of Things," where even the eggs in our refrigerator can be connected to the Internet.

 

6/2013 PYLADIES MEETUP & TECH TALKS IN mountain view [SLIDES]

Intro to Caching for Fun or for Profit

Topic of my talk: Intermediate level talk discussing various caching techniques used in web applications.

 

3/2013 pycon [SLIDES]

Location, Location, Location

Topic of my talk: This talk targets location novices who are either building a new Django application or converting an existing Django application to use spatial databases and GeoDjango. I first go over how Tindie’s application handled thousands of locations (including international locations) as tuples of strings and why this was very easy at first but problematic in the long run. I then discuss the options available when migrating to a spatial database, what is involved from a data migration standpoint (and how to design your schema and models if you’re building from scratch), and how I made use of GeoDjango in my Django 1.4 application on top of PostgreSQL 9.2 with PostGIS 2.0. I also go over methods of normalizing and persisting user-entered location data (via geocoding using various publicly available APIs, such as the Google Geocoding API).

 

5/2012 COMPUTER HISTORY MUSEUM FUTURE HISTORY MAKERS SERIES

Culture Club: Building a Strong Internal Startup Culture

Moderated the panel: Discussion of defining and cultivating startup culture with Leah Busque (Founder, TaskRabbit) and Julia Hartz (Co-Founder and President, Eventbrite).