Past Women Level Up Meetups
Monday, August 26, 2019, 6:30pm - 9pm
Jump Out of Your Comfort Zonemore_vert
Rupali Saiya || Presales Enterprise Architect at Workday
Are your nerves stopping you from achieving your true career potential? Change can be scary but making that next uncomfortable jump can also completely transform your career. During this talk, I will share how I navigated my own untraditional career transition and how embracing my nerves helped me to jump out of my comfort zone and welcome untraditional opportunities. You’ll be craving that feeling of nervousness by the end of this!
Decrypting Design: Cracking the Code of Usabilitymore_vert
Gwen Heimburg || Experience Strategist at Accenture
Making relevant software starts with understanding the humans using it. Many teams (and products) suffer from a gap in goals between typical design and development roles. Learn how to bridge this gap by aligning on a common goal - the needs of your users. In this introduction to human-centered design, we'll cover the fundamentals of the methodology, and specific techniques that you can use to shift your thinking from system efficiency to user needs
Monday, July 29, 2019, 6:30pm - 9pm
Listening to Internet Background Radiation: A Cyber Security Workshopmore_vert
Luna Frank-Fischer and Mia Gil Epner || Software Engineers at Expanse
Malicious actors on the internet are constantly probing and scanning for potential vulnerabilities. Their activity generates a huge amount of "noisy" packets that are not legitimate attempts to connect to services but may be the first scouting step of a cyber attack. This "internet background radiation" is persistent, consistent, and loud. In this workshop, we'll support participants in standing up software to observe internet background radiation from AWS machines, and we'll enable them to perform basic analyses on what they see and report out on those findings. Participants will walk away with an understanding of how internet scanning fits into the landscape of cybersecurity, as both an omnipresent source of attacks and as a powerful defensive tool.
Monday, June 24, 2019, 6:30pm - 9pm
Building an Inclusive Culturemore_vert
Gina Abrams || People Operations Partner, Blockstack
Gina will talk about building an inclusive culture and creating pathways for growth and success at Blockstack. She organized Blockstack's Level Up: Women in Emerging Tech - A mini-series that provides an outlet for professionals in the USV network and beyond to learn from those who are "two steps ahead," hearing their stories and gaining tangible skills to enhance their careers along the way. It delves into the art of creating space and making one's voice heard in emerging industries. By learning from those who have seen success, we hope to empower women in tech and inspire new leaders for the future.
Accepting Compliments and Other Acts of Braverymore_vert
Katy Farmer || Developer Advocate, InfluxDB
The fastest way to get me to change the topic in a conversation is to compliment me. I will twist, turn, and segue into weather, sports I don’t understand, or Marvel Comics conspiracy theories before I will acknowledge a compliment. I will suddenly become a fount of wildlife trivia, take up jogging, or pretend I’m getting a phone call. I’ve always been like this, but when I transitioned into engineering, I started to notice the people around me doing it, too--especially people who fell into underrepresented groups--and I started to get mad. Why is it so hard for us to value our own work like we value the work of others?
In this talk, we’ll explore what it means to value our personal and professional achievements, and how higher self-worth makes us better teammates and empathetic leaders. We’ll talk about the many ways in which I have failed and the lessons I’ve learned as I began to care about and for myself. This talk will feature jokes (humor is my preferred coping mechanism) and hand-drawn slides (to keep anyone from looking too closely at me). More importantly, the audience will learn how valuing ourselves leads us to value each other.
This talk doesn’t end with an epiphany. It doesn’t end with revelatory tech or a link to a download. It ends with two simple words that are a seed for something bigger: be brave.
Monday, April 29, 2019, 6:30pm - 9pm
Lessons Learned Leading a Teammore_vert
Amanda Holl || Software Engineer (Team Lead), Mavenlink
In my past year or so of team leading, I've helped lead my team through migrating our application from Heroku to Kubernetes, kicked off both small and large projects, and put out numerous customer fires. Along the way, I've learned some lessons about how to lead technical efforts in unfamiliar areas, how to push through challenging problems, and how to level up everyone on our team.
Shipping Better Software with React-Driven Feature Flags and LaunchDarklymore_vert
Ellie Day || Software Engineer, Atlassian
Many software teams are aware of the benefits of using feature flags in their development workflows, but the friction of adding and eventually removing flags from a codebase can prevent teams from fully benefitting from a feature flag management system. While LaunchDarkly helps to greatly improve many aspects of the management process, developers still struggle to add, maintain, and analyze flags in a codebase, especially in large numbers. Surprisingly, the answer to this problem may be found in the popular UI library React.
Therefore, in this talk, I will use real world examples and live demos to explain how products like Trello leverage built-in functionality found in React and LaunchDarkly to drastically reduce the friction of adding, removing, and analyzing feature flags.
Monday, March 25, 2019, 6:30pm - 9pm
The Life and Times of a Square Peg: Navigating a Culture that isn’t Yoursmore_vert
Mannah Kallon || Software Engineer, Stitch Fix
I am a middle-aged Black man and I'm willing to bet that you are not.
Feeling like I don’t quite fit in has given me a unique perspective on tech, community, and the future of what it means to be an engineer. Let's take this opportunity to explore identity, culture and how we might shed some light on our blind spots.
Get Hooked on React Hooksmore_vert
Naomi Jacobs || Engineer, Benchling
As of ReactConf 2018, classes are out and hooks are the future! Come learn about the newest React feature - what they are, how to use them, and why you would want to use them. We'll do a demo, discuss tradeoffs, and have time for Q&A.
Monday, February 25, 2019, 6:30pm - 9pm
The Guessing Game - How Bad Communication is Slowly Killing Youmore_vert
Catherine Meyers || Software Engineer
How much extra work are you doing when dealing with bad communicators? It might be more than you think. In this talk we'll learn a few tricks to take the load off of you, while also helping others develop their own communication skills.
Dr. Strangeauth OR How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love Authenticationmore_vert
Ken Mayer || CTO, PacerPro
Authentication is HARD. Getting it right is painful. Getting it wrong can end your business or start your new career as a security expert. So let someone else do the heavy lifting. OAuth, while it sounds scary, is one way to get out of the authentication business.
Monday, January 28, 2019, 6:30pm - 9pm
Being Involved in the Tech Communitymore_vert
Bianca Curutan || Software Engineer, Postmates
Being involved in the tech community. It's something that may seem intimidating at first, and is easier said than done. This lightning talk covers what "being involved" means as well as some of the Hows, Whys, and Common Concerns that people have when considering it.
Augmented Reality on the Webmore_vert
Ayşegül Yönet || Google Developer Expert for Web Technologies and Angular
Augmented Reality (WebXR) is a new set of web APIs we can use to create engaging experiences in mobile web. Great Augmented Reality experiences require your apps to be performant and well designed. In this talk we will explore what are the capabilities that are ready to use, what is coming in the future and how to get started with WebXR APIs.
Monday, October 29, 2018, 6:30pm - 9pm
Finding Meaningful Work in the Mundanemore_vert
Samantha Carow || Senior Software Engineer, Reddit
"Be more proactive" is feedback we've probably all heard at one time or another. But we also know that all projects are not created equal. Simply taking on more work doesn't always equate to career growth – in fact, it can do the opposite. And to complicate the matter, the most impactful projects are not always the most sought-after. This session is designed to help you identify meaningful work in unlikely places that will ultimately boost your visibility inside your company, have organization-wide impact, and maximize your career growth.
How Hardware Brings 'Depth' to Your Softwaremore_vert
Suzanne Leibrick || Market Development Engineer, Intel
With more and more devices needing to understand the world around them, from robotics, to drones, cars, VR and phones, there are many different ways for computers to perceive the world. Suzanne Leibrick from Intel RealSense will discuss various different methods of scene perception, from time of flight, to structured light, to machine learning approaches, how they work, and the benefits and tradeoffs between methods and how to choose which might be best for your problem space. This talk does not require any prior knowledge of depth or scene perception.
Monday, September 24, 2018, 6:30pm - 9pm
Humans Aren't APIs And Your Request Is 400 Deniedmore_vert
Jennifer Tu || Founder, Cohere LLC
Have you ever asked someone to do something, and they hear the exact opposite?
Why do miscommunications happen? Does knowing why matter? And more importantly, how do you achieve your original desired request?
If you want to learn more ways to influence those around you, this talk is for you! You’ll learn about different causes for failed communications, and different workarounds you can apply for different failure modes. Come to this talk to add another tool to your communications toolbox.
Reducing Enumerable - An Illustrated Adventuremore_vert
Brandon Weaver || Platform Engineer, Square
Meet Red. Red is a reducing lemur, and he loves to sum things using the reduce method. The problem is, with Ruby 2.4+ and the sum method he's starting to think reduce isn't that useful anymore. Distraught, Red asks his master for advice, and she sends him off on a grand journey to learn the true powers of the reduce method by reimplementing various methods from Enumerable.
Join Red on an illustrated adventure through the land of Enumerable as he learns to map, select, find, and more using his trusty reduce.
If you're new to Ruby and Functional Programming, this is the talk for you.
Monday, August 27, 2018, 6:30pm - 9pm
Mindfulness for Go-Gettersmore_vert
Lida Tohidi || Founder & Managing Director, Pidari Consultancy and Advisor at WEST Diversity & Inclusion
We in tech tend to be ambitious achievers. Having said that, working in tech can be quite chaotic and stressful. Mindfulness is the bridge that can connect us to the gift of presence and help us continue with positive momentum and energy.
We'll initially walk through the difference between meditation and mindfulness. Lida will identify some meditation styles that have (not) worked for her, and would work for you. She'll also help you design a personal, effective, and ideally regular meditation routine.
React-ivate your AngularJS App - One Component at a Timemore_vert
Shruti Kapoor || Software Engineer, Paypal
Angular and React are both great. Angular provides a defined structure of MVC while React provides a lightweight rendering mechanism. Often times, an application will have legacy code in AngularJS but teams will want to build new features in ReactJS. In this talk, we will use an AngularJS legacy application and develop new features in ReactJS, one component at a time.
Monday, July 30, 2018, 6:30pm - 9pm
The Care and Monitoring of Youmore_vert
Mary Thengvall || Developer Relations Consultant, Persea Consulting
We’re told on a regular basis to monitor the performance, speed, responsiveness, memory, and general health of our websites, with the ever-present threat of down time hanging over our shoulder. But how often do we pay this same attention to our own physical and mental health?
As a Type 1 Diabetic, it’s a little more front-of-mind, as it’s not just about how much exercise I’ve gotten in the last month, how healthy my diet is, or how much of a workaholic I am… It’s about what the ratio of sugar to insulin is in my bloodstream at every moment of every day. It’s about making sure I’ve got a spare insulin pod, my test machine, a granola bar, glucose tabs, and my trusty sidekick Ember Dog (with all of his accouterment) at all times.
But just because I have to be more aware of certain things doesn’t lessen the importance of paying attention to general physical and mental health, which come with their own set of potentially deadly side effects. In this talk, I’ll touch briefly on my day-to-day life with diabetes, and then segue into what the past few years have taught me about mental and physical health.
Getting Started with CSS Animationsmore_vert
Amanda Holl || Software Engineer, Mavenlink
Have you ever wanted to make the static content on your web pages more dynamic, but weren't sure where to start? Come learn about how to get started with CSS animations and why developing animated content is worth your time and energy.
Measuring Success in Game Developmentmore_vert
Katy Farmer || Developer Advocate, InfluxData
By now, we know how metrics can help us monitor our applications and it's infrastructure, but I wanted to go one step further to understand the value of metrics. In this talk, I'll cover how I measured my code and used it to become a (slightly) better game developer.
Monday, June 25, 2018, 6:30pm - 9pm
Why More Women Should Embrace Public Speakingmore_vert
Jennifer Kim || Startup Advisor, Mission Driven
The winds of change are blowing in Silicon Valley. In the time of #MeToo and #TimesUp, women are more ready than ever to step into leadership and thrive in systems that have historically not set them up for success.
One piece of advice have been long been told to hard workers of all genders: ""just go heads down and you will eventually be rewarded."" In a purely fair system maybe, but that's not how it works in the real world. Women have to advocate for themselves, and developing public speaking skills is one of the best strategies to take control of your own career.
Jennifer Kim, former Head of Employee Experience & Development Lever, will give a talk on why women more women should embrace public speaking, no matter where you're starting from. In addition to her People duties, Jen also led Diversity & Inclusion at Lever, and her work led to the company reaching 50:50 gender balance across the company.
Building Performant Large-Scale React Appsmore_vert
Ellie Day || Software Engineer, Atlassian
While React is known to be quite speedy, if you’re not aware of some performance gotchas, you can end up with a slow moving application that won’t meet the needs of your users. This is especially true for large, UI heavy React Apps. This talk will first give an overview of web performance and the tools available to help identify issues. Then it will dive into React-specific performance concerns and provide fixes that will keep your app feeling fast.
Monday, May 21, 2018, 6:30pm - 9pm
Leveraging Tech to Further the #MeToo Movementmore_vert
Grace Choi and Tammy Cho || Co-founders, BetterBrave
The #MeToo movement has taken over the country by storm. But now, what’s next? How do we use technology to further the movement and help survivors of workplace harassment, discrimination, and retaliation?
Join BetterBrave to dig into solutions that can empower more survivors and allies to speak up and get the help that they need.
Autoscaling a Simple Web Server with Kubernetesmore_vert
Jason Carter || Software Engineer, Mavenlink
Kubernetes is the latest and greatest way to run your apps in production. Let's take a look at how we can scale a simple web app as it receives traffic and explore some of the basics of Kubernetes.
Monday, April 30, 2018, 6:30pm - 9pm
Giving Back Can Pay off In Dividends: Develop Your Engineering Skills, Support Your Communities, and Land that Next Jobmore_vert
Paulette Luftig || Software Engineer, Mavenlink
Are you looking for innovative ways to develop your engineering skills? Do you care about the state of our communities? Do you agree that companies recruiting engineers will likely use your Github account to see whether you are actively coding? Then this talk is for you. Join me as I tell my story about improving my coding abilities and overall knowledge of agile development while supporting a Bay Area non profit to improve one of its core annual programs. You will learn a powerful strategy for improving your resume, your linkedin profile, or even find work while you're not working, all the while giving back to your community, and working towards landing your next big gig.
Logging, and Errors, and Metrics- Oh My!more_vert
Chloe Condon || Developer Evangelist, Sentry
As engineers, we build pretty cool apps. Once users start using our cool apps… well, we run into the fun process of discovering errors. Keeping track of these issues can get messy, getting alerted is stressful, and measuring it can provide you with an overwhelming amount of information. So, how do we combine all these things to make our cool apps work even better than before? In this talk, we’ll dive into logging, errors, and metrics, and how to use them to create the ultimate superpower of OBSERVABILITY!
Monday, March 26, 2018, 6:30pm - 9pm
There are No Criers Heremore_vert
Tricia Spoonts || Lead Designer, Rimeto
Have you ever been in a work situation where you just couldn't hold back the tears or tempered your emotions because you wanted to maintain your work persona? This session will address the touchy subject of emotions in the workplace. You'll hear all about the negative impacts of emotions in the workplace and learn why you shouldn't care. You'll learn how to stop feeling terrible when you cry at the office and how to celebrate a victory when you have one. Together we will redefine strength and weakness and learn to thrive emotionally.
Sarah Mei || Founder, RailsBridge; Director, Ruby Central; Architect, Salesforce
The world of software development has profoundly changed since the discipline was first identified more than 50 years ago, yet today we still fundamentally model it the same way we did then: as a variant of engineering, manufacturing, or science (depending on who you ask). These models have helped us build a lot of useful stuff. But in the last 5 years, we've discovered that we're in a new world, facing more complex problems that none of those models help with. These problems are largely sociotechnical.
- - Why are some devs way more productive than others?
- - How will a new team member affect our throughput?
- - What’s the right mix of refactoring, new feature work, and bug fixes?
- - How can a manager support a diverse team & set them up to succeed?
For this new, more complex world in which we’re making software, we need new, more powerful models. Livable Code is a new model for software development, based on one crucial insight: these days, people are the most difficult part of software. Starting from that, we’ll construct a model for thinking about codebases and teams fundamentally different from that of “engineering,” and see what new insights it can give us, both on the social issues our teams face, and on our technical issues. Let’s describe software as it is actually practiced - warts and all - and seek concrete ways to improve. Our world is changing - but we can change with it.
Monday, February 26, 2018, 6:30pm - 9pm
How I Achieved Escape Velocity (without suffering)more_vert
Ken Mayer || CTO, PacerPro
I financed a 2 year sabbatical out of my own pocket, didn't go broke, leveraged it into 6 years (living in Mexico, Hawaii and the Philippines) completely out of the tech sector and then came back, pretty much where I left off. I highly recommend the adventure.
MySQL Metrics That Mattermore_vert
Katy Farmer || Developer Advocate, InfluxData
MySQL offers a lot of metrics. A lot is an understatement. If I were Scrooge McDuck, I could swim in a vault filled to the brim with MySQL metrics. If each metric was a folding chair, you'd be wishing it was Wrestlemania. So how do we prioritize which metrics we monitor?
Even if you're new to MySQL or you primarily use another database, the metrics that matter will give you insight into your database. This talk is friendly for beginners as well as DevOps experts who are buried in metrics. We'll talk about the four most important metrics and where to find them in MySQL.
Monday, January 29, 2018, 6:30pm - 9pm
Networking Without Nauseamore_vert
Kate Rotondo || iOS Content Developer
When you are looking for a job, everyone will tell you to leverage your network. A strong network can increase your access to professional resources and employment options. But how do you create a network that leads to opportunity? How can you ask for something without coming across as needy? How do can you forge connections that feel organic and genuine?
This session will clarify the process of growing your network. Through anecdotes we’ll explore how people connect, how relationships evolve, and how professional opportunities emerge. You’ll leave with five specific strategies for growing a network that is not only strong when you need it, but provides ongoing value and energy for everyone involved.
How to roll your own static site generator and whymore_vert
Have you ever been frustrated with Jekyll or Hexo? Do you want a little more control than you get on Medium? Do you like rolling your own thing?
In this talk I am going to show you how to build a static site generator for a simple blog. In the course of this we will talk about the differences between static and dynamic sites and the benefits of both. I hope to convince you that writing your own static site generator is by no means as daunting as it sounds and makes for a super fun and educational side project.
Monday, November 27, 2017, 6:30pm - 9pm
The Non-Technical Interview: The Fun Partsmore_vert
Benjamin Hoffman || Software Engineer, Honor
From managing your job application pipeline to offer negotiation, this brief talk will cover all the important aspects of your non-technical interview. You'll leave here with a handful of resources to help you value yourself in this job market as well as tips and best practices to efficiently power through your next job interviews. Those that can master the non-technical part of their interview will find they receive more (and better) offers than average.
Life is a Slice of State: React/Redux Patterns for a New Generationmore_vert
Ryan Haase || Software Engineer, Mavenlink
Join Ryan in learning about Data Flow and State Tree management with Redux. During which, we will learn some common patterns for setting and accessing data in the state tree, as well as present some new patterns we are trying out at Mavenlink.
Monday, October 30, 2017, 6:30pm - 9pm
Managing your career and taking advantage of your prior experiencemore_vert
Roger Neel || CTO, Mavenlink
What do careers in sales and engineering have in common? What does being a fighter pilot have to do with being in the infantry? This talk will explore how you might use - and not shy away from - other career experiences in your current endeavor. Insight and empathy can often come from seemingly tangential things.
How to Teach Yourself Scala in Two Years or Lessmore_vert
Peter Fry || VP of Engineering, Mavenlink
Peter will discuss his learnings over the 2-ish years he spent taking a hackathon project from proof-of-concept to a first-class member of the Mavenlink stack. Changestream captures change events from the MySQL binlog and transforms them into JSON that can be consumed anywhere.
Monday, September 25 2017, 6:30pm - 9pm
How to Level Up Your Career in Softwaremore_vert
Ellie Day || Software Engineer, Mavenlink
Writing software for a living comes with numerous perks, but for many, getting to career bliss is tough. Luckily, there are many resources available to new coders, such as free online resources and even coding bootcamps. However, after you've landed your first software job, the help starts to thin and it's often hard to move forward with your career. So, if you've successfully entered the field of software engineering, but are feeling stuck, this talk will cover a variety of practical strategies that will help move your career forward.
Acceptance Driven Developmentmore_vert
Jason Carter || Software Engineer at Mavenlink
If you've ever felt like you've spent a lot of time building the wrong thing, it might make sense to start your development with an acceptance test. Watch and listen as a I "um", "like", and "uh" my way through a talk on how I learned to love writing Acceptance Specs.
Monday, August 28, 2017, 6:30pm - 9pm
A Good Programmer is a Good Teacher (and Student)more_vert
Catherine Meyers || Software Engineer, Mavenlink
We've all experienced it: a coder our company just hired comes over to ask questions about the codebase. This coder might be a senior dev new to our codebase or a junior dev new to coding in general. How do we efficiently answer questions and teach in an effective manner.
Most of us haven't gone to school to learn how to teach. Yet, teaching is a part of most programmers' daily lives. With this talk, you'll get some tips and tricks on how to become a better teacher. And by learning how to teach, we'll also learn how to be a better student.
Integration Tests Vs. Unit Tests: Who Will Win?more_vert
Jeff Moore || TP Architect / King of Puns, Mavenlink
In a world where code breaks all the time for no discernible reason, which way of catching regressions will reign supreme? Why even write tests at all? What does it mean?
In addition to discussing the 'how,' we will examine the 'where' and 'why' of testing your code. Philosophizing will occur.
Monday, July 31, 2017, 6:30pm - 9pm
A Common Language for Sharing Ideasmore_vert
Chris Turney || Product Manager, Mavenlink
Many people and teams struggle with sharing ideas in a safe way that allows them to be heard while affording the audience insight as to the level of commitment to those ideas. How can we better communicate with each other when presenting ideas and solutions? In this talk, a simple strategy will be demonstrated and explored.
Webpack: It's Not Magicmore_vert
Naomi Jacobs || Software Engineer, Mavenlink
Monday, June 26, 2017, 6:30pm - 9pm
Finding Your Edge in a Culture of Feedbackmore_vert
Paulette Luftig || Software Engineer, Mavenlink
Have you ever wished for more feedback from colleagues to help you get better at your job? When’s the last time you offered helpful feedback to someone else? Imagine an entire company fluent in the daily practice of giving and receiving constructive feedback. Would your experience improve? What does a team lose when feedback doesn’t flow?
Feedback conversations can be difficult. But giving and receiving feedback pushes us to the edge of our growth potential, where the biggest payoffs occur. Join this session to grow your career by learning how to get real.
Authentication, Authorization, and Why You Need Both!more_vert
Ellie Day || Software Engineer, Mavenlink
There's a lot that goes into making an app secure and it can be overwhelming to make sure you've done everything right to keep your users' data safe. However, remembering just two concepts, authentication and authorization, can go a long way in keeping your app secure. Sadly, many developers confuse the two, either forgetting both, or unintentionally including just authentication. In this talk, I'll briefly explain authentication, authorization, why it's crucial that each are included when building a secure app, and how you can use existing Ruby gems to make your users' data super safe.
Monday, May 22, 2017, 6:30pm - 9pm
How to Get the Most Out of Your Conference Experiencemore_vert
Naomi Jacobs || Software Engineer, Mavenlink
Come learn how to get the most out of your conference experience, whether you're a speaker or an audience member! We'll talk about useful preparation methods that will help in either case!
Amanda Holl || Software Engineer, Mavenlink
Monday, April 24, 2017, 6:30pm - 9pm
"Am I Senior Yet?" Grow Your Career by Teaching Your Peersmore_vert
Katlyn Parvin || former Director of Engineering, Mavenlink
"How do I become a senior engineer?" It’s a question every bootcamp grad will ask. Most engineers look at advancement through a lens of increasing technical skill. More than ever, though, being “senior” means more than just parsing Ruby in your sleep. As our companies grow and as our industry grows, seniority means helping new teammates and colleagues advance their own skills. It means knowing how to teach. You don’t need Matz-level knowledge to be a great teacher. With social awareness, a dash of psychology, and some proven approaches, by helping others learn, you’ll earn senior-level respect.