Keynote Brainstorming: 5 Questions to Ask Yourself

This article is part of my series for preparing a keynote, check out the full series.

It’s tough to find a balance between a topic that is technical enough, but not too technical! Here’s some questions I ask myself when I brainstorming keynote topics:

  1. What are the trends I am seeing in my area of focus? Technology as a whole?
  2. What’s broken in technology? How should we fix it?
  3. What soft skills do I wish others had? What’s made the most impact in my career?
  4. What has been recently released that I am interested in learning more about? Does it have wider implications outside of my focus area?
  5. What’s interesting from my background that’s not common to other technologists? Can I draw parallels?

Continue reading Keynote Brainstorming: 5 Questions to Ask Yourself

Getting Started with the Android Community

I’ve been teaching Android at Facebook University for the last few weeks and having a ball! It’s been so inspiring to be around bright-eyed students who are hungry to learn about Android and helps dissipate any jaded feelings you have building up.

The program takes interns (generally from underrepresented groups) and teaches them how to Android for 3 weeks. After they learn from me (and Mike Wolfson in Seattle), they spend several weeks making their own app and compete for the best application.

I’ve been reflecting on my own career in Android and the community that makes it such a vibrant place to be. I created a list on the board to share with the students, but wanted to make it easier to join the community, so here you go! Continue reading Getting Started with the Android Community

KnitCon 2017: Public Speaking 101

I’m teaching a workshop today at KnitCon!

I will be leading an updated version of the workshop I originally gave at Barcamp Philly 2014 and several times over the years. I love giving this workshop because people get so excited by the end and walk away with concrete next steps.

Check out the updated materials here:

The materials based on the work of Julie Pagano and Write/Speak/Code.

Favorite Travel Moments

Presented chronologically, not by rank.

  • Picnicing over the Seine on the the Pont des Arts bridge with all the other Parisians at sundown.
  • Walking over the Charles Bridge into a medieval town (Prague).
  • Purposely getting lost in the side streets of Venice and enjoying the quiet while a gondola floats by.
  • Watching fresh oranges drop, drinking mint tea, and listening to the waves crash in Sidi Bou Said, Tunisia.
  • Walking along the mideviel castle walls the encircle a sleepy modern town in Conwy, Wales.
  • Driving through the impossibly green hills of Ireland’s west coast and listening to music in dive bars in Dingle.
  • Soaking in the modern baths for hours in Bath, England and exploring the Roman ruins next door.
  • Journaling in the Plaza de Armas in Arequipa, Perú amid the hustle, yet still finding solace.
  • Arriving in the first bus load of tourists to Macchu Picchu to get the perfect shot. Later hiking Wanu Picchu in the rain and waiting an hour at the summit to glimpse the ruins through the clouds.
  • Finding a quiet corner in Recoletta Cemetery, Buenos Aires and drawing and/or taking photos of the ornate mausoleums and statues.
  • Seeing delighted children’s faces from getting access to the new computer lab we’d just installed in Oaxaca, Mexico.
  • Taking the overnight train to Kiruna, hiking up the ski slope, and glimpsing the Northern Lights (Sweden).
  • Snow falling on Red Square as the bells chime and the sun dips behind St. Basil’s Cathedral (Moscow).
  • Biking through the streets of Amsterdam and visiting FOAM, the photography museum, and the Anne Frank House.
  • Safaring through Ngorongoro Crater, Tanzania and seeing lazy lions, majestic elephants, and countless other animals.
  • Visiting the slave markets of Zanzibar and later eating a fancy meal overlooking the city at sundown.
  • Biking around Berlin, seeing the sun rise at 3:30 am while out clubbing, and visiting the Berlin Wall.

Continue reading Favorite Travel Moments

Working Managers

I came across this article (Work at different management levels) in by Lara Hogan. It does a great job of breaking down what a manager does at different levels in an organization. If you ever thought your bosses do nothing — this is worth the read!

I’ve been a mixed individual contributor (IC++) and manager for several years. Even when I was supposedly a full time IC, I found myself doing tasks outside of my job responsibilities like mentoring, teaching, architecting, defining process, project managing, managing clients, managing engineers, writing specs, influencing strategy, interviewing candidates, and recruiting.

Continue reading Working Managers