• Inclusive Design: Five Principles to take into the Future

    In recognition of Global Accessibility Awareness Day, we'll be joined at our next FutureTalks by Mira Shah, senior user researcher and accessibility specialist for Microsoft. Disability is a social construct and barriers to accessibility are a mismatch between the individual, the context, and the physical environment. Instead of thinking of disability as a physical or physiological problem with an individual, we now recognize that disability is part of human diversity and that inclusive design, wherein we design for a specific group, helps us get to better design for everybody. In her talk, Shah will feature five design principles product teams can use to get to actionable insights for future innovation that remove barriers and create better returns on investment. She will investigate examples of successes and opportunities for future innovation. -------------------------- More information about Global Accessibility Awareness Day can be found here: https://globalaccessibilityawarenessday.org/ ------------------------ About our Speaker: Mira Shah is a design researcher and accessibility specialist who has designed inclusive products for more than a decade. She was part of the team at Microsoft who launched the Immersive Reader, an integrated reading tool for people with dyslexia that now has more than 12 million users around the world. She currently works at Microsoft where she persuades product teams to use data for decision making on products like Hololens, OneNote, and Microsoft Whiteboard. You can find her online at https://twitter.com/miramonster00 or https://www.linkedin.com/in/mirashah/ ------------------------------ Doors will open at 5:30 for light food, drinks and networking. The talk will begin at 6pm, followed by Q&A which will run until ~7:30pm. -------------------------------- Our events are inclusive, and all are welcome. Our space is ADA accessible, with gender neutral restrooms. If you have additional accessibility requests, please reach out 2 weeks prior to the event and we will do our best to accomodate them.

  • One Size Does Not Fit All: Tech Women at Work

    In honor of International Women’s Day, you’re invited to join us on Monday, March 11 for our next FutureTalks event, a panel entitled, “Tech Women at Work”. The panelists will reflect on how they’ve leveraged resources at their organizations, how they’ve engaged with their communities, managers, and coworkers so that they grow and thrive in their technical careers. A quick google search will reveal a litany of articles and studies showing that nearly half of women in STEM careers leave at the mid-career point. Many of these articles conjecture at why this happens, but few take a nuanced approach to understanding the diversity of experiences that women have in their careers. During this discussion, we’ll try to shed light on this topic, aiming to better define why a one size fits all approach will not work when it comes to supporting women in tech. We’ll be joined by an incredible panel of technologist who have taken a variety of pathways to get to where they are now. In a discussion moderated by Dr. Tanya L. Crenshaw, we will dig into how these women have navigated their professional pathways and how they help junior colleagues become members of the computing community. Acknowledging that an individual’s success is not always wholly individual, we’ll examine the organizational structures and policies that have successfully provided these women with opportunity, growth, and the space to flourish. ---------------------------------------------------------------- Doors will open at 5:30 for networking with food and drinks. The panel will begin at 6pm. We will plan to hold Q&A from 7:15-7:30pm. ---------------------------------------------------------------- About our speakers: Moderator: Dr. Tanya Crenshaw is a Senior Software Developer at New Relic. Before her return to industry in 2015, she worked as a tenured computer science professor at a private, liberal arts university. For over a decade, she has conducted research on people’s sense of belonging in tech. She has moderated and facilitated groups in both academic and industry spaces, including multiple Grace Hopper Conference Panels. Leveraging facilitation techniques such as Affirmative Inquiry and Collaborative Loop, Dr. Crenshaw excels at helping people feel at ease and supported so that they can make their unique contributions to the goals of a group. Panelists: - Jené Scott, Software Engineer, New Relic https://www.linkedin.com/in/jenescott/ - April Johnson, Digital Services Manager at FINE, A Brand Agency https://www.linkedin.com/in/april-johnson-41a26763/ - Tracy Thomas, Director of Program Management, Cloudability https://www.linkedin.com/in/tracytthomas/ - Samantha Maturen Enterprise Software Engineer, AutoDesk https://www.linkedin.com/in/slmaturen/ - Lauren Voswinkel, Senior Software Engineer, New Relic https://www.linkedin.com/in/laurenvoswinkel/ - Michelle Johansen, Director of Engineering Operations, Zapproved https://www.linkedin.com/in/michellecreedon/

  • Catching SNAFUs & Learning from Incidents

    New Relic

    **Please note, unfortunately Richard Cook will no longer be able to join us for this talk, updated description below! See you Tuesday!** What is New Relic learning from deeply studying incidents? How are we extending our capacity to learn and reflect on the challenges of operating at scale? Join us at our next FutureTalks event to hear from Beth Long and Tim Tischler, who will discuss some of the work they’ve done together over the past year as part of the SNAFUcatchers project, “a consortium of industry leaders and researchers united in the common cause of understanding and coping with the immense levels of complexity involved in the operation of critical digital services.” The current round of research is led by Ohio State University’s Integrated Systems Engineering department and includes New Relic, IBM, Salesforce, and Key Bank. First we’ll unpack New Relic’s incident response process and how it evolved. Then we’ll explore New Relic’s collaboration with SNAFUcatchers, including process tracing, how expertise develops, working at “the sharp end,” the post-mortem spiral of death, and other lessons from working with world experts in joint cognitive systems and resilience engineering. -------------------------------- Doors will open at 5:30 for networking with light food and drink before the program starts promptly at 6pm. The program will conclude with a Q&A and should end by 7:30pm. --------------------------------- About our Speakers: Beth Long is the project lead for New Relic’s collaboration with SNAFUcatchers. She’s been tinkering with the web since before CSS was a thing. She is currently on New Relic’s Solutions Strategy team, where she builds feedback loops between Sales, Marketing, Product Management, and Engineering, in particular around how New Relic fits into DevOps and reliability solutions. She reads, much of the night, and codes in the winter. Tim Tischler is a reliability champion at New Relic focusing on the reliability and safety of the RPM web site. He's been focused on the partnership w/ SNAFUcatchers and has been practicing continuous delivery at scale since the era when everyone thought it was madness.

  • Re-imagining Education through Agile Practices

    Please join us on January 14th for our next FutureTalks event, a discussion about new approaches being used in education. We’ll hear from Innovate Oregon about their model to re-imagine education through new techniques and partnerships, and discuss the way that Agile-based practices can be used in the classroom. For the past year, Innovate Oregon, teachers and administrators from Dayton Schools and New Relic Employees have been piloting a partnership model to support these approaches. Join us as we hear from teachers and New Relic employees about their experience working together to think about the applications agile practices could bring to the classroom. We’ll dig into what has made this pro bono volunteer program successful, and how it could be replicated in other schools! ------- Doors will open at 5:30 for networking with light food and drink before the program starts promptly at 6pm. The program will conclude with a Q&A and should end by 7:30pm. ------- About our speakers: Thompson Morrison, Director of Corporate Development, OnlineNW and Chief Evangelist, Innovate Oregon. Founded Innovate Oregon as a strategic initiative of the TAO to bring agile mindsets and skill sets to educators to better prepare the makers and creators for the new innovation economy. Jami Fluke, Principal, Dayton Junior High and High School. On the 4th year of a journey to create a culture of innovation in a rural public school. How can we re-imagine the learning experience for ALL students and teachers to bring joy and inspiration to the learning process, as well as better prepare our students for the future they will be entering. We will also be joined by the following panelists: - Brent Miller, Organizational Architect, New Relic - Carrie Carden, Educator, Dayton Schools - Mitchell Huffmenne, Senior Manager, New Relic

  • Distributed Tracing: Next Steps

    New Relic

    Please join us on Monday, November 5 for our next installment of FutureTalks! This month, we'll be joined by Google Software Engineer Jaana B. Dogan for a discussion about Distributed Tracing. Distributed tracing is a golden tool but it is too hard for the newcomers. We need more consensus from the industry in order to improve things and make distributed tracing a common tool. In this talk, we will cover some of the critical use cases of distributed tracing and discuss the gaps in efforts and standardization. Doors will open at 5:30pm with light appetizers and drinks and networking. The program will begin at 6pm, and conclude with a Q&A session around 7:00pm. About our speaker: Jaana B. Dogan works on making Google production services more monitorable and debuggable. Previously, she worked on the Go programming language at Google and has a decade-long experience in building developer platforms and tools. Jaana can be found online @rakyll.

  • Gender-Inclusive Software

    New Relic

    Join us on Monday, October 8th for our next FutureTalks with OSU Distinguished Professor Margaret Brunett. Gender inclusiveness in software companies is receiving a lot of attention these days, but it overlooks a potentially critical factor: software itself. Research into how individual differences cluster by gender shows that men and women often work differently with software when they are problem-solving (e.g., when programming, debugging, using spreadsheets, doing game-based learning, visualizing information, etc.) In this talk, Dr. Margaret Burnett will present a method called GenderMag. At the core of the method are 5 facets of gender differences drawn from a large body of foundational work on gender differences from computer science, psychology, education, communications, and women's studies. Results from field studies have been that software practitioners identified a surprisingly high number of gender-inclusiveness issues in their own software. Burnett will present these results, a quick peek at emerging GenderMag work in Open Source settings and in the classroom, and ways you can get involved. ------- Event Details: Doors will open at 5:30 for networking with light food and drink before the program starts promptly at 6pm. The program will conclude with a Q&A and should end by 7:30pm. ----------- Bio: Margaret Burnett is an ACM Fellow, a CHI Academy member, and a Distinguished Professor at Oregon State Unversity. Her research on gender inclusiveness in technology -- especially in software tools for programming and problem-solving -- spans over 10 years. Burnett and her team systematically debunked misconceptions of gender neutrality in a variety of technology platforms, and then devised software features that help avert the identified problems. She has presented keynotes and invited talks on this topic in 9 countries. She serves on a variety of HCI and Software Engineering committees and editorial boards, and on the Academic Alliance Advisory Board of the U.S. National Center for Women & Information Technology (NCWIT). More on Burnett can be found at: http://web.engr.oregonstate.edu/~burnett/

  • Your Brain Matters! The Role of Neuroscience in Equitable Tech Hiring

    Please join us on September 10th for our next FutureTalks event, a presentation from Rachel Etnire and Paloma Medina, who will help us explore how our hiring practices can intersect with the neurology of equity and inclusion in the tech and design industries. Paloma and Rachel will dive into the the neurological impact of exclusion vs inclusion on the human brain, and then go deeper into specific tactics that increase inclusion and equity in our hiring and recruiting practices. They will deep dive into what hurdles exist to equitable and inclusive hiring, and provide specific techniques that any employee or team can take today to improve their hiring and recruiting game. ------- Doors will open at 5:30 for networking with light food and drink before the program starts promptly at 6pm. The program will conclude with a Q&A and should end by 7:30pm. ------- About our speakers: Paloma Medina is a leadership and performance coach for small and medium tech and design agencies, including Instrument, Etsy, and Digital Ocean. For the past seven years, she’s focused on the neurology and science of how we can improve the performance and happiness for teams and individuals, including recent research on the psychology and science of equity, diversity and inclusion. Paloma holds a Masters in Organizational Coaching from NYU, with a specialization in applied psychology and evidence-based performance improvement. Rachel Etnire is (soon to be) the Diversity and Inclusion Program Manager for New Relic. She currently works on customer training operations and strategy for New Relic’s Customer Solutions Group. After traveling a long and random road, she ended up at New Relic almost by accident. It is definitely, professionally, the best accident to happen to her so far. In addition to her day job, Rachel also created the Allyship @ New Relic program and has rolled out an ally skills training on the company level. She is the program chair for the Relics of Color employee resource group. She is a lover of cats and considers herself to be a donut enthusiast. She will be moving into her full-time ED&I role at New Relic in October 2018.

  • Using Virtual Reality to Reduce Implicit Bias

    Please join us on Monday, July 9 for our next FutureTalks event, a presentation from Clorama Dorvilias and Jessica Outlaw, who will help us explore the opportunities that VR provides to influence and inform our work to create more equitable, diverse and inclusive workplaces. Inspired by the work of Chris Milk to use VR and 360 Filmmaking to deliver experiences of vulnerable populations on an international scale to UN leaders, Clorama and Jessica will share their thoughts on how industries can similarly draw from this example to utilize the immersive value of VR to close empathy gaps in workplaces and educational institutions. They will deep dive into emerging use cases to demonstrate how institutional research, and their own personal research work informed their work to designing de-biasing games for teachers and workplaces. Jessica and Clorama will also dive into case studies of VR as a simulation tool to collect data on decision-making and foster more inclusive behavior on practitioners. ------- Doors will open at 5:30 for networking with light food and drink before the program starts promptly at 6pm. The program will conclude with a Q&A and should end by 7:30pm. ------- About our speakers: Clorama pioneered VR for accessible bias training at the University of the Arts London, while researching technological solutions for reducing social bias in the tech workplace for her MA Thesis. In the summer of 2015, she created the first VR debiasing game for the Oculus DK2 and since worked to create numerous anti-bias VR experiences for the London Neuropsychology Clinic, University College of London and Hyphen-Labs. Her work expands institutions in healthcare, civic tech, law enforcement and the tech industry. In 2017, she was a selected winner for Oculus Launch Pad along with co-creator/founder Jessica Outlaw for Teacher's Lens. She launched the start-up Debias VR specializing in delivering research driven debiasing protocols for corporations and education institutions, leveraging immersive VR training. Debias VR aims to disrupt the bias training sector with impact driven, engaging, and sustainable inclusive behavior training. Jessica Outlaw is a culture and behavior researcher in immersive tech and the Founder of The Extended Mind. She uses behavioral science to help VR companies build and test experiences. She does research in digital worlds, app design, and gives trainings to new and experienced designers. She is a 2017 winner of Oculus Launch Pad for Teacher's Lens with Clorama and you can read more about her immersive tech research at www.extendedmind.io.

  • Team health assessments: a way to understand yourself and improve all the things

    Join us on Monday, May 14 for the next edition of FutureTalks featuring New Relic employees Brent Miller and Honey Darling unpacking the "Team Health Assessment" — an organizational practice we've just undertaken as part of our commitment to continual reinvention which will help us understand how teams work and how product is built at New Relic. The best human achievements are team efforts. How do you know if your teams are healthy? It’s a complex problem, with no easy answers. Two years into a seemingly successful agile transformation at New Relic, we found ourselves wondering how well our teams had taken to the new system, and didn’t really know. We knew that execution was much improved. What we didn’t know was why. Did our leadership all magically turn into serious taskmasters? Did our engineers seriously level up? Did our product managers start making perfect decisions? In order to find out, we crafted a set of team health standards, conducted a facilitated self-assessment with each team, and then asked each team to put together a plan to improve their health. We learned a lot along the way, about how to understand team health, and also about the shape, function, and dysfunction within our org. In this talk we will share our journey, help you understand how to create psychological safety around a team health assessment, and show the kinds of things that we learned about the org. We will examine the project from a high-level project flow perspective, from an organizational change perspective, and share one team’s experiences on the ground. -- Doors will open at 5:30 for networking with light food and drink before the program starts at 6pm. The program will conclude with a Q&A around 7:00pm. -- About our presenters: Brent Miller: Brent is a botanist turned engineer turned agilist, whose work is now at the center of the spicy Venn diagram of humans, technology, and organizational design. He enjoys systems thinking and continuous improvement, and somehow continuously improved himself into his current career. He lives in Portland with his wife and two kitties. Honey Darling: Honey has built strong teams in a number of companies. She's a thoughtful leader: results-focused, calm and directed, and someone who builds teams that work together in the same direction. She is passionate about technology and people, and especially the intersection between the two. Honey believes in the power of collaboration, creativity, and continuous improvement.

  • Anomaly Detection: Algorithms, Explanations, Applications

    Join us on Monday, April 9 for our next FutureTalks event, featuring renowned Professor Dr. Thomas Dietterich, often regarded as the father of the ML field. Dr. Dietterich will speak about anomaly detection, which is important for data cleaning, cyber security, and robust AI systems. This talk will review recent work that his group has taken on (a) benchmarking existing algorithms, (b) developing a theoretical understanding of their behavior, (c) explaining anomaly "alarms" to a data analyst, and (d) interactively re-ranking candidate anomalies in response to analyst feedback. The talk will describe two applications: (a) detecting and diagnosing sensor failures in weather networks and (b) open category detection in supervised learning. -- Doors will open at 5:30 for networking with light food and drink before the program starts promptly at 6pm. The program will conclude with a Q&A around 7:00pm. -- About our speaker: Dr. Dietterich (AB Oberlin College 1977; MS University of Illinois 1979; PhD Stanford University 1984) is Distinguished Professor and Director of Intelligent Systems in the School of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science at Oregon State University, where he joined the faculty in 1985. In 1987, he was named a Presidential Young Investigator for the NSF. In 1990, he published, with Dr. Jude Shavlik, the book entitled Readings in Machine Learning, and he also served as the Technical Program Co-Chair of the National Conference on Artificial Intelligence (AAAI-90). From[masked] he held the position of Executive Editor of the journal Machine Learning. The Association for the Advancement of Artificial Intelligence named him a Fellow in 1994, and the Association for Computing Machinery did the same in 2003. In 2000, he co-founded a free electronic journal: The Journal of Machine Learning Research, and he is currently a member of the Editorial Board. Since 2007, he has served as arXiv moderator for Machine Learning. He was Technical Program Chair of the Neural Information Processing Systems (NIPS) conference in 2000 and General Chair in 2001. He is Past-President of the International Machine Learning Society, a member of the IMLS Board, and he also serves on the Advisory Board of the NIPS Foundation. He is President of the Association for the Advancement of Artificial Intelligence.