- Design: soulful systems and interview extremes
Two designers from very different fields share their learnings on UI systems and user research methods. First Talk: How to not lose your mind while seeking your SOUL Synopsis: UI Systems are a hot topic these days. There are many different ways to identify and solve for that need. This talk will focus on SoundCloud's currently developed design language called SOUL. Sarah will share last years troubles and findings from the design perspective. Speaker: Sarah Kranz Bio: After being a horse trainer, Sarah swapped the pitchfork with the mouse and studied graphic design in Hamburg. In her + five years at SoundCloud, she moved from visual to product design and is now leading UI Design. ----------------- Second Talk: Safe words: user interviews at a sex toy company Synopsis: Conducting interviews with your users allows their feedback to be part of your product development process. But interviews are much more complicated than just conversations, especially when you’re researching topics as sensitive as sex. Jon Derman Harris, a Product Designer at Amorelie, will present what he's learned about user interview methods as a design researcher in a taboo industry. The presentation is SFW. Speaker: Jon Derman Harris Bio: Jon Derman Harris is a user researcher and industrial designer at Amorelie, an online shop for all things love, sex, and relationships. There he conducts interviews with users of all ages, genders, and sexualities, and develops new products to fit their needs. He studied Product Design at Stanford.
- Building mobile apps @SoundCloud
SC tech meetup session on Building mobile apps @SoundCloud. First Talk: What’s in a design? A journey into the mind of an Android developer. Synopsis: Have you ever wondered what goes through the mind of a developer when they are asked to implement a design? In this talk we will examine a simple design to illustrate the complexity that Android UI can have, discuss what information should be present in a design, and investigate options for implementing it in the most efficient way. Speaker: Carrie Hall (Android engineer @ SoundCloud) Bio: Carrie has over 6 years experience working on front-end Android apps and moved to Berlin a year ago to work for SoundCloud. Prior to that she spent 4 years working at the BBC in Manchester (UK), working on their iPlayer Radio app. ----------------- Second Talk: Scaling mobile teams at SoundCloud Synopsis: The SoundCloud iOS team went through a lot over the years. We started with contractors, transitioned to an in-house team, did a rewrite, moved to feature teams, experienced distributed teams over two locations, etc... We have a few good stories to share: best practices, legendary mistakes, and things you should look out for. Whether you’re a mobile engineer, an engineering or product manager, you’ll learn a thing or two about what’s making the SoundCloud mobile team work. Speaker: Vincent Garrigues (iOS Tech Lead @ SoundCloud) Bio: Vincent moved to Berlin over 5 years ago as one of SoundCloud’s first in-house iOS engineers. Since then, he led numberous high profile features and spearheaded the modularization of the application. He now moved on from the iOS team and is helping out with media streaming.
- Moving away from Monolith Codebases @ SoundCloud
SC tech meetup session on Moving away from Monolith Codebases First Talk: Extracting services from a monolith Synopsis: Are microservices just another buzzword? Are monoliths a thing of the past? Does it make sense to change the architecture of a successful product? In this talk I will share my experience extracting microservices from a monolithic application, so you can decide whether they are a good fit for your product and team or not. Speaker: Jano González, Backend Engineer at SoundCloud Bio: Jano has worked for the last three and a half years extracting services from the original SoundCloud monolith and also ensuring that it still works smoothly. ----------------- Second Talk: Extracting Datasets from a Monolith Synopsis: After we moved features out of the monolithic app that ran most of SoundCloud, we realised that we had many of the same problems with how we manage data. Poorly understood ownership of datasets is at the root of many difficulties we’ve in continuing to scale SoundCloud, especially with the growth of features that rely on quality data. In this talk we’ll discuss ways of reasoning about who should own datasets, and patterns of data integrations between teams. Speaker: Joe Kearney, Tech Lead Data Platform at SoundCloud Bio: Joe is the tech lead for the data infrastructure and tooling group at SoundCloud, working on how we manage and think about data across the company. He moved to Berlin and SoundCloud two years ago from the UK for the challenges that come with large scale distributed systems, but he’s still far more fluent in SQL than in German.
- Front end technologies @ SoundCloud & Contentful
- Mobile at scale @ Lyft and SoundCloud
Here comes an other SoundCloud Tech Meetup, this time in collaboration with Lyft! First talk: Peak Mobile or Productive Plateau? Mobile at Scale at Lyft. Description: At Lyft we build apps at scale. Today, a team of over 40 people spread across a dozen teams push out new versions of our apps for iPhone and Android on a weekly basis. But it wasn't always like this. I'll talk about how we got from our humble beginnings with a pair of engineers back in 2012 to the machine that we have today. While we have good reasons to be proud of where we are, plenty of mistakes were made along the way. We had to try many tools and processes to find what worked for us at the time, and to set ourselves up for success in the future. Just as Lyft and the industry has reached this plateau of productivity, new exciting things are on the horizon. Smart digital assistants, chat bots and new web technologies are challenging the app as the default platform. Have we perhaps reached peak mobile? Speaker: Sebastian Brannstrom (Head of Mobile @ Lyft) Bio: Sebastian is originally from Stockholm, but speaks German (test him!) He has been programming since his teens. He fell into mobile in 2006 when he got his first Symbian phone. It couldn't do podcasts, so he wrote an app for that and open sourced it. He was then hired by Symbian and moved to London. After leaving Symbian, Sebastian was employee #11 at Lyft. He wrote the first iteration of the Lyft app as a Hackathon project in 2012. After overseeing the mobile team for three years, he moved into a new role leading the engineering efforts for autonomous software. Now he spends his time sorting out paperwork for his new home in San Francisco and threatening to move to the second Lyft engineering office in Seattle. Sebastian is currently at Burning man, which is why Alex wrote his bio. We hope he finds himself but doesn't lose his voice! Second talk: A Journey into Frameworks and Swift Description: As your iOS code base and team grow monolithic projects are hard to work with. Conflicts, coupled code, dependency between teams. At SoundCloud we were getting closer to that point when we decided to take action on that. We started a journey to transition the app into a modular architecture. We’ll cover in this talk the steps that we’re taking, the issues that we’re facing and how we are taking advantage of that to bring Swift into the project. Speaker: Pedro Piñera & Matej Balantic (iOS engineers @ SoundCloud)
- Continuous Integration & Test Infrastructure @ SoundCloud and Chrome
Main Talk: Hacking on Chrome: Continuous Integration Across the Globe Length: 30 min + 10-15 min Q+A Description: Contributors to the Chromium project (the open source project powering the Chrome web browser) submit code constantly from around the world. This talk describes the continuous build and test systems used to support those contributors, the project culture required to make such a distributed effort work, and some of the challenges the project has faced along the way. Speaker: Mike Stipicevic Bio: Mike Stipicevic is a Software Engineer at Google working on the Chrome Infrastructure Team. Over the past 4 years he's worked on various aspects of Chrome and Chromium's Continuous Integration environment, one of the largest open-source build and test systems in the world. Recently he has begun to lead the team's Android testing efforts. Prior to Google, Mike has worked on time-series monitoring at Librato and high-speed analytic databases at 1010data. He holds a Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering and Computer Systems Engineering from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. Lightning Talk 1: Fast Feedback: Delivering Test Results Efficiently Length: 10 min Description: With growing development teams at SoundCloud, there is a need to execute tests early and often while still delivering reliable and effective feedback as fast as possible. This talk describes our approaches to decreasing the feedback cycle and making it easier for developers to verify their changes using our CI environment before committing. Speaker: Brigit Lyons Bio: Brigit Lyons is a Software Engineer in Test at SoundCloud, where she has worked on mobile testing infrastructure and services since November 2014. Her current work focuses on a customized test runner for iOS and Android that enables on-demand, parallelized test execution across multiple devices. Prior to SoundCloud, Brigit spent 3 years as a Software Engineer at Cisco Systems, where she worked on Android and desktop testing infrastructure. Brigit holds a Bachelor of Science in Computer Systems Engineering from the University of Massachusetts Amherst. Lightning Talk 2: RESTSpy: Mock When Needed Length: 10 min Description: There are many benefits to using real backends when writing acceptance tests for mobile applications. However, this approach can also introduce problems such as “How do I simulate a 500 Server error?” This talk describes how we solved these types of problems after moving SoundCloud’s iOS acceptance tests from a mocked server to the real backend. Speaker: Yves Bonjour Bio: Yves Bonjour is a Software Engineer in Test at SoundCloud, where he works on tools to enable developers to write high-quality tests. His current work focuses on a customized test runner for iOS and Android that enables on-demand, parallelized test execution across multiple devices. He has also worked on a set of tools to enable end to end mobile tests. Prior to SoundCloud, Yves worked as a Mobile Engineer at Swisscom and developed Switzerland's first mobile wallet solution. Yves holds a Master of Science in Computer Science from the Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich.
- PyLadies @ SoundCloud
PyLadies is an international mentorship group with a focus on helping more women become active participants and leaders in the Python open-source community. Pyladies Berlin are regularly meeting once per month, every second Tuesday of the month. There is usually a talk and a hands on session over a python topic. The Next meetup will be about 3D graphics with Blender, with hands-on session about modelling the solar system. It is mainly addressed to women, but men with genuine interest on the topic that comply to a respectful and friendly atmosphere are welcomed to join. Check preparation details and sign up at http://www.meetup.com/PyLadies-Berlin/events/224687974/
- Lesbians Who Tech Summit
SoundCloud is thrilled to host the upcoming Lesbians Who Tech Summit. No RSVP on Meetup.com. Head over to the event's page to sign up. Thanks! -- Lesbians Who Tech, a global community of over 10,000 queer women (and allies) across all areas of technology, is hosting their first-ever European Summit in Berlin August 29th here at SoundCloud (http://lesbianswhotech.org/berlinsummit/). The Summit will bring together over 120 LGBTQ women across all areas of technology, media & digital. Curious what this is all about. Check out their short video (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FtyivdDKoEg). For more information on the Lesbians Who Tech Berlin Summit click here (http://lesbianswhotech.org/berlinsummit/), including an agenda and speaker lineup. We’ll have speakers from Twilio, Twitter, Etsy and more. The Summit is a great way to meet amazing innovators across all areas of technology and make lasting personal and professional connections.
- Music Information Retrieval from a Multicultural Perspective
SoundCloud is excited to host Prof Xavier Serra (http://www.dtic.upf.edu/~xserra/) from Universitat Pompeu Fabra, Barcelona, who will give a talk on MIR from a multicultural perspective. Music is a universal phenomenon that manifests itself in every cultural context with a particular personality and the technologies supporting music have to take into account the specificities that every musical culture might have. This is particularly evident in the field of Music Information Retrieval, in which we aim at developing technologies to analyse, describe and explore any type of music. From this perspective we started the project CompMusic (http://compmusic.upf.edu (http://compmusic.upf.edu/)) in which we focus on a number of MIR problems through the study of five music cultures: Hindustani (North India), Carnatic (South India), Turkish-makam (Turkey), Arab-Andalusian (Maghreb), and Beijing Opera (China). We work on the extraction of musically relevant features from audio music recordings related to melody and rhythm, and on the semantic analysis of the contextual information of those recordings. In this talk I will do an overview of CompMusic and also briefly mention other research projects being carried out at the Music Technology Group of the Pompeu Fabra University in Barcelona that relate to the analysis, description and synthesis of sound and music signals. It would be really helpful for us to prepare if you could register officially at our eventbrite (https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/music-information-retrieval-from-a-multicultural-perspective-tickets-17760074862) page.