- Data v. Privacy: Finding the balance
Welcome back from summer! The night will kick off with a series of lightning talks on what big data enables and empowers within the local product community. We’ll follow this with a panel discussion on big data and privacy! Ella will share how to build a reliable data solution to product-ionizing data products. Joel will share stories of data innovation at companies within our community. Lastly, Mary will cover how using online data can help build vibrant local communities. To wrap up the evening, Diederik will moderate a panel with our 3 speakers around data and privacy. We'll have delightful food and fantastic drinks to enjoy throughout the evening, as always. ## What to expect: The talks will cover lots of awesome things data has enabled, with a few moments of technical depth, keeping this approachable for anyone in the software product community. ## Who are the speakers? Ella Hilal (https://www.linkedin.com/in/allaahilal/) is the Director of Data Science and Engineering for Plus and International at Shopify. She is an active researcher and a subject matter expert with more than 12 years of experience in data intelligence, machine learning, ambient intelligence, autonomous systems, and Internet of Things, backed by versatile experience in academia and the tech industry in proactive innovation, solution development, and turning novel ideas into revenue-generating products. She has a Doctorate degree in Pattern Analysis and Machine Intelligence from the University of Waterloo. Dr. Hilal is also an adjunct assistant Professor at the University of Waterloo. Dr. Hilal is an active evangelist for responsible innovation, women in tech, and STEM. She has also been recognized by the Google Anita Borg Memorial Scholarship as a Google scholar for her active role and leadership in supporting women in technology. Joel Cumming (https://www.linkedin.com/in/joelcumming/) is SkyWatch’s Chief Technology Officer. His team focuses on making earth observation data available for everyone. Previously, as Head of Data at Kik Interactive, Joel directed data engineering and data sciences at petabyte scale. Prior to that, Joel managed analytics and big data teams at BlackBerry, helping the company grow from 3 million to 80 million subscribers. Mary Loubele (https://www.linkedin.com/in/mloubele/) is the Analytics Dev Manager at MappedIn. Prior to joining MappedIn she was a Senior data engineer at TalkIQ which got acquired by Dialpad in May 2018. Before that she was the Director of data science and engineering at FunnelCake. Before that she held positions as a Data Scientist at D2L and as a NLP Software Developer at Maluuba, now a Microsoft company. She holds a PhD in Medical Image Computing and a Master’s degree in Computer Engineering from KU Leuven. She also organizes several meetups in the Waterloo region including KW Intersections and Waterloo Data Science and Engineering. Diederik van Liere (https://www.linkedin.com/in/diederikvanliere/) is a Director of Data Science & Engineering at Shopify. He joined the company in 2014 and has helped build their new data warehouse, their improved data ingestion pipeline and front-end pixel. More recently, he is responsible for building numerous data science teams to put the power of data in the hands of Shopify merchants. Prior to Shopify, he was a Product Manager of Analytics at the Wikimedia Foundation, the organization that runs Wikipedia and it's sister projects. He holds a PhD (with honors) from the Decision Sciences department from the Rotterdam School of Management, Erasmus University, the Netherlands. ## Is this event for you? This event is intended for anyone with an interest in data, privacy, and how they interact in software product companies. The talks are all approachable regardless of your background! Our office is fully accessible and we have gender neutral facilities available on site. Should you require any additional accommodations, please let us know at least two weeks in advance.
- Understanding our users
As product companies, we must understand our users and their needs if we want to succeed. In this Shopify Sessions, Alan will show you how you can get a deeper understanding of your buyers with an adaptive user persona when you follow them along their buyer journey. Jordan will help you get the most out of your conversations with users by applying lessons and tools from the worlds of Acting and Cognitive Science. To wrap up the evening, Raquel will share how experiencing user’s everyday context and reality can radically change your product strategy and vision. We'll have delightful food and fantastic drinks to enjoy throughout the evening, as always. ## What to expect: The talks cover multiple facets of understanding our users. No matter your background, you’ll walk away learning something new. ## Who are the speakers? Alan Armstrong (https://www.linkedin.com/in/awarmstrong/), Founder and CEO of Eigenworks, a win/loss analysis firm based in Guelph, will fill you in on how you can dig into a deeper understanding of your buyers when you follow them along the pathway of the buyer journey. Join Alan to map the journey your customers take with you, and see their lifecycle through a buyer-centric lens. Jordan Pollock (https://www.linkedin.com/in/jordan-pollock-411b077b/) completed his undergraduate degree in Cognitive Science at McGill and is now completing a masters degree of Human-Computer Interaction at Carleton. Outside of academia, Jordan has been acting for 10 years and has been in productions including Rent, Peter Pan, Dial M for Murder, Play it Again, Sam!, and many more. He has combined his love of art and science into the start of an exciting career in UX Research at Shopify, where he recently joined the Shipping team in Ottawa. Raquel Damas (https://www.linkedin.com/in/raquel-damas-5b17259/) has a wide background in design, having worked in multiple projects from interiors, to brand & identity, food, and digital transformation projects for Telecom. With a strategic and curious mind, Raquel is an avid design advocate within businesses, focused on creating and developing market relevant products that can inspire the world ahead. A passion for the design of game-changing products, she’ll let us know how failing to understand user’s full context can be eye opening for innovative product strategies. ## Is this event for you? This event is intended for anyone who wants to better understand their users at a product company. The talks are all approachable regardless of your background! Our office is fully accessible and we have gender neutral facilities available on site. Should you require any additional accommodations, please let us know at least two weeks in advance.
- Design, Build, and Launch Mobile Products
Mobile continues to have explosive growth. In this Shopify Sessions, Basil will share a behind-the-scenes look into how he took Medly from 40k to 2 million downloads in under 2 years. Mukul will walk us through the creation of Mokool Sports Games latest game, “World Hockey Championships,” sharing insights on app monetization, analytics, and the business of mobile games. Mark will review the design decisions that went into the UI and UX of his popular, “Better Reminders,” app helping you better design modern and native iOS apps. We'll have delightful food and fantastic drinks to enjoy throughout the evening, as always. ## What to expect: As a special collaboration with iOSKW (https://www.meetup.com/iOSKitchenerWaterloo/), the talks this evening cover product, design, and technical decisions within a mobile app. No matter your background, you’ll walk away learning something new. ## Who are the speakers? Basil Al-Dajane (https://www.linkedin.com/in/basilaldajane/) is a co-founder of Medly, the iOS app that makes music-making easy. Managing product and design at Medly, Basil has been working on mobile apps for over 6 years. Mukul Verma (https://www.linkedin.com/in/mukulverma/) is an app entrepreneur who successfully founded Mokool Apps in 2012 and recently launched into sports apps with Mokool Sports Games. More than 7 million people globally have played mobile games developed by Verma's creative team. A graduate of Carleton University's Bachelor of Commerce program, Verma counts being a great dad as his first priority and the inspiration for being an active member of his local community. Mark DiFranco (https://www.linkedin.com/in/mpdifranco/) is a seasoned iOS developer with 7 years experience on the platform. He’s worked with many different technologies, and (both personally and professionally) contributed to over 15 applications in the App Store. He has also taught several courses covering iOS development on Lynda.com. Mark contributes to several open source projects, and enjoys answering iOS questions on Stack Overflow, where he is in the top 8% of contributors. ## Is this event for you? This event is intended for anyone with an interest in mobile, whether it be technical, design, product, or why mobile matters. The talks are all approachable regardless of your background! Our office is fully accessible and we have gender neutral facilities available on site. Should you require any additional accommodations, please let us know at least two weeks in advance.
- Be a Data Informed Product Company
Data is more than a hot trend! In this Shopify Sessions, Hanan will walk through concrete analytics and data science applications at Shopify Plus, and how they were developed by cross-functional teams encompassing Data, Product, and Services. Kathryn will review a case where we explored how buyers interacted with a specific application to inform product decision, and also review a marketing experiment where data analytics was a pivotal component. We'll have delightful food and fantastic drinks to enjoy throughout the evening, as always. ## What to expect: The talks this evening cover foundational knowledge and practical techniques you can use around data analysis. No matter your background, you’ll walk away learning something new. ## Who are the speakers? Hanan Ayad (https://www.linkedin.com/in/hanan-ayad-ba39839/) is a Data Scientist and Engineer at Shopify, focusing on applying data science to support the Plus Product and Services teams. She received her PhD in Machine Learning from the University of Waterloo. Previously, she was part of the Analytics team at D2L, and worked as a Data Scientist at Intuit in Silicon Valley, where she worked alongside product management, engineering, and design to deliver machine learning models for a wide range of use cases, including the evolution of the analytics foundations. Kathryn Tang (https://www.linkedin.com/in/kathryntang/) is a Senior Analyst on the Business Operations Team at Shopify Plus. She leverages data to support campaigns, understand performance, and help our teams make operating decisions. ## Is this event for you? This event is intended for anyone with an interest in building up and understanding how data can empower their company. The talks cover fundamentals, techniques, and real-world stories around data analysis and use, and are all approachable regardless of your background! Our office is fully accessible and we have gender neutral facilities available on site. Should you require any additional accommodations, please let us know at least two weeks in advance.
- How to build great (and lasting) Company Cultures
WTF is culture within a company? Why is it so essential to your success? This Shopify Session we’re gonna dive deep into this while sharing what it means at Shopify and Sortable. As always, you’ll receive practical advice you can take back to your company. Having worked with startups to some of today’s fastest growing companies, Mic has seen first-hand the impact that having a clearly defined culture can have on long-term vision and goals. You’ll walk away from this talk with an understanding of how to take action on a daily basis in order to build a healthy culture that lasts. Following that, Chris from Sortable will walk us through how they went from a 4 to a 90 person company and how they focused on a culture of transparency, accountability, and empowerment. Wrapping up the talks, we have Amandah covering how we think about culture at Shopify, scaling culture in a 3000+ person company and the role the Culture team plays in that. The night will finish with a Q&A for all your culture questions. We'll have delightful food and fantastic drinks to enjoy throughout the evening, as always. ## What to expect: The talks this evening cover foundational knowledge and practical techniques you can use around developing your company culture. No matter your background, you’ll walk away able to make your company a better place. ## Who are the speakers? Mic Berman (https://www.linkedin.com/in/michalberman/) is focused on growing people’s leadership capabilities and accelerating a company’s ability to scale and win while building great cultures. She has over 20 years experience growing, running and coaching some of the most well known tech companies such as Mozilla, Freshbooks, and Shopify. Mic earned her CPCC from Coaches Training Institute, her MBA in global business from the University of Toronto, and a B.A.S from York University. Chris Reid (https://www.linkedin.com/in/reidchristopher/) is the founder and CEO of Sortable, a Waterloo Region startup on a mission to empower publishers. With an engineering background from the University of Waterloo, he is a serial entrepreneur on his fifth venture and has led tech ventures in industries ranging from educational technology to the consumer web and B2B SaaS. Amandah Wood (https://www.linkedin.com/in/amandahwood/) is currently an Employee Experience Specialist on the Culture team at Shopify, a Canadian born commerce company whose mission is to make commerce better for everyone. She is also the founder of Ways We Work (http://wayswework.io/), a digital publication focused on telling stories and getting first-hand accounts of how people do the work they love. She’s had the opportunity to shadow and interview teams at companies like Spotify, Medium, and Facebook. ## Is this event for you? This event is intended for anyone with an interest in building up, understanding, and improving their product companies’ culture. The talks cover fundamentals, techniques, and real-world stories around company culture, and are all approachable regardless of your background! Our office is fully accessible and we have gender neutral facilities available on site. Should you require any additional accommodations, please let us know at least two weeks in advance.
- Design Systems: What they are and how to use them
At the first Shopify Session of the year we’re trying something new! Come out for an awesome night filled with 3 talks covering multiple aspects of Design Systems! To start the night off, we’ll have Amy Thibodeau introduce us to Design Systems and how we developed Polaris. Following that Brad Swerdfeger will walk us through the design philosophy and architecture of a design system. Finishing off the evening, we have Dave McVittie covering an introduction of Design Tokens and how to integrate them into your tech stack with Theo. We'll have light snacks and drinks to enjoy throughout the evening. ## What to expect: The talks this evening cover design, content, and implementation aspects of Design Systems. No matter your background there’s something new you can learn and bring back with you. ## Who are the speakers? Amy Thibodeau leads UX for Shopify's App and Partner Platform. Previously, she was a lead on the team that launched Shopify's design system at polaris.shopify.com. Before joining Shopify, Amy worked as one of the first members of Facebook’s product content strategy team where she championed the role of language as a building block of clear, human interface design. Brad Swerdfeger is a UX Lead at Shopify Plus who has spent the better part of the last decade designing marketing platforms for multinational, large scale brands through a systems-focused approach. Prior to joining Shopify, Brad worked at Sapient, where he led the design and development of a design system of a major automotive manufacturer. Brad has designed sites for dozens of the largest fashion, automotive, and sporting goods brands. Dave McVittie is a Front-end Developer at Shopify Plus who has worked on multiple Rails, React, and Backbone.js projects. Prior to joining Shopify, Dave worked at Talemetry where he was responsible for building and maintaining their internal design library. ## Is this event for you? This event is intended for anyone with an interest in utilizing design systems in a product company. The talks cover design, product, and developer areas of focus, but are all approachable regardless of your background! Our office is fully accessible and we have gender neutral facilities available on site. Should you require any additional accommodations, please let us know at least two weeks in advance.
- Testing in React: Going from bad to rad!
Join us November 29th to learn how to effectively test your React apps with Josh Teeter. Come learn how we tackled a poorly tested React application here at Shopify, working past the demoralizing start and getting back to the fun that testing a React application should be. We'll have light snacks and drinks to enjoy throughout the evening. What to expect: Josh will walk through a case study of refactoring and adding tests to extend an application at Shopify with a lot of unknowns. We’ll talk about why we test, look at a case study of taking a product from poor test coverage to 100% allowing us to perform fearless refactoring and faster development. We'll go through some actionable examples as a group that will help level up your React testing skills. Who’s Josh Teeter? Josh is a full stack developer at Shopify Plus who’s worked on multiple Rails and React applications. Prior to joining Shopify Plus he worked at Boltmade. When he’s not at work, he’s working on one of his open source projects, listening to podcasts, or watching Formula 1. Is this event for you? This event is intended for anyone with some testing and React experience, and who’s interested in learning strategies for testing React and Redux applications. We recommend you bring your laptop.
- Gaining Context: Customers, Products, Company
Join us October 18th to learn how you can quickly gain context to make better product decisions. Being a product manager means constantly making decisions with imperfect information. I’m going to give you some tools and techniques I use every day at Shopify to systematically make well informed decisions. What to expect: This event is a presentation with ample opportunity to ask lots of questions. Who’s David Cameron? David is a Product Manager at Shopify Plus, focused on building solutions that saves merchants time and help them grow their businesses. Prior to joining Shopify Plus he worked at D2L in design and product management. When he’s not at work, he’s spending time with his young family and trying to automate his home and garden. Is this event for you? This event is for anyone who is interested in learning more about strategies for building necessary context and knowledge to make better product decisions.
- Three's a party: how product, engineering, and design can work together
Join us September 27th to learn how product, engineering, and design can work together effectively at scale. The way project teams execute when they're small — everyone chipping in to get it all done — can lead to disastrous outcomes as they grow. Without clearly defined UX design, product management, and engineering lead roles, projects can get inefficient, quickly. Come and get a better understanding of how the lead PM, UX, and engineering roles, the trifecta, can work effectively as your team scales. You'll leave with a clear sense of the trifecta's responsibilities, cadence, and activities across each layer of the product organization. What to expect: This event is a presentation with ample opportunity to ask lots of questions. Who’s Davis Neable? Davis leads the UX team at Shopify Plus, focused on creating meaningful and compelling experiences for some of the fastest growing brands in ecommerce. Prior to joining Shopify Plus she did design work for a variety of companies, from startups to global corporations. When she's not working with pixels or people, there's a good chance she's scoring a baseball game or having water-gun fights with her two daughters. Is this event for you? This event is for anyone who is interested in learning more about building and scaling effective product teams and our process at Shopify Plus.
- Getting started with Apple’s Metal API
Join us August 30th to learn the basics of Apple’s Metal API from Chris Feher and our Mobile Team. In this introductory workshop, come learn how to draw and animate 2D shapes using Apple’s Metal API. We’ll share the techniques we used to scale one of our apps to visualise more than 15K events/minute. We'll have light snacks and drinks while you work through the workshop. What to expect: We’ll walk you through a few fundamental techniques of graphics programming. You’ll learn about memory management, the use of shaders, and ways to optimize code for huge performance gains by getting down and dirty writing your own code. Who’s Chris Feher? Chris Feher works within our mobile team and has built app’s using metal to visualise sales across all of Shopify. Prior to Shopify, Chris worked at Boltmade on multiple mobile products ranging from social networking to food service bots. Is this workshop for you? This workshop has been designed for intermediate to advanced skill-levels and is suited for developers with Swift experience on either iOS or MacOS, know their way around XCode, and have worked on mobile apps before. No prior graphics programming knowledge is necessary. What to bring: A mac running MacOS (v10.12.6+) with the latest version of XCode (v8.3.3+) installed. A Mac laptop is REQUIRED. Metal will not run on any other platform!