Schemas for the Real World

PHP[tek], Chicago, Illinois, May 2014

Software Craftsmanship North America, Chicago, Illinois, November 2013

Madison RubyConf, Madison, Wisconsin, August 2013

PyCon Australia (PyConAU), Hobart, Australia, July 2013

RailsConf, Portland, Oregon, April 2013

RubyConf Australia (RubyConfAU), Melbourne, February 21-22, 2013

Golden Gate Ruby Conference (GoGaRuCo), San Francisco, September 14-15th, 2012

Social app development challenges us to code for users' personal world. Users are giving push-back to ill-fitted assumptions about their own identity - name, gender, sexual orientation, important relationships, and many other attributes that are individually meaningful.

How can we balance users' realities with an app's business requirements?

Facebook, Google+, OkCupid, LinkedIn, Flickr and others are struggling with these questions. Resilient approaches arise from an app's own foundation. Discover how our earliest choices influence codebase, UX, and development itself. Learn how we can use that knowledge to both inspire the people who use our apps, and to generate the data that we need as developers.

45 minutes

"Insanely great talk on how free choice often best represents real world demographics and social schemas." Simon Taggart
"One of the most informative, entertaining, and relevant to what I do everyday, talks I've seen" Renée De Voursney
"That talk was enlightening and liberating" Zubin Henner
"If you write software that is used by real people, you really need to pay attention" Jason Stirk
"Carina Zona challenged us to rethink our schemas to better reflect the real world. Her insightful session highlighted the assumptions we make about the world, particularly about relationships and sexual identity, through our technical decisions. When designing our applications, we should focus on modeling the world as it is, and worry less about how we’ll store and query the data. We can extrapolate out this idea further when thinking about software design. Instead of viewing our applications as interfaces to a datastore, they should be interfaces to our world. Storing the data is the easy part, writing our applications so that they are flexible to our dynamic world is much harder." Chris Kelly, New Relic
"'Schemas For The Real World' was one of the few moments in a tech-heavy conference that acknowledged our users are real people with motivations that extend beyond our own business concerns -- an important point too often glossed over for simplicity or convenience." Josh French, Upworthy
"If emphasizing inclusiveness in conferences means more surprisingly mind-expanding talks like Carina C. Zona’s 'Schemas for the Real World', then bring on the diversity, because it’s a breath of fresh air." Avdi Grim
"Loved, loved, loved your talk. You walked right through the issue and sorted it out definitively. Thank you" Jack Danger Canty, Square

Handcrafting Community

Burlington RubyConf, Burlington, Vermont, August 3-4, 2013

Steel City RubyConf, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, August 2013

Community-building can seem like a herculean effort that must be coordinated among many. But it doesn't have to be. One is plenty.

How can we handcraft a fulfilling code career? How can we support peers in developing theirs, whether newcomer or artisan? How can we contribute, without having to be expert? How do we develop social capital among community members, and channel those investments into people who are just entering? How will we craft a thriving community, using only simple tools & scarce local resources?

We'll examine the history of major successes -- in Ruby community, Python, and well beyond -- and extract lessons to apply generally. It's a story that weaves in personal narratives of rising into that, both well and clumsily. It's about transforming minor ambitions & frequent iterations into a scope of change that looks amazing. By making choices to do small things well and thoughtfully, rather than with concern for how they scale.

30 minutes

Doctor, Lawyer, Poker Player, Physicist: The Best Engineers We're Not Competing To Hire Yet

Lone Star PHP, Dallas, April 25-26, 2014, Linz, Austria, March 1, 2014

"The team needs more engineers and we need them today."

We talk about the engineer shortage. But the problem is not what we think it is. We'll explore how hiring for only CS degrees misses exceptional opportunities. Unconventional backgrounds breed great developers.

Homogeneity boxes us in. Diverse teams are more productive, more profitable, and more excited about what they're accomplishing. Diversity isn't just demographics. It's about benefitting from distinctly varied perspectives. Who better than the former philosopher, marine biologist, stage hand, or anthropologist? In this talk, we'll walk through why it's worth competing for them.

Forget the rock star; hire the opera singer.

30 minutes

The Evil Overlords' Guide to Being a Senior Developer

FluentConf, San Francisco, May 28-30, 2013

Hollywood super villains learn their lessons the hard way. You don't have to. What can we learn about doing good, from thwarted forces of doom?

It's been said that coders "stand on the shoulders of giants." We'll take a session to stand on the shoulders of legendary tyrants, get a view from their side, & discover how to lead with the humor and grace that perpetually evades those gals and guys.

20 minutes

Full-Stack & Full Circle

What The Heck Happens in An HTTP Request, and Why It’s Worth Knowing

Confident CodingConfident Coding III, San Francisco, October 20th, 2012

Flying in from 10,000 foot view ("Hey, browser, show me this", "Okay, here it is"), we'll take thoughtful overview of the HTTP request/response cycle. Its essence is simply a series of questions & answers, accumulating portions of content to be gracefully assembled for the user.

We'll hone in on some key players amidst the "full stack" of communications, with special attention to how an understanding of the HTTP lifecycle endows any developer or designer with the power to optimize for performance, cost, and UX

30 minutes

Cool Git Tricks

(That I Learn When Things Go Badly)

Women Who Code Lightning Talks, San Francisco

August 21st, 2012

A quick and cheeky intro to some very handy features that even experienced users are frequently unaware of.

6 minutes

January 10th, 2013

Part two of the quick and cheeky tour through handy features that even experienced users are frequently unaware of.

7 minutes

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