I champion performance as a part of the overall user experience, help people get comfortable giving presentations, and believe it's important to celebrate career achievements with donuts.
This week Paul Ford and Rich Ziade talked to me about my most recent book, Demystifying Public Speaking, which aims to help get more diverse voices onstage in the tech world. Topics covered include overcoming specific fears before getting onstage, how to process feedback, and some of my own experiences onstage, from highlights on down to one particular public-speaking horror show. We also discussed my career at Etsy and the joys and challenges of management. Audio and Transcript
I was interviewed for the February 2017 issue of Netmag’s “Voices Interview” (PDF). We discussed web performance, honing management spidey senses, strength training, and public speaking.
We covered a range of topics including managing developers, managing with empathy, tech’s diversity problem and how to handle speaking at conferences.
Claim the Stage is a podcast for creative, entrepreneurial women who want to be inspiring speakers who get paid.
Failure without blame, empowering junior developers and above all, an emphasis on humans. A look at what drives Etsy’s engineering team.
TypeThursday sat down with me to discuss how fonts affect a website’s performance.
I was interviewed for the April 2016 issue of Popular Mechanics’ special section, “Technology’s Secret Weapon is Women” (PDF). The article interviewed a number of women in tech about their contributions to the industry. I’m especially honored that the magazine chose to include a photo of the first device lab that Destiny Montague and I built together.
I had a blast talking with Monika Piotrowicz, Chris Coyier, and Dave Rupert about career paths - where we started from doesn’t always equal where we’ve landed. Freelancer? Go to university or college? Find a mentor? It’s a common ShopTalk Show question and we did our best to answer from our experiences.
An Event Apart’s Eric Meyer caught up with me to talk about some of my favorite tips, tools, and techniques, and to find out what attendees at An Event Apart Seattle and An Event Apart Boston can look forward to.
Design Edu Today is the podcast series discussing topics concerning the state of interactive design education at institutions of higher learning.
In this conversation we talked about my background, career in the web and how I’ve carved out a fun little space in the performance world. We even spoke a bit about donuts and cookies.
The Path to Performance is a podcast dedicated to fostering a culture around web performance in organizations. Katie and Tim talk to guests who have successfully integrated performance as part of their culture and the benefits they have seen. I talk about how our team at Etsy works to help performance stay top of mind throughout the product development process, and how we celebrate performance wins. Audio and Transcript
Net Magazine’s “Exchange” section includes practical advice from industry experts. I was invited to answer questions about performance in their April 2015 edition (pdf).
This super-deep interview from the kind folks at Fresh Tilled Soil focused on many aspects of performance, from inlining CSS to its impact on experience design to the kind of bird that’s on the cover of Designing for Performance. Audio
The American Association of University Women (AAUW) interviewed me about my experiences as a woman in technology. I shared some stories of sexism in addition to what it’s like working for a tech company that is focused on diversity issues.
CODE documentary exposes the dearth of American female and minority software engineers and explores the reasons for this gender gap. CODE raises the question: what would society gain from having more women and minorities code? View the trailer
Popforms Leader Of The Week is a feature on their blog where they highlight an outstanding leader and share their insights on leadership, career, and being awesome at your job. I wrote about taking the high road, having an awkward career trajectory, and what I look for in a great hire.
How to Hold a Pencil is an interview show with self-taught designers and developers. Its purpose is to inspire and empower individuals who are already learning to make things and to help others get off the sidelines.
From the 2014 Velocity Conference in New York City, an interview with me on why device labs are necessary, the role of software emulators, and how to get people on board with web optimization.
The Setup is a collection of nerdy interviews asking people from all walks of life what they use to get the job done. I cover what software and hardware I use daily for work, home, and writing the book.
I sat down with Scott Hanselman to explain how to design for page load time, including optimizations to images, fonts, markup, and more. How important is having a culture of performance and executive buy-in? Is a two-second page load time reasonable? How important is A/B testing? Audio
Performance and… design? Ops and design don’t typically go hand in hand, but they’re more closely related than you may think. “There’s so much that we can do to start thinking about performance from the beginning… there’s a lot that you can actually do to make sure performance is paramount.”
I had a blast talking with Chris Coyier and Dave Rupert on their podcast about front end web design, development and UX. We chatted about performance, conferences and good skill sets front end devs should have to get hired.
©2016, published by A Book Apart
Don’t think public speaking is for you? It is—whether you’re bracing for a conference talk or a team meeting.
Demystifying Public Speaking helps you identify your fears and effectively face them, so you can make your way to the stage (big or small). Get clear, practical advice through every step, from choosing a topic and creating a presentation, to gathering and distilling feedback, to event-day prep. You’ll feel confident and equipped to step into the spotlight.
“What metric(s) do your VIPs care about?” This question is often met with blank stares and raised eyebrows. But it’s also our biggest clue to what we need to do to help empower others to care about performance and work on it. Every organization and executive is different. This means that three major things vary: the primary metrics VIPs care about; the language they use about measuring success; and how change is enacted. By clueing in to these nuances within your organization, you can get a huge leg up on crafting a successful pitch about performance work.
At Etsy, Destiny Montague and I built a device lab with 30+ devices and iterated upon the lab as we learned more about how developers and designers use it. Building upon our workshop, Destiny Montague and I wrote this book to help others build out their labs as a product for their coworkers.
Take your message to the next level. Help those around you feel the impact that performance has on your overall user experience. Showing is so much more compelling than telling; showcasing the real user experience is much more powerful than staring at numbers or bar charts. So how can we show performance? Use videos of your site loading, and wall monitors! This article shows you how.
I contributed a monthly article to The Pastry Box Project. My posts:
Brave New Girls is a forthcoming collection of young adult sci-fi tales featuring tech-savvy heroines, from starship mechanics to hackers to electrical engineers and beyond. All proceeds will be donated quarterly to a scholarship fund for girls through the Society of Women Engineers. I was fortunate enough to be invited to write a foreword for the book.
I’m the author of Designing for Performance. This practical introduction to performance from a designer and front-end developer perspective has been featured in Netmag’s “Need list” and reviewed on CSS-Tricks. It covers:
The book is available for purchase from O'Reilly in both ebook and print version. I'm donating all of the proceeds from the book to various charities focused on supporting underrepresented people in tech. You can also read the book online for free.
As an engineering manager, there’s one major realization you have: managers go to lots of meetings. After chatting with a bunch of fellow engineering managers at Etsy, I realized that people have awesome hacks for managing their calendars and time. I wrote up the best ones from a recent poll of Etsy engineering managers.
I share how we built Etsy’s mobile device testing lab, complete with communication techniques, challenges like power supply, what we learned about how to make it intuitive for developers and designers to use, and pictures!
In this front-end performance 101, I walk through designing and coding for performance, focusing on optimizing requests and how to measure the results.
colspan*=x in media queries to creatively display table headers and context on smaller screen sizes in this responsive web design technique.
Tracking and optimizing error messages will help you measurably improve your website’s UX. I detail implementation, data gathering and analysis to help you figure out how to improve your error message drop rates. This article was also included in the book UX Practical Techniques. See the article within the book here.
Data is an invaluable tool for web designers who are making decisions about the user experience. A/B tests, or split tests, are one of the easiest ways to measure the effect of different design, content, or functionality. A/B tests allow you to create high-performing user experience elements that you can implement across your site. This article details techniques and examples to help get you started.