Engineering

No One Likes a Creep

  By Poornima Vijayashanker Two weeks ago I talked about dealing with deadlines that are doomed, and I talked about how to create more realistic deadlines before committing to a project. A number of readers wrote in asking, “What if I’ve already got a project and I’m going to miss my deadline?” In exchanging emails with readers, I identified that the most popular reason people were going to miss a deadline was because of scope creep. Some of you might already be familiar with ... Read more

From Learning to Code, to Building a Prototype, and then Getting it Funded

Interview with Alyssa Ravasio, CEO and Founder of Hipcamp By Poornima Vijayashanker Alyssa Ravasio loved the outdoors and was fed up with the outdated campsite reservation systems in California. She set out to fix the problem, and since she had a non-technical background, her first line of business was to learn how to code. She took classes at Dev Bootcamp, which enabled her to build a prototype while she was a scholarship student in my Lean Product Development Course. She launched the prototype ... Read more

How to Gain Traction Through Partnerships & Avoid Becoming a Commodity

Interview with David Terei, CEO and Co-founder of Memcachier By Poornima Vijayashanker When Amazon launched ElastiCache, an in-memory cache web service, David Terei and a fellow Stanford PhD student named Amit Levy were fascinated with the technology. Rather than being intimidated by the giant, they were inspired to make a better version of the product that would make developers’ lives easier. They talked to potential developer customers, validated the need for the product, and then built MemCachier. Read on to hear how they ... Read more

Interview with Julia Grace, Head of Engineering at Tindie

Where do NASA, Google, Intel, and the world’s best makers go to create and buy gadgets? They head over to Tindie, the popular hardware marketplace. If anyone knows how to build great products and manage a top-tier engineering team, it’s Julia Grace, Tindie’s Head of Engineering. I sat down with Julia to talk about her approach to building an engineering team and products. In this excerpt from our interview, you’ll learn about her journey from 8-bit video game programmer to Silicon Valley ... Read more

Building Products Beyond the Launch

By Poornima Vijayashanker I’ve contributed to more than a handful of launches. Probably the most successful and public one to date has been Mint.com’s launch at the original TechCrunch40 competition, where we walked away as winners of a nice $50K check! It was definitely an atypical launch. What I’ve learned from both successful and underwhelming launches is that you get more than one chance. While launch day is important, it is not what is going to make or break your product’s success. A ... Read more

Meet the Femgineers Who Have Helped Build Spotify

By Poornima Vijayashanker If you’re a music lover, then you're probably already listening to your favorite tunes on Spotify. If you haven’t come across Spotify, then you should certainly check them out! They are one of the hippest startups, reinventing how we discover, listen to, and share music. Spotify has been built by a team of top technical talent, and I was curious to learn more about what it's like to work there and what draws top engineers to the company! So I ... Read more

Lesson 2: What is an early stage startup?

This is the second lesson in the series: Why Should You Consider being an Early Stage Startup Employee. This mini-course is from our monthly event series: Femgineer Forum, which was sponsored by nousDECOR in April 2014. By Poornima Vijayashanker When the phrase early stage startup pops into some people's mind it becomes associated with high risk, which is valid because it's the stage where anything can happen! Founders can be fickle, the idea behind a product is still being fleshed out, and it's at this stage of the ... Read more

Lesson 1: My experience as an early stage startup employee.

This is the first lesson in the series: Why Should You Consider being an Early Stage Startup Employee. This mini-course is from our monthly event series: Femgineer Forum, which was sponsored by nousDECOR in April 2014. By Poornima Vijayashanker If you think that being at an early stage startup employee means that you just work 100 hour weeks, then you're in for a surprise! Having been an early stage startup employee at Mint.com, and having started my own startups: BizeeBee and Femgineer, I've gotten a real sense ... Read more

How a Yoga Teacher Became a Tech Entrepreneur

By Justin Reyes On her way to the laundromat, Silvie Hibdon noticed that she didn’t have any quarters. Coming back from yoga class she doesn’t usually carry them around with her. In the age of mobile payments, Silvie thought that there shouldn’t be a need for carrying loose change anymore. After a short brainstorm session, Silvie and her friend came up with the idea of a mobile payments based point-of-sale for laundromats. Silvie is an international yoga teacher, who enjoys the process of exploration ... Read more

How One Software Engineer Learned to Save Development Time for His Team

By Justin Reyes As a lead software developer at Position Logic, a leading B2B location-based services provider, it was business as usual for Andres Hernandez doing test driven development, implementing a bunch of classes, and fixing bugs. Looking to improve his own skills and his development team's, he started following blogs and magazines that covered design and startup trends. One day he received an email newsletter from Amazon’s best selling “Design for Hackers” author, David Kadavy. While reading the newsletter, Andres caught ... Read more
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