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Alter Conf San Francisco 2016 Schedule

June 4, 2016

( 13 available presentations )
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Rating: Everyone
Viewed 101 times
Recorded at: May 9, 2016
Date Posted: June 16, 2016

In our experience, the average customer support team is highly diverse, including people from a wide range of historically marginalized communities. We'll critique how the tech industry de-values support: with low pay, by treating them as replaceable, and by not listening to them.
We'll talk about company warning signs for those looking to break into the tech industry through a support role, and how you can help friends or colleagues looking to make this career transition.
We’ll share data from tech managers and personal stories from our careers, and offer solutions for how companies can reward and develop their Customer Support Team.

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Rating: Everyone
Viewed 89 times
Recorded at: June 4, 2016
Date Posted: June 16, 2016

When the world talks about the tech industry in the Bay Area, the conversation is usually centered around cool new start-ups, VC funding, and the new apps or devices the big companies are releasing.
But as people that live and work in the Bay Area, we also hear how tech is complicit in the social problems we are experiencing: homelessness, gentrification, lack of affordable housing, and the displacement of communities of color.
These challenges are driven in part by the inequality perpetuated by poor wages and working conditions for Silicon Valley's invisible workforce — subcontracted workers who clean tech companies' offices, serve food to their workers, provide security, and drive their commuter shuttles. For every tech job created in the Bay Area, 4 more service jobs are needed.
Those of us working in tech don't hear enough about the challenges these workers — our co-workers — face. If we are going to confront income inequality in the Bay Area, we need to start with supporting contract workers. And to do that we need to hear and understand their stories.
This panel will include discussions about first-hand experiences, challenges, and aspirations from subcontracted service workers who work at Silicon Valley tech companies.

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Rating: Everyone
Viewed 134 times
Recorded at: June 4, 2016
Date Posted: June 16, 2016

Having a diverse workforce isn't enough. Diversity in all it's forms is an asset for companies and individuals. Companies with a diverse workforce demonstrates 57% more collaboration among teams, are 75% more likely to have a marketable idea implemented and are 70% more likely to see their organization capture a new market. However, employees can feel pressured to hold back to fit into the mold. This talk will address the reasons people code-switch and how individuals and companies can minimize code-switching and continue to thrive.

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Rating: Everyone
Viewed 163 times
Recorded at: June 4, 2016
Date Posted: June 16, 2016

In the span of little over a year, I went from relative nobody, putting in my time at a tech company, trying to figure out how to get happy, to relative nobody, putting in my time at a tech company, trying to figure out how to stay happy, but now with a lot more attention on my thoughts about diversity in tech. Join me as I explore that transition and the challenges of moving from an engineer with ideas in my head, to an engineer with ideas in the world.

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Rating: Everyone
Viewed 155 times
Recorded at: June 4, 2016
Date Posted: June 16, 2016

Experiencing adversity while aiming to thrive within the non-diverse tech industry is a story told far too often for us to accept. The limiting pre-judgements automatically thrown on someone simply because of how they look or what they personally identify as are entirely arbitrary restrictions that should never stop anyone from being taken as seriously as their peers, and especially not define their course to success. Understanding the potential of taking the reigns to empower yourself despite these restrictions can help carve untapped possibilities for this generation of dreamers. This talk will cover fundamental techniques and tangible strategies on how to rid of and rise above the limits being placed on you as told by a young, black, female executive in tech continuing to push bounds. Hear how you can effectively carve strong paths ahead to thrive successfully and ensure you truly feel as empowered as you need to let the word know you’ll stop at nothing to reach the success you know you desire and deserve.

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Rating: Everyone
Viewed 130 times
Recorded at: June 4, 2016
Date Posted: June 16, 2016

In this talk, I’m going to aim to use a very specific display property CSS as a means to try and describe a personal gender transition journey. I’m going to briefly describe CSS and my gender to start, then there are slides that contain a side-by-side comparison of how I interpret 4 characteristics of a CSS property called “transition” and how that relates to my own lived experience. It touches on topics of correct syntax of a transition in CSS, passing and respectability politics, how gender is often racialized, and how to affirm trans identities in the tech community and the community at large.

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Rating: Everyone
Viewed 89 times
Recorded at: June 4, 2016
Date Posted: June 16, 2016

The promise of many online communities is that we have equality of opportunity—that because we’re online, the only thing that really matters is that to become one of us, you have the technical skill and the patience to help make your community’s dream a reality. All those barriers that divide us in the real world are supposed to magically go away, at least online.
But it’s not easy. Our own human biases will still naturally make their way down to how our projects—online or not, open source or not—ultimately behave. This manifests in many forms, chief of which are our struggles with bringing more women and people of color on board our projects, in things like how Wikipedia has a systemic bias towards "Western" topics and cultural norms, gaming's hostility to women, or Facebook's difficulty to effectively deploy Safety Check for events outside the West. As our projects become ever more globalized, we need to take them into account, and while we’re making some progress, we still have a long way to go.
This talk looks at the idea of "cultural memory" in technology, where projects are imbibed with a particular imprint of the dominant offline cultures that gave birth to them; more specifically, the cultural context to which the creator(s) of that technology was/were raised in. We'll look at how this works, how we can challenge these dominant narratives, existing trends, and how we can make our communities more diverse by making these cultures more accommodating to people from different backgrounds.

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Rating: Everyone
Viewed 136 times
Recorded at: June 4, 2016
Date Posted: June 16, 2016

The most successful products are built by engaged and creative teams that are able to integrate a diverse set of voices throughout the development process. Through my work at Dev Bootcamp, I’ve come to realize that empathy, a driver of meaningful connection, is the key component in creating an inclusive, open and collaborative culture. And as it turns out, empathy, just like coding, is something you can learn! In this talk I’ll give you some insight into how I teach it to our staff and students, and in the future, the tech community at large.

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Rating: Everyone
Viewed 113 times
Recorded at: June 4, 2016
Date Posted: June 16, 2016

This talk will discuss the need for the radical imagination in the context of the survival of marginalized communities - from utilizing various platforms as diasporic bridges to challenging the status quo in order to subvert traditional oppressive structures. We will focus on how critical it is for marginalized people to create tools, software, and collectives in order to determine and enhance our futures as well as the need to make the aforementioned tools and spaces more accessible, so that we as marginalized people can both decolonize and collectivize on deeper, more intentional levels.

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Rating: Everyone
Viewed 115 times
Recorded at: June 4, 2016
Date Posted: June 16, 2016

It's easy to forget the grueling and vulnerable process of learning something from the first time. Ask the average person what it was like learning to code and you'll get something similar to "it was hard but it wasn't so bad in retrospect." It's easy to forget the stereotypes, multiple coding languages/frameworks/tools, secret lingo, and predetermined norms. For those who don't fit the canonical educational background, joining the word of devs is exhausting.
We suppress the memories of pain for a good reason but we shouldn't. We need to remember what it felt like to learn for the first time and channel that pain to empathize with other new joiners, learners, and self-taught newbies and help them the way we want to be helped. Here are the lessons I learned, after 9 months of teaching myself how to code, what it felt like to enter the world of coding, and how those lessons still apply to "new quests" we embark on today.

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Rating: Everyone
Viewed 133 times
Recorded at: June 4, 2016
Date Posted: June 16, 2016

This is a story about cubes, people, and snacks. Together we will explore what these deceptively simple words can teach us about the fundamentals of stereotype threat, institutional oppression, and the internalization of fear and shame. How do we construct our knowledge of others? Where does such knowing originate? Will there be cupcakes at our liberation celebration party? All this (and more) will be discussed.

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Rating: Everyone
Viewed 189 times
Recorded at: June 4, 2016
Date Posted: June 16, 2016

Every time I have to check the "Male" or "Female" boxes, it feels :poop emoji:. Today, Pinterest is the only big social platform that offers expanded gender options on signup. By building and shipping expanded gender options, I learned how to convince folks that gender options in product matter, how to get time and resourcing for social justice projects at work, and how to measure the success of a feature that only a small portion of users interact with.

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Rating: Everyone
Viewed 102 times
Recorded at: June 4, 2016
Date Posted: June 16, 2016

This is a talk on how we think about non-participatory surveillance versus participatory surveys in society. Consider that the omission of data is at least as harmful of malicious surveillance. Further, data about your identity is gibberish yet there exists plenty of you out there online. How do we supervise our data? And as with any information, objectivity is only as robust as its inputs and so, AI will not automagically produce an accurate census. However, design-thinking can move us past broad surveillance into humane and useful surveys.