Propelify Tech Talks 2018
Women Tech Leaders From Audible Featured at Propelify Tech Talk
Below is an article originally written by Jane Li, Garima Agarwal, Nancy Huang, Alex Usova, and Neha Koul of PowerToFly Partner Audible, and published on June 11, 2018. Go to Audible's page on PowerToFly to see their open positions and learn more.
Despite a dreary morning sky, the boxed coffee and bustling energy kept all the volunteers in warm spirits. The outdoor Propelify conference on Hoboken's waterfront had been set up like a farmer's market—booth after booth showcasing cool tech ideas and enthusiastic young startups.
Audible's tent was fashioned into a swanky living room, with couches and a huge fuzzy carpet, a perfect invitation for attendees to come listen to five software developers from Audible's Consumer Domains, the full-stack engineering teams behind Audible's website.
Jane started the event with a talk about Chrome Developer Tools. After a short overview of Chrome's more familiar features, she shifted focus to lesser-known features used for diagnosing and improving website performance, like the Audits tab from Google's Lighthouse tool. Using mobile.audible.com as an example, she went over different types of audits like Performance, Progressive Web App, Accessibility, Best Practices, and SEO. She highlighted the bonus performance auditing features of Google Canary, the forward-looking beta build of Chrome, and the Network tab as direct ways to investigate performance issues. To highlight SEO, she showed changing the browser's user agent in the Network Conditions tool to Googlebot to see how it would view a webpage when determining search engine rankings. Finally, she ended her talk with the Security tab to tie into the next talk.
Second, was an enlightening talk on Web App Security by Garima. The talk highlighted the importance of serving sites over https for several trust and security reasons. There was emphasis on https becoming a requirement for leveraging http/2 and future PWA (Progressive Web App) technologies. The talk demonstrated two security vulnerabilities on sites today—XSS and Clickjacking. This was followed by leveraging http security headers to tighten up the security of web apps, typically just by adding a few lines of code. Garima called out several other security headers used by Audible today and encouraged the audience to research and use them.
Next, Nancy gave her talk on http/2. She started with a brief history of how the protocol came to be, starting with a screencap of one of the oldest web pages in existence to illustrate how far the Web has come since its inception. She went over two of the major features of http/2, where http request and response objects are refashioned as streams of tiny frames—multiplexed and compressed. Making sure to note that http/2 could only be supported on websites that assuredly serve their content over secure https, Nancy concluded her spiel with the wide availability of implementations of the protocol on both client and server side and encouraged the audience to adopt it.
Alex followed with a speech about a resource hint called Preconnect. The preconnect link relation type is used to indicate an origin that will be used to fetch required resources. Initiating an early connection, which includes the DNS lookup, TCP handshake, and optional TLS negotiation, allows the user agent to mask the high latency costs of establishing a connection. Alex provided examples of pages with and without preconnect and compared their loading time, demonstrating that usage of preconnect gives performance improvement, as well as giving a convincing argument for why every millisecond counts in the web world. She also demonstrated how preconnect is used in Audible.
The final talk of the session was presented by Neha Koul. Neha spoke about Serverless computing and how to host a website using the Lambda functions and API gateway. During the talk, she dived into how Functions as a Service (FaaS) describe the capability to deploy an individual "function," action, or piece of business logic using Serverless architecture. The presentation concluded with a demonstration of a sample campaign on the website for "What's your next title?" The audience was able to get a step-by-step guide on the serverless architecture, the lambda configurations, and important steps to set it up on their own.
The talks concluded with time for questions from the audience. After thanking everyone for a hugely successful round of Tech Talks, the tent once again turned into a mingling of inquisitive conference attendees, Audible employees, and the chilly morning air.
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Heidi Sager loves math, but she also loves working with people.
She always has, which is why she enjoyed her part-time job working at the IT department of the University of Colorado while she was studying electrical engineering. (She'd started in computer science, but explains that it "wasn't for her" and switched her major.) She helped students and professors with word processors, basic programming, and software checkout, and took a full-time job after graduation as a UNIX system administrator.
Working at Relativity—the global tech company that equips legal and compliance professionals with a powerful data-organizing and discovery platform—looked different in 2020. The highly collaborative environment of their Chicago headquarters transitioned to a virtual setting, and just like companies around the country, Relativity adapted their goals and major projects to a completely remote environment.
Diversity Reboot 2021: The One Hundred Day Kickoff<p><strong>When</strong>: February 1-5, 2021</p><p><strong>Where</strong>: Virtual</p><p><strong>Price to register:</strong> Free!</p><p><strong>Where to register: </strong><a href="https://summit.powertofly.com/" target="_blank">Here</a></p><p>We had to include our own Diversity Reboot on our list of the best diversity and inclusion events to attend in 2021 because we know firsthand how the quality of 100+ expert speakers, the enthusiasm of 10,000 participants, and the cutting-edge tech that enables meaningful virtual networking and job fairs combine to create a truly epic five-day experience. This year, the theme 100 Day Kickoff harnesses the energy of the new government's first 100 days in office to help jump-start personal and professional plans to build more diverse and inclusive workplaces. </p><p>Following the February summit, we'll have a monthly series of smaller virtual summits on topics spanning everything from returnships to LGBTQ+ advocacy, so be sure to stay tuned for updates!<br></p>
The Future of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion 2021<p><strong>When</strong>: February 3-4, 2021</p><p><strong>Where</strong>: Virtual</p><p><strong>Price to register:</strong> Free</p><p><strong>Where to register:</strong> <a href="https://www.hr.com/en/webcasts_events/virtual_events/upcoming_virtual_events/the-future-of-diversity-equity-and-inclusion-2021_kcxf8glq.html#detail" target="_blank">Here</a></p><p>This virtual conference put on by HR.com focuses on how social movements like #MeToo and Black Lives Matter have pushed DEI at work beyond legal compliance and into a major factor of any company or brand's culture, employee engagement, and performance. Topics include how to uncover and resolve pay gaps across your team and hire top-level diverse talent.</p>
Workplace Revolution: From Talk to Collective Action<p><strong>When</strong>: March 8-12, 2021</p><p><strong>Where</strong>: Virtual</p><p><strong>Price to register: </strong>$820</p><p><strong>Where to register:</strong> <a href="https://cvent.me/ZQ4BbE" target="_blank">Here</a></p><p>The Forum on Workplace Inclusion's 33rd annual conference includes 12 session tracks, from DEI Strategy to Social Responsibility, along with 59 workshops and daily networking sessions. This year's theme focuses on one question: "What will it take to start a workplace revolution that moves us from talk to action?"</p>
Diversity: How Employers Can Match Words With Deeds<p><strong>When</strong><strong>: </strong>May 19, 2021</p><p><strong>Where:</strong> Virtual</p><p><strong>Price to register</strong><strong>: </strong>Early bird registration is $49 and general admission is $149</p><p><strong>Where to register:</strong> <a href="https://hopin.com/events/may-virtual-conference-diversity-how-employers-can-match-words-with-deeds" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">Here</a></p><p>From Day One is hosting monthly conferences in 2021 focused on different ways for companies to foster strong relationships with their customers, communities, and employees. May's half-day virtual event is focused specifically on how companies can make diversity promises that don't fall flat and features workshops, panels, and a fireside chat.</p>
Hire with Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion<p><strong>When:</strong> August 18, 2021</p><p><strong>Where: </strong>Virtual</p><p><strong>Price to register: </strong>$195</p><p><strong>Where to register:</strong> <a href="https://www.hci.org/conferences/2021-virtual-conference-hire-diversity-equity-and-inclusion-august-18-2021" target="_blank">Here</a></p><p>This conference put on by the Human Capital Institute is one of 12 virtual conferences that HCI has planned for 2021. This one focuses on fair and inclusive talent acquisition, including how to attract diverse talent, implement inclusive hiring practices, and addressing bias in employee selection. Other conferences will focus on optimizing talent strategy, engaging employees, and developing your workforce.</p>
Virtual Grace Hopper Celebration 2021<p><strong>When:</strong> September 26-29, 2021</p><p><strong>Where:</strong> Virtual, broadcast from Chicago, Illinois</p><p><strong>Price to register:</strong> Was $799 for regular access to the virtual conference in 2020; 2021 pricing hasn't yet been announced</p><p><strong>Where to register:</strong> <a href="https://ghc.anitab.org/attend/registration/" target="_blank">Here</a>, though 2021 registration wasn't live at the time of writing</p><p>Grace Hopper might be the best-known conference for women in tech. Through keynote presentations, networking sessions, job fairs, and community-building activities, vGHC reached over 30,000 women for their 2020 conference and are expecting even more in 2021! While not a conference focused exclusively on diversity and inclusion, many speakers plan to focus their talks on creating environments for women to thrive in the male-dominated tech field.</p>
Inclusion 2021<p><strong>When:</strong> October 25-27, 2021</p><p><strong>Where:</strong> Virtual and in person in Austin, Texas as of now</p><p><strong>Price to register:</strong> Hasn't yet been announced</p><p><strong>Where to register: </strong><a href="https://conferences.shrm.org/inclusion" target="_blank">Here</a>, though 2021 registration wasn't live at the time of writing</p><p>The Society for Human Resource Management's biggest conference of the year saw 1,200 DEI leaders participate last year; SHRM hopes to see even more come to learn, be inspired, and to walk away with a playbook of implementable strategies to create truly inclusive workplace cultures.</p>
AfroTech 2021<p><strong></strong><strong>When:</strong> November 8-13, 2021</p><p><strong>Where:</strong> Virtual</p><p><strong>Price to register:</strong> Early bird pricing is $149 for individuals and $249 for corporate attendees; regular pricing hasn't yet been announced</p><p><strong>Where to register:</strong> <a href="https://experience.afrotech.com/" target="_blank">Here</a></p><p>AfroTech is a conference hosted by Blavity, a tech media platform for Black millennials. It focuses on emerging tech trends, connecting Black talent with top tech recruiters, and providing networking and educational opportunities, with an overall goal of building a strong Black tech community. Over 10,000 people participated in 2020. While the conference isn't focused specifically on DEI, its main audience of Black tech talent is an important one to understand and to engage at work and beyond, and several speakers plan to focus on issues of race and inclusion at work. </p>
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