Women at Sentry talk about engineering, documentation for inclusivity, acing your technical screen, countering negative self-talk, responding to uncertainty, and open source’s impact on career.
Like what you see here? Our mission-aligned Girl Geek X partners are hiring!
- See open jobs at Sentry and check out open jobs at our trusted partner companies.
- Does your company want to sponsor a virtual Girl Geek event in 2021? Talk to us!
Transcript of Sentry Girl Geek Dinner – Lightning Talks:
Sukrutha Bhadouria: We’re so excited to do this event today.
Angie Chang: It’s always super exciting to be able to go to all these companies and see what the girl geeks there are doing and hear from them. And then also be able to network with other women.
Sukrutha Bhadouria: Once you turn on and see a ton of amazing people showcase their amazing achievements and talk about all the amazing projects they work on and tips and tricks they’d like to give out.
Sophia Lawhead: What I wanted to talk about was the step that everyone has to go through at some point when you’re looking through a new job, or looking for a new job, and that’s the recruiter screen. And so, this is the step that usually comes to the second step after you either applied or you’ve been reached out to over LinkedIn by a recruiter.
Virginia Badenhope: If there’s someone else out there who’s not getting the kind of traction that she wants in her career, as a reminder, that’s not a thing that is unique to you. It’s a thing that happens to a lot of people, that you’re not alone, and that it is not a permanent state.
Mimi Nguyen: So, it’s been a very windy path getting to my role here at Sentry. I was working as a creative writer for a while until I realized that my very beautiful dream of one day owning a house in the Bay area was quite possibly not going to be achieved by creative writing.
Saloni Dudziak: I lead the people organization team at Sentry, and my talk here is going to be focused on how to respond effectively to and in times of crisis and uncertainty. Even more so in that’s very not normal, new normal environment where myself and my teams have continued to be challenged to repeatedly pivot and respond in these uncertain times.
Meredith Heller: I joined as the first support engineer. What’s relevant to this talk today is building out the innovation platform. So, I’m here today to talk a little bit more about that and why I think it’s great.
Priscila Oliveira: Today’s agenda is open source. How did I become an open source contributor? How open source impacted my career. How can you become an open source contributor? And Sentry, it all started as an open source project.
Angie Chang: Stay tuned. We will be back and see you again, and have a good day. Bye.
Priscila Oliveira: Bye.
Angie Chang: Hi there. Thanks everyone for joining us. Sorry we’re a few minutes late. Once again, I had a lovely Zoom surprise. My name is Angie Chang, and I’m the founder of Girl Geek X. And for anyone who hasn’t been to a Girl Geek X event before, like a Girl Geek Dinner or our annual Virtual Conference, this is our event series that’s been running on for over 10 years now. It’s actually about 12 years that we’ve been doing these events at companies across Silicon Valley. We started at Google, and then Facebook, and then we did a bunch of all these different startups.
Angie Chang: And we just had so much fun going to these companies and hearing about what the women there were working on, from engineering, to product, to anywhere from startups to business development, to even fun things like sales and being the general counsel of a company. We also learned about, for example, being a genetic scientist. So, it’s just always super exciting to be able to go to all these companies and see what the girl geeks there are doing and hear from them. And then also be able to network with other women. So, after this one hour of talks, we’re going to be having some networking in the breakout sessions. We will be breaking you into little rooms so that you can chat with a smaller group of people, and then be able to talk about some of your career goals, your anxieties.
Angie Chang: Right now it’s a really crazy year, and so we just wanted to able to connect everyone to share about how we can stay engaged and what’s exciting for us and how to help each other be accountable to our goals. So, is Sukrutha here? I know she was…
Sukrutha Bhadouria: Yeah, I’m here. Hi. Welcome everyone. Just like Angie said, we’re so excited to do this event today. Obviously this is a different time from what we usually do it, but we’ve also been seeing that people are joining us from all over the world. Sometimes staying up at two AM to be a part of this. So, we’re hoping this is going to make it a little bit easier for our members overseas.
Sukrutha Bhadouria: Yeah, just that this has always been so inspiring for Angie and I. And for me, every time I hit a difficult time where I feel stuck at work, it’s always been super empowering for me to just go into a room, virtual or not, and see a ton of amazing people who happen to identify as women, showcase their amazing achievements and talk about all the amazing projects they work on and the tips and tricks they’d like to give out. And that has helped me in turn. And I know it’s helped a lot of our attendees and even our speakers to then go on to do bigger and creative things.
Sukrutha Bhadouria: In fact, I’m noticing that Grace Hopper is going on right now. A lot of people who have posted on LinkedIn that they’re speaking who are on my LinkedIn network, their first speaking opportunity was at a Girl Geek Dinner. And we always would tell them it’s a very forgiving crowd. Go for it. Try it out. And people were always a bit nervous. And after they were done, they were so excited and feeling super empowered.
Sukrutha Bhadouria: So, that’s all I want to say. Angie, was there anything else before we hand off to the first speaker?
Angie Chang: No, I think that’s it. Thank you.
Sukrutha Bhadouria: All right. So our first speaker’s Meredith Heller. She’s a software engineer on Sentry’s ecosystem. Now she gets to maintain both Sentry’s core integrations and the integration platform. Welcome, Meredith.
Meredith Heller: Hello. All right. So, let me… okay, so hopefully everyone can see this okay. Hi, my name is Meredith. My talk today is going to be about the Sentry integration platform. So, a quick overview of Sentry, very high level, if you don’t know what it is, Sentry’s platform helps developers diagnose, fix, and optimize performance of their code. With Sentry, software teams can easily trace issues related to errors, performance problems, and trends in code quality.
Meredith Heller: At Sentry, we use Sentry every day and I could not imagine doing my work without it. It’s an incredible developer tool. And it’s grown so much over the last few years. So, these numbers are just to impress you, but also show you that a lot of people use Sentry, not only use it but depend on it.
Meredith Heller: So, a little more context about me and my journey at Sentry. 2016 was definitely a big year. A lot of change happened in that year. And for me specifically, it was the year that I joined Sentry. I joined as the first support engineer at Sentry, and then later moved to the engineering side where I’ve gotten to do a bunch of things, most of them integration-related. And most relevant to this talk today is my work that building out the integration platform.
Meredith Heller: So, I’m here today to talk a little bit more about that and why I think it’s great. So, kind of a little outline of where I’m going to go with this, talking more about just integrations in general, why we wanted to build this platform and how I think the UI augmentation really helped achieve the goals that we set out when building the platform.
Meredith Heller: So, first and foremost, integrations are important. Like I said, most of my work that I’ve done at Sentry over the past four years has been about integrations. Sentry offers a lot out of the box. It’s a great tool, but it doesn’t exist in a vacuum. People like to use all sorts of tools and the developer workflow and we want to be able to support as many people as possible. I’d say that the top three categories of integrations would be project management, alerting, and source control. Most people have one integration from each of these kind of categories.
Meredith Heller: And the other thing that makes them important is data from these integrations can actually make Sentry more useful. So, for example, our Github integration, you can have commit tracking, and that can help you triage the issues more quickly. Jira has issue syncing, which can help to decrease resolution time. So, they are pretty important to getting the full Sentry experience.
Meredith Heller: But they are also very hard. And there are a ton of things… I could complain about integrations, as much as I love them, I could complain all day. But I think the things that stood out to me the most about integrations are that they are different enough where you can’t just say, “Okay, here is our skeleton for all of our alerting.” And just plug them in and have every one of them work the same. This is because different companies have different ways of integrating, different ways of authenticating, different ways of returning response codes or the error messages. It just varies a lot.
Meredith Heller: And we have a pretty small team, so that means that every time that we decide to build integration at Sentry, we invest a lot of that domain knowledge on our team being towards knowing these external APIs, the nuances between our integrations, what integrations share and what they don’t. And then, the other part is, okay, well we’ve built the integration. That was a lot of work. Well, debugging and maintaining this integration is also a lot of work. It’s hard because you may not know what’s over there. There can be unexpected changes in those end that you’re relying on, or even the whole app that you’re relying on.
Meredith Heller: So, enter in the integration platform. We know they’re hard. Integrations are hard, and we know the importance though. We want to build a platform that makes it easier for people to build more meaningful integrations on top of Sentry. Yay. So, we went and we did this. We went and we built the integration platform.
Meredith Heller: So, now I want to talk about the UI augmentation, and how I think that helped with this goal. But first, I want to give a little bit more context. What is this? What are we augmenting? And this is straight from the docs, so there’s a lot more information that you can get on this if you’re curious, but basically the UI augmentation piece of this is the ability to add UI components to Sentry itself through this JSON-Schema-based system.
Meredith Heller: And we currently have two ways, or two places in Sentry that you can do this. So, here, I don’t know if you can see this super clearly, but basically this is a screenshot of what… if you’re looking at an error in Sentry, what it would look like. The first example here is the stack trace link. I’m not going to go over the details of this, but that is one of the ways in which you can augment the UI.
Meredith Heller: The other is this linked issues here. There’s a bunch listed here because this is a test account. But essentially, if you’re looking at this error and you’re like, hey, I want to track this in Jira. I want to track this in another service, you’d click that little plus button and this module would come up. So, this is an example of the Azure DevOps issue, which we built this integration.
Meredith Heller: But now, for other developers building on the platform, for example, Clubhouse, the scheme on the left is all that you need to define to get this module basically to pop up. We’ve already done the work to hand all the front-end stuff. You just need to tell us what fields you want, whether they’re required or not, and if you have a field that’s like a select field that you want to have the data be dynamic, meaning we make the request to your server as to get back data. You can just put the URI there. So, this is pretty cool .Clubhouse is one of the first partners to build on this platform. So, that’s why I’m using them as an example.
Meredith Heller: So, how did this UI augmentation help with out goal? This is our goal again. Build a platform that makes it easier for people to build meaningful integrations. Currently, if you look at our project management section of our integrations, basically half of these are on the platform. Clubhouse, ClickUp, Linear, and Teamwork are all on the platform. Linear and Teamwork were just added recently, actually.
Meredith Heller: It’s a win for the developers that use Sentry. There are now more integrations. They have more options. I think it’s a win for the teams building the platform because they have flexibility within the schema to find what form fields they want, whether they;re required or optional and even if they want Sentry data to pre-populate, for example, in the description area.
Meredith Heller: And it’s a win for Sentry because we don’t actually have to build the integration. The work for us is to review and publish application. And the maintenance is only for the platform. So, we’re always going to have to maintain the platform. Just because someone builds another integration on top of it doesn’t mean that the maintenance gets larger. So, that’s pretty great.
Meredith Heller: And the one last thing I didn’t have a ton of time to go over in some more detail, but I think, for me, one of the most unexpected things, benefits of the integration platform is we actually have what we call internal integrations which means I’ve been talking a lot about how you’d use the platform as another company to build on top of Sentry and have that app be distributed through other users. But what if you want to build something custom? You can do that, too. Enterprise customers have actually used the platform to build their own version of Azure or their own version of Jira because of restrictions and permissions, or even just the customizations. So, it’s been really cool to see this platform grow and be successful. And yeah, so thanks for listening. This is… hit me up if you have any more questions. I’ll stop sharing.
Angie Chang: And that’s really great. Thank you, Meredith. Our next speaker is Mimi. She is a technical writer at Sentry. And she is also an organizer for Write/Speak/Code. And she is a proud coding bootcamp graduate. And so, fun fact, she can order from a restaurant menu in under 15 seconds, has zero regrets. Welcome, Mimi.
Mimi Nguyen: Yay, thank you. All right, one second. I want to make a quick note. A bunch of us were using templates for our slides and it says confidential in the left-hand corner, but they’re not confidential. So, feel free to tell everyone how great Sentry is.
Mimi Nguyen: Okay, cool. So, I’m just going to assume you all can see my slide deck here. Tell me if that’s not true. All right. Here we go. All right, so hello again. My name is Mimi and I’m tahe technical writer here at Sentry. So, I just wanted to get started with a little bit more about me. These are my cats. That’s Maple and Pancake a couple of weekends ago when it was super, super hot in the San Francisco Bay area. And that’s my current progress on a paint-by-numbers, or as I like to call it, how to chill out and stay inside, #2020.
Mimi Nguyen: So, it’s been a very windy path getting to my role here at Sentry. I was working as a creative writer for a while until I realized that my very beautiful dream of one day owning a house in the Bay area was quite possibly not going to be achieved by creative writing. So, I went to a coding bootcamp and graduated. Then I became a software engineering intern. And now, I’m a technical writer, a role that uses two of my skillsets, writing and software engineering.
Mimi Nguyen: So, I work on docs. And let’s dive into the creation of docs and how it can foster inclusivity with your teams. All right, so three of our topics today, collaboration, inclusivity, and why words and people matter.
Mimi Nguyen: Collaboration. Cool, so we’re going to go through these pretty quickly. I never regret setting a flexible agenda, whether it be for my goals for a project or even the topic covered during a meeting. And I always share this agenda to provide visibility to other teammates and collaborators. It helps facilitate… I’m going to wait for the garbage truck to drive by.
Mimi Nguyen: Okay, so as I was saying, these agendas help facilitate meetings. Right? But also, once you all have a plan together, it’s easier to communicate that plan to the whole company because you have buy-in from your stakeholders.
Mimi Nguyen:And we all should remember that communication is hard. There is always room to misunderstand or forget details. So, make sure to track your tasks in a calendar or something like Asana, which is what we use at Sentry. But most importantly, follow up with your collaborators. Sometimes you need to be assertive, which is personally hard for me because I hate nagging people. But if you really want something done, just follow up very assertively. And if you have time, have a retro. Discuss what worked, what didn’t work. Then gather that information into templates or guides. And this will help others be more self-sufficient, but also serve as a record of your iterations. What worked for a past project might work for another project in six months.
Mimi Nguyen: Inclusivity. Okay, so through your collaborative process, you’re already being inclusive. And you’ve most likely encouraged others to be inclusive, too. And thoughtfulness in your preparation and sharing agendas and plans, this all creates a space for ideas and questions and the feeling of inclusion. Constant communication with your teammates is an exercise in being intentional and effective with our words. Different people, leaders, teammates, everyone, everyone, thinks in a unique way. And the more intentional you are with your words, the smoother the collaboration. Intentional word choice also leads to accessibility, which we’ll cover in a few slides.
Mimi Nguyen: And again, iteration. Something we hear all the time here in tech, right? But really, iteration should be embraced. Record what works and what didn’t work. Write it down and share it with others. Someone with experience sharing their knowledge with some newer folks is a form of inclusion.
Mimi Nguyen: Words and people. All right, so we’re going to talk about why American idioms aren’t international, how assumptions are distracting, and how words evolve, oftentimes for the better.
Mimi Nguyen: Okay, so external documentation is international, and that’s what I work on, external documentation. Sentry customers read our external documentation to install, configure and understand our product. That means we avoid idioms or any communication that involves a very deep level of cultural knowledge. So, I’m going to have some examples coming up, and these are things that I’ve encountered in the Sentry docs or docs from other companies as well.
Mimi Nguyen: Okay so, “roll your own.” I know many people in tech are familiar with this phrase. It usually goes something like, “roll your own SDK.” But roll your own originates from cigarette culture, and it alludes to rolling your own cigarette. So, even if your reader can contextually understand what roll your own means, it’s still more clear and to the point to say, “Make your own.” Make your own SDK is clean, and again, to the point. There’s no guessing if you have to physically roll something.
Mimi Nguyen: Okay so, this phrasing was pointed out to me by a friend. Typically in western culture an introductory class is designated with the numbers 101. This indicates it’s the first class in a series of classes. Right? However, not everyone goes to culturally western schools. To be more inclusive and accessible, it’s more clear to say something like, “Blah, blah, blah intro class.” Or even, “Class one, blah, blah, blah.”
Mimi Nguyen: Okay, hurdles. So, hurdles is a word choice I’ve recently noticed in some documentation, and I think the phrase was something like, “that’s the last hurdle in setting up.” Hurdles are these fences that runners jump over during a track event. There’s definitely an argument to be made that the word hurdles is international because there are hurdles in the Olympics and the Olympics are international. But you’re still relying on a reader to understand the feature of a track race, when really what you want to say is step. Like, “that’s the last step in the installation process.”
Mimi Nguyen: Okay, so assumptions are distracting. Being inclusive means avoiding assumptions. What is easy or simple for you may not be easy or simple for the next person. Also, how does one measure easy? Is it five minutes? What are we comparing this to? Is it running in zig-zags for five minutes? Or is it running in a straight line for 10 minutes? Do you see what I’m kind of getting at? I just avoid the words easy, simple, or normally, because they’re vague and there’s probably a better way to have cleaner communication.
Mimi Nguyen: Okay, so try your best to consider the newcomer, or what some like to call the beginner. And I try to avoid saying beginner because we are all beginners. I used to laugh when people said, “The older I get, the less I know.” But I think I kind of get it now because I know that I know a lot, but also know that I don’t know a lot. I also don’t know what I don’t know.
Mimi Nguyen: But what I do know is you should know your audience. So, being inclusive means trying to understand the needs of your audience. If you’re writing documentation for Python Developers, there’s a really good chance you don’t have to explain what pip install means. You could just write pip install and move on.
Mimi Nguyen: Okay, so words evolve towards inclusion. Sometimes you need to exclude words in order to be more inclusive. So, at Sentry, we’re constantly trying to evolve the way we communicate. For example, we’ve removed most instances of the word blacklist from our code base and our documentation. And I know this sounds kind of obvious, but changing variable names takes time. And sometimes a lot of effort, and I want to recognize that effort. We are also still working on removing instances of the word whitelist. We still have a master branch, but we are also working on removing the word master from our code base. And I just checked earlier this week and it looks like all instances of the word grandfathering are no longer in Sentry docs, so hooray!
Mimi Nguyen: Also, I am super happy to answer any questions later about why these words should be removed from your code base and documentation. Ta da! That’s it. Once again, I’m Mimi. You can tweet at me @Mimi_Dumpling. Although, the closer we get to the election, the less likely I will be on Twitter. You can also email me at email@example.com. Thank you everyone.
Sukrutha Bhadouria: Thank you Mimi. That was amazing. I learned so much. I do want to say when I was first… a few years ago when I was… well, no. I’m a lot older than I think I am. Several years ago when I was reading some articles and I saw the reference to 101, I didn’t actually get the connection because just like you said, I didn’t get my early education here.
Sukrutha Bhadouria: All right, so our next speaker is Sophia Lawhead. She’s a tech recruiter. She has a background in hiring data and software engineers. And we all know how hard it is to hire really strong engineers with diverse backgrounds, so I’m sure she has a really tough job. She’s also focused on product managers and data scientists of all levels.
Sukrutha Bhadouria: When she’s not reading through LinkedIn profiles, you can find her enjoying local stand up comedy and trying to perfect her at-home pizza making skills, which I’m sure we’re all trying to do in this lockdown pandemic situation. So, welcome Sophia.
Sophia Lawhead: Thank you. All right. I will share my screen. Thank you everyone for coming. Again, I’m Sophia. I’ve been at Sentry for about six months, and like what was mentioned, I’m a technical recruiter. So, what I wanted to talk about today is related to hiring, and it’s something that I think is relevant to everyone here working the tech industry, working at startups. And I know that about 40% of you, I think, indicated that you’re actively looking for a new role right now, or you’re considering it.
Sophia Lawhead: What I wanted to talk about was the step that everyone has to go through at some point when you’re looking through a new job, or looking for a new job, and that’s the recruiter screen. And so, this is the step that usually comes, the second step after you’ve either applied or you’ve been reached out to over LinkedIn by a recruiter. And what I’ve come to realize over my last about three years of recruiting experience is that a lot of people don’t really know the purpose of this call. They’re not really sure what they’re supposed to share, what they’re not supposed to share, what this recruiter is looking for and how they can move past this step, move through it to the next step, which is usually a lot more interesting, talking to a hiring manager or doing the technical screen.
Sophia Lawhead: That’s what I want to talk about today is in these screens, how can you best present yourself? How can you be most prepared and have the information that these recruiters are looking for? To get the most out of this call, make it quick, efficient, and hopefully pretty painless?
Sophia Lawhead: We’ll start out with what are these recruiters actually looking for? These are the four things we’re going to cover. It’s wanting to know what are you looking for. Then it’s getting into what is the compensation range that you’re going to require for your next role. And work visa needs, if that’s relevant to you. And then finally, your work history.
Sophia Lawhead: When you’re thinking about starting to look for a new job or if you’re actively doing that, think about what are you looking for? What is most important to you? What needs are not being met at your current job that you’re going to look to find in your next role? This is something that I want to know, any recruiter wants to know, and it helps us determine fit for not just this actual role, but for the company overall. So, it’s a good thing to have prepared.
Sophia Lawhead: Then the next thing you want to have ready to go is what is my compensation range? And the reason that we ask for this is actually not because we want to try to find what is the lowest amount of money that you’ll accept. That’s actually not in our best interests as recruiters, as hiring teams to try to low ball people. The reason is is it’s not great for our retention. This is something that’s been seen in the tech industry many times and most industries. If you bring someone in at a low salary, they’re not going to want to stay very long. They’re going to probably within a year start looking for something new where they can be better paid.
Sophia Lawhead: So for us, it’s really about finding what you’re looking for. Does that match what we have budgeted for this role? And making sure there’s this alignment there, mostly so we don’t waste any of your time. And so, how do you determine what you are looking for? This can be determined by not just what do you need? We all have bills. We all have rent or mortgage. So, what do you need to maintain your lifestyle? But then also, what are your goals? Are you looking to buy a house? Have a child? Open a taco truck, maybe when pandemic is over? But whatever those goals are and your needs, that’s how you determine what your ask should be. What level you’re looking for.
Sophia Lawhead: And something a lot of people don’t take into consideration when they’re thinking about that is it’s not just about your base pay. It’s about the whole package, right? So, some companies, for example, will often a referral bonus, or… I mean a… sorry. Annual bonus. And that annual bonus is something that you should factor into your ask if you want to keep that same level of compensation at your next role.
Sophia Lawhead: So, the next thing to think about is what if I need work visa sponsorship? I know a lot of people in this industry do. So, if that’s something that’s applicable to you, it’s really good to just come to the call with all your details prepared. The policies of what a company can and cannot move forward with are pretty black and white and generally set by the HR and finance team. So, if you… if this isn’t brought up by your recruiter, definitely ask them. They should be able to tell you right away or get that information for you. And if we have the information about your expiration date, up to date with what type of visa you have, where you are in your visa journey, this can help the whole process move swifter, especially actually the end process of creating an offer for you if you get to that stage. So, it’s in your best interest to have this information ready to go.
Sophia Lawhead: All right, and the final step is and many ways most important is thinking about what is my work history? What is the story I’m telling through my work history? So, what we want to know in your work history is really about the last five to seven years. And that’s because a lot of hiring managers don’t really consider past about six, seven years to be super relevant to what you’re doing today.
Sophia Lawhead: As we all know, technology moves fast especially if you’re using a different language, if you’re doing a different skillset, if you’ve moved up. What you were doing back then, it’s not that it’s not a foundation that you built on, it’s just not necessarily as relevant today. So, that’s why it’s more focused on the past five to seven years.
Sophia Lawhead: Your LinkedIn is where you can put all of your work history. And I encourage you to put every single detail in there. I think you can never have too much information when it comes to that. But you want to keep your resume to the one page, and that’s why I think that you can cut off after about five to seven years.
Sophia Lawhead: So, and when you’re thinking about who’s looking at my profile? Who’s looking at my resume? Most likely the first person at any company is going to be someone non-technical. I myself don’t have a STEM degree. I, like many engineers and tech workers out there, Google things on the fly. That’s how I learned. So, I will be looking up any terms I don’t understand, but the way for me to understand it the easiest, fastest and be convinced that you will be a right fit for this role is for you to break it down in simple terms for me. So, to use as little jargon, as little acronyms, and as little internal terms as possible.
Sophia Lawhead: For example, here at Sentry we have a visibility team. And if you just put on your resume I’m on the visibility team, I don’t really know what that means unless I work at Sentry. But saying I work on the data visualization team, I instantly know what you did. So, that’s what I mean by breaking it down into simple terms. And it also shows me you deeply understand what you did if you can explain it to me in a very simple way.
Sophia Lawhead: So, when I’m looking at someone’s past work history at each job, and when I’m asking them questions about their work history in a call, and all recruiters do this. What I’m really wanting to know is at your work, what you’ve created, the app, the data pipeline, whatever it was, what was the purpose behind it? What did it accomplish? Why was this created? How did what you engineered, what you built, the dashboard you made, how did that affect the business goals? Did it move the needle? Did you affect KPIs, especially if you can show me with numbers or percentages that’s very… indicates that you were a big part of the process and your work was impactful.
Sophia Lawhead: And also, I want to know what did you work on? What were you responsible for? How involved were you with planning? Also, team size and structure. This all goes back to knowing how responsible you were for it and how much work burden was on your shoulders. For example, if you are on a project and there was a team of 20 working with you, that’s really different than working with two other people. That’s a lot heavier work burden, a lot more hats. So, it’s a very different work experience. And then also, I always want to know what technologies you worked with.
Sophia Lawhead: So, when you are booking your recruiter calls, those recruiter screens, I think it’s great to have this checklist to think about. This, if you have all of these boxes ticked, you’ll be totally ready for your call. So, I would review the company website and the job description before the call. You’d be surprised how many people do not do that. It will definitely set you apart.
Sophia Lawhead: Something I would do even maybe before setting up the call, too, is test out the product if you can. Can you do a tutorial? Can you read reviews? Can you create a free trial version, free subscription? That might tell you if you even want to be working on this product, but it will also surface a lot of really good questions for you and give you a better sense of what you would be doing day-to-day.
Sophia Lawhead: And then, think about again, your desired compensation, know your visa details. Also some things to think about and have ready to talk about are your flexibility around things like title, how far are you willing to commute, are you willing to relocate, will you need assistance, how much assistance in terms of monetary assistance would you want? Having that ready to go can really help you in those first calls know, is this company going to be right for me? Are their policies, are their location, everything going to line up with what I’m looking for?
Sophia Lawhead: And again, talking about things like unusual work gaps like length or short durations. That’s something we’ll ask about. So that’s actually something you can put on your resume if you want, and then that kind of cuts out that conversation. We already answer it, so it can make that call a little bit shorter.
Sophia Lawhead: And also, come prepared with some questions. This is another way to set yourself apart. And it does surprise me how many people will say, “I don’t have any questions.” And so, here’s some ideas of questions that you can ask. It just shows your interest. It shows that you are invested in this role, but these are all important things for you to know. Benefits that are important to you, is there things like parental leave? That’s something that a surprising amount of people don’t ask about til the very end of the process. Pandemic plans. What does that look like for your company? Any of these I think are great to ask.
Sophia Lawhead: And so, I’m going to leave you with two tips that are weird a little bit. A little out there, but they’re definitely effective. And this is great if you have a little bit of anxiety. If these calls make you a little bit nervous. You don’t really like talking about yourself. So, the first one is every recruiter should be on LinkedIn and have their own profile photo. If they don’t, I would be a little suspicious. I’m just kidding. But so bring up that photo, have it in front of you and talk to the photo while you’re on your call, almost like it’s a video call. And that can actually give you this sense of a real person is talking to you. It gives you a sense of I’m having a real conversation. It’s much more fluid, natural and can bring the anxiety down a little bit.
Sophia Lawhead: And then the next one is called superhero pose. And I think was on a Ted Talk potentially, but so in those one to two minutes while you are waiting for that call to come to you or you’re waiting to make the call, sit and… or you can stand. Either one’s fine. Put your hands on your hips, elbows out, chest back or chest out, shoulders back and take a couple deep breaths. And I did it before this event. It definitely instills a sense of confidence, power, it calms down the amygdala, brings down the adrenaline and it can really just set you in the right mind frame to have this call and have it go well. And I, like I said, I’ve used this on three on-site interviews and I received an offer for all of them. So, tested and proven. Very small sample size.
Sophia Lawhead: But that has been my presentation. If anyone has any questions, and interested in Sentry, want to talk about roles, please reach out to me. That’s my email. But thank you for your time.
Sukrutha Bhadouria: All right. Thank you so much. That was so amazing and actionable, Sophia. I learned a lot. So, what do you think you… where did you get this idea of the superhero pose?
Sophia Lawhead: I’m trying to remember. I was actually thinking about that. It might have been from a Ted Talk. I was also a psych major, so it might have been something that I picked up in my psych classes. But it’s something that’s been out there. It’s something I didn’t make up, but it is actually surprisingly effective.
Sukrutha Bhadouria: Yeah, I’ve tried it, too, actually. So, I do think it’s been… oh, someone just posted it. It was a Ted Talk delivered by Amy Curry. Thank you for sharing. I’m going to switch over to our next speaker, Saloni. She’s the VP of People. She’s an experienced [00:38:43] who has worked with many, many early and mid-stage high-growth companies, building and running key foundational [inaudble] from the ground up. While when not People-leading, she’s a wrangler of little humans and puppers while experimenting with different cuisines and attempting her hand at horticulture and farm-to-table foods. Welcome, Saloni.
Saloni Dudziak: Thank you very much. It’s great to be here. Hi everyone. I’m Saloni. I’m glad you could join us here with our wonderful, delightful speakers and hear a little bit about what our Sentry geek girls are passionate about.
Saloni Dudziak: I lead the people organization team at Sentry, and my talk here is going to be focused on how to respond effectively to and in times of crisis and uncertainty. I have generally been passionate about these topics and obviously even more so in this very not normal new normal environment where myself and my teams have continually being challenged to repeatedly pivot and respond in these uncertain times.
Saloni Dudziak: So, I’d like to start with a little bit of history and talk about where we were just at right before the world kind of got turned upside down with this global pandemic. We were about seven months into what will be a 16-month process that involved completing a total gut and rebuild of 36,000 square feet across two floors of a high-rise building in the financial district in San Francisco. However, as things began to start unfolding in late February and early March, we made the decision to shut down all of our physical locations in early March. And then once the shelter in place order in the Bay area was enacted, our construction on the new build out was paused until around mid-June.
Saloni Dudziak: So, as of this week, we’ve finished our build out on one of our floors. We’re set to finish another one in November. Obviously, it’s been a very bittersweet process to see a year and a half long project come to fruition and then no certainty of when we’ll be able to enjoy that space. And I think that almost every single People leader and anyone on a People team would agree that navigating those initial few weeks and then all of the many months that have followed have been extremely challenging in many unusual and unprecedented ways.
Saloni Dudziak: So, unfortunately I wasn’t able to deliver live tour as I planned. We’re still in move-in phase, and it’s a bit messy. But I’m giving a quick sneak peek to one of our spaces because I think it really represents the care and effort that our folks have put into the small details. And it’s a good indication of what the rest of the space will look like.
Saloni Dudziak: So, we’re in the middle of an office build out, and then this new crisis ensues. What’s the first go-to step? The number one motto in my home is don’t panic. And I think that’s key when you’re responding to a crisis, whether it’s momentary or ongoing. So, this starts by putting on your metaphorical life vest, taking a step back, assessing the situation quickly and then responding with an action plan that will need to be highly iterative as the nature of responding to crises means change is imminent and requires adaptability.
Saloni Dudziak: So for me, using the shelter in place example, putting on my metaphorical life vest meant establishing a very regular routine to my day. I’ve been a distributed worker in the past, so that gives me a bit of an advantage, but this was more than just that. This was a crisis that was changing day-to-day and week-to-week. So then, my goals were to assess this unfolding situation on a daily and weekly basis in a much more structured way. So, time blocking when I would check in on the news. What type of information I was consuming, making sure I was taking care of how often I was consuming that information.
Saloni Dudziak: And so, obviously not panicking doesn’t mean that I wasn’t or haven’t been stressed. There have been certainly highly-stressful times. But it does mean that I could more clearly understand what I could control and thus, respond to those events, and let go of the things I couldn’t control.
Saloni Dudziak: So, once you’ve got the two buckets of things you can control, things you can’t control, you’re setting yourself up to be more adaptable and able to respond effectively when things do change again. And then a part of this will soon fall establishing a positive psychological mindset where you can view a setback or a situation as temporary, changeable, it’s specific, that it will pass and it won’t remain in a permanent state.
Saloni Dudziak: So, if I took all these initial lessons, I can then formulate an action plan to respond to crises and that involves communicating with your teammates often, providing regular updates to establish some consistency as events unfold, and providing tools and resources for this different state of working.
Saloni Dudziak: So, what does that look like in real life? When you’re dealing with crises, finding ways to be resilient and adaptable is the first thing you do. You prioritize your connections to your people who will provide you with that positive reinforcement. People who will support and uplift you, but also give you the space to just be and feel your feels. Could involve joining social support groups or simply relying on your friend groups, partners, family members. I think just knowing somebody that has your back and will help to actively help build you up sets the foundation for that psychological resiliency.
Saloni Dudziak: The next up is having a sense of purpose and proactively working towards some set of goals. If you don’t feel connected to something that drives you, it’s really hard to stay resilient. So, making sure you’ve got something to work towards to make progress on. It doesn’t have to be big or grandiose in nature, but it does need to inspire you.
Saloni Dudziak: And then ultimately, don’t burn out. This goes back to kind of the life vest analogy where you need to make sure you’ve got yours on, but then you have to continue to inflate it. And when it inevitably starts to deflate, this could be setting your boundaries and taking breaks from being other people’s person, so that you can replenish yourself, avoiding negative outlets, getting your sleep, taking care of your physical health and practicing some form of mindfulness that will work for you.
Saloni Dudziak: So, if you’ve gotten resilient and adaptable, and once you’ve not panicked and come up with a plan of action, how do you maintain that motivation and productivity? If you’re an individual who’s trying to stay motivated or if you’re a manager trying to help your team stay motivated, you first need to understand what it is that drives them, and what their sources of motivation are.
Saloni Dudziak: I like referring to the infamous Maslow’s hierarchy of needs. I’m also a previous psych major as well. This touches upon all of the key elements humans need in varying degrees to feel productive and motivated. And even though in the original theory it’s presented as these stacked building blocks, these hierarchy of needs often overlap with each other. Some take more precedence than others depending on individual circumstances and are often situational in nature.
Saloni Dudziak: Ultimately what you’re doing is finding out what motivates yourself or your teammates. And once you’ve spent time understanding this, you’re able to start building the frameworks for keeping yourself and your teams motivated.
Saloni Dudziak: I’d like to share a little bit of some of the ways we’ve worked towards inspiring continued motivation and productivity over the past many, many months that involve some tangibles and intangibles. We had rolled out this wellness stipend in January for our employees. And I think typically people associate wellness and health with physical well-being, but we’ve tried to specifically highlight to also consider using this for psychological and emotional well-being, even more now so than ever.
Saloni Dudziak: We also created a wellness guide with a ton of different resources in addition to the stipend, and various ideas on the ways that you can use the stipend. And then we also included meditation and mindfulness resources, ways to keep your kids or your inner-child busy and engaged, ideas for staying social while staying home, physical wellness resources for home fitness options, and then self-care and emotional well-being tools, too.
Saloni Dudziak: We also introduced resources for working from home. So, initially when we moved to this distributed work, we weren’t sure how long this would take given the shelter in place date kept being moved. And once it became clear that the timeline was going to be a longer term, we wanted to make sure that employees had the ability to get their home spaces set up properly. And so, the stipend allows for setting up an environment that allows you to have the right tools for productivity.
Saloni Dudziak: And then for us internally, we also wanted to create a how-to guide for distributed workforce. So, more qualitative information on how to be effective in this remote environment.
Saloni Dudziak: And then, of course, you’re constantly reiterating the focus on communication because you don’t have the luxury of a quick chat over desks or passing through hallways. How you communicate and how often and the forum which you’re doing so are very important in this kind of crisis distributed world. And then, reinforcing those expectations for managers at every level to stay connected with their teams in multiple ways.
Saloni Dudziak: Doing a pulse survey regularly. We’ve been doing that to gauge where our people are at and our organizational health by gathering real-time data. We can continue to tailor our processes and responses to meet people’s needs, and then address any blind spots. And then of course, always encouraging and supporting a healthy mindset, leading interactions with empathy, understanding, allowing for flexibility in trying times, trying to find joy and humor in small moments and being compassionate are all key to crisis management.
Saloni Dudziak: So, ultimately building resilience and being adaptable, finding ways to stay motivated and productive are really hard. I can’t stress how much people just need to be kind to themselves and acknowledge that sometimes there’s going to be moments where it’s just not going to happen. And that’s okay. But having the tools and resources that can help you navigate through those types of moments is really key to finding those ways to get back on track.
Saloni Dudziak: And ultimately, everyone is playing a game of Twister. Sometimes you might have all your hands and feet firmly on the grounded spots, and sometimes you might feel a bit of teetering. But always go to the just don’t panic.
Sukrutha Bhadouria: Thank you so much, Saloni. That was really insightful, and I love that image of Twister. That was really fun, but yet true. Our next speaker is Virginia. She’s the general counselor at Sentry. She’s a tech lawyer who’s been around the block, having practiced at firms big and small, as well as tech companies ranging in size from startups to [inaudible]. Oh, and she also tries to make sure her kids are doing what they’re supposed to be doing in remote learning. That’s a super mom and super parent, I have to say. Welcome, Virginia.
Virginia Badenhope: Thank you. Okay. So, hello everyone. Thank you for having me. I am the general counsel of Sentry. And as was stated in my introduction, you can see that I have had a long career arc. I’ve been at big law firms. I’ve been at small law firms. And eventually, I made my way to a number of tech companies. And what you can also see on this slide is that I didn’t really find my niche until I was kind of like seven years out of law school. And twice during that time I thought about quitting law altogether.
Virginia Badenhope: And I highlight that because part of what I want to do in the talk is to acknowledge how normal struggle is, and that… I don’t know. If there’s someone else out there who’s not getting the kind of traction that she wants in her career, as a reminder that that’s not a thing that is unique to you. It’s a thing that happens to a lot of people, that you’re not alone and that it is not a permanent state. I think this talk is also sort of a follow onto what Saloni says in terms of different ways that you can try to be resilient.
Virginia Badenhope: So, one of the major factors of my early misery was that I started my career in some big, prestigious law firms where the primary form of feedback was yelling. Right? And I think the thought was that that was what was necessary to achieve the level of perfection that clients expected, that the partners of the firm expected. And I also think that in some ways that that kind of unforgiving environment was by design. It was intended to help toughen us up because I guess the thinking was law is a profession where it’s someone else’s job to find and exploit all the flaws in your work.
Virginia Badenhope: And I guess from the law firm’s perspective, this was effective because all the work that I produced was perfect. Right? From the header to the footers, to the pagination, to whether the text was full justified or left justified. Every detail was perfect.
Virginia Badenhope: The thing is that when it came time for me to supervise other lawyers, I knew that this was not how I wanted to be. So, I wasn’t that way with other people, but somehow I never learned to stop yelling at myself. And I think part of what contributed to that was this idea that you need unflinching criticism to get to the kind of success that I wanted. And that if you had anything less than that, then it’s just sort of BS and it’s the kind of stuff that ends up on SNL as sort of self-affirmation that is really laughable.
Virginia Badenhope: And it wasn’t until I hit a roadblock with my kids that I started working, knowing that I needed to work on this sort of idea of criticism. And what was happening is that I was finding myself yelling at them more and more. And I felt really bad about it. I was able to get the behavior that I wanted most of the time, but I’m pretty sure it was damaging my relationship to them. And my deepest fear was that it was actually damaging not just the relationship, but them.
Virginia Badenhope: And I didn’t turn the corner on that until somebody pointed out that sometimes the reason that people are hard on other people is because they’re hard on themselves. So, then the suggestion was okay, so if you learn to be gentler with yourself, maybe you’d be gentler with the kids, too.
Virginia Badenhope: And so that was really when I started trying to break down this idea that you need to have this sort of unforgiving, unrelenting criticism in order to be successful.
Virginia Badenhope: And so then I started looking around for different kinds of inspiration because I’d been to talks before. I had been to… these were not new concepts, but none of them really stuck. And so, I’m going to share some things that did stick just because it helps it… it’s easier for me to think about these when I have key specific things to think about.
Virginia Badenhope: So, the most influential book I have ever read and the most helpful in my life is this book about actually How To Talk To Kids So That Kids Will Talk and How to… How To Talk So Kids Will Listen and Listen So Kids Will Talk. And some of the core concepts that it revealed was, one, that it is actually possible to be kind and gentle at the same time. To be firm and gentle at the same time. Because I had this idea that if I was gentle, it meant that you were kind of ignoring problems and you were just sort of giving this sort of everything-is-happy point of view. And the point of the book is no, that’s not true. You can stick to the whatever standard you have, but you don’t need criticism to achieve it. That there are better ways to engage cooperation.
Virginia Badenhope: Another key point that it makes is that feelings are actually easier to deal with if you acknowledge them rather than if you push them away. And that was like… it’s probably second nature to a lot of people, but for me, that was sort of like a revelation because I was brought up to be like if you have a bad feeling, the way to not… you just need to push it away and… like it’s a sign of strength to be able to just set it aside.
Virginia Badenhope: And then the last kind of insight from that book is that it’s really hard to get to problem solving if there is any kind of distress going on. Right? So, if you don’t feel good or if you feel defensive or whatever, it’s just really hard to get any kind of input and to put your mind in a place that you could actually solve the problem at hand, or get to the behavior that you want.
Virginia Badenhope: And so that kind of flows into the next kind of inspirational thing that I heard which is that you don’t get people to change by telling them that they’re bad. You get them to change by asking them to be better than they’ve ever been. Right? And I think the important thing about that is that it’s hard to get anywhere if you don’t feel good. And so, if you make a judgment about you’re not good at something or… like if I had said, “I’m impatient with the kids.” That connotes… or “I’m an impatient person and that’s why I yell at the kids.” That connotes some kind of… like something of the identity and some kind of permanence. And it’s really hard to make any kind of change from that space.
Virginia Badenhope: And so, I’m learning now not to judge. Right? Whatever it is I’m feeling or whatever difficulty I have is to basically suspend judgment and see if I can get to the problem-solving element quicker. And the imagery I like to use for problem solving is soccer. So I spent a lot of time watching youth soccer. And one of the things that I’ve noticed is that the players who are the most successful are the ones that basically shrug off a mistake and move to the next thing. Right?
Virginia Badenhope: So, if it’s impossible to win every tackle. You are going to lose the ball some percentage of the time. But the ones that are the most successful are… they don’t just go uh, I lost the ball. They’re like, man, I’m going to get that ball back. And they immediately pivot to try and to recover the ball. And a lot of the times they do because what… they’re looking to the next thing. They’re ignoring whatever happened in the past and then moving on to the next stage, which is sort of like the problem solving aspect of it.
Virginia Badenhope: And I noticed that one of the most useful things that a coach can say is to basically acknowledge the problem, but then immediately say next time. Right? That didn’t go well. You’ll get them next time.
Virginia Badenhope: And so, here are some examples of reframings that I have found to be helpful. And I actually had to use a lot of reframing on getting ready for this own talk. One second I thought I was a genius for coming up with this topic, and another it was like, oh my God. Who cares what I think? This is a dumb topic.
Virginia Badenhope: And I don’t know how that happens, but I’m not going to judge. I’m just going to try and reframe that to be in a more helpful spot. Right? So then, it went something like well, even if not everyone is interested in this topic, I can’t be the only one who has self-doubt from time to time. No one is confident all the time. And so, if one person feels like this is helpful, or that she is not alone, that might be good enough.
Virginia Badenhope: So, be brave and show some vulnerability. So that was sort of the thinking that got me to this point. And I thought it was pretty meta to be having to employ the techniques that I was talking about to get through the thing that I was trying to do.
Virginia Badenhope: And so, here’s some examples of reframing that I have found to be useful. So, I try to get rid of shoulds. I should’ve blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. Right? That’s backward looking. I try to change it to be like well, I can’t change what’s already happened, but I can still do X, Y, and Z to improve the situation, mitigate the damage, whatever. Basically recover from whatever the mistake was. And followed up with next time I’m going to do something else.
Virginia Badenhope: So, this isn’t like you ignore that something didn’t go right or that you sort of gloss over mistakes. It’s just that okay, there was a mistake, and now here’s what I’m going to do to fix it.
Virginia Badenhope: Here’s another should. I should be or I should blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. I think it’s been more helpful for me to reframe it like I would like to. Right? So basically suspending the judgment but still acknowledging whatever it is that you’d like to have happen. I’m not good at. So, we basically banned this from the house. The children are not allowed to say I’m not good at. I told them I would rather have them swear or curse, say bad words, but I do not want to hear I’m not good at. They can say I’m not good at blah, blah, blah yet. But what is preferable would be to say, okay here are the things that I can do to get better. I can develop the following skills. Right? That’s very different than I’m not good at. Because I’m not good at, again, implies some kind of permanence.
Virginia Badenhope: Here’s another one. Comparing. Oh, So and So is so much better at me then blah, blah, blah. And so, then I try to turn that around. It’s like oh wow, I really admire that person. What is it that I can learn from her? A little bit more helpful than judging myself against some standard.
Virginia Badenhope: So, it kind of goes on. I can’t stand it. You can say… or I can say I can handle it even if I don’t like it. There it is. I can’t. Reframing I can’t into the thing that I can do, which is to learn techniques. And then finally, oh that was dumb. What was I thinking? I try to reframe that. Well, that didn’t work. Let me try something else knowing what I know now.
Virginia Badenhope: And so, those are just some examples of reframing that I have found to be helpful. And so, so far I’ve shared ways that I had found to be successful in getting myself out of a negative spot. Now these are the words that I use or that I have found to be most helpful in encouraging other people. And these are the words that I use with my children when I’m… to help them gather the strength to face their challenges. Right? Because sometimes it’s really powerful to know that someone else believes in you, even if you don’t yet believe in yourself.
Virginia Badenhope: And so, I tell them I have confidence in you. And I have found that this phrasing has advantages over you can do it or it’ll be fine because there’s no possibility of getting pushback that’s like, no I can’t or you don’t know that, because the only person who knows how I feel is me. And I feel confidence in you. So there. Thank you.
Angie Chang: Thank you. That was a really great talk on reframing. I really appreciate that. So, we have one more speaker. If she’s still here, Priscilla. She is a software engineer at Sentry. I know she was here. So, great. We will find her and bring her right up.
Priscila Oliveira: Hello everyone. Before I get started, I’d like to thank you for joining me today in Girl Geek X and thank you for this opportunity. It has been a while since I’d like to give a second talk being this talk about my experiences in the open source world. So today, I’m going to talk about how open source impacted my career.
Priscila Oliveira: My name is Priscila. I’m a software engineer at Sentry and an open source contributor. In the open source community, you may know me as a maintainer of [inaudible]. I’m coming to you from my home in Vienna, Austria, and I’m really excited to give this presentation.
Priscila Oliveira: Today’s agenda is open source, how did I become an open source contributor, how open source impacted my career, how can you become an open source contributor and Sentry, it all started as an open source project.
Priscila Oliveira: So, I’d like to start this presentation by asking you do you know what’s open source? Let me tell you. Open source is [inaudible] creating and sharing content and software in a collaborative and public way. It’s when someone puts out an idea and a community forms around this idea, making it better. The community is made up of different people around the world who share ideas, opinions, experiences and learn from each other. Open source is really cool.
Priscila Oliveira: So, how did I become an open source contributor. My first contact with open source was years ago when I was in a technical high school back in Brazil, and I was told to install Ubuntu Linux because it was nice and I didn’t need to pay for it. Back then, I didn’t know much about open source. I only knew that it was some sort of a free software that I could use and people were very excited about it.
Priscila Oliveira: Many years passed and I found myself living again in Vienna. By the way, I’m from Brazil. And one day I felt the need to integrate more in the tech community. So I decided to join a local meetup called React Vienna. In this meetup, I was introduced to Verdaccio, a private NPM proxy registry. I was introduced to this open source project by it’s main maintainer, Juan Picado.
Priscila Oliveira: And after a few more meetings talking about open source, Juan convinced me to try to contribute. And that’s how it all started. So, at the beginning, the imposter syndrome began to take hold. I thought that I had to understand the whole application very well before anything, that my code had to be perfect. After all, everything was going to be public and everyone could see my code.
Priscila Oliveira: But besides all these thoughts I said to myself, “You know what? Just submit the pull request. Just do it.” And that’s what I did. This was my very first open source pull request. It was very simple. I just disabled an [inaudible].
Priscila Oliveira: So, how open source impacted my career. After more than two years contributing, I can say that my mindset changed, and this has had a great impact on my career. I see a couple of things different now. As for example, documentation. Documentation makes everything easier for those who wanted to use a project and those who are wanting to contribute. We have to think that not every contributor is a developer, and not every code is readable enough. Documentation is important.
Priscila Oliveira: Feedback. Always give constructive feedback. Code reviews are opportunities to learn and to ask and to share knowledge, et cetera. If we just agree with something, expand why and try to give examples of what is it that could be a better solution, a better option. And if you get bad feedback, don’t take it personally and try to get something positive out of it.
Priscila Oliveira: Communication. While you’re working on an open source project, you will contribute alongside many people from all around the world with different cultures and backgrounds. You have to be always polite and respectful.
Priscila Oliveira: Tests. I learned how important they are. They increase [inaudible] ensuring that the release version is always a stable build and that no users will be impacted by bugged developmental code.
Priscila Oliveira: Networking. Open source allows us to work in on real world projects and helps us build networks. You will have also the opportunity to meet many interesting people, even if only virtually. This is also related to job opportunities.
Priscila Oliveira: The most visible way to measure our contributions outside of work and to be discovered is through open source projects. I would also say that nowadays, most of the companies value open source projects a lot. And one of the reasons behind this is that these projects are part of their code base.
Priscila Oliveira: So, when you mention during an interview that you are contributing to open source or that you have contributed, it will definitely make the interview more interesting.
Priscila Oliveira: I’d like also to share that I truly believe that open source helped me a lot when it came to interviews, and also to get the job that I currently have at Sentry.
Priscila Oliveira: So, how can you become an open source contributor? I’ll just say that you should start by choosing a project that you like and believe in because it has to be enjoyable.
Priscila Oliveira: Read the contributing guideline and project documentation. You mustn’t to read the whole documentation at once, but only parts that you need in the moment.
Priscila Oliveira: Simple pull requests. Do like I did. Just simple tasks at the beginning until you feel more confident to work on something more complex.
Priscila Oliveira: Hacktoberfest. I think that is no better time talk about Hacktoberfest than now because October is already here, knocking on our door. So, this is one event that offers a good opportunities for new contributors. And normally, the projects that participate in this event use the tag good first issue or Hacktoberfest in their issues indicating simple tasks for beginners. By participating, you may also get a new T-shirt. Look, I have this and this T-shirt, and I hope to get a new one this year.
Priscila Oliveira: A common misconception about contributing to open source is that you need to contribute code. But there are several other ways to contribute. As for example, writing maybe could improve the project’s documentation or write tutorials for the project, or help with the translations. Here at Sentry, this is one of the core responsibilities. All our engineers regularly contribute or review our documentation.
Priscila Oliveira: You could also helping people. How? Maybe by answering questions about the project on Stack Overflow or Twitter, for example.
Priscila Oliveira: Sentry, it all started as an open source project. I think a lot of people are familiar with Sentry, the company or the software. What many may not realize is that Sentry is also an open source company that started from a personal frustration from our co-founder David Cramer. Back in 2011, Cramer was frustrated with the lack of exception tracking, so he decided to create his own project using the Django framework. The project was named Django DB log. Since it was open source, at a point many people got interested and involved over time. The project grew and in many communities were created around [inaudible]. The wider community contributions has been code documentation, user experience, et cetera.
Priscila Oliveira: If you are interested in open source and in contributing to Sentry, a good place to start is in our documentation. I’d like to end my presentation by saying contributing to open source can be intimidating at first. But in the end, it’s rewarding.
Priscila Oliveira: So, that’s it. I hope this presentation has inspired you and you have enjoyed it. Thank you. Yes, if you have any questions, any questions please send me here.
Angie Chang: Great. Thank you. Thank you, Priscilla. So, she’s still here. You can chat with her. And now we are going to… oh wait. Before we go to our break out sessions for now, we want to quickly share that we are so happy that Sentry’s partnered with us and that are hiring. They will be hiring for head of customer success, solutions engineering, product marketing and all kinds of engineering.
Angie Chang: So, there’ll be email after this event, which will ask you some questions about ratings for the event. But also, there are some links to the jobs there. So, please check them out or send them to a friend who’s interested. Stay tuned. We will be back and see you again. Have a good day. Bye.
Saloni Dudziak: Bye.
Like what you see here? Our mission-aligned Girl Geek X partners are hiring!
- See open jobs at Sentry and check out open jobs at our trusted partner companies.
- Does your company want to sponsor a virtual Girl Geek event in 2021? Talk to us!