Writing about yourself is awkward. Let me do it so you don't have to.
Robby Russell, Planet Argon
If you’ve got a business, Robby wants to know how it works. Nothing makes him more excited than helping you be more efficient.
Thinking about tech’s practical uses is something Robby’s been obsessed with ever since he was a teen in the San Jose, California area. After dropping out of high school with zero intention of ever working in computers, he taught himself how to program so he could get his music zine online and also sell punk band and political activist stickers. He got the sticker site running, but the profit part not so much. After a string of jobs painting houses, arranging balloon bouquets, and selling software and books, he moved to Portland in 2000.
In Portland, Robby became heavily involved in both the activist and open source communities. Thus began a freelance era where he helped startups using various open source languages. In the midst of this Robby co-founded Planet Argon. Then he was introduced to Ruby on Rails in 2004 and his whole world got turned upside down. Planet Argon eventually became one of the first hosting companies to offer Rails support, and he started a popular blog, Robby on Rails. Over the years Robby’s been invited to speak about Rails and entrepreneurship in the USA, Canada, and UK.
Nowadays, Robby’s best known for creating Oh My Zsh, n open source framework used to personalize (and supercharge) your terminal console. Because of this accidental rise to fame, he's finally been able to successfully sell stickers online which are now plastered on laptops around the world.
Outside of the studio, Robby plays music in an instrumental post-rock band, travels abroad several months a year, takes way too many photos of coffee, recharges on solo hikes in the woods, thinks up amusing tweets that never get published, and writes and consumes many types of content. He’s especially proud of curating the best Tumblr collection of waterbed commercials from the ‘80s.
Sleek. Simple. Bold.
Hi, I’m Tomoko. I’m a San Francisco-based Visual Designer who loves using my hands to create something out of nothing. I’m lucky to have grown up in Japan which has influenced my aesthetic: clean and minimalist yet powerful. Think geometric shapes and surprising color combinations. I also have a deep appreciation for illustration, typography, and iconography. Whether creating a logo or hand lettering cards for friends, I’m a perfectionist when it comes to detail.
I’m passionate about the practicality of design. But it’s also just really fun.
Since becoming a professional designer, I’ve dabbled in everything from food packaging to web design. I value collaboration and communication, using my sales background to inform my approach. With clients, I’ve learned that taking the time to research the latest design trends and what competitors are doing ensures the message reaches the most customers in the most effective way.
See what I’ve been up to here: tomoko.me.
Craig Dennis, Treehouse
Think you can’t? Yes, you can.
I’m a software teacher, backend developer, and self-taught polyglot who thrives in the deep end and loves doing what people say I can’t. Throughout my life, whether figuring out how to escape grues on Zork, automating PC installations, or creating site generation tools to empower admins, I’ve always subscribed to the growth mindset.
I encourage this philosophy with my students. I want them to know they’re not alone in their learning journey, and that coding is fun. I use my weird acting background (not to brag, but I played Peter Pan in high school) to teach in a style that’s empathetic and engaging. Anyone who knows me will tell you that I make at least two dad jokes per hour. That’s just how eye roll.
As a developer, my strength is bridging the gap between idea and implementation to ensure that both programmers and product managers are speaking the same language. I’m also super mission driven. Being in the Peace Corps opened my eyes to all the opportunities you can create with technology. When I believe a product is making the world better, I’ll put heart and hard work into making it a reality.
Recently, I’ve started dabbling in the Maker movement. Sometimes I tinker with IoT devices and sometimes I give presentations at meetups exploring new tech. Want a speaker who’ll keep the audience on their toes and inspire them to face their fears? Get in touch. I accept payment in tacos.
Nick Wong, ServiceNow
As a UI/UX designer based in San Francisco, I like solving problems and am always thinking about how I can improve your day-to-day life with the product I design. I started out in advertising and branding in my hometown of Bangkok, Thailand. Empathy, and your happiness, drives everything I do.
I approach design like an artist: High quality digital illustrations, utilizing geometric shapes and watercolor, are my go-to. Give me a complex, abstract idea and I’ll visualize it in a minimalist style that’s compelling and clean.
Whether it’s a webpage or email inbox feature, I’ll spend hours on a design until it's pixel perfect. I also speak three languages: Thai, English, and Mandarin.