Tech Talks: The Scientific Method, Monoliths, and more!

Jun 12, 2018 · San Francisco, United States of America

Join us for our monthly gathering, hosted by Shopify ( with food sponsored by Carbon Five (! We will feature one short and two longer talks, sandwiched with networking and food and drink. Bike parking is available at the venue—please bring your bikes with you to the 7th floor.

We are dedicated to a harassment-free experience for everyone. All attendees are expected to abide by the Fog City Ruby Code of Conduct (

We'll ask you to write your pronoun on your name tag. Want to learn more about why we do this? Read this guide from Bryn Mawr (

Submit a talk for a future meetup: Fog City Ruby CFP (

Speakers of all programming and speaking experience levels are welcome to submit talks, and we're especially excited to host speakers who come from populations that are underrepresented in tech.


6:30pm — Doors open, food, networking

7:00pm — Jennifer Tu: Building a Diaper Empire with Intersectional Pairing

Wouldn't you like to spend a weekend with 80 strangers-turned-new-friends using your software skills to make the world a better place? I did, and that's what I did this past weekend! It was a fantastic experience and ended with a retro that I continued in my head on my long flight home. In five very short minutes, you'll learn about civics hacking and how pairing and intersectional privilege are relevant to civics hackathons today.

7:15pm — Caroline Taymor: Getting Unstuck: Debugging with the Scientific Method

Have you ever gotten really stuck while trying to understand the cause of a bug? Thinking of your debugging session as a science experiment and using the scientific method can help you make progress again. Come and learn how to adapt the scientific method (the process used for scientific research) to get past that stuck place and find the cause of bugs or production incidents. You’ll walk away with a great new tool to keep you calm and focused in the face of inevitable bugs.

7:45pm — Kirsten Westeinde: Deconstructing the Monolith: Designing Software that Maximizes Developer Productivity

This talk will address some of the challenges of working with large monolithic codebases, and discuss two alternative solutions: microservices and componentization. Attendees will leave with a better understanding of how to identify when their app has become a monolith in need of a refactor, and feel better prepared with patterns and tools to do so.

8:15-8:45pm — More hanging out and talking to nice people


Jennifer Tu is one-third of, a software consultancy that focuses on the intersection of people, business, and architecture. She facilitates workshops on topics technical and organizational, and would enjoy talking about recruiting, process, education, and software with you but is probably feeling too shy to say so.

Caroline Taymor is a software engineer with a passion for making operations less painful. Previously, Caroline was lead developer on a team building a Ruby on Rails app for deploying Pivotal Cloudfoundry to many different IaaSes. Caroline first developed the tool of using the scientific method for debugging while adding support for GCP and Azure to this deployer, requiring significant exploration of differences between IaaSes.

Kirsten Westeinde is a technology enthusiast and a lifelong learner. She is a senior software engineer at Shopify, where she solves challenging web development problems every day. She has worked with Ruby on Rails for ~5 years, and is constantly adding new tools to her technology tool belt. She is passionate about building diverse teams, mentoring & teaching, and gaining new perspectives through travel & cross cultural communication.


Thanks to Shopify ( and Carbon Five ( for sponsoring this month's Fog City Ruby!

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