Last summer, when we were selecting speakers for FutureStack13 we knew without a doubt that Julia Grace, Head of Engineering at Tindie, needed to be on our speaker lineup. If you’ve never had the pleasure of seeing her on stage, do yourself a favor and put it on your to-do list! She’s passionate, smart and knows an insane amount of really interesting stuff about hardware. At FutureStack, her talk on the current renaissance in hardware was one of the highlights of the show.
One of the main points of her talk that really resonated with our team was her belief that access to technology is fundamental to ensuring that there be a next generation of technologists. Many people believe cost to be the main factor preventing people from entering this field, but it’s also about access to programable devices that are user-friendly and not overly complex.
She used herself as an example of how, given the right tools, people can actually teach themselves to use new technology. Back when she was eleven her parents bought her an old Commadore 64, which led her to teach herself BASIC and Fortran to program her new computer. This exposure to a usable technology sparked her life-long passion to use technology to learn and build even more intuitive and accessible tech. Her access to hardware had opened her up to a new world of software, and together the two pieces of technology have defined her worldview as well as shaping her career.
Check out how different hardware innovations are helping innovators use tech to accomplish this important goal of increased accessibility in her talk below.