Future events happening here
WednesdayApr 19 2017Refresh Portland — Building Collaborative and Engaged Communities
Doors open at 5:30 and close at 6:15. Talk starts at 6pm sharp.
You don’t have to work at or create a startup to bring your innovative ideas to fruition, and you don't have to survive on Ramen and energy drinks to make impactful products that propel your brand or benefit your community. What you do need is a legit value proposition, passion for GSD, an honorable tribe, and a very particular set of skills.
In this talk, Maigh will share her story of survival and evolution in tech over the last 20 years, with a focus on her experiences as an intrapreneur. She’ll share best practices you can take with you when you leave as she takes a deep dive into her latest adventure: building collaborative and engaged communities within a global technical organization.
Our Presenter, Maigh Houlihan
Maigh Houlihan is a Senior Project Manager for Turner’s Global Technology Office, responsible for conceptualizing, designing and implementing technology advancements for the organization’s “Experiences, Activations and Technology” team.
As a 20-year veteran of the technology industry, Maigh’s expertise includes identifying technology trends and gaps and finding cost-effective, creative technology solutions to drive Turner business forward. Key to her role is relationship management; her team supports all Turner brands and corporate groups, ensuring a holistic approach to technology solutions.
She’s helped create some of Turner’s most innovative technologies, such as the March Madness Instabracket, Boss Button for March Madness, NBA real-time voting and video playout on a seven-screen display in Times Square, a Cartoon Network vending machine that uses tweets as currency, a giant iPad to engage PGA digital users, turning the corporate headquarters stairs into a piano for a fitness initiative, and showing TNT’s live streams, scores and tweets of key NCAA, NBA and PGA sporting events on double-decker busses and subway station signs in NY.
Maigh learned to write code on an Apple IIe in the third grade. She drew a pumpkin. Since then, she's graduated to delivering enterprise solutions as well as consumer-facing quick-hits in the media industry for the last 12 years. Her most recent accomplishment was co-founding Ladies in Turner Technology (LiTT), a community of support for women to form relationships and empower each other as they grow professionally.
Maigh is also a freelance photographer, a former board member of the Atlanta Photography Exhibit and co-host of Likemind. She helped found the Atlanta Tweeters group and is active in the Anita Borg Institute. She serves in an advisory capacity for General Assembly and Iron Yard organizations.
Turner, a Time Warner company, creates and programs branded news; entertainment; kids and young adult; and sports media environments on television and other platforms for consumers around the world.
MondayJun 26 2017PDX Women In Tech (PDXWIT) Never Take The First Offer
Please RSVP on Eventbrite
We’ve all been at the negotiation table, whether we choose to participate or not. While it’s easy to avoid this short-lived discomfort, doing so can cost the average person around $500,000 in lost income over the course of their lifetime. Making the decision to negotiate is the first step — this talk will help with the rest.
In this talk, we will discuss the circumstances that have lead to the pervasive underpaying of minority groups; the ways that companies can improve the situation; and how we, as job seekers, can take the reins and better advocate for our own value.
Tiberius Hefflin recently graduated from the University of West of Scotland with a degree in computer security. She has relocated to Portland, OR, where she evangelizes for privacy and security while contracting as a Security Evaluation Engineer at Intel. She is passionate about encouraging small children to take the plunge into STEM and about laughing at cats on the internet.
She just stepped away from the negotiation table and was able to attain a 50% increase in pay. She will share the tools and tricks she used to get there:
How you can use the same tools to be a confident negotiator during interviews and workplace reviews.
How some psychological tricks can help boost your confidence and success.
PDXWIT is a community-based non-profit organization. Our purpose is to strengthen the Portland women in tech community by offering educational programs, partnerships, mentorships, resources and opportunities. We are unifying a supportive environment for current and potential women in tech, all of whom are committed to helping each other. Our goal is to bring together and empower women in tech and to encourage others to pursue tech careers. This is our step towards reducing the gender imbalance in the industry and addressing the current negative effects of that imbalance on women.
Trans and non-binary people are always welcome at our events.
Past events that happened here
ThursdayMar 23 2017Refresh Portland — Designing Projects to Make Meaningful Work
Refresh Portland is presenting this special event. We're honored to be hosting Daniel Szuc, who is coming all the way from Hong Kong just for us. Tickets are on sale now for $10. Snacks and drinks provided.
What if we could create an ecosystem that encourages people to thrive?
People love …
- Working with other people and projects that matters
- Positively influencing and learning from the people they work with
- Energising people they work with to be and do better
- Having a shared sense of narrative and purpose
- Continuously learning from customers.
But sometimes people spend significant amounts of time at work on projects that do not provide meaning for themselves and others.
We all get caught up with the workings, speed and delivery of our projects that we forget about …
- Our own wellbeing
- To reflect on our project stories and observations
- To share those observations with the people we work with on our own teams and on other teams
- Collate the aggregated learnings from projects to determine what it means for better integrated practices over time.
This results in people feeling purposeless, stressed, unhealthy and in a state of “sleepwalking.”
So this presentation together will help us …
- Take a step back and breather from our projects
- Examine the frustrations at work
- Look at what a successful project does and does not do
- Examine the soft skills needed to nurture our own capabilities
- Look at key project artifacts needed to help us prioritise and focus on what matters
- Look at an integrated framework for make meaningful work
Finally, this presentation will leave participants with a manifesto for make meaningful work and an integrated framework to help us all move from being stuck (“Sleepwalking”) on projects to help us flow (“Sparkle”).
Our Presenter, Daniel Szuc
Dan is a co-founder and principal at Apogee and co-founder of Make Meaningful Work, as well as the co-founder of UX Hong Kong. He has been involved in the UX field for over 20 years, and has been based in Hong Kong for over 20 years. Dan has lectured about user-centered design globally. He has co-authored two books including Global UX with Whitney Quesenbery and the Usability Kit with Gerry Gaffney.
WednesdayMar 15 2017Refresh Portland — A Deliciously Good Chew: Lessons in Digital Marketing and Strategy
After a decade working in digital marketing and strategy, Helen Chang wanted a
side projectdistraction. She set out a few criteria—it needed to take her away from the computer, be tangible, and make for a good conversation starter. All the things that digital marketing and strategy supposedly are not. Driven by nothing more than impulse and naivete, she created 1UP Caramels, which turned out to be a business, which turned out to be a success, which turned out to be not so different from selling a product, design or service in the digital world after all.
In this talk, Helen will share 8 lessons in digital marketing and strategy that she learned and reaffirmed while she took a break from digital marketing and strategy to sling caramels. Bring a friend and cozy up with your peers at this March edition of Refresh Portland.
Our Presenter, Helen Chang
Helen Chang works in digital media and has done the full-gamut: design and programming, planning and execution, production and lead. In her more recent role as a digital strategist, she helps companies build out their digital channels and establish best practices in digital communications, user research and engagement, campaign strategies, and performance measurement. She is also in the process of developing digital marketing courses for a university client.
In her spare time, Helen enjoys nothing more than good food and the company of good people.
WednesdayFeb 15 2017Refresh Portland — The Seven Biggest Myths on the Web
Doors open at 5:30 and close at 6:15. Talk starts at 6pm sharp. Please RSVP on the site.
The web is full of myths. Not just internet memes and fake news, but widely-believed ideas that don't always add up. They get in the way of our best work. Your boss believes some of them. Your clients believe some of them. You might even believe some of them. We will explore seven big myths, how they can lead us astray in our business and design decisions, and some ways you can combat them on your future projects.
Our Presenter, Lisa Wagner
Lisa Wagner is a veteran of corporate web strategy, with almost two decades experience in website definition, design, and management. She spent much of her career helping to run intel.com, in a variety of roles from UX leadership to platform design to campaign and product launches.
She currently has her own consulting practice, Xinnia, where she helps a variety of companies from small business, to startup, to enterprise to have more effective websites and digital marketing programs, while also advising on strategy for UX, IA, and digital platforms.
MondayFeb 6 2017Design Week Website Hackathon at FINE
Design Week Portland is launching its full website in mid-February, and we're calling all coders to help get it ready to go live! We'll be launching the schedule, sweeping for content, squashing bugs, cleaning up code, writing tests and maybe even doing some progressive enhancement. Whether you're a junior developer or a seasoned senior, we'd love to have you involved. There will be pizza. There will be beverages. There will be code. Join us at FINE for an evening of hacking.
Coders beware: this seems less like a hackathon and more like a "we said we'd do this but don't have the resources, so come do it for us and we'll take the credit". Don't forget your time is worth $$ and the people putting this on are likely getting free tickets to DWP from your hard work!
WednesdayJan 18 2017Refresh Portland — Emotional Intelligence in Design
Data and good intentions are no longer enough in a world where the lines are increasingly blurred between online and offline experiences. People need products that support the broad spectrum of human experience. By practicing awareness we can create designs that help people do what they need to do, even when life is hard.
Our Presenter, Beth Dean
Beth is an illustrator and designer in San Francisco. She currently works at Facebook on transparency in advertising and dabbles in LGBTQ policy advocacy. When she’s not drawing or at a computer she can be found on a mountain peak.
She’s led design and product for analytics and news startups, and worked with big brands like Hotwire, Progressive Insurance and American Greetings. In addition to her own books, her comics have been featured in SPIN, various anthologies, and galleries around the country. She’s spoken around the world about emotional intelligence in design, and queer identity in comics, at places like: San Diego Comic-Con, Stumptown Comics Fest, Alternative Press Expo, From the Front, Industry, and more. She’s been interviewed on NPR’s Marketplace, and recently served as a White House LGBTQ Tech Innovation Fellow.
WednesdayNov 16 2016Refresh PDX: Bauhaus in the Browser
Attendees will get a showcase of how these new digital techniques can be applied to the web by journeying back to the past—nearly 100 years—to one of the most notable periods in the history of design: Bauhaus modernism. During this period, design was highly influential yet gleefully experimental, with strict geometry, overlapping elements, and rotated text. Attendees will see works by artist Piet Mondrian, typographer Jan Tschichold, dadaist Kurt Schwitters, and metal-worker Marianne Brandt recreated or redesigned on screen, and optimized for the new medium of mobile devices.
WednesdayOct 19 2016Refresh Portland — How To Win Friends and Influence Work
Most of us know what it’s like to start a new job with little to no help in getting settled. Ever been told “we’re just going to have you dive into the deep end?” Yeah, that means there was no plan for helping you get comfortable. Unfortunately, that happens to most of us when we start new jobs, and it makes it hard to become productive quickly. It even makes it more likely that we’ll leave our jobs sooner that we would have otherwise.
Sometimes management doesn’t onboard new employees and it can make your job rough when you have to help a newbie. The process of bringing on new people undoubtedly affects your life. Ever get those annoying repetitive emails about how to commit code, or where the XYZ is? Yeah, that can be simplified.
This little how-to is going to show you some really easy ways to make your life, and the life of your company’s new hires, much more awesome. Learn how to shave all that redundant crap off your work day and help out new hires in the process. Come learn how to be a hero at your company!
Our Presenter, Kristen Gallagher
Kristen Gallagher is a learning designer and organizational strategist. She’s pretty interested in helping tech companies create systems and cultures that don’t suck – which she mostly does by helping them learn how to learn. She currently serves as the Internal Learning Manager at Elemental Technologies, LLC, and the founder and owner of Edify Education Design. When she’s not working, she spends her time reading nonfiction about learning, knitting rectangles, sewing stuff, and working on found object sculptures. She’s trying to write a book about treating employees with dignity so everyone can live a happier, healthier, more productive life.
ThursdayOct 13 2016Refresh Portland — How to Make Sense of Any Mess
Please RSVP on our site.
In a world where everything is getting more complex and we are all experiencing personal information overload, there is a growing need to understand the tools and processes that are used to make sense of complex subjects and situations. These tools aren’t hard to learn or even tough to implement but they are also not part of many people’s education. Information Architecture is a practice of making sense. A set of principles, lessons and tools to help anyone make sense of anything. Whether you are – a student or professional, a designer, technologist or small business owner, an intern or executive – learn how information architecture can help you make sense of your next endeavor.
Abby will have copies of her book, How to Make Sense of Any Mess, for sale during our event.
Our Presenter, Abby Covert
Abby Covert is an independent information architect. She specializes in delivering a collaborative information architecture process and teaching those that she works with along the way. She speaks and writes under the pseudonym Abby the IA, focusing on sharing information architecture content with those working within the design and technology communities.
Our venue, FINE
WednesdayJul 20 2016Codepen Show & Tell
Refresh PDX has teamed up with Codepen to do a meet up! Tim Sabat, one of the Codepen founders will be joining us.
Have a pen that you want to talk about? Have something you’re trying to make work in a pen and need some advice and support? Come out to the meet up and share your work. If you know you want to share, please let us know ahead of time, otherwise we’ll be creating a presenting list as people arrive.
Ideas for what to share?
- A cool pen you made that can help others learn a new technique
- A pen you may be having trouble getting working and you want to tap into a hive mind
- Ideas on how to use Codepen in your workflow for your job
- How you may be using Codepen as a team to iterate over prototypes or design
So come on out to talk pens with us, we can’t wait to see you.
WednesdayJun 15 2016So You Want to Build a Web Team
When I got my job at Liquid, I was brought on with the task of building a web team from the ground up. When I looked for advice on how to accomplish this, there wasn’t a lot out there. Really, I was flying blind and had to hit the ground running if this was ever going to work.
Over the past 8 months, this humbling, rewarding experience has taught me a lot about what it is to be a better developer, a better leader and overall, a better person.
My goal today, is to share this experience and hopefully help people that are in a similar boat, whether its building your own team, improving your existing team, or simply becoming a better employee.
Join me as I share some anecdotal advice and stories from these past few months about my journey.
Our Presenter, Drew Parroccini
Drew is a seasoned web developer and recent transplant from Pittsburgh, PA. Focusing mostly on front end development, Drew has been building on the web for the last twelve years. Currently, he is the senior developer for Liquid Agency and on his off days, can be found in the woods with his lovely wife and their two great danes.
Our venue, FINE
Thanks to FINE for hosting us this month! FINE is located at 1140 SW 11th Ave, Suite 200, Portland, OR 97205.
WednesdayMay 18 2016Best Practices for Destroying People’s Dreams (And Other Ways UX Can Be Helpful)
Ever been handed a project or had someone come to you with an idea that immediately made you think, “This is probably a waste of time.” What if, instead of taking on the project, you first went to find out if it’s a good idea?
This talk is a mix of stories about people whose dreams were dashed (and they were thankful for it) as well as practical advice for helping you find out if that idea is any good.
The talk title comes from the fact that, over the course of his career, Matthew killed several projects by providing evidence that the project shouldn’t even begin (or should be stopped in its tracks). Twice, he’s had to deliver the bad news to someone who then went on to shutter their entire business. And they thanked him for it. Spending $20,000 to make that early decision meant avoiding spending millions to build something no one would want enough to justify the money, time, and effort.
Our Presenter, Matthew Oliphant
Matthew has been getting people from WTF to FTW since 1999 when he started down the UX road as a Technical Writer. He’s worked as a freelancer, in corporate cube-farms, agencies, and startups. He is currently Director of User Experience at Vadio, an innovative video startup.
Matthew has designed and led the development of several multi-million-dollar products, redesigned large-scale corporate design and development processes, led research efforts to understand the needs of organ transplant recipients, and ghost-edits articles on web design and development on the side.
He continues his mission to Inform and Educate by running Refresh Portland (this site!), a non-profit organization devoted to highlighting new voices and interesting perspectives on all things web-related.
WednesdayApr 20 2016Refresh Portland—Jane Austen on Python: Tips from an English Major on Writing Better Code
With two English degrees, Lacey Williams Henschel has identified some concrete ways having a Lit background makes for a better developer. This talk discusses how developers can take lessons from literature to write more readable code, make better tests, and create more usable websites.
We’ll compare Two Scoops of Django to Strunk and White’s The Elements of Style, that familiar Freshman Comp text, exploring how they are more alike than they are different. We’ll discuss the importance of readability, creating a “story arc” in your tests through good user stories, how variables names have characterization, and the importance of whitespace and good formatting to everyone. We’ll also compare PEP8, the Python style guide, to the MLA Handbook; there’s a reason both disciplines have a style guide!
WednesdayMar 16 2016Refresh Portland: Lessons From a Failed Project
What happens when you “fake it till you make it” and then … don't make it? Rarely do you hear about the failures of entrepreneurs until they are distant memories. Kronda will share some hard lessons learned in the past year. What happened, why, and what she learned from it.
Our Presenter, Kronda Adair
Kronda Adair is the founder of Karvel Digital, a WordPress consultancy and development business. In addition to developing websites, Kronda gives business owners the training they need to own and manage their digital presence.
She is a regular speaker at WordPress meetups and Wordcamps and has been invited to speak at Ada Developer Academy, Beyond the Code, Open Source Bridge, Lesbians Who Tech Summit, and others. She has given talks on WordPress deployment processes, successful site planning, starting your own business, and more. Her latest project is a book for business owners on managing your website and other digital assets, to be released early 2016.
When she’s not working, she can be found enjoying time at home with her wife and two cats, reading dead-tree books, riding one of her five bikes, or enjoying the postcard vistas of the state of Oregon.
WednesdayFeb 17 2016Refresh Portland - A Skeptic’s Guide to Branding
There are few things given more skepticism by the geeks of the world than marketing. Indeed, we like to see ourselves as above the buzzwords and cheesy stock photographs, safe in a world where the empirically best solution is the one that will win out.
But there’s a problem. Marketing, and especially branding, is critical to the geek’s career. Indeed, geeks from John Gruber to Jeff Atwood have become big names in programming, and it’s not by accident- they know how to make and expose a great, genuine professional identity. Projects turn from hobbyist hacks to enterprise concerns thanks to their clear, strong branding. For the successful geek, branding is essential, but we can be just too skeptical to take advantage.
Well, no longer. I’ve trudged through the marketing landscape and found the bits that anyone can be okay with applying. I’ll go through finding an authentic identity for yourself or your next project, so you can put together an appealing image without having to lie through your teeth. And I’ll back it up not with lofty promises, but with a skeptic’s favorite thing: science.
Our speaker, Zoe Landon
Zoe Landon has been messing with computers since childhood and making them work more or less correctly for the last 8 years. She has a Software Engineering degree mostly used for front-end web development, and a Creative Writing minor mostly used for confusing people. Zoe’s many entrepreneurial efforts have resulted in an interview with Sir Christopher Lee, vulgarities from a British rock band, and other minor successes.
She can often be found partaking in trivia and wearing a silly hat.
WednesdayJan 20 2016Refresh Portland - Accessibility is Information Architecture
Information architects talk of information environments as places made of information; we go online, visit sites (and sometimes look at their maps), chat in rooms, add products to carts. Care must be taken from everyone involved in the creation of these places to ensure they’re accessible to everyone regardless of ability.
Designers need to create places are inclusive to as many people as possible. It’s no longer acceptable to exclude aural design in whatever the current definition of UX is. Likewise, front-end developers need to have a thorough understanding of the fundamentals of their craft to create accessible places.
The pattern languages of digital design and development have built in semantic goodness that is frequently missing from modern places of information. Accessible places improve inclusion, diversity, and are almost always a legal requirement. If product teams embrace accessibility from the start, everyone wins and the world will be a better place.
Our Presenter, Francis Storr
Francis Storr is Lead Designer for Intel’s Software Accessibility Program; prior to that he was a senior interaction designer for the company. Francis has been working in technology for fifteen years, starting off as developer and then moving into user experience. Whether developing or designing, he’s always seen accessibility as a critical responsibility in his work, and has very definite opinions on whether designers should know how to code, and developers’ pursuit of the new-and-shiny over acquiring a solid knowledge of the basics.
An ex-pat from the UK, Francis has lived in Portland for five years.
WednesdayNov 18 2015Refresh Portland - Benevolent Dictatorship as Creative Practice
Creative leadership is about setting the stage for a team to produce the best work possible. It requires a deft balance between vision and empowerment, a strong strategic mooring with room for others to shine. A tall order, yet most people tasked with leading a team are figuring it out as they go.
Come hear tales from a self-taught benevolent dictator with over 15 years in the trenches producing passion projects and client work with teams of all sizes. There will be Hebrew. There will be Hip Hop. There will be hard won wisdom/stupidity.
Our speaker, Tsilli Pines
Tsilli Pines is the Director of Design Week Portland, the Host of CreativeMornings in Portland, and the Digital Creative Director at FINE. She’s been working as a designer for over 15 years and is passionate about the value of design and the power of creative discourse.
WednesdayFeb 18 2015Refresh Portland - Working On The Cutting Edge for Fun and Profit
Join us, 19 February, 2015 at 6:30pm!
Our Topic "I have no idea what I'm doing."
When a new technology arrives there is a period of time in which there are no experts. The technology is so fresh and new even enthusiasts don’t know what to do with it (remember when the iPad came out?) This creates a unique opportunity for people of all skill levels to to create new things with the technology and get exposure for their work.
Being an early creator on a new platform can be an exciting experience that offers the potential for substantial rewards. From software platforms like iOS and Android to content platforms like YouTube and Vimeo and even creative markets like Etsy and Shapeways. Creators in early markets have advantages that can help propel their success.
However taking on early markets comes with substantial risks and countless challenges that can test even the most seasoned veterans. How do you answer questions that Google doesn’t know the answer to? How do you design for a piece of hardware you don’t actually have? How do you make decisions when you have no idea what you’re doing and there is no one to follow?
In this talk I will explore the challenges of working on emerging technologies and platforms through a retelling my experiences working on early iPhone and iPad apps.
Through these stories I will share key lessons I learned as well as specific tactics that can be applied to work of all forms.
Our Presenter, Josh Michaels Josh Michaels is an independent app developer and software artist based in Portland, Oregon. Josh spends most of his time working on his app series “Magic Window” which brings beautiful views from around the world to the iPad, iPhone, and Mac.
For more information on Josh including previous talks see joshjet.com. For more information on his work see jetsoncreative.com.
Our Venue, FINE Thanks to FINE for hosting us this month! They are located at 1140 SW 11th Ave, Portland OR 97205, Suite 200.