All posts tagged: technology

Positive Change is On the Way!

When my employer, Netflix, recently announced a pioneering approach to parental leave laws, I felt someone there must have been watching my struggle. I’d drafted a post about my difficulties with coming back to work after baby, but never published it. Why? Maybe I thought it would make no difference, women have had to buck up and deal with limited (or no) parental leave forever. Maybe I was too exhausted from work + baby. Maybe I didn’t want to admit anything could be possibly be wrong with my decision to commit to my profession and to being a parent. With all the debate about “women and tech”, I had to use my words carefully not to affirm anyone’s wrongly held prejudice that women cannot be equal players. So here goes. In late 2013 I found out that I was pregnant, something we had been hoping and praying for for many years. From that moment on, life got much more beautiful and meaningful. I was very fortunate to have a job I really liked as a …

technology youth hack the hood coding kids

Hack the Hood’s Youth Coders

I got to know Susan Mernit’s technology bent when I shot occasional photos for Oakland Local’s urban planning stories. After wrapping short films for the online news site’s OakTech series, I began hearing about programs to help kids code. Susan and partners went on to found the lean startup Hack the Hood. The young initiative aims to train low-income youth of color in marketing and technology skills. Last summer, I filmed their graduation event at the Impact HUB in Oakland. Hackers had just completed a Boot Camp, building websites for small businesses in Oakland who could use the visibility. It was a party. Families, educators, techies, policymakers gathered together to learn and to cheer. Since then, Hack the Hood has expanded across campuses and cities from Oakland to Richmond, San Francisco and East Palo Alto. “We’re so thrilled to work with such amazing organizations who really know their community inside out the way we know Oakland. That is critically important for success,” said Zakiya Harris, Co-founder and Chief Education Officer of Hack the Hood. “Together …

app technology Swyft Urban Engine

Easing Transit Agony

In this week’s earlier post on transit and commute pain, I didn’t mention Uber or Lyft. Many people are writing and fighting about them. Instead, I want to pick up a different thread, the transit app. How are tools, conceived in the Bay Area, helping us through the dreaded commute or the long, slow schlep to a fun event across town and across the Bay itself? Fast and Cheap, Swyft Swyft is a free app for BART and Muni users that instantly measures travel times and costs across major transit options, selecting the fastest and cheapest way to reach your destination (interface graphic above, Swyft). The app takes into account urban transit as multi-modal, where people move across the map through a combination of “public transportation, rideshare, carshare, bikeshare, skootershare, walking” and envisions a future where all kinds of modes fold into its model. The idea is that the user community will generate data to pinpoint what’s working, what’s not and how to do better. Their twitter @SwyftApp also updates the latest changes in transit …

Imagining Health Solutions

Can a simulation program, a kind of imagined space, help fix real world problems? The healthcare industry is widely considered one of the least functioning in the American economy. A Sunnyvale-based company, i-Human Patients, aims to promote high quality and cost effective care by providing e-learning products to healthcare professionals. I had a chance to sit down with founder Craig Knoche and CEO Norm Wu to discuss their passion to make a difference in the world. Gohar. What events lead to the idea of i-Human? Craig. My wife and I participated in a medical training course for mountain climbing a few years ago and realized that the book learning part of medicine and the actual performance, even in a simulated environment, were very different. Since we both had backgrounds in the software development industry and this intrigued us, and we thought that our background might help address this need. After further research we found out that the medical education community is largely underserved by software technology. We kicked this idea around for a number of years …

We Can Make That

I had the pleasure of chatting with Albert Eloyan, a young entrepreneur, Bay Area resident, and one of the co-founders of Jargon (former Colatris), a start-up that helps mobile developers localize their apps.   He shares the pains and rewards of startup culture, including how travel, relocation and boxing (with gloves, not packing material) played a role.  (Gohar)