Google I/O 2015 - A little badass. Beautiful. Tech and human. Work and love. ATAP.

When I was asking attendees what they liked about this year's I/O, many mentioned ATAP's session. In fact, we didn't have keynote in day 2 but one of the attendees told me "day2 keynote was the best session" referring to ATAP session ;)

Must-watch video... here we go!

Project Jacquard

Project Soli

Project ARA

Disclaimer: The opinions expressed here are my own, and do not reflect those of my employer. -Fumi Yamazaki


Women Techmakers Pre-I/O Dinner

I joined Women Techmakers Dinner as a volunteer staff tonight :)

Women Techmakers Dinner

When I joined Google back in 2010 as Developer Relations country lead for Japan, I started asking around to developers what they saw as an issue, what they wanted to us to resolve to make their lives better, etc. One of the feedbacks I got from a woman was that she went to Google's developer event that had a couple hundred developers and she thought she was the only woman there. There probably was more than one- she probably just happened not to meet others, I don't know. But it definitely was the problem that had to get resolved. As I started to look more closely, I realized there are so few female developers in Japan, and much fewer of them comes to developer events. When I asked some of them why this is the case, one of the reasons they mentioned was that when they go to developer events, it is full of men and they are often the only female there, feel lonely and don't want to go any more. It was a bad cycle.

So I started making women's developer community in Japan - started running women-only hackathon and codelabs, started GTUG Girls in Japan (Google Technology User Group). We worked to increase the number of female attendees for "Google Developer Day" conference I organized, as well as tried to get more women speakers. In fact, we had 50% female speaker ratio for GDD Bootcamp in 2011, woohoo :) We also started increasing female community leaders- among the 9 GDG (Google Developer Group) /GTUGs in Japan, all managers were men when I joined, and by 2012 we increased that to 3 women managers so that's 30% women leaders, woohoo :) It all really takes time to make happen.

I was recalling about those old days today... while I was reading this article on USA Today "Google I/O attracts more women" based on an interview with my colleague +Natalie Villalobos who is a wonderful Googler, works as "women in technology advocate" at Google. In 2013, Google I/O only had 8% women. After she became the advocate, that number increased to 20% in 2014 and 23% this year, making huge progress. To ensure women are comfortable coming to the conference, Natalie and the team has been working on many initiatives such as making sure there is child care and mother's rooms at the venue. Starting a Slack community for women going to I/O so that they can communicate with each other. There is going to be an all-women's panel called "Engineering for the Stratosphere", with 5 women from Project Loon talking about engineering for the stratosphere. Making a new community guidelines banning harassment at I/O.

The team also invited all of the women joining Google I/O to a dinner the day before I/O starts- this is important because we want the women to meet their fellow women participants before the event starts, so that when they step into the conference venue surrounded by (still 77%) men, they'll see some familiar faces and feel more comfortable. The dinner is also a place where you can sit down and actually talk with other women in tech - not rushing through sessions or yelling to each other in noisy corridors or after parties.... a place where you can relax and have meaningful conversations to get to know each other.

There is no way we can get a restaurant in San Francisco for all the women participants, so we had 6 different (and awesome) restaurants booked, at Lulus where I was helping to organize, we hosted around 150 women.

Women Techmakers Dinner

Margaret Lee, Director of User Experience Design giving opening speech.

Women Techmakers Dinner

With Tomomi!

Women Techmakers Dinner

Many amazing women!

Women Techmakers Dinner

Women Techmakers Dinner

Polaroid with Dharmishta and Tomomi.

Women Techmakers Dinner

Paper napkins at WomenTechMakers:

Women Techmakers Dinner

Gifts included a TCHO chocolate, Lady Alamo pouch, and Adafruit's Gemma Starter Pack. I love it!

Women TechMakers Dinner

GEMMA Starter Pack includes:
-GEMMA V2 miniature wearable electronic platform
-Four Flora RGB NeoPixels V2
-Coin cell battery holder with JST connector and on/off switch
-Stainless Thin Conductive Thread - 2 ply - 25 meter/85 ft
-Needle set with 20 pieces
-Small Alligator Clip Test Lead (set of 12)
-USB cable - A/MicroB - 3ft
-2 x CR2032 coin cell batteries

Useful links:

Introduction to GEMMA
Introducing GEMMA - Tiny Wearable Microcontroller from Adafruit

It was great to see so many awesome women at the dinner, thanks for the Women Techmaker team for organizing and all the participants for coming, I hope you had fun, and met other awesome Women Techmakers :)

This is the video from Women TechMaker session at Google I/O 2015
" Engineering for the Stratosphere"

Disclaimer: The opinions expressed here are my own, and do not reflect those of my employer. -Fumi Yamazaki


USG Girl Geek Dinner

I joined the USG Girl Geek Dinner tonight.

Speakers were:
-Ann Mei Chang (Executive Director, U.S. Global Development Lab, USAID)
-Stephanie Rivera (Director of Business Strategy, 18F)
-Hillary Hartley (Deputy Executive Director & Co-Founder, 18F)
-Jennifer Anastasoff (Founding Member, U.S. Digital Service)
-Todd Park (Technology Advisor, White House)

Some quotes from Ann:


-Before going to work for the government, Ann worked at tech companies in Silicon Valley (Apple and Google) but she had a yearning to help people who were underprivileged, and joined USAID. She now runs USAID's US Global Development Lab, bringing in Silicon Valley's best practices to the government.
-The U.S. Global Development Lab is a new entity within USAID that brings together a diverse set of partners to discover, test, and scale breakthrough solutions to achieve what human progress has only now made possible - the end of extreme poverty by 2030.
-Ebola Protective Suit Design Challenge's winner was Johns Hopkins University working with wedding dress designer to design protective suits! (Article: A wedding gown designer gave the Ebola hazmat suit a makeover) Traditional suits (Personal Protective Equipment or PPE) took 31 steps for doffing process whereas the proposed one only has 8, reducing removal time from 20 minutes to less than 5 minutes.

Some quotes from Todd:


-USDS is teams of problem solvers making government services simple, effective, and efficient- and "is on a mission to make the U.S. Government not suck at technology" ;) Also calling it "high tech Peace Corps". First example was healthcare.gov, currently expanding to VA. Planning to expand to 500 people.
-USDS has 3 pillars:
  1. USDS headquarters with 40 people
  2. USDS people in other federal government departments
  3. 18F
-At the USDS, they're changing lives more and more everyday in a profound way. Within the first year of launching healthcare.gov, 10 million Americans had health insurance. You can help the lives of 16 million people with Silicon Valley's best practices.
-USDS aims to develop & radically improve services for veterans, children, immigrants, elderly & disabled.
-Talent and diversity is key- getting the right people means a win.

Some quotes from Hillary:


-18F helps agencies deliver on their mission through the development of digital and web services, through building effective, user-centric digital services focused on the interaction between government and the people and businesses it serves. From their website: "We’re doers, recruited from the most innovative corners of industry and the public sector, who are passionate about driving efficiency, transparency, and savings for government agencies and the American people. We make easy things easy, and hard things possible."
-Design is the strategy, can transform business and policy by showing and not telling.
-We do user testing for everything. We MVP everything.
-Delivery is the strategy - just start.
1. Be the change - lead by example
2. Think like designer
3. Data-driven
4. Agile practices
5. Open by default (18F's Open Source Policy)

Hillary's blog post here actually captures some of them "One Year In and Looking Forward"
-Putting the needs of the American people first
-Being design-centric, agile, open, and data-driven
-Working in the open to make our products stronger
-Deploying our products early and often

Cupcakes ;)


Disclaimer: The opinions expressed here are my own, and do not reflect those of my employer. -Fumi Yamazaki


Modern Layouts: Getting Out of Our Ruts with Jen Simmons #sfhtml5

I joined SFHTML5 meetup last week, the speaker was +Jen Simmons and she gave a speech under the title "Modern Layouts: Getting Out of Our Ruts".

SF life

In case you missed it, worth your 70 min to watch!






Jen's Website:



Some notes from the talk:

The people in the web industry were the people who'd be saying "The web is not print! We need to do it differently! Web is not print!"

True- but it is now time to look at magazines and print to learn about their wonderful and beautiful and creative layouts. Because, a lot of websites look the same. Many of them look ugly. They're full of ads. We need to learn from the beautiful magazines to make more beautiful websites. And current web technology actually allows us to do that.

Vogue magazine :D

vogue.com website :(

Magazines :D

Websites :(

This is a screenshot from a magazine article.

"You can totally make this happen on the web, using CSS Shapes level1" says Jen.

And here are some examples of how to make creative layout using CSS Shapes.

You can get the words between the images too, using masked images.

And here you can write a code to surround the text outside of polygon.

And then you can use the CSS Shapes editor Chrome plugin, to adjust and define a polygon shape. Super cool!!

Some more examples from magazines.

We can also definitely do similar things on the web by transforming text using CSS Transforms Module. Many people thinks about transforming (rotating) for animations- we should use it for other purposes -not just animations.

Some more styles that we might see more in the future: no matter what shape the window is, the height is always 100vh(viewport hight), and the there's the black box surrounding it, followed by the text.

An example of similar approach that was on New York Times article:
Judy Blume Knows All Your Secrets - NYTimes.com

But they seem to be using JavaScript for layout, when they don't have to...

"We don't need more JavaScript on our pages- we already have JavaScripts for ads, tracking users and analytics and all kinds of things, we already have performance problems on the web. I am a big believer that the moment you reach for JavaScript to solve a layout problem, you're doing it wrong. There should be a ban on using JavaScript for layout. You can do everything with CSS. It's going to be much faster, much more performative." says Jen.

On Flexbox: "There's lots of things that Flexbox can do, I think it'll take several years to know what Flexbox is capable of. I think the people who invented Flexbox don't even know what Flexbox is capable of - it's really that crazy awesome!"

A lot of people asks when they can use those features in production. Jen replies with a question: Do websites need to look exactly the same in every browser?

"If you went to this site with IE6, it doesn't have drop shadow on the text, "N" won't be curly, but if you're actually a person using IE6- you wouldn't know that you are missing a drop shadow. People will only know about their own browser, and will not cry over the missing drop shadow that they don't know that exists. And this is the fundamental concept of Progressive Enhancement, and what the web is about." says Jen.

"Your website can look different in different browser, we don't need to hold the entire web hostage until IE7 doesn't exist any more, and make everyone on the web get the IE7-looking websites because we're scared to have the website look different on different browser."

"Hardest part is changing our thinking, not our CSS."

"Translate. Don't Transfer."
Looking at some magazines- good layout really serves the content and alters people's experience of that content. "It's important to remember the lessons we learned in the era when everyone thought the web was print and went the wrong road. We don't want to just transfer from graphic design, magazine design into the web- we have to translate. We have to get some inspiration, and come up with something we have never seen before that goes on to the web."

Experiment! Prototype!

The most dangerous phrase in the language is "We've always done it this way"
-Grace Hopper

And if you're interested in watching Bill Cunningham's "New York" that Jen mentioned, you can watch it on Hulu!


Disclaimer: The opinions expressed here are my own, and do not reflect those of my employer.
 -Fumi Yamazaki