Build Systems that Drive Business
June 11–12, 2018: Training
June 12–14, 2018: Tutorials & Conference
San Jose, CA


Sacha Judd (Hoku Group)
4:35pm–5:15pm Thursday, June 14, 2018
Location: LL20 A/B Level: Non-technical
Secondary topics: Leadership & Career Growth
Average rating: *****
(5.00, 3 ratings)

What you'll learn

  • Learn what the joy of being a fan can teach about building excellent and ethical software
  • Explore available tools to improve hiring, promotion, and internal culture


In 2016, Sacha Judd delivered a popular talk, “How the Tech Sector Could Move in One Direction,” that explored how online fandom contains a solution for the pipeline problem in the tech industry by thinking differently about recruitment and qualifications. Since then, Sacha has regularly spoken and written about what we can learn from communities of fans online, making and sharing things that they love, writing fiction, creating art, organizing communities, building sites, and teaching each other the digital skills needed to do it.

In 2018, leaders of teams more than ever must wrestle with the ways in which the homogeneity of the tech sector produces flawed software products and services. When everyone in our team looks like us, has followed the same journey that we have, and is interested in the same things, we develop significant blindspots about the weaknesses in our products. These blindspots lead to problems with access, usability, and ethics. Using inventive examples like crowdsourced Norwegian television subtitles, distributed radio requests, and fair trade chocolate frogs, Sacha explains what the joy of being a fan can teach us about building excellent and ethical software.

Topics include:

  • Why D&I is about more than filling quotas; it’s about finding people who’ve followed different journeys into tech and supporting them once they’re hired.
  • How diverse teams identify and mitigate blindspots faster and more effectively.
  • How celebrating what we love results in hiring more qualified, more diverse candidates, filling positions faster, and improving retention.
  • Tools and techniques for recruiting differently, changing the way we view pathways into tech, and celebrating difference in team culture.
Photo of Sacha Judd

Sacha Judd

Hoku Group

Sacha Judd is managing director at Hoku Group. She’s also a startup champion, early-stage investor, cohost of Refactor, cofounder of Flounders’ Club, and creator of Back of a Napkin. Sacha is a frequent speaker at conferences and in-house events on startups, capital raising, diversity and inclusion in the tech sector, and how fans will transform the world.