Jesslyn Tannady is a Developer Advocate at Facebook. She creates educational content about Facebook’s technologies so that anyone outside of Facebook can use them. In a past life, she worked on video games and augmented reality navigation tools for astronauts for NASA. When she’s not thinking about virtual reality technology, she’s probably illustrating or voice acting. You can find her on Twitter at @jtannady.
In our conversation, we talk about Jesslyn’s past life in Augmented and Virtual Reality (ARVR), tech communities and democratisation, and reflecting on attending women’s educational institutions.
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[00:00:57] Jesslyn’s journey to a Computer Science and Media Arts & Sciences double major.
[00:01:25] Exploring a variety of subjects in college.
[00:02:07] Discovering an interest in programming.
[00:03:08] Hackathons opening up the potential of programming.
[00:03:51] The intersection of technology and design.
[00:05:25] The value of a school that allows you to explore other subjects.
[00:07:22] Michele’s journey to computer science.
[00:10:18] You don’t need to have your life planned out.
[00:11:09] Feeling as though you need to have conviction about what you’ll do for the rest of your life as a teenager.
[00:12:23] Passion vs getting paid. Both are valid motivations for career choices.
[00:13:48] Where Jesslyn imagined her qualifications would take her.
[00:13:58] An interest in video games as a consumer and a creator.
[00:15:19] Discovering Augmented and Virtual Reality (ARVR).
[00:15:57] Learning about photogrammetry and falling in love with research.
[00:17:58] Exploring robotics.
[00:19:04] Developing augmented reality navigation tools for astronauts.
[00:21:20] Finding work with neural interfaces.
[00:22:51] Getting acquired by Facebook and becoming a Developer Advocate.
[00:23:07] What being a Developer Advocate involves.
[00:25:28] Thinking about our privilege, the democratisation of tech, and how we make it more accessible to the community.
[00:27:44] The language barriers in technology.
[00:29:44] MIT App Inventor talk about teaching kids programming fundamentals through solving real-world problems in their lives.
[00:32:20] Women in STEM, belonging, and how one identifies themselves in their field.
[00:32:43] The empowering mindset of knowing you can affect change.
[00:33:17] Reflecting on attending women’s only educational institutions.
[00:35:52] On the theory that the comfort of an all women’s learning environment will lead to adjustment issues in ‘the real world’.
[00:37:57] On the impact of our learning environments on self-confidence and impostor syndrome.
[00:41:46] Why STEAM?
[00:42:35] Michele’s A in STEAM.
[00:44:53] The ethics in tech.
[00:45:48] Where all our science and technology comes from and the ethics of these creations.
[00:50:17] Technology, science, and ethics are complementary.
[00:53:22] On how everyone has something they can contribute in open source.
[00:54:14] On participating in Hacktoberfest.
[00:55:37] On our languages and growing up in multilingual households in predominantly English-speaking countries.
[00:57:44] On the challenges of passing on a dying language to the next generation
[00:59:51] Segue: Taiwanese dramas
[01:03:07] Bonus Question 1: What hobby or interest do you have that is most unrelated to your field of work?
[01:03:13] Dabbling in voice acting.
[01:03:36] Voice acting as a tool for developing confidence skills.
[01:05:20] Bonus Question 2: Which childhood book holds the strongest memories for you?
[01:06:09] Bonus Question 3: What advice you would give someone who wants to do what you do? Or what advice should they ignore?
[01:06:24] Start creating. You learn new skills and create a portfolio.
[01:07:38] Be discerning with what you volunteer for and ‘going above and beyond’.
[01:12:12] Find out more about Jesslyn.
- Wellesley College
- Augmented Reality (wiki)
- Virtual Reality (wiki)
- Reality Reflection
- Photogrammetry (wiki)
- SIGGRAPH (wiki)
- MIT Media Lab
- MIT AeroAstro
- Electromyography (EMG) (wiki)
- MIT App Inventor
- Pauline Belford (STEAM Powered (#6))
- Dr Shelly Lesher (STEAM Powered (#26))
- Heron, M. & Belford, P. (2014). Ethics in Context: A Scandal in Academia. SIGCAS Comput. Soc., 44, 20--51. https://doi.org/10.1145/2656870.2656875
- Hokkien (language) (wiki)
- Meteor Garden (Taiwanese drama) (wiki)
- Mars (Taiwanese drama) (wiki)
- Silence (Taiwanese drama) (wiki)
- F4 (band) (wiki)
Find out more about Jesslyn Tannady and their work
- Twitter: @jtannady
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