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At Strava, diversity and inclusion is more than just a thing to talk about — it’s something we put time and energy into. Grace Hopper Celebration 2018 is just one way we do this.

I’ve wanted to go to Grace Hopper Celebration for a long time. When I joined Strava this past spring, I was excited to learn that we had already committed to a booth for recruiting and would be taking some of our technical women along to attend the conference.

I’ve attended many conferences (I like them more than the average person) and have been to some pretty big events, but GHC 2018 was the largest conference I’ve ever attended. This came with a few downsides — long lines to get into sessions, challenges acquiring lunch. …

Welcome to the Vevo Product & Engineering Blog. We’ve dabbled with this format in the past, but our 2018 resolution is to share more with the greater engineering community. One way we’ll be doing this is by posting about things we learn, hard problems we’ve solved and occasionally open sourcing code. We’ll also share what has worked for us from a process perspective in our Product organization.

This first post aims to give you an understanding of how we build things at Vevo, both from a technical and a process perspective. For our first technical blog post, head over to our post on dynamo database backups to learn about our open source library Dynamodbdump. …

Adapted from chapter 4 of Isomorphic Web Applications, discusses the React component lifecycle.

The code and examples in this article are part of a larger example app that is used through the Isomorphic Web Applications book. You can find the complete code in this github repo: Throughout the article, there will be instructions on how to check out specific branches in order to follow along and complete the code examples yourself.

Save 37% off Isomorphic Web Applications with code fccgordon at

Component Lifecycle

As you probably know, sites that have user accounts require a login. Certain parts of the site will always be locked down, so that you can only view them if you are logged in. For example, with the All Things Westies app, when the user wants to view their settings page to update their password or view past orders, they will need to be logged in. …

I recently finished reading Confessions of a Public Speaker by Scott Berkun because I’m ramping up to do more speaking at both work and at conferences this spring and summer. Overall, I found it be well written with good tips and perspectives on public speaking. I’d give it a 4.2/5.

My only criticism is that the author is overly self-deprecating at times. While some of these moments make him more relatable, I found the quantity to be unnecessary.

If you want to get better at public speaking, this book is a great starting point.

Here are 5 highlights: new things I learned from the book. …

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Even as a teenager, I knew that someday I would live in San Francisco. I’ve long felt a connection to this city — a place that is unique, diverse, exciting and pulsing with life.

Upon moving here (returning to the bay area after living in Denver), I discovered that San Francisco is also a divided city. Divided between the have and the have nots, the techies and non techies. Much has previously been written on this topic so I won’t belabor this point.

I work in tech. I am part of the haves — a privileged group that can afford the high rents, foodie restaurants and various sharing economy services available here. Technically, I’m part of the problem. However, I also love this city and want to see it thrive for all people. …

This article has been excerpted from Isomorphic Development with JavaScript

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Isomorphic Web App Overview

To understand what an isomorphic web app is, we’re going to use an example web app called All Things Westies. On this site, you can find places to adopt a Westie (West Highland White Terrier, a small white breed of dog). You can also get information about Westies, purchase dog supplies and buy products featuring Westies (socks, mugs, shirts, etc.). Because this is an ecommerce app, we care about having a good Search Engine Optimization (SEO) presence and we want our customers to have a great experience using the app.

How it works

Look at Figure 1, which is a wireframe for the All Things Westies app. There’s a standard header with main site navigation on the right. …


Elyse Kolker Gordon

Senior Engineering Manager, Growth @ Strava, author isomorphic web applications. Speaker, web dev & manager of humans. Always learning.

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