Speaker Series

Sign up for the mailing list here!

Etsy Code as Craft events are a semi-monthly series of guest speakers who explore a technical topic or computing trend, sharing both conceptual ideas and practical advice. All talks will take place at the Etsy Labs on the 7th floor at 55 Washington Street in beautiful Brooklyn (Suite 712). Come see an awesome speaker and take a whirl in our custom photo booth. We hope to see you at an upcoming event!


March 26, 2015 – Building smart & opinionated security warnings

SSL is supposed to protect your e-mail, Tweets, and bank records from network attackers. Most of the time, SSL keeps your data safe — but sometimes the SSL connection setup fails. When this happens, your browser will warn you about the risk and ask you what to do. These warnings are problematic because often neither the browser nor the user knows whether the error indicates a real attack. Chrome’s security team is tackling this problem by building smarter and more opinionated warnings. I’ll talk about both challenges: first, how we’re using design techniques to make our UI more convincing; and second, how we’re combining client and crawler data to improve warning accuracy.

About Adrienne Porter Felt

Adrienne Porter Felt is a software engineer on the Chrome security team, where she is the tech lead for Chrome usable security. In this role, she works on improving how and when Chrome presents security information. Recently, she’s
focused on promoting the adoption of HTTPS and reducing the rate of HTTPS misconfigurations. Previously, Adrienne was a research scientist on the Google security research team. Adrienne received a PhD in computer science from UC
Berkeley. As a graduate student, Adrienne was a Facebook fellow and Anita Borg scholar.


Can’t join us in person? This event will be streamed at 7pm Eastern.

Event Details

Thursday, March 26, 2014

6:30-7:00 pm: Registration
7:00-8:00 pm: Presentation
8:00-9:00 pm: Networking

Get tickets for Thursday, Mar. 26 2015

Event registration for Code as Craft with Adrienne Porter Felt – Making security warnings more convincing powered by Eventbrite

Code as Craft participants are expected to abide by our Code of Conduct.

Past Events

Every Problem is a Scaling Problem

When I joined Twitter, it was a 50ish person company. When I left, I had 400 people reporting to me alone globally. Developing “Twitter scale” infrastructure and slaying the fail whale is usually what most people talk about — but what about the lessons learned operating a team at scale?

About Raffi Krikorian

Raffi was, until August 2014, Twitter’s VP of Engineering in charge of the Platform, the core infrastructure of Twitter. He managed 400 people who worked on, amongst other things, the business logic, the scalable services, APIs, storage, core libraries, and the internal development model of all of Twitter.

Before Twitter he used to create technologies to help people frame their personal energy consumption against global energy production (Wattzon – Business Week’s “Best Idea” 2008), fueled his television habit through writing “TiVo Hacks” (O’Reilly, August 2003), and also ran a consulting company building off-the-wall projects. At one point, he also used to teach at NYU’s ITP (created the class Every Bit You Make) and spent way too much time as a student at MIT and the MIT Media Lab (Internet 0 – Scientific American September 2004).

The Past, Present, and Future of Responsive Images

The goal of a “responsive images” solution is to deliver an image ideally suited to the end user’s ever-changing context, rather than serving the largest potentially necessary image to everyone. Unfortunately, this hasn’t proven to be quite so simple in practice as it seems to be in theory. Small screens should get smaller images, sure, and large screens should get larger ones. Naturally, only high-resolution displays should qualify for high-resolution images, but what if that user has limited bandwidth available? Would the low-resolution image be preferable—and at what point? Explore the path to a standardized solution, look at some of the proposals that will be shaping our future work; and learn techniques we can use to start saving our users’ bandwidth today.

About Mat Marquis

Mat “Wilto” Marquis works at Bocoup; formerly Filament Group. Mat is technical editor and contributor at A List Apart, Chair of the Responsive Images Community Group and an editor on the W3C HTML5.1 specification.

He guesses this is all pretty cool, but he is still most proud of having finished Mega Man 2 for the NES—on “difficult”—without losing a life.

July 9, 2014: Continuous Innovation with Marty Cagan

The role of the product organization is to consistently deliver significant new value to the business through continuous product innovation. Yet most teams don’t deliver that value. They just make minor optimizations to existing products. Or they continue to toss more features onto the pile. Further, most people that talk about innovation do so in the context of a new startup, but in existing businesses there are significant additional challenges as in order to innovate we must do our discovery work in ways that protect our brand, our revenue, our employees and our customers. In this talk I will describe the critical cultural and process changes necessary for your organization to continuously and consistently deliver the value your company and your customers need.

About Marty Cagan

Marty Cagan is the Founder of the Silicon Valley Product Group, where he works with and advises many of the leading technology teams in the world. Before founding SVPG to pursue his interests in helping others create successful products through his writing, speaking, investing and advising, Marty was most recently the original SVP of Product and Design for eBay, where he was responsible for creating and building the product and design organizations and defining the products and services for the company’s global e-commerce trading site. Marty began his career working for 10 years as a software developer at HP Labs, and then moved on to join a young Netscape Communications as their VP Platform and Tools. Marty is the author of INSPIRED: How To Create Products Customers Love, and publishes a popular blog for product teams at www.svpg.com.


April 22, 2014: Giovanni Kincade presents Experiment Driven Product Redesigns

Or, How Etsy Tested 14 Versions of their Listing Page on the Road to Shipping the Largest Experimental Win in Their History.


In Giovanni’s own words, “You want to throw out all the code. You want to make a brand new thing. You will probably fail. Come hear about how we failed not once, but more than a dozen times. Come hear about why we’re doing it, again.”

About Giovanni Kincade

Gio is a product engineer on the Buyer Experience team at Etsy, focusing on the Shop and Listing Page experiences. He spent many years working on Search and Search Infrastructure, and in a prior life was a Product Manager and amateur DBA.

More details including livestream: Event registration

March 27, 2014:  Etsy Code as Craft with John Resig:  Analyzing Japanese Art with Node.js and Computer Vision


Using Node.js and Computer Vision techniques John has been building tools and libraries to analyze Japanese art and art data. In this talk he will dig into the history of Japanese woodblock printing and the tools that he’s built and how they’ve been helping art historians, researchers, and collectors better understand all the data that they deal with.

About John Resig

John Resig is the Dean of Computer Science at Khan Academy and the creator of the jQuery JavaScript library. He’s also the author of the books Pro JavaScript Techniques and Secrets of the JavaScript Ninja.

John is a Visiting Researcher at Ritsumeikan University in Kyoto working on the study of Ukiyo-e (Japanese Woodblock printing). He has developed a comprehensive woodblock print database and image search engine located at: Ukiyo-e.org.

February 25, 2014:  Etsy Code as Craft with Steve Klabnik:  How Balanced Applies the Open Source Philosophy to How We Work


Open Source has radically changed the way that companies do software development. We used to live in a world where each company re-built everything from scratch, but openness has allowed us to collaborate on common components, reducing duplication and driving down costs. Can we apply these same lessons to other areas? Balanced thinks so. In this talk, Steve will talk about the “Open Company Initiative,” which applies similar kinds of openness to product development, pricing, and other business practices that are traditionally fully closed. He’ll also show an example of how this openness actually changed some of the code Balanced has written.

About Steve Klabnik

Steve is a prolific Open Source contributor, member of the Ruby on Rails team, and Balanced’s philosopher in residence. He’s the author of several books: “Designing Hypermedia APIs,” “Rails 4 in Action,” and “Rust for Rubyists.”

December 5, 2013:  Integrating multiple CDN providers at Etsy with Marcus Barczak and Laurie Denness


Join us as Marcus and Laurie reprise their highly acclaimed talk first presented at Velocity Europe.

Relying on a single content delivery network for your site can impose a number of flexibility limitations. By diversifying your CDN providers you can put the power back in your hands, allowing you to get the best of both worlds in terms of performance, reliability and cost. In this talk Marcus and Laurie will present Etsy’s recent work integrating multiple CDN providers to their site delivery infrastructure.

October 22, 2013:  The Fine Art of Accessibility with Derek Featherstone


Building web sites and applications is a pursuit where we learn a great deal and can be reasonably successful in a very short period of time. But to become true masters of our craft, we investigate subtleties and nuance in an effort to perfect our work, aiming for constant improvement. We specialize in areas of performance, scalability, maintenance and more. It is part of what we do as dedicated professionals who are committed to our craft. Accessibility is one of many areas where details matter.

In this talk, Derek will guide you through a tour of design and development decisions that we make that ultimately play a significant role on the utility of an interface – more significant than we think. You’ll see examples that will help you question standard practice and convention as you see first hand the impact our decisions make.


Derek Featherstone is an internationally-known speaker and authority on accessibility, inclusive design, user experience and web development. He is the lead of Simply Accessible Inc., a leading firm that delivers insightful and creative accessibility consulting to Fortune 500 corporations, educational institutions, public utilities, government agencies and other private sector clients.

October 10, 2013: The Cross-Screen Experience w / Cameron Moll


Oh, the elusiveness of “One Web”. And yet, increasingly users treat the web as one experience — add a product to your cart from your phone during the morning commute, and finish the transaction in the afternoon at work from your desktop computer. This discussion examines what’s required to present a consistent, delightful experience to users regardless of where the experience begins, continues, and ends. You’ll learn to avoid development mistakes committed by even the most seasoned among us, and you’ll see plenty of examples from teams big and small doing it right.

About Cameron Moll

Cameron Moll is the founder of Authentic Jobs, a targeted job board for web and creative professionals. He’s the co-author of the best-selling CSS Mastery (2006, 2009) and author of Mobile Web Design (2007), a self-published title. Cameron’s work or advice has been featured by HOW, Communication Arts, PRINT, Forrester Research, National Public Radio (NPR), and many others. One of his letterpress type posters, the most recent of which can be seen at ColosseoType.com, was the recipient of the HOW 2008 In-House Design Award. Cameron resides in Sarasota, Florida, with his wife Suzanne and four sons.

August 20, 2013: Scalable JavaScript Application Architecture with Nicholas Zakas

Building large web applications with dozens of developers is a difficult task. Organizing the engineers around a common goal is one thing, but organizing your code so that people can work efficiently is another. Many large applications suffer from growing pains after just a few months in production due to poorly designed JavaScript with unclear upgrade and extension paths.

Learn the tips, tricks, and techniques that allowed large sites such as My Yahoo! and the Yahoo! homepage to continue to grow, scale, and change over time without throwing away previous work.

This talk isn’t specific to any JavaScript library, rather, it gives you new ways to apply the libraries you’re already using. The principles of good, loosely-coupled design apply to any system, and you’ll learn how this can help your application today.

May 21, 2013: Search as Communication: Lessons from a Personal Journey with Daniel Tunkelang

When I tell people I spent a decade studying computer science at MIT and CMU, most assume that I focused my studies in information retrieval — after all, I’ve spent most of my professional life working on search.

But that’s not how it happened. I learned about information extraction as a summer intern at IBM Research, where I worked on visual query reformulation. I learned how search engines work by building one at Endeca. It was only after I’d hacked my way through the problem for a few years that I started to catch up on the rich scholarly literature of the past few decades.

As a result, I developed a point of view about search without the benefit of academic conventional wisdom. Specifically, I came to see search not so much as a ranking problem as a communication problem.

In this talk, I’ll explain my communication-centric view of search, offering examples, general techniques, and open problems.

May 14, 2013: Owning Attention: Alert Design Considerations with John Allspaw

We get alerts all of the time in this connected world we live in. As engineers, we build alerts to tell us when things are not going as expected. There’s a wealth of knowledge from many non-internet fields that we can learn from in this topic. I’ll talk about alert design from the perspective of Human Factors, and the cognitive costs of alerts: data overload and underload, numbness, and trust in automation. We’ll talk about a few hints on making progress on designing alerts to be useful, not a pain in the ass.

March 5, 2013: Beyond Media Queries: An Anatomy of an Adaptive Web Design with Brad Frost

Media queries may be responsive design’s secret sauce, but we know there’s a whole lot more that goes into crafting amazing adaptive experiences. By dissecting an example of a mobile-first responsive design, we’ll uncover the principles of adaptive design and highlight some considerations for creating contextually-aware Web experiences. We’ll go over emerging mobile Web best practices and responsive patterns that can assist in our journey toward a future-friendly Web.

January 16, 2013: Trust, Security, and Society: Human Society runs on trust with Bruce Schneier

Trust, Security, and Society:  Human society runs on trust.  We all trust millions of people, organizations, and systems every day — and we do it so easily that we barely notice.  But in any system of trust, there is an alternative, parasitic, strategy that involves abusing that trust.  Making sure those defectors don’t destroy the cooperative systems they’re abusing is an age-old problem, one that we’ve solved through morals and ethics, laws, and all sort of security technologies.  Understanding how these all work — and fail — is essential to understanding the problems we face in today’s increasingly technological and interconnected world.

December 19, 2012: Design for Continuous Experimentation with Dan McKinley

The design and product process must adapt to accommodate data. This is a tour through the joys and woes of product development when experimentation and measurement are center stage. It is a case for baking honesty and humility into our methods. This is a reprise of a talk originally given at the Warm Gun 2012 conference in San Francisco.

October 16, 2012: Scaling Typekit: Infrastructure for Startups with Paul Hammond

A team of just 4 people scaled Typekit from an idea to a service delivering fonts to hundreds of thousands of websites. Paul Hammond will talk about the infrastructure that made that growth possible, including the specific technology and services used. More importantly he’ll discuss why these choices worked (or didn’t) and give you a framework for technical decisions at your startup.

August 6, 2012: Lessons Learned in E-commerce with Daniel Rabinovich

Daniel Rabinovich is CTO and SVP Product at MercadoLibre, the largest e-commerce platform in Latin America and one of the top ten in the world. Using concrete examples, Daniel shares some of the key lessons learned in the last 10 years. Main topics include solving hard UX problems, the evolution from a closed/monolithic application into an open/decoupled one, how MercadoLibre combines native mobile apps with HTML5, and a successful Facebook integration. (video)

July 26, 2012:  The Hacker Ethic and the Wars of Tech with Steven Levy

Many of us who work in technology remember reading Hackers for the first time. For many of us, it is part of why we’re in technology. Levy’s 30 years of perspective, insights, and access shape our understanding of the industry we work in, its players, its ethics, and ideas. Steven Levy is a senior writer for Wired, the former chief technology correspondent for Newsweek and the author of seven books.

July 24, 2012:  The Care and Feeding of the Passionate User with Kathy Sierra

Kathy has long written about the importance of making your users awesome, instead of trying to tell them why your product is awesome. Once you have awesome, passionate users, they tend to feel as much ownership over your product as you do.  Kathy Sierra has been applying “brain-friendliness” to everything from software to books since her days as a game developer.

June 28, 2012:  The Other Part of Software Architecture with Coda Hale

Obviously, you care about the craft of programming. You spend time honing your skills, refactoring your code, learning new techniques, and experimenting with different libraries. But did you know where you sit, who you talk to, and how you report to your manager all affect the way your software is structured? Coda Hale spoke about how organizational structures influence software and the implications for designing scalable, resilient software systems and companies. (video)

June 19, 2012: High Performance HTML5 with Steve Souders

For years, we built web apps that far outpaced the capabilities of the browsers they ran in. Just as the browsers were catching up HTML5 came on the scene – video and audio, canvas, SVG, Application Cache, Web Storage, @font-face, ContentEdible, WebSockets, Web Workers, and more. Now the browsers are racing to stay ahead of the wave that’s building as developers adopt these new capabilities. Is your HTML5 app going to ride the wave or be dashed on the rocks leaving users stranded? Learn which HTML5 features to seek out and avoid when it comes to building fast HTML5 web apps. (video)

May 24, 2012: How To Do Things With Typography, with Ellen Lupton

Typography is what language looks like it. Type is at the heart of reading and writing, books and brands, websites and magazines. Every hang tag, every mailing label, every web banner, uses typography to convey emotions and information. Ellen Lupton discussed the basic architecture of typography, showing examples both beautiful and appalling of letterforms at work. Her talk was a handy refresher course for designers and a helpful introduction for people new to the indispensable art of arranging letters in time and space. (video)

February 29, 2012: Design Pattern Craftsmanship with Jason Beaird

As designers and developers we all want to put our personal stamp on the web and solve problems in uniquely awesome ways. This mentality works fine for small jobs but tends to fall apart with big projects and team environments. Jason will explains how MailChimp’s pattern library helps their team prototype faster, promote collaboration and prevent code bloat. (video)

February 2, 2012: PHP in 2012 with Rasmus Lerdorf

A look at the state of PHP in 2012. Where are we, how did we get here and how does PHP fit into the current infrastructure ecosystem of the Web? Plus, a quick tour of what is new and cool in PHP 5.4. Rasmus Lerdorf is known for having gotten the PHP project off the ground in 1995 and has contributed to a number of other open source projects over the years. He was an infrastructure architect at Yahoo! for more than 7 years and most recently has been advising startups including WePayEtsy, and Room77. He was born in Greenland, grew up in Denmark and Canada and has a Systems Design engineering degree from the University of Waterloo. Follow @rasmus on Twitter. (video)

January 24, 2012: An Evening with Sebastian Bergmann

Sebastian Bergmann discussed the ins and outs of PHPUnit. PHPUnit is the test harness of choice for PHP developers all over the world. It has all the features you’d expect in an XUnit framework, plus awesome extras like tools for mocking database connections, and baked-in Selenium integration. At Etsy, we’re proud to be part of the PHPUnit community.

November 16, 2011: Outages, Post-Mortems and Human Error with John Allspaw

On the web, we operate complex systems. Which means when they fail, it’s not always apparent why or what can be done to learn from failure. Hear from Etsy’s SVP of Technical Operatoins about postmortem analysis, human error, and what it means to build resilience into your systems and organization. (video)

October 18, 2011: Panel: Secrets from the World of Product Design

Who does product design? Product Managers, Product Designers and Interaction Designers all come together to do one thing: create great products that people love to use. Panelists Kevin Cheng (previously of Twitter), Alex Rainert (of foursquare) and Charles Adler (of Kickstarter) join Etsy Director of Product to talk about product design. (video)

August 9, 2011: Best Practices for Gearman by Brian Moon

Brian Moon has been working with the LAMP platform since before it was called LAMP. He is web engineer for dealnews.com. He has made a few small contributions to the PHP project and been a casual participant in discussions on the PHP internals list. He is the founder and lead developer of the Phorum project, the first PHP/MySQL message board ever created. http://brian.moonspot.net/ (video)

July 28, 2011: Mike Fisher and Marty Abbott

Marty Abbott and Mike Fisher are the authors of Scalability Rules and The Art of Scalability. They are founding partners of AKF Partners, where they advise companies on scaling technology platforms, organizations, leadership, and processes. Previously, Marty was COO of the advertising technology startup Quigo, where he was responsible for product strategy and management, technology, and client services. Marty also spent nearly six years at eBay, most recently as SVP of Technology and CTO. Mike spent two years as CTO of Quigo, serving as President during the transition following its acquisition by AOL. Prior to that, Mike led a development organization of more than 200 engineers as PayPal’s VP of Engineering and Architecture. (video)

May 5, 2011: Michael Lopp

Michael Lopp is a veteran engineering manager who has worked at a variety of innovative companies including Apple Computer, Netscape Communications, Symantec Corporation, Borland International, and a startup that slowly faded into nothingness. Michael writes a popular technology and management weblog under the nom de plume “Rands”, where he discusses his management ideas, worries about staying relevant, and wishes he had time to see more of the world. His weblog can be found at http://www.randsinrepose.com.

April 27, 2011: Douglas Crockford, JavaScript: The Good Parts

Douglas Crockford was born in the wilds of Minnesota, but left when he was only six months old because it was just too damn cold. He turned his back on a promising career in television when he discovered computers. He has worked in learning systems, small business systems, office automation, games, interactive music, multimedia, location-based entertainment, social systems, and programming languages. He is the inventor of Tilton, the ugliest programming language that was not specifically designed to be an ugly programming language. He is best known for having discovered that there are good parts in JavaScript. This was an important and unexpected discovery. It has been called the first important discovery of the 21st century. He discovered the JSON Data Interchange Format. He is currently working on making the web a secure and reliable software delivery platform. He has his work cut out for him. (video)

February 11, 2011: Ryan Singer

Ryan is a Product Manager and Lead UI Designer. Since 2003, his interface and software designs for 37signals have pushed the standards of web application usability and clarity. Ryan is an internationally recognized speaker on interface design and web software production. He lives in Chicago with his wife and two french bulldogs.

June 14th, 2010: Fred Brooks

Fred Brooks, author of The Mythical Man-Month, will be at the Etsy offices on Monday, June 14th 2010 as part of the Etsy Speaker Series at 6pm EDT. In addition to The Mythical Man-Month, Brooks is also known for the paper No Silver Bullet: Essence and Accidents of Software Engineering and for founding the Department of Computer Science at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. His latest book, The Design of Design, was released last month.
He will be speaking on the topic of his choice and the event is free and open to the public!