1 min read

The Itchy Discomfort of Trying to Fit In

My favourite talk of the conference was from Spotify’s Rochelle King. Combining musings from years of being ‘other’ in tech with random holiday photos from colleagues (which make the slides indecipherable without context).


  • Having a meandering career path doesn’t mean you’re weak. She spoke of her fears about her weird work history with design legend John Maeda, who gave her the advice that while some people build towers – quick, tall, strong – others are dirt gatherers, that pile up dirt, move somewhere else, do it again. When the dirt gathers look up, they’ve created Mount Fuji – not as high as a tower but stronger and less likely to topple
  • Changing at Spotify and Netflix -stopping to listen and understand rather than just going in; adapting and accommodating
  • Adapting and aligning using language etc could have helped with buy in first
  • Earning a seat at a table only gos fo far sometimes you ahve to demand (something waiting too late to get engineering ot step up etc)
  • When you’re an outsider you sometimes have less to lose
  • Writing a contract – e.g. what design is responsible for (bridging strategy with UX as an expression of it) – design and state rather than ask
  • Career spectrum of adapt vs challenge