Sarina Simon: Influences and Influencers | Software Engineering
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Software Engineering

“The Big Short” – The Best Educational “Media” I’ve Seen In Long Time

26 Jan 2016, Posted by Sarina Simon in Advice for Edtech Aspirants, Children's Media, Distance Learning, Edtech, instructional design, Responding to RFPs, Software Engineering, women in technology

Years ago I worked for the Walt Disney Company in their Educational “Media” group.  Our mandate was to create workbooks, filmstrips (yes, filmstrips) and films for the school market. Our goal was to bring the Disney “magic” to learning and we had plenty of good examples to lead the way. Walt Disney was a master communicator.  He knew how to introduce complicated concepts to the average guy and make them understandable and appealing. Of course, he also had large budgets to work with and amazing actors (including Mickey et al) to deliver the “courses.” Our little group did not have…

How Much Work, If Any, Should You Do On Spec?

17 Nov 2015, Posted by Sarina Simon in Advice for Aspiring Producers, Advice for Edtech Aspirants, Bidding Process, Children's Media, Graphic Design, Managing Development Teams, Marketing, Mobile App Development, Responding to RFPs, Software Engineering, women in technology

I am varying from my usual format to share something I found very funny and highly relevant to the business of digital media. I recently came across this video from an ad agency in which they effectively mocked the ad industry’s  practice of expecting work on spec, also known as working for free. The ad agency, Toronto-based Zulu Alpha Kilo, released the video on November 2 and it has already garnered over 1 million views. The video suggests that no other businesses operate this way, but as developers we know that at least one more, ours, does.  (By the way my…

Meet Paul Gartner: VP Software Engineering, National Geographic Society

19 Mar 2015, Posted by Sarina Simon in Edtech, Expert Interviews, Managing Development Teams, Quality Assurance, Software Engineering

Paul Gartner has spent the last 18 years in software development—much of that time running software testing teams. Paul has tested everything from ecommerce, education and content management systems to complex order management and financial software. In the recent past he spent 12 years with K12 Inc. running their software quality assurance department. Now he is at the National Geographic Society where he runs the software engineering team. He has also worked in startups like OneSoft and Etensity as well as large development shops like Ciber. 1. You came to software engineering and quality assurance with a degree in Communication and…