How Coming to the US Taught Me to Embrace Worry – Kevin Obbayi

From Kevin –

Growing up in a developing country, I tended to worry about my future. I had this idea in my head that if I joined college in the US, that not only will my dreams come true but life would be easy and worry free. Coming to the US taught me that regardless where you live in the world, stress and worry can be part of normal life and a great motivator to accomplish your dreams.

About Kevin

Kevin Obbayi in his own words:

I am a business analyst working for a Seattle based digital agency. I love working in web and mobile development industry. I enjoy good espresso and meaningful music. And when its not raining I longboard… oh, and I love to travel whenever I get the chance.

Lessons From Building the Universal Translator – Tanvi Surti

From Tanvi:

With the speech translation tech in Skype Translator, people can now have real-time automatically translated conversations in English, Spanish, Italian and Chinese.

But speech translation tech is far from a perfect science. This talk is about what we learn from watching first-time users experience Skype Translator for the first time, and what are the biggest (and rather unexpected) problems we face while bringing Star Trek’s Universal Translator to life.

About Tanvi
Tania Surti in her own words:

I am a Program Manager at Microsoft Research where I work on translation tech that lets people have automatically translated voice conversations over Skype.

I also like writing code, playing the piano, launching into feminist rants and taking long naps.

Tone-Deaf Diplomacy – Matthew Lee Johnston

Video game industry veteran talks about the time he tried to make video games not fun on purpose, and ended up accidentally irritating all of Japan in the process.

About Matthew

Matthew Lee Johnston is a game industry veteran, entrepreneur, inventor, musician, and skatepark advocate. He also occasionally succeeds at parenting.

Why You Should Run Away from Home – Philip Cook

From Phil:

A comparison between who you are and who you want to be. Then again, who are we really but people always chasing a better version of ourselves? Perhaps in a different place, you can be someone different. Someone better.

About Phillip

Phillip Cook in his own words:

30 year old boring CPA doing his best to remove the “boring”.

Sun Crack: Hacking Seattle’s Winter – Julia Heitz

A new Seattleite found an unusual way to survive the dreary Seattle winter with vitamin D supplements.

About Julia
In Julia’s own words:

My cousin once told a friend of hers that “I’ve had some interesting life experiences” after I thoroughly confused her friend by making a comment on chainsawing. I’m doing my best to make sure these experiences continue.

Draw a comic, save the world – Jeremy Kayes

Drawing comics and saving the world are two activities that may seem inaccessible but are really quite simple. Jer will walk us through these seemingly unrelated pursuits and hopefully inspire everyone to give one or both a try!

About Jeremy
Jeremy Kayes (Jer) is a comic artist and self-publishing advocate. His graphic novel “The Indies” is an inspirational adventure for anyone who’s ever had to weigh their big artistic dreams against the cold logistics of the real world. His club SICAGA is dedicated to actively enabling artists to both begin and complete their creative projects.

Jer pays his bills by writing software. When he’s not drawing or coding, he enjoys getting lost in the mountains with his impressively camping-savvy kitty, Zilla.

How To Get Your Teenager To Talk To You – Linda Breneman

From Linda:

Sometimes teenagers don’t want to talk to their parents. As a mom, I got worried when my kid didn’t keep me informed. So I tried a few experiments to improve our relationship. The thing that worked the best was playing video games together. I started playing video games to connect with my teenager, and then I started to love them for their own sake.

About Linda
Linda Breneman is a writer, a reader, a movie fan, and a gamer. She co-founded Seattle’s literary center, Richard Hugo House in 1996 and now she’s the publisher of Pixelkin.org. She loves Jane Austen, mysteries, everything sci-fi, and cockapoo dogs.