Illustration by Angie Wang
Odds & Ends

Mindtribe Celebrates Women in Hardware

We had the pleasure of teaming up with the Women in Hardware community to host a meetup in our newly acquired upstairs space. You can call this was our version of a space-warming party.

Led by Kate McAndrew (Founder of Women in Hardware), this inspiring group is comprised of CEOs, engineers, investors, manufacturers, and marketers with a mission to unite and amplify the voices of women in connected hardware.

In today’s social, political, and economic landscape where – let’s face it – women are vying for equality across the board, it’s comforting to know that communities like this exist and are committed to “helping other women be even more badass.” In celebration of women’s history month, hosting this event was our way of highlighting the accomplishments of women in the hardware space including our very own badass ladies. So, we ecstatically opened our doors and welcomed over 50 guests to enjoy an evening of mixing, mingling, and engaging content.

Women in hardware attendees waiting for the content piece to start.

Two members of our team, Alison Thurber (Electrical Engineering Manager) and Angela Chu (Mechanical Engineer), gave an informative talk on reliability and functional testing. They focused on how to get your product – the way you want it – out the door. These ladies have worked on dozens of projects – taking products from napkin-sketch concepts through to mass production.

Kate shouting out the ladies on Twitter before they give their talk.

The talk drew in tons of questions and comments from the audience who, unbeknown to us, were situated in similar phases in the product development cycle (design, development, and verification).

An overview of the product development process.

We started with a high-level overview: defining testing, highlighting the various categories, and outlining what types of tests you should be considering in the design, development and verification phases.

Reliability and functional testing in the product development process.

We even mocked up a sample case study to reveal best practices, illustrate tests and procedures, and emphasize the intricate testing details that go into releasing a successful hardware product.

The final portion of the presentation was dedicated to calling out some of the common pitfalls that may arise when testing products. As a consultancy, we have the incredible opportunity to work on diverse projects and, as a result, a variety of technical challenges. Pulling from her breadth of technical experience, Alison highlighted some of the major themes and offered proactive solutions. The segment concluded with Angela providing five key takeaways:

  • Tailor testing to the phase
  • Integrate testing early and often
  • Don’t underestimate the level of testing required
  • Prioritize testing and prioritize what you test
  • Reliability matters

Alison and Angela taking questions from the audience.

As a woman working in the hardware space, this event was incredibly empowering. I left with more connections, information, and confidence than I started out with. I’ll admit, I am no technical expert – in fact, I find the jargon to be a little intimidating – but, I was able to, as Kate exhorts, “meet someone new and learn something new.”

One of the attendees , Joanna Ma, put together some creative sketchnotes from our talk. Source: Joanna Ma