Hi! It takes more than engineering skills to make your company successful. Let's talk about it.

Accepted Session
Short Form
Scheduled: Tuesday, June 20, 2017 from 4:45 – 5:30pm in B202/203


Let's be real: tech companies value engineering skills over most other skills, and it shows in both salaries and decisionmaking. This talk is about why this happens, why it's problematic, and how we can refocus importance on all the skills that make companies successful.


If you work in a tech company and your title doesn’t contain the word “engineer”, you probably know what it’s like to be paid less (and given fewer decisionmaking opportunities) for working just as hard as your full-time programmer counterparts — albeit usually on slightly different problems. But the reality is that your company wouldn’t work without the hard work of every single team, whether it’s engineering, communications, support, marketing, or HR. This talk is about the “skill hierarchy” phenomenon — why certain skills are valued above others, why this is problematic for the industry, and how we can realign our companies to reality: that everyone’s work is important and should be treated as such.


tech companies, hiring, management, skills, equality

Speaking experience

I've spoken at a variety of events and conferences since 2013, including Open Source Bridge (2015), FOSS4G-NA (2016, 2015), FOSS4G International (2014), Maptime events (2013-2017), Code for America Summit (2014), Humanitarian OpenStreetMap Team Summit (2014), NACIS (2014, 2015, 2016), Ignite Portland (2013), Ignite Oakland (2014), PDXGit (2012), and a variety of webinars with universities and organizations. Videos and slides from all of my talks are available on my website: lyzidiamond.com/talks.


  • Lyzi

    Lyzi Diamond



    Lyzi Diamond is an educator, community organizer, and developer working primarily with geospatial technology. She is the Education Lead at Mapbox where she creates and promotes tutorials, workshops, and documentation for Mapbox tools and heads up the Mapbox Education initiative. Lyzi is also a co-founder of Maptime, an international, open source educational community for small-group learning about open source spatial analysis, web mapping, and general geographic goodness. Formerly, Lyzi was a 2014 Fellow at Code for America and a GIS Technician at the Oregon Department of Geology and Mineral Industries. She holds a dual-degree in Geography and Planning, Public Policy, and Management from the University of Oregon, and she currently resides in Oakland, CA.