Meetups where you’ll find Mike’s hat, Spring 2016 edition

Occasionally I’ll tell people I meet about all the meetups I have so much fun at.

Or rather, I’ll try to enumerate them all, and fail each and every time.

Primarily because there’s so many meetups I like to check in on.

So occasionally I’ll enumerate them like this, so that my friends have a valiant hope of crossing paths with me before the amazing event has passed.

Meetups I’m slavishly devoted to

Meetups I’ll attend anytime they’re alive

Meetups I sample like caviar – occasionally and cautiously

Recent additions that may soon pass the test of my time


Leaving Intel on a (commuter transit vehicle?) – New Relic here I come!

Good news. Hell, great news!!  I’ve accepted a role as Product Manager at New Relic (a very cool, local Portland-based software company). I’ll be joining them later in July – wild adventures await!

So with that simple admission comes a little Story Time: you know me, and you know I’ve grown into a well-oiled Product Owner and Interaction Designer in my work at Intel (for basically the same organization for my eight years there).  

Working for them allowed me to grow into these skills while delivering a suite of business applications, a Security Conference website and as little paperwork as I could get away with.  

[None of those fully-stocked portfolios of art pieces for me – I stopped trying to “build my portfolio” when I realized it was a textbook example of the Waste that gets in the way of thoroughly agile development.]

Using those skills, I birthed the core application out of conversations I had with team members in 2008, and shepherded it through:

  • its underground “you shouldn’t spend any time on this Mike” phase
  • a series of dev teams (man, when I was first delegated “half an engineer”, what a momentous achievement that was!)
  • many competing ‘visions’ of what it should be when it grew up, and
  • over 100 sprints of delivery – short, long, successful, abject failure, research, tech debt, “spike” (aka “we have no idea what we’re doing”), breakneck, misdirected and surprising

Recently I took on an exciting and challenging volunteer assignment with an IT team who are responsible for internal collaboration tools.  Which was both a rewarding and fast-moving learning experience – it’s incredible how much planning goes on when you have a 4:1 ratio of non-doers to doers, and it’s amazing to see how much good dev work actually happens despite that.

A little while later, a friend recommended me to a hiring manager at New Relic, who reached out for a coffee to talk about a ridiculously challenging role they’ve designed to assist their Agents teams. That conversation continued through three rounds of interviews (and a heavy-duty homework assignment!) and blew my mind by manifesting into an offer I patently couldn’t refuse.

This new PM role is both incredibly suited to my talents and brings a range of new challenges for me to tackle – I’ll be contributing to product direction for six teams in a fast-growing, revenue-focused organization with a heavy engineering bent and a lot of new customers and technologies to learn. I couldn’t be more excited about this.

So hey, if you happen to be looking for new features in the New Relic product stack, drop me a line come end of July and I’ll see if I can’t connect you to the right players (it might even be me!).  I will use my newfound powers with utmost gravity…

PDX-local Meetups in my coherent rotation

(Hah – I meant to type “current rotation” but sometimes autocorrect makes me sound much more nuanced than I meant)

Here’s where you’ll find me lurking and entertaining the not-so-innocent bystanders: meetup-in-a-bar

Occasional fly-bys:

Where’s Mike, September edition

Summer’s over, I can go back to being a couch slug and no one will be the wiser because they’re all back indoors too. I love the great indoors, with all of those mental vistas to take in.


I wanna get back in touch with you. See you here?:

Further out, I’ll be at

Where are you headed this month?

See me speak at PDMA on UX for Product Managers (May 15th)

By the way, this Thursday I’ll be joining a panel of UX geeks talking at the Product Managers Association of Portland on “User Experience – What’s the Big Deal?”  I’m going in as the resident hybrid – UX geek and Product Owner, giving me the superpower to empathize with both halves of my brain when I do a crappy job for each of them. 🙂

Here’s a twist: I finally found a use for those “view this email in a browser”, because for some reason the PDMA doesn’t have a URL-able web page describing the logistics for this event:

Hey, it’s a low-cost gathering of PO’s and PM’s getting together at the Lucky Lab for beer, food and some interesting conversation.  How bad could it be?



See me speak at Devsigner Con

My talk “Great Storytelling UX in Comics” has been accepted at the Devsigner conference here in Portland, last week of May.  I’m excited to see more wild-eyed designers discover the amazing variety of ways that comics show us how to engage the user and immerse them more fully in the reading experience.

Have you seen my talk?  If not, this is an affordable opportunity to come see me in my Superman Kilt finery.

Devsigner Con, Portland, May 23-25th.


Where’s Waldo, May edition

Upcoming speaking gig: I’ll be a co-panellist for the PDMA meetup “What’s the Big Deal About UX?”.  Talking to Product Managers and Product Owners about the challenges of integrating UX into our work – and I get to live the dream, because I wear both hats every day!

You’ll also find me at: