Renee Carney

Ask Technology & Engineering Leadership

Blog Post created by Renee Carney Administrator on Jun 11, 2019

Presentation Blog


Presentation Title

“Ask Technology & Engineering Leadership” has been a popular and highly attended session at InstCon for the past 2 years, so let’s do it again.  This session is your opportunity to ask your burning questions of Instructure’s engineering leadership team.


Who's on the panel?

Hilary Scharton, VP of K12 Strategy
Jared Stein, VP of Higher Education Strategy
Matt Fairbourn, VP of Quality Assurance
Melissa Loble (Instructure), SVP of Customer Success & Partnerships
Steve Townsend, VP of Canvas Engineering


What question topics can they cover?

  • Technical direction—APIs, Data access, standards, open source, micro-services, mobile, events/async notification
  • State of the art development and operations protocols: Amazon Web Services, security, ensuring quality and reliability, code deploys, monitoring and alerting
  • Product strategy
  • Availability, accessibility, and platform performance


How can I participate?

This year, just like years prior, you'll have the opportunity to submit your questions in advance, as well as vote on submitted questions that you’d like to see answered. Here’s how:


Submit a Question:

  1. Read the question examples below, then construct your own.
  2. Post your question as a comment to this thread


Vote on a question you’d like answered:

About one week before InstructureCon we will post a survey of all questions. You’ll be able to rank the questions listed by importance to you.


Attend the Session:

Check the schedule for the time, date, and location—and we look forward to seeing you there!





What are some question examples?

The leadership panel is a high-level strategy conversation that is not intended to address tactical questions about specific product development. So what are some examples of strategic, high-level questions? Here’s a few:


Strategic: Why do you release as frequently as you do?

Overly tactical: Our school needs you to release code every 6 weeks instead of 3; will you make that change, please?


Strategic: I hear you guys do hackweeks. What is it and what has come from it?

Overly tactical: Will you please assign one of your engineers to develop [this one feature] during their hackweek?


Strategic: I hear a lot about cyber attacks around the world. What does Instructure do to prevent unauthorized access? Have there been any breaches?

Overly tactical: How do I sign up to participate in your Bug Crowd hacking program?


Strategic: How much money and time do you spend on R&D? How much is spent on new features? How much on maintenance? How much on HigherEd? How much on K12?

Overly tactical: How many engineers do you have on the Gradebook project?


Strategic: How do you prioritize and allocate resources for your product roadmap?

Overly tactical: Why isn’t Quizzes.Next at parity with Canvas quizzes yet?



InstructureCon 2019

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