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Hack To Start
Episode 112

Tracy Chou

tbd. @pinterest engineer. @usds reserve. @homebrew advisor. previously @quora.

Listen to this episode on iTunes, Stitcher, & Google Music

Tracy Chou is a software engineer and was most recently at Pinterest, where she worked on the home feed and recommendations team, ads and web teams, API, growth and much more! Before Pinterest, Tracy worked at Quora, also as one of the first engineering hires there. Tracy is well-known for her work pushing for diversity in tech. In 2013, she helped kick off the wave of tech companies that began to disclose their data about the diversity within their companies through a Github repository. Tracy is now a founding member of Project Include and is focused on driving solutions in the space. She was named Forbes Tech 30 under 30 in 2014 and has been profiled in Vogue and WIRED for her advocacy. Tracy is also an advisor to Homebrew VC and on reserve with the U.S. Digital Service. She joins us to share more about her story, how she got into tech and startups, some of the amazing things she’s been able to accomplish as part of Quora and Pinterest, how she’s been challenging the status quo and championing for diversity in tech, and much more!

Main Objectives For This Episode

  • Learn more about how Tracy got into startups
  • Learn more about how Tracy was one of the first hires at both Quora & Pinterest
  • Learn more about why Tracy helped launch Project Include and what's next for them.
  • And more!

Episode Overview

Tracy Chou is a software engineer and was most recently at Pinterest, where she worked on the home feed and recommendations team, ads and web teams, API, growth and much more! Before Pinterest, Tracy worked at Quora, also as one of the first engineering hires there.

Tracy is well-known for her work pushing for diversity in tech. In 2013, she helped kick off the wave of tech companies that began to disclose their data about the diversity within their companies through a Github repository.

Tracy is now a founding member of Project Include and is focused on driving solutions in the space. She was named Forbes Tech 30 under 30 in 2014 and has been profiled in Vogue and WIRED for her advocacy.

Tracy is also an advisor to Homebrew VC and on reserve with the U.S. Digital Service. She joins us to share more about her story, how she got into tech and startups, some of the amazing things she’s been able to accomplish as part of Quora and Pinterest, how she’s been challenging the status quo and championing for diversity in tech, and much more!


What You'll Learn In This Episode

  • Learn more about how Tracy got into startups
  • How Tracy was one of the first hires at both Quora & Pinterest
  • How Tracy approaches building products and startups
  • What motivated her to help launch diversity projects and Project Include
  • And more!

Some Of The Questions We Ask

2:20
Where are you from and what did you study?

2:57
How did your passion for tech and entrepreneurship develop?

5:10
What advice would you have to share with other students or entrepreneurs looking to choose between big companies or small startups for their careers?

7:10
You joined the team at Quora early on. Can you tell us how you created the opportunity to work there and what you were working on there?

10:31
You were most recently part of the team at Pinterest. Can you tell us more about how you created the opportunity to join the team there?

11:34
What were some of the projects you were working on while you were there?

14:22
What advice would you have for founders or early employees around the mindset or approach for taking on several problems at once?

16:02
What was your day-to-day role like as a software engineer? What are some of the biggest challenges you’ve had to overcome in the industry?

19:31
You’ve also helped launch Project Include. Can you tell us a bit more about this project and what motivated you to help make it a reality?

21:57
What have been some of the early outcomes / success stories or proud moments from Project Include so far?

25:53
What are some of the most recent apps you’ve downloaded or used lately?

26:57
Any recommendations on some great content that you’ve come across lately?

30:06
Any last thoughts or personal mottos that you live by that you think others should know about?


Here are some of the most important links and resources mentioned throughout the show.

Twitter Handles & Websites

Tracy Chou on Twitter
Tracy Chou on the web
Project Include on Twitter
Project Include on the web
Fireside Conference on Twitter
Fireside Conference on the web
Tyler Copeland on Twitter
Franco Varriano on Twitter

Devices, Apps, and Books

Where Are The Numbers?
Calm
Search Inside Yourself
Revisionist History
A General Theory of Love

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