The best way I’ve found to do that is to connect with the people I am building for so I can build from a place of empathy, connection, and need.
After Stanford, I did a master’s degree in public policy, a non-technical field, because I knew that my destiny was somehow dedicated to the cross-section of technology and people. From there I went into tech. At Facebook now I head up a team called Security Operations. Security in the high-tech space is designed to keep users safe, and in Facebook’s case, our goal is to keep users safe on the platform. People ask all the time, ‘How do you take a degree in electrical engineering and apply it to this problem space?’ And actually, there’s not a clear relationship between the two. My work now, in large and small ways, focuses on how to keep the masses of people safe on Facebook, but it also focuses on how to think about the safety of non-classic users. For example, the user who is fighting for human rights. Or the user who has been bullied, or the user who has been subjected to sextortion. We take that mission very, very seriously. It takes me back to the part of engineering that matters most: the empathy to the user. The empathy toward the user whose lives we are most affecting.