Steve Grunwell

Open-source contributor, speaker, and electronics tinkerer

The Huron River, flowing through Ann Arbor, MI

Software: For The People @ WordCamp Ann Arbor 2019

WordCamp Ann Arbor is a fantastic camp, run by some amazing people. The only downside to the camp is that it has a nasty habit of falling on my wedding anniversary, so it’s typically a hard-sell to drive the family up to Ann Arbor (we did it once with a one year old and yikes!).

Fortunately for me, WordCamp Ann Arbor 2019 has been moved up to August, so I’m free to travel. As such, I’m excited to announce that I’ll be giving my talk, Software: For the People, at WordCamp Ann Arbor 2019!

Software: For the People

There’s a great feeling of satisfaction that comes from building a piece of software: using only our minds and a text editor, we’ve manipulated the machine, bending it to our will. Now and forever, we shall be recognized as the technical wizards who helped…sell more cheeseburgers?!

The sad truth is that a good portion of the software we build is — in the grand scope of things — absolutely meaningless. Countless hours, an obscene percentage of our lifetimes, spent building marketing sites to convince people to buy products they don’t need. Or building web apps to collect user data, which can then be sold to the highest bidder.

At some point in your career, you may find yourself at a crossroads: continue getting paid for work that ultimately leaves you unsatisfied, or take a step back and try to give your career purpose? This talk is about the latter: how to find meaning in the work that you do; after all, aren’t we supposed to be building software to help people?

If the talk title sounds familiar, it’s because this is my first keynote talk, which I gave back in March at WordCamp Dayton 2019.

Normally, I would try to avoid giving a keynote talk as a regular session, but a talk focused on ethics and finding meaning in the work that we do…well, I’d like to give that kind of talk as often as possible.


Event details

WordCamp Ann Arbor 2019
Rackham Graduate Building
915 E. Washington St.
Ann Arbor, MI 48109 August 24 – 25, 2019

Be excellent to each other.