Sara Haider

Android engineer at Periscope. Previously Secretly, Vine & Twitter.

THIS CHAT HAPPENED ON October 19, 2015


Sara Haider@pandemona
I'm Sara Haider, an engineer at Periscope. I've built a few social media apps on Android, like Twitter, Vine, Secret (RIP), and Periscope. I'm also an advisor to Girls Who Code, an organization focussed on inspiring young girls to pursue technology. My hobbies include: video games, music (I love to sing!) and Las Vegas.
Ellen Pao@ekp · ex-reddit
What are some of your favorite apps that you didn't work on?
Sara Haider@pandemona
@ekp love this question. Right now, Snapchat and Facebook Messenger are on my dock. I also use the on demand stuff (Uber, Lyft, Caviar, Postmates) a LOT. I've recently started using LiveText from Yahoo and strangely enough I've found it addictive. I'm also a DAU of Spotify, Slack, Instagram, Google Photos, and Swarm. Ps Can I meet you sometime?! You're a hero.
Ellen Pao@ekp · ex-reddit
@pandemona @ekp Yes, I would love to meet! I really enjoyed your Re/Code podcast. And I'm going to check out LiveText.
Kayvon Beykpour@kayvz · Co-Founder & CEO, Periscope App
What's your favorite emoji, and why? Asking for a friend.
Sara Haider@pandemona
@kayvz my fav emoji is this one: ⛄️ it's the best response for a variety of scenarios. here are some examples: coworker: did you finish that presentation yet? me: ⛄️ drunk dude: hey baby wanna hang out me: ⛄️ mom: hi darling are you getting enough sleep? me: ⛄️
Dilyar Askar@dilyaraskar · Canadian Entrepreneur pioneering;
@pandemona @kayvz LMAO dkm.... Sara ⛄️
DW Nelson@memes4u · Co-founder, Enermind LLC
@pandemona @kayvz So your fav emoji response to people is "Chill..."? (even if it's your CEO askin :)
mike lin@mikelinsf · Founder & CEO, influencersTV
There are so few women engineers in San Francisco/Silicon Valley. What do you think can be done to bring in more 'Girls Who Code'?
Sara Haider@pandemona
@mikelinsf This is the most important question of our industry and will be for some time. It's simple: 1) Go out of your way to hire, promote, and champion women of all stages in their career in the industry. It doesn't matter what stage of company or startup you are. If you care about it, you must do this. 2) Help those who are working to inspire girls to enter the industry, like Girls Who Code. 3) Stand up against all the inequality, big and small, that you see.
Jonah@jonah · Engineer at Twitter
@pandemona after having been through the rise and fall of Secret, do you think there's still a place for mass consumer anonymous tech?
Sara Haider@pandemona
@jonah YES. Thank you for asking this. My biggest regret about Secret is that we had so many ideas - SO MANY IDEAS - on how to deal with the problems of anonymous social media, that we never got a chance to explore. And I think, especially given the quick rise of Secret, that people do need an anonymous outlet to share things they aren't comfortable sharing as themselves. I don't think any of the current suite of anonymous apps have it right, Secret (RIP) included, but I'm hopeful the next generation of anon apps will make more progress in this space and the industry will try it again.
Hang Zhao@sgzhaohang
Hi Sara, it seems that you've been working at lots of startups/teams in the past. So how did you make the decision to switch? What did you think at that time?
Sara Haider@pandemona
@sgzhaohang When I joined Vine, it was my first opportunity to build an app from the ground up and I leapt at it. When I joined Secret, I had been at Twitter for 4.5 years and I wanted to join a startup :) When I found Periscope, I fell in love with the app. None of these decisions were that difficult to make - I followed my heart each time. Leaving Twitter was hard but somehow I knew in my heart I'd be back!
Guy Mazzeo@guymazzeo
@pandemona @sgzhaohang And This Android user is happy you did come back....thank you very much
Ian Rumac@ianissoawesome · Android Developer @ Undabot
Hey Sara, after working on multiple big apps, what would you say are the biggest pain points in the development process and what steps would you take while starting on a new project to ensure future maintainability?
Sara Haider@pandemona
@ianissoawesome The temptation to overarchitect at the beginning can be a painful trap to fall into. Constantly simplify, and even when you have to refactor to re-architect something, keep simplifying throughout.
abhishek rohilla@abhishekrohilla · Product Manager
What technology stack is used at periscope to scale it for large number of concurrent users?
@pandemona Who is your favorite Periscope employee? *wink* *wink*
Jason Tolkin@jtolks · Head of BD, Virool
@tyhan1 scotch, obvi
Sara Haider@pandemona
@jtolks @tyhan1 what if i picked Lola
Lili Salzberg@lilisalzberg · Periscope
@tyhan1 It is me. duh.
JJ Tang@jjrichardtang
Hi Sara - If you could time travel back to day one of those startups (current or past) and have 15min with your former self to communicate any lessons you've acquired with the intention of saving yourself mistakes and heart ache, what would you tell yourself? ps. love that you advise girls who code, i've mentored ladies learning code before in Toronto :) It was a lot of fun!
Sara Haider@pandemona
@jjrichardtang The one piece of advice would be - read the tech blogs but don't take them to heart :) Everyone has an opinion, they don't all matter.
JJ Tang@jjrichardtang
@pandemona @jjrichardtang Thanks Sara :) what were your 2 favourite tech blogs?
Jess@jess · Senior Director of Corp Dev, Twitter
Hey Sara -- You've seen a lot of different start-ups at different stages of growth from Twitter, Vine, Secret, Periscope, etc. Across all of these, what are the common factors that make a work environment great?
Kayvon Beykpour@kayvz · Co-Founder & CEO, Periscope App
@jess 🐥
Sara Haider@pandemona
@jess The people above all. I'm so lucky to have worked with some of the best people in this industry who are passionate about what they are building.
Emeka Onu@juoemeka · Making and Selling Online Businesses
Hey Sara! I'm a data person and my question will be based on that. I have just one question 1. What is it like to be a Data Scientist at Periscope
Erik Torenberg@eriktorenberg · Former Product Hunt
Sara - how do you look at the arc of your career looking retroactively?
Sara Haider@pandemona
@eriktorenberg In the past 3 years, I've built an Android app from scratch every spring. As I look back, I've perfected this craft and gotten better at it each time. I don't know if I have it in me to do that again next spring, so I'm definitely thinking about where my career goes from here!
Taufiq Husain@taufiqhusainca · Managing Director at Polar Hills.
Hey Sara, what were some early signs that you can look back at today that you think lead to Secret's demise? I'd love to hear an insider's point of view!
Sara Haider@pandemona
@taufiqhusainca the thing about startups is that they fail most of the time. there were no "early signs", we just went through a lot of what all startups go through in a shorter period of time.
abhishek rohilla@abhishekrohilla · Product Manager
Hi Sara, what do you think went wrong with Secretly and what could have been done to avoid it?
Sara Haider@pandemona
@abhishekrohilla I'm holding on to this answer for my book deal ;) But seriously, it was a really fast rise and a really fast fall. It was like a 5 year silicon valley startup condensed into 1 year. Crazy ride.
Sam Sheffer@samsheffer · Creative Producer
Sara! No questions from me, just wanted to say hi and that you and the Periscope team are doing a fantastic job. Keep up the great work.
Sara Haider@pandemona
@samsheffer thanks Sam <3
Matthew Rappaport@nyactor · Host Comedian Social
@pandemona @samsheffer :) I concur ..Periscope +500 <3 button PUSHED, right here, right now!
Sara Haider@pandemona
Hey everyone I'm going to sign off in a few minutes!! Thanks everyone for joining and for all your thoughtful questions. ⛄️💙
Mike Coutermarsh@mscccc · Code @ GitHub
@pandemona Hi Sara! I'd love to know. How was the transition when being acquired by Twitter? How did engineering change? Are your processes still similar to before? Or entirely different?
Daniel Holmstrom@danttuh · CEO and Co-Founder @LiveRing
Hi Sara! There's a lot happening with live video right now. You're rocking with Periscope and Blab takes the interactivity even further. Do you see that live video will become all mainstream in the way that people will use live video as a way of sharing with friends, in addition to asynchronous video? I'm shamelessly asking, because that is our bet :) launching a live video app in a few weeks that lets friends share many-to-many live video.
Sara Haider@pandemona
@danttuh Live video and live streaming is here to stay. What a time to be alive.
Do you think mobile input will evolve to one handed touch typing?
Sara Haider@pandemona
@in10did not on my 6+. That shit needs 2 hands for sure :)
DW Nelson@memes4u · Co-founder, Enermind LLC
@pandemona @in10did You've got a 6+ as an Android eng? GFU!! #SaraIsSwitzerland
Sara Haider@pandemona
@memes4u @in10did i carry two phones, a 6+ and a galaxy s6.