I am in the very early stages of launching a project that I'm calling "Behind the Tech." The goal of this project is to bring to the fore the faces and stories of the engineers, computer scientists, researchers, and developers doing the critical work behind the technology permeating our lives. I hope that by doing this we will help to inspire current and future generations of technologists, put a human face on technology, and ensure that history doesn't forget key details about who was doing what at a time of pivotal and rapid change in our industry and society.
A big part of this project will be me taking portraits of engineers. (In addition to being an engineer, I am a portrait photographer. You can see my work here.) I'm going to focus mostly on women and minority engineers in the beginning because I believe that their stories are the ones most in need of telling at this particular moment in time.
The Anita Borg Institute is going to donate a 20x20 space at GHC this year for me to set up an impromptu studio, and my plan is to invite a bunch of accomplished technologists in attendance to do a 15 minute sitting with me. Before then, I'm going to try to get some portraits done of folks I know or to whom I've been referred.
I'd like to humbly ask for your help in this project by spending 15-20 minutes of your time having your portrait made, and answering a few questions about why you chose to be an engineer, and about accomplishments you consider interesting and/or important.. It should be easy peasy. I will snap a few shots while we chat.
Afterward, I'll do a bit of editing on the photo and write up what we chatted about. I'll send you a proof of your portrait, and do more editing at your direction if necessary. If for some reason you don't like the shot, I'll offer to reshoot. Once you're ok with your portrait, it will go up on http://behindthetech.org, and I may also post your portrait to my online portfolio at http://kscott.photography.
I will be asking you to sign a release, authored especially for this project by an IP and Privacy attorney. Unlike a normal photographic model release, it will only enable me to use your likeness for this project, which will include posting your portrait online, and, may include: publishing your portrait in a book; using your likeness to promote said book; exhibiting prints of your portrait (e.g., at the Computer History Museum); or selling prints of your portraits (e.g., to cover the costs of printing if you and/or your employer would like a print.)
I'm really excited about this project, and hope that you will be too. If you are interested in participating, please contact me at email@example.com.
My name is Kevin Scott. I'm currently SVP of Engineering & Operations at LinkedIn, and have worked at a bunch of places (like Google, AdMob, Microsoft, SGI/Cray Research, The University of Goettingen, and The University of Virginia) as an executive, engineer, and academic researcher. I am a Trustee of the Anita Borg Institute and The Scott Foundation, a board director at Magic, advise several companies (e.g., Pinterest), and am an active angel investor. I am also an amateur photographer. One of the persistent themes in my life is doing whatever I can to help folks enter the engineering profession and to have long, productive, happy careers. This project, for me, is an unusual but welcome combination of my interests.