Your Trainers

Debbie Levitt

CEO of Ptype UX & Product Design Agency

Trainer on days 1 & 2

Debbie Levitt has been a UX strategist, designer, and corporate trainer since 1995. Back then, she was strategizing websites for The Miss America Organization, Schering-Plough, local businesses, and customizing large eCommerce sites before off-the-shelf systems were a thing. On the side, she taught school teachers to write HTML and stop stealing images off the web.

As a “serial contractor” who lived in the Bay Area for most of this decade, Debbie has influenced interfaces at Sony, Wells Fargo, Constant Contact, Macys.com, Oracle, and a variety of Silicon Valley startups. She has been a UX team of one, one in a UX department of 50 practitioners, a team leader, and a mentor to UX juniors.

Clients have given her the nickname, “Mary Poppins,” because she flies in, solves the problems, improves everything she can, sings a few songs, and flies away to her next adventure. One client nicknamed her, “Tenacious D.” Wherever she goes, she’s a change agent. 

Debbie has presented at conferences including eBay’s Developer Conference, PayPal’s Developer Conference, UXPA, and WeAreDevelopers. She is an O’Reilly published author, one of few instructors on the planet recommended by Axure, and has released a number of courses on her Ptype Academy website. Trainees have included employees of Oracle, Salesforce, NBC Universal, Intuit, CBC (Canadian Broadcasting Corporation), Sephora, Newport News Shipbuilding, and consultancies including Razorfish, Fjord, Rauxa, and Slalom Consulting.

When not training, Debbie is shepherding Ptype UX & Product Design Agency, where she and her team perform User-Centered Design magic with special attention to user advocacy and accessibility.

Outside of UX work, and sometimes during UX work, Debbie enjoys singing symphonic prog goth metal, opera, and New Wave. She’s now a Digital Nomad splitting her time between the USA and rural Italy.

 

Steve Eakin

CEO of Startup Black Belt

Trainer on day 3

Steve Eakin is a tech executive, consultant, speaker, startup founder / investor / adviser. He is the CEO of Startup Black Belt, where he helps people and companies build, grow and scale their startups. He’s also the CTO of VenPath, which allows apps to create new revenue streams from their data.

In the startup and big corporate space (Amazon, Experian, Hearst, Acotel) Steve has spent (and saved) millions of dollars hiring technical talent, worked with billions of rows and terabytes of data, and had hundreds of millions of monthly users on his platforms.

Steve’s specialties include scaling and growing tech, apps, and SaaS; Engineering team leadership; technical and web security; and Lean development approaches. Steve’s also a PHP developer with emphasis on full stack web development, micro-services, JavaScript, SQL, and Amazon Redshift.

Besides his wife and children, changing the world through groundbreaking tech is his favorite thing. Also tacos and coffee. He’s also a Jeet Kune Do black belt.

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