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The New Relic Modern Software Podcast is designed to share insights and perspectives on the most important things happening in the world of software analytics, cloud computing, application monitoring, development methodologies, programming languages, and related topics. New Relic execs, customers, and industry experts participate in lively discussions on how to create, deliver, and manage great software experiences. New Relic, because you need to know what's happening in your software and systems... right now! (Music by Audionautix.)

Aug 21, 2019

Technology and software companies employ a wide variety of specialists, from software engineers to technical writers to user experience designers. Increasingly, though, that roster also includes anthropologists.

In this episode of the New Relic Modern Software Podcast, hosts Fredric Paul and Tori Wieldt welcome Ali Colleen Neff, PhD, a trained anthropologist and user experience researcher on New Relic's product team. She left academia and brought her skills to tech because she likes to, in her words, “watch hackers hack in their native habitats.” Her goal? To gather useful data about how New Relic users work, and then use that data to “build products that can help our customers resolve their incidents more quickly.”

We talk with Dr. Neff about how she uses her anthropology and media background to better understand how people engage with technology and how non-anthropologists can better understand the ways users engage with their products.