Venture Capital Tech Recruiter and Design Guru Share Best Advice for Succeeding in Silicon Valley

In the latest episode of the Voices of KPCB podcast, KPCB design partner John Maeda and talent partner Andy Chen speak to Elaine Zhou, a current KPCB Engineering Fellow, and Viraj Bindra, a former Design Fellow.

Elaine and Viraj share their insights on how they have been successfully able to navigate between the engineering and design disciplines, which are seeing increasing overlap in the tech industry. This crossover is often daunting, so the group delves into the critical questions of how an engineer can learn more about design, how a designer should approach a career path in tech, and how a cross-disciplinary summer internship can really optimize professional development.

Below are the show notes from this episode:

0:00 -1:04 Intro to the KPCB Fellows program

1:04 – 1:51 How important is design?

1:51 – 2:43 Should designers code?

2:43 – 4:09 Why join the Fellows program instead of just joining a startup?

4:09 – 5:58 How are you going to make the most of your time in the program?

5:58 – 7:38 What advice would you give to a student wanting to get into the program?

7:38 – 9:05 What advice would you give to an engineering student interested in learning design?

9:05 – 10:11 Were you surprised to learn that many design leaders are self-taught?

10:11 – 10:51 Do designers ever approach you to learn how to engineer, or write code?

10:51 – 12:08 What advice would you give an aspiring designer?

12:08 – 13:02 What advice would you give to someone interested in the intersection of engineering and humanities?

13:02 – 14:42 In this age of social media, how important is investing time in face-to-face interactions?

14:42 – 16:06 What is your advice for people who want to succeed in design or tech?

16:06 – 18:02 With all the great opportunities out there, how do you decide what is worth doing?