Changes for 2015:

  • As working professionals like yourselves, getting paid on time and in full is a core value for both Laura and myself. It's really important to us that this happen, and we're deeply sorry for the times that we weren't able to make good on that. I know I've certainly refused to work for an organization based on a history of failing to honour that most basic of agreements and we're really grateful for your patience.
  • We've hired Mary Montgomery on as our Finance Manager. Many of you know her personally, and she has experience in managing finances. All financial questions can and should be directed to her at Feel free to continue to include me on any queries, but these matters will be Mary's department from now on. With a dedicated person handling all money, we will be able to stay on top what comes up and make sure that everyone is being treated decently and properly.
  • All official contracts, reimbursement requests, evaluations, etc. should be sent directly to Laura at Laura will disperse the information from there to Mary, myself and Andi. For things like tax paperwork that contains sensitive information, if you want to mail it, please send it to Laura's address at:
  • We're going to have sample contracts available for you immediately upon starting to discuss and plan for an event, and we will get contracts to you much sooner. We've got an updated deadline schedule, that's basically the same as last year but we're going to be much stricter about enforcing it.
  • I'm going to be working closely with all instructors to provide ideation and curriculum support. We want to be clear in our publicity exactly what is being taught in each class: our biggest complaint from participants last year was that we were not accurately representing our content (though the content itself was very good!). I'm going to largely stay out of your way, but I may make suggestions about content and how to integrate with other programs. I will also draft blurbs so that you don't have to - so we'll want to put together a curriculum together in good time.
  • Like this year, I'll also be providing equipment and logistics support. Let me know what you need and I'll see what I can do. This includes if you need additional help just transporting stuff!
  • I'd ideally like to make all instructors employees and not 1099s. This will be the default assumption; if for some reason you do want to be an Independent Contractor, let Laura and I know so that we can take the appropriate steps. If you do this, I'm going to insist that you have some form of health and liability insurance. For instance, operating under your own LLC is fine.
  • Panel speakers and moderators will be 1099-ed. Please don't give yourself a papercut on your contract then fall down the stairs to the venue and impale yourself on the Tech Tools-provided bottle of water while swearing at little children.
  • The pay for a lone instructor is $50/hr for direct contact time; two instructors working in tandem is $40/hr each for direct contact time; panel speakers and moderators is $25/hr. Prep time is $25/hr, but anything over 1 hr/per instructor needs to be approved beforehand by either myself or Laura. In general we'll provide assistance doing the set up.
  • Mary and I are also working hard on our other big failure of 2014: publicity. It's no secret I both dislike and am bad at social media; we're working to have better folks rectify my shortsightedness. We've also got an active plan for marketing this year with benchmarks and goals spread throughout the year.
  • That said, we'd love it if you help promote our events, especially the ones you're involved in!
  • We are keeping the cancellation policy. In effect, if by 48 hours to the start of the class there are the same number or less of students than instructors, we reserve the right to cancel the class. You'll receive pay for your prep time and one hour of "direct contact".
  • We're doing away with walk-ups and switching to a pre-registration only model. This will help a lot with predicting class sizes, which helps everyone.
  • We will have staff present at the beginning of all events (except possibly on subsequent days of multi-day workshops) to help with registration, etc. so that you don't have to worry about it.
  • We've updated our surveys and are requiring them of participants. Please plan 10 minutes at the end of your class for participants to fill them out. They'll have a section to fill out when they arrive, but they can do that when they sign in and the staff on-site will handle that. These will help us all get better!

All this information will also be included in all your contracts from now on. Please look over your contracts when you get them this year; we've clarified and updated some language and there are some changes. Please feel free to contact me with any questions or concerns.

-Wu Chen