Get to Know the Avalon Team: Julie Rudder


In our series "Get to Know the Avalon Team," we're providing a closer look at the individuals who are working each day to develop the Avalon Media System.

Julie Rudder

Julie is one of two product owners for the Avalon Media System project. She works at Northwestern University Library and for the past five years has been helping faculty and graduate students incorporate digital media into teaching and research. Julie has experience in media streaming technologies and user facing support for use of media in the teaching and learning environment.


Can you talk a bit about your role in the project?

I am a product owner on the Northwestern side. In collaboration with Mark Notess from Indiana, I spend time trying to understand and communicate the needs Avalon users. Together, we wrangle the project priorities and end user needs while trying to decide what needs to be worked on and when. This work gets translated into user stories and organized into two-week cycles (sprints) of development.  


What is a typical work week like for you?

I spend a lot of time chatting with my counterpart, Mark Notess. It's important for us to be in sync with each other about what a story means and what it should look like. One thing I've learned through being a product owner is that availability is key.  Being available to team members to answer questions or think through issues very quickly helps us all stay on track and get work done in the two-week cycle. My role at Northwestern is Digital Initiatives Project Manager, so when I'm not working on Avalon, I'm working on other repository related projects.  


What apps/software/gadgets can't you live without?

I love Google Reader so I'm going to shed a few tears in July when it goes away.  Oh, and Netflix.


When you’re not working, what can you be found doing? 

I am generally happiest near the ocean, shelling or fishing. However in Evanston/Chicago I settle for the lake.  In cold weather, I turn to karaoke.  I am also involved in the art community in Chicago – currently on my plate is a show I'm curating at Hyde Park Art Center called Light and the Unseen.