March 3rd / 40 Min

The New York Times’ Natalya Shelburne: Bridging the designer and developer divide by building trust

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Natalya Shelburne

Natalya Shelburne

Tech Lead for Design Engineering, The New York Times
About The Episode

Natalya Shelburne, tech lead for Design Engineering at The New York Times, sits at a fascinating crossroad of design and development. She leads a team of front-end developers, and brings her own experience as a designer and art director to her current role.

We chat with Natalya about her move from design to front-end dev, and some of the fears she faced along the way. We also talk about her approach to bridging design and dev, and what she brings from her prior career as a teacher into product design.


      • Ways to approach the unnecessary dichotomy between designers and engineers
      • Why respect is key to developing good cross-functional partnerships
      • How to overcome fear of moving into a technical role as a designer


Natalya Shelburne is currently a tech lead at The New York Times leading a team of engineers. She is a system thinking and architecture-deciding developer, design system maker, product and visual designer, illustrator, speaker, teacher, and drinker of coffee. (www.artist-developer.com)

Her interests now are in scaling her efforts and building teams. She loves all things design and frontend, from creating design systems, to architecting front ends with React. She’s also very interested in community building and creating mentorship opportunities.

Meet Your Hosts

Aarron Walter
VP of Design Education

Aarron Walter is Director of Product on the COVID Response team at Resolve to Save Lives. Previously, he was VP of Design Education at InVision, and founded the UX practice at Mailchimp where he helped grow the product from a few thousand users to more than 10 million. He’s the author of a number of books, the latest of which is a second edition of Designing for Emotion. Aarron’s design guidance has helped the White House, the US Department of State, and dozens of major corporations, startups, and venture capital firms.

You can find Aarron on Twitter and LinkedIn.

Eli Woolery
Director of Design Education

Eli is the Director of Design Education at InVision. His design career spans both physical and digital products, and he has worked with companies ranging from startups (his own and others) to Fortune 500 companies.

In addition to his background in product and industrial design, he has been a professional photographer and filmmaker. He teaches the senior capstone class Implementation to undergraduate Product Designers at Stanford University. You can find Eli on Twitter and Medium.

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