Exploring UX Research with Megan Brown

On this episode of Ruby for All, Andrew and Julie are excited to have as their guest, Megan Brown, who’s a Product Manager, UX Researcher, and Julie’s mentee.  In today’s conversations, we’ll cover various topics related to coding and career advice.  Megan tells us what UX research is, how UX Researchers and engineers have a lot in common, and she talks about the importance of user research in product development.  Also, since Megan is now in school for computer science, she shares her journey and how it started when she was working at Microsoft. There’s a conversation on the importance of learning different programming languages, and some career advice for someone interested in mobile and web development. Hit download now to hear more!

[00:01:26] Megan gives us a brief introduction of herself, and she tells us how psychology helps with UX design, and how she met Julie, who ended up being her mentor.  

[00:03:09] We hear how Megan’s journey happened for her from being a project manager to UX researcher. 

[00:04:38] Megan explains what UX research is, the difference between UX and UI designers, and the value in having dedicated professionals in both areas.

[00:07:02] Find out how you it might be useful for you to learn more about UX research, as Megan suggests that engineers can benefit from learning how to conduct their own research and she outlines some steps for conducting usability studies. 

[00:11:46] Julie is realizing the value of user research in her work and how it can avoid wasting time on unnecessary features or cluttering pages with links that users may not use. 

[00:14:18] We hear what Megan would say to the engineer who knows what the users want, doesn’t need UX, and is in the early stages of this.

[00:15:33] Megan is learning to code, so she shares her journey and how it started. 

[00:16:43] Julie tells us about the first course she’s competed so far and has found that starting with Python has been more fun than starting with Java due to its ease of use.

[00:17:56] There’s a discussion on the importance of learning different programming languages to understand object-oriented programming and to appreciate the strengths and weaknesses of different languages. 

[00:21:53] Andrew, Julie and Megan have a conversation about career advice for someone who’s interested in both mobile and web development, and they talk about the growing trend of mobile development and the potential for making a living as a solo developer in mobile development. 

[00:26:02] Even though Andrew and Julie are not mobile developers, they offer some great tips for becoming a mobile developer, such as building projects, getting internships, or apprenticeships. 

[00:28:09] Megan tells us what she enjoyed about working in Python, Julie gives some encouraging words for Megan, her mentee, and Andrew mentions the importance of understanding one’s code. 

[00:31:54]  Find out where you can follow Megan online. 

Andrew Mason
Julie J.

Megan Brown



  • (01:26) - Introduction and psychology's role in UX design
  • (03:09) - From project manager to UX researcher
  • (04:38) - Understanding UX research and its value
  • (07:02) - Benefits of engineers learning UX research
  • (11:46) - Value of user research in product development
  • (14:18) - Convincing an engineer of the importance of UX
  • (15:33) - Megan's journey into learning to code
  • (16:43) - Julie's experience with learning Python
  • (17:56) - Importance of learning different programming languages
  • (21:53) - Career advice for mobile and web development
  • (26:02) - Tips for becoming a mobile developer
  • (28:09) - Enjoyment of working in Python
  • (31:54) - Where to follow Megan online.

Creators and Guests

Andrew Mason
Andrew Mason
Senior Product Developer at Podia, co-host of the Remote Ruby podcast, and co-editor of the Ruby Radar newsletter
Julie J
Julie J
Software developer at Codecademy
Exploring UX Research with Megan Brown
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