Blithe Rocher

Not your average engineering manager.

  1. About
  2. Blog
  3. Résumé



Blithe Rocher is an Engineering manager based in Alameda, California. She uses a background in chemistry to help her team deliver data-driven user interfaces and APIs.

Her experience as a backend engineer writing Python and Ruby gives her the ability to advise teams of software engineers and help influence architecture decisions.

Because her path to the tech industry was non-traditional, Blithe continues to focus on building inclusive teams and helping to grow the careers of underrepresented groups.

Professional Experience

Engineering Manager, November 2019 - Present
San Francisco, CA

Looker was acquired by Google in February 2020.

As an Engineering Manager at Google, Blithe manages teams and engineering managers across global timezones in the Business Intelligence organization.

The teams within Blithe's organization (including Integrated Experiences, Dashboard Experience, and Discovery & Navigation) help Looker customers consume data-rich content both inside and outside of the Looker application.

Blithe focuses on the growth of her team members and the iterative improvement of organizational processes to ensure teams are delivering high-quality user experiences and maintainable engineering infrastructure.

Senior Engineering Manager, October 2019 - November 2019
San Francisco, CA

As a Senior Engineering Manager, Blithe balanced growing her team and the application engineering organization with the delivery of technical products. She was able to use her strong technical skills to guide the product roadmap and optimize shipping features that improve customer experiences. She developed her team members through coaching and mentorship and contributed to the larger organization through recruiting, interviewing, and helping to shape diversity and inclusion efforts.

Engineering Manager, September 2017 - October 2019
San Francisco, CA

Initial public offering (FSLY) in May 2019.

As an engineering manager at Fastly, Blithe manages a team of frontend and backend developers to deliver UIs and APIs used to modify settings that generate the Varnish Configuration Language (VCL) used in Fastly cache servers.

Blithe collaborates with team members, consultants, designers, and customers using agile development methodologies to ensure delivery of quality code that solves problems. She contributes to the open-source community through code, documentation, teaching, and speaking.

In addition to maintaining existing configuration UIs and APIs, Blithe's team is responsible for building user interfaces for new products and workflows including the following:

  • Image Optimization
  • Load Balancer
  • Improvements to the configuration homepage
  • One-click configurations
  • Onboarding overhaul
Software Engineer, July 2015 - September 2017
San Francisco, CA

As an individual contributor, Blithe used Ruby to build RESTful web APIs as part of the core engineering team. She helped to upgrade many API endpoints to conform to the JSON API specification.

In addition to maintaining existing API endpoints and functionality, Blithe helped build the APIs and UIs for following products for Fastly:

  • Event Logs - used for auditing who did what, when
  • Web Application Firewall (WAF) - used to detect and log or block malicious request traffic
  • Role-based Access Control (RBAC) - used to grant more granular access permission
  • Image Optimization - used for real-time image manipulation and optimization
  • Load Balancer - used to distribute and direct incoming requests to pools of origin servers
Software Engineer, October 2014 - July 2015
The Groundwork
Brooklyn, NY

Acquired by Timshel in April 2015.

As a software engineer at The Groundwork, Blithe helped launch the backend APIs powering Hillary Clinton's 2016 presidential campaign website at

She used Python and Django to build RESTful web APIs and web applications as part of a highly-scalable, fault-tolerant, distributed system.

Blithe was known on the team for her thorough documentation and test coverage.

Web Developer, July 2013 - October 2014
Big Nerd Ranch
Atlanta, Georgia

As a web developer at Big Nerd Ranch, Blithe used Ruby on Rails to develop web applications for clients. She worked on a variety of applications from a large Service-oriented architecture (SOA) system comprised of multiple Rails applications to creating lightweight, greenfield applications from scratch.

Blithe also helped teach a week-long course designed specifically for other developers to learn how to build web-based, database-backed applications using the Ruby programming language.

Developer Intern, May 2013 - July 2013
Big Nerd Ranch
Atlanta, Georgia

As an intern, Blithe used Ruby on Rails to develop web applications used internally by other Big Nerd Ranch developers and employees. She also gained valuable experience by working on external client projects.

Presentations & Talks

OSCON 2016
"Microservices War Stories" (slides, video)
May 18, 2016
Austin, Texas
FutureTalks at New Relic
"The Scientific Method of Troubleshooting" (slides, video)
August 10, 2015
Portland, Oregon
GoGaRuCo 2014
"The Scientific Method of Troubleshooting" (slides, video)
September 20, 2014
San Francisco, California
Distill 2014
"The Scientific Method of Troubleshooting" (slides, video)
August 8, 2014
San Francisco, California
eurucamp 2014
"The Scientific Method of Troubleshooting" (slides, video)
August 2-3, 2014
Potsdam, Germany
eurucamp 2014
"Outside Panel: Good Software Design"
August 2, 2014
Potsdam, Germany
Rails Girls Athens
"Dr. Intern: Why I became an intern with a PhD" (pdf)
April 5, 2014
Athens, Georgia
Madison Ruby
"From PhD to Developer" (as part of Hype Harvest)
August 22, 2013
Madison, Wisconsin
RailsBridge Savannah
"Ruby Programming for Beginners" (RailsBridge curriculum)
July 13, 2013
Savannah, Georgia
Rails Girls Atlanta
"Participant to Coach in 23 Weeks" (pdf)
May 11, 2013
Atlanta, Georgia

Podcast Appearances

Managing Up
"Transitioning into Management with Blithe Rocher"
January 7, 2019
The Women in Tech Show: A Technical Podcast
"From Scientist to Software Developer with Blithe Rocher"
July 19, 2016


PhD, Physical Chemistry, 2011
University of Southern California
Los Angeles, California
B.S., Chemistry, 2005
Southwestern University
Georgetown, Texas


Ruby, Sinatra, Rails, TDD, RSpec, Capybara, Chef, Python, Django, Flask, JavaScript, jQuery, CoffeeScript, CSS, Sass, MySQL, SQLite, PostgreSQL, HTML, PHP