DevDay 2015, Inspiration, and a quick look back…

So far this year, which is obviously nowhere near finished yet, I have had some amazing experiences. From .NET Fringe, Polyglot 2015, Progressive .NET Tutorials 2015, to Dev Day 2015 and more. I decided to add a little bit more of a personal note in this blog entry because of inspiration I just got from Michał Śliwoń (@mihcall) on his Dev Day 2015 Aftermath write up.

Just as Michał writes,

“Inspiration is like a spark. It can be one brilliant presentation at the conference, one sentence at some session, one hallway conversation with another attendee and I’m excited, coming back with a head full of new ideas. Every conference has this little spark”

and I completely agree. At .NET Fringe I got back into a few things on the .NET CLR stack, namely F# and a little toying around with Akka .NET and micro-services using those technologies. I also had a hand in organizing and the origins of the conference, which I wrote about. At Polyglot 2015 my desire increased to become more familiar with and comfortable with functional programming languages. At the Progressive .NET Tutorials I was again inspired to dive deeper into functional languages and take a look more closely at everything from Weave and other container and virtualization based systems.

Thrashing Code News

One things that this led me to, is to start putting together a list of people who are interested in these types of conferences. I’m talking about the really down to earth, nitty gritty, get into the weeds of the technology, and meet the people building and using that technology everyday conferences. This list, you can sign up for here and do read the article just below the sign up page, as this is NOT some spam list. I’ll be putting in real effort and time to put together good content when the list officially kicks off! I will blog about, and of course get that first email out about Thrashing Code News in the coming months.

Again at Dev Day I was also inspired by many people and got to meet many people. Which leads me to the number one thing that makes these conferences absolutely great. It’s all about the people who attend.

The People

I got to meet Rob Conery (@robconery / We hung out, had beers, talked shop, talked surfing, talked tech and training screencast, discussed future bad ass conferences (again, sign up to my list and I’ll keep you abreast of any mischievious conference Rob & I dive into) and tons more. It was seriously kick ass to meet Rob, especially after not getting a chance to at what must have been a gazillion conferences he and I have both been at before!

I finally met Christian Heilmann (@codepo8) who I also think we must have both been at a gazillion of the same conferences and somehow managed to not meet each other. Good conversation, talk of Seattle, other devlish code happy things – and hopefully a beer or two to be had with good Christian in the near future in Seattle or Portland (or thereabouts).

I had the fortune of running into Alena Dzenisenka (@lenadroid) again doing what she does, which is tell, teach, and show people a whole of awesome F# handiwork. For instance at Dev Day she was throwing down some machine learning math and helping to get people started. She’s also got some talks lined up near the Cascadian (that’s Seattle and Portland, but also San Francisco and Dallas!!) lands if you haven’t noticed, so come get inspired to sling some functional code!

On day one the keynote by Chad Fowler (@chadfowler) was excellent. I’d not realized he was a fellow who escaped the south like I had all while playing a bunch of music! I was able to catch Chad and chat a bit on day two of the conference. His presentation was great, and he’s motivated me to give his book Passionate Programmer a read.

Another individual who I’d been aiming to meet, Mathias Brandewinder (@brandewinder), was also at the conference. I even attended some of his workshop and learned a number of things about F# and machine learning. I’m definitely inspired to dig deeper into many of the machine learning realm and start figuring out more of the truly amazing things we can do with computers and machine learning algorithms – I honestly feel like we’ve only skimmed the surface for much of this technology. Mathias also has a book, that is truly worth buying titled “Machine Learning Projects for .NET Developers“. If you’re curious, yes, I have the book and am working through it steadily!  🙂

Gary Short (@garyshort) provided an amazing talk on digging into crop yields via the European Space Agency Data Science Project. I also enjoyed the multiple conversations that I was able to have with Gary from the talk of “really really really awesomely excited Americans” vs. “excited Americans” all the way to the talks on the matter of data science and crop yields themselves. Gary’s talk is linked below, so get a dose of the crop yields yourself, and any complaints be sure to send to his @robashton twitter account!  (But seriously, you should follow Rob Ashton too as he’s got a lot of good twitter nuggets).

Another person I was super stoked to run into again is Tomas Petricek (who I hear might be in the Cascadian lands of the Seattle area in a month or so). I met Tomas at Progressive .NET Tutorials in London and enjoyed a number of good conversations, and his general awesome personality and hilarious demeanor! Not sure I mentioned, but he’s got some wicked F# chops too. He spoke about Understanding the World with Type Providers, which is something that you should watch as it’s an interesting way to wrap one’s mind around a lot of ideas.

I also, after many random conversations about a whole host of conversation in Functional Programming Slack (follow the link to sign up) chats, got to meet Krzysztof Cieślak (@k_cieslak). Krzysztof (and if you can’t pronounce his name just keep trying, you’ll get it right sometime around 2023) was great to meet and catch up with in person. Also great to hear tidbits about what he’s working on since he’s driving some really cool projects, including working on projects like Ionide Project for the Atom Editor.

There are so many people I enjoyed chatting with and getting to meet, which I really wish I had more time to hang out and chat or hack with everybody more. I met so many other individuals, that I already feel like a prick for not being able to write something about every single awesome person I’ve had a chance to speak with at Dev Day and the subsequent days after the conference. To those I didn’t, sorry about that, drinks and dinner are on me when you’re in Portland!

…on that note, get subscribed to Thrashing Code News so I can update you when the rumblings and dates of the next kick ass conferences, hackathons, hacking festivals, or other great materials, learnings, or such come up. In addition, get inspired to speak, or get involved in some way and help make the next conference you attend as kick ass as you’d want it to be! It’s easy, just fill out your name and email here.

…and to Michał and Rafał I’ll be following up with you guys on some of my next confrence efforts coming up in the Cascadian Pacific Northwest (i.e. Seattle/Portland area)! Cheers!

Help Out Getting a List and Finding The Most Bad Ass Conferences of 2014!!

A Smiling Crowd!

A Smiling Crowd!

Last year I kicked off something that turned into one of the most comprehensive lists of conferences out there. I’d love to get the communities’ help again! Are you going to any conferences? Looking for conferences to attend? Looking to submit talks, hear someone speak or figuring out what conferences are in places you want to visit?

Node PDX

Node PDX

Dive into the list in this public Google Doc and help update it with 2014 conferences. New year, time for a new list! In case the link doesn’t copy and paste the link below into your browser, it’ll get you navigated straight into the spreadsheet.

So far I’ve kicked off the list with Node PDX, missing a few details since it’s unannounced so far, but I know they’ll be announced soon enough. Cheers!

  • Node PDX 2014 (still shows old site, but get info on it by checking out the site!)

So, what’s next on the list?


Could you answer a few questions about hackathons for me?

Hacking Hackathons

Hacking Hackathons

Recently I was talking to Jeff Martens of CPUsage about Hackathons. A few questions came up about what would make a hackathon fun, exciting and worth your time. Here’s a few questions, that I’d love to have a conversation about…

  • What type of hacking would you or do you prefer to do at a Hackathon? Hardware Hacking? Software Hacking?
  • How important are the prizes?
  • What should the prizes or rewards be?
  • How many people should attend that would actually make the Hackthon fun?
  • Have you attended, and if so, what was the coolest thing about the hackathon to you?
  • Are hackathons better as 1 day or 2 days or more?
  • Should hackathons be during the week or the weekend?

…and as you can imagine, there’s a million other questions. What’s your take on hackathons? Got a few thoughts? Throw down a comment or two, much appreciation for your thoughts, next beer is on me!  😉

Node PDX – Introducing Ward Cunningham, Nexxy, Jerry Seivert and Hannah Fousanon!

Here’s the first of a series of introductions for the upcoming Node PDX Conference here in bright and sunny Portland, Oregon!

…and no, that isn’t sarcasm, it’s the summer time now so we’re allowed to have sun and warm weather! With that, the speakers for Node PDX!

Ward Cunningham presenting…

My Sensors Love Node.js

Ward Cunningham

Ward Cunningham

Who’s Ward? In his own findings, “The Oregonian describes me as the Old Growth of the Silicon Forest. I appreciate the thought but move way too fast to be compared to trees. Think of me as your intellectual immune system separating good technology infections from bad. Ditch that fever. Go with node.

As Ward describes this presentation, “I’ve tested a half-dozen home sensor integration technologies over as many years and learned something important about architecture with each generation. I’ve replaced Arduino hardware with Teensy which offers much better USB support. I’ve replace C++ with Perl then with Ruby/Sinatra and now Node/Wiki each time feeling the fresh air of a more friendly and dynamic environment. I’ve plotted results with ascii-art, java-2d, flot and now d3.js which can be a career in itself. I’ll share the good parts of each of these and suggest how you will know when it is time for you to move on.

Nexxy presenting…

Realtime Hardware with Node.js



Key facts about Nexxy:

  • Nexxy has been hacking on things in one way or another SINCE THE BEGINNING OF TIME.
  • Nexxy is also known for her occasional use of hyperbole as a literary device.
  • Nexxy first began hacking arduinos with node while she was working with a vegan strip club named Casa Diablo.
  • Nexxy is now enjoying her work with Ninja Blocks as they take over the world with the internet of things!
  • Nexxy inexplicably decided at the last second to write this section of the proposal in 3rd person, bullet form.

…and I have recreated this proposal section here for your information!

Join Nexxy & all for another installment of “Realtime Hardware with Node.js” as we take a look at just how exactly one should go about making a fool of themselves on stage with a bunch of electronics. We will cover the basics of getting started with hardware, demonstrate some cool tech, and conclude with a super rad (slightly hazy) and interactive dance party of epic (modest) proportions — if everyone cooperates. Questions are welcome throughout the presentation and audience members are encouraged* to participate.

* bribed with stickers

Jerry Seivert presenting…

Know Your Environment

Jerry Sievert

Jerry Sievert

Jerry is a conousier of fine beer, drinks and other assorted things. The relevant list of coarse includes Lego, trains and JavaScript. His own words of these things, being a drink or beautifully coded up application, “I love to build things!” summarizes up Jerry’s love of building perfectly!

Jerry will pose the question, “What if your software knew about its environment and could react?” With very basic electronics skills, and the ability to read a datasheet, you can be well on your way to a smarter and more responsive application. We will discuss some common hardware protocols and how to interface your code with them to build something all “teh aWeSOME“!

Hannah Fousanon presenting…

Optimizing Single-Page Javascript Websites for SEO



Hannah Fouasnon is a cofounder and lead engineer at DJZ based in San Francisco. While a full time hacker, she’s currently focusing on creating DJZ’s next single-page javascript website optimized around playing media and games. Former projects include Luckysort, a big-data, text-analytics company based in Portland, OR, where she implemented a large portion of the node.js architecture.

Hannah will cover how to create single-page javascript websites and enable developers to more easily support advanced web client features. For example, the persistent playing experience on soundcloud is supported by a single-page backbone.js architecture. One of the downsides when deciding on this architecture is that web crawlers have trouble indexing content, which can hurt seo and facebook sharing.

This presentation covers how we solve this problem at DJZ. The example will be a simplified angular.js application optimized for seo using primarily phantom.js. Viewers can follow along with code on github (link to come).


Want to learn more?

Want to know the dates?

Want to know who else is speaking? Stay tuned here or go check out!

Have a last minute request, idea, comment or a speaking proposal?

Write the Docs, Railsconf Portland, RICON East, Node PDX, Vancouver Polyglot, Open Source Bridge and OSCON…

…if you are deciding what to attend this year, here’s the top of the list.

Just a few key conferences that will kick ass in technical & academic content. The other great thing about these conferences is that they either have a “code of ethics” or are reknown for real conference diversity vs. the “hey a bunch of privileged sameness all ended up in this room purely out of meritocracy” nonsense. So you can rest assured that at these conferences you’ll have interesting conversations, be actively involved in things that will expand our personal sphere of the world and in the end leave you dramatically more enriched than those “corporate warm body vacation conferences“. This list doesn’t mean I’ll be able to make it to all of them, but each conference I’m in some way intimately involved with and fully support with the “Conference Seal of Approval“! So here we go…

Write the Docs – April 8th and 9th – @writethedocs – A new movement, to know where we are, where we’ve been and where we’re going. Get here, know how and why to bring knowledge forth through documentation. This is not your grandpa’s documentation.

Portland RailsConf 2013 – April 29th-May 2nd – @railsconf – The rails community has grown by leaps and bounds. Regardless of your love or hate for the framework, it’s revolutionized the way web applications are built over the last decade.

RICON East in New York City – May 13th & 14th – @basho – (I do work for Basho, but this is on here because RICON last year ROCKED and meets the requirements, come see for yourself!)  🙂

Node PDX – May 16th & 17th – @nodepdx – Troy Howard and I are putting this together, we’re working hard to make sure it’s more of what you want, more than it was last year and kicking to the curb the things you don’t want. So come hack some node, JavaScript and enjoy yourselves.

Polyglot 2013 – May 24th through the 26th – @polyglotConf – Open spaces, with tons of really, truly smart people with no presumptuous marketing and sales bullshit to get in the way. This is about software development, across the realms of frameworks, languages and more.

OS Bridge – June 18th through the 21st – @osbridge – open source bridges the divide here and new thinking is created. You have to attend to see…

OSCON – July 22nd through the 26th – @oscon – This is the premier open source conference in North America. It’s in Portland. Nuff’ said.

I’ll be at a few more conferences this year, but these are the key conferences, if you have to pick one to go to, it should be on this list. If you can go to one or two others, pick em’ from this list. Software + Data + Giant Phat Data + NoSQL + Future Thinking + Leaders o’ Thoughts == Top Conference List.

See ya there. Cheers!

Lists of Lists of Lists: Conferences

RICON 2012

RICON 2012

This is the first in a series (AKA a list) of lists that I’m researching and putting together. I’ve had many questions in the last few weeks for “cool conferences”, “awesome hackathons”, “meetups” and “conferences that are worth the time” and related. So here’s the conferences list so far, I’ll be adding more on my conferences page over time. If you’re looking for the most updated list, check out that page. Here’s what others & I have collected so far. Thanks to everyone on twitter, facebook and those other places we’ve discussed conferences:

Github: @adron

Github: @adron

Developer Conferences

  • Qcon London
  • Qcon San Francisco
  • HTML 5 Developers Conference
  • Web 2.0
  • Velocity Conf Beijing
  • Velocity Conf Santa Clara
  • Strata Conf Santa Clara
  • Strata Conf London
  • Strata Conf Boston
  • Strata + Hadoop World (NYC)

    OSCON (Red Hat table)

    OSCON (Red Hat table)

  • Fluent Conf (San Francisco, CA)
  • Portland Code Camp
  • Seattle Code Camp
  • San Francisco Code Camp
  • Node Conf
  • Node Summit
  • Node PDX
  • Ruby on Rails Conf
  • Cascadia Ruby Conf
  • Strangeloop
  • Defrag / Glue
  • Mobile Web Development Conference
  • Mozilla Festival

    Checking out awesome new tech with Dave McCrory at VMworld

    Checking out awesome new tech with Dave McCrory at VMworld

  • RubyWorld Conference
  • Software Craftsmanship
  • Øredev
  • Monktoberfest
  • Symposium on OS Design and Implementation (OSDI)
  • USENIX Conference on File and Storage Technologies (FAST)
  • High Performance Transaction Systems (HPTS)
  • ACM Symposium on OS Principles (SOSP)
  • BUILD 2012
  • Railsberry
  • Mix12 – Microsoft
  • RealtimeConf
  • Azure Conf
  • DeployCon
  • AWS re: Invent
  • Cloudbeat
  • Structure
  • CloudConnect
  • TacoConf

To add to this list, check out the Google Docs Worksheet I’ve setup or check out the conferences page. The later I will update regularly whenever there are updates to the Google Docs Spreadsheet.

I don’t often ask for RT, tumblr, reddit or other links, but would love to see how big the list can become, so if you have a second please link it, retweet it, like it on facebook or Google+ and get it out there. Thanks!

Updated on Wednesday the 7th of November, 1:37pm 2012
Last Updated 4:41pm on Wednesday the 7th, November of 2012. For the most up to date list check out the conferences page.


In light of the upcoming Cascadia.js Conf I was digging around last night through some of the other JavaScript Conference videos and found the JSConf EU’s listings on Youtube. Here’s a few picks from the ones I watched. I’d highly advise checking these out, there’s a lot of great content there. With that quick introduction, here’s Max, Irene and James. Cheers!

Max Ogden @MaxOgden provides reasons how to help Government work better through various means…  absolutely great talk. Check it out.

Irene Ros @ireneros combining practices we’ve had for years into a better way to get data.

James Halliday (@substack and github) UNIX Philosophy and…  just watch this, James is kick ass and contributes a ton to the #nodejs community.