Speakers

The Intersection of Art and Code
The "intersection of art and code" has been a concept that was once balked at by the greater tech community and, now that it's garnered popularity, is close to mainstream in the art world. As we create art with code, there are issues we encounter just like the non-digital art world - ephemerality, theft, capitalism. I'm going to bring up these points and hopefully start a conversation about the responsibilities we hold when both creating and consuming digital art.
Teaching the Web: Engaging Students Starting their Journey Into Web Development
Imagine you've agreed to take on an adjunct professor position to teach 20 college students the basics of web development in 12 weeks. Most of the content will include basic to intermediate HTML, CSS, and JavaScript, but how do you teach it? How do you keep your students engaged and excited? How do you help them when they're frustrated with a bug? How do you keep them informed on current events surrounding the web? This talk will answer these questions and highlight this very experience and detail the challenges, triumphs, and lessons learned from teaching basic web development in an academic setting.
There is No Spoon? Understanding Spoon Theory and Preventing Burnout
Spoon theory is a metaphor about the finite energy we each have to do things in a day. While a healthy, advantaged person may not have to worry about running out of 'spoons,' people with chronic illnesses or disabilities and members of marginalized groups must consider how to ration their energy to get through the day. Understanding this can help companies lessen the everyday burdens on their underrepresented employees, leaving them more spoons to do their best work, avoid burnout and lead fulfilling lives.
Biology as a Design Element: Programming in Collaboration with Natural Systems
Today, we are able to extend the platforms we program for by building upon natural computing that happens within biological systems, such as feedback loops, repair mechanisms, and lifecycle events like decomposition and reproduction, and bringing them together with engineering and technology to create new types of products and experiences. In this talk, I will discuss a variety of ways that engineers, designers, scientists, and researchers are bringing together programming with biology to help push both fields forward, and how you can get started. As both systems developers and biological beings, learning about the ways that we can collaborate with natural systems offers potential to reimagine the technologies we can create in the future.
Why we can't have the Internet of Nice Things
Are you interested in making your home smarter, but intimidated by the range of incompatible consumer gear out there? Would you like your home automation to work even when the internet is out? Do you want your investments in hardware to work even when vendors move on? If you answered yes to any of these, Home Assistant may be for you. It's an open source home automation hub written in python, that talks to a wide range of devices. Come and learn about why IoT is hard, and best practices for making a smarter home using Home Assistant.
Before the First Hire
Within tech many of us have acknowledged the importance of diversity and inclusion, but a lot of the focus is generally on improving the hiring and promotion process. Instead, I'd like to discuss what organizations can do before their first under-indexed employee hire, to make a more inclusive and welcoming environment.
Seeing the Forest through the Trees
In the rapidly evolving world of digital product design, it is often hard to see the forest through the trees when creating a consistent experience across teams of designers and developers in large organizations. As a result, we have moved from focusing on the design of individual applications to focusing on creating design systems composed of a combination of design aesthetics, ui components, interaction patterns, code standards and even voice and tone that can be used across the entire ecosystem. In this session, we will explore how to build and sustain a design system and I’ll share lessons learned from building and maintaining the FDA's Labcoat design system.
Agile Garden Development
I was ecstatic when I received a plot in my local community garden, but quickly overwhelmed with the amount of work that had to be done to build the urban haven I’ve always dreamed of. In this talk, I will tell the story about how I applied agile software development practices into turning an overgrown plot of land into a maintainable, fruitful garden. I hope to inspire attendees to apply the philosophies we use to create software to projects outside of tech.
Pitch Bitch
Ever wonder how real the TV shows Shark Tank or Silicon Valley are? Kate Bradley Chernis shares her real-life journey of founding one of the hottest early-stage tech companies in New York, Lately. From creating a prototype for Walmart eight years ago to raising $1 million in funding, Kate will give us an insider’s look at what it's like to pitch to investors, how to navigate being a female CEO in a venture capital boys’ club and how her previous careers as a radio DJ and marketing agency owner prepared her perfectly.