Finn Ellis's favorites

Favorite sessions for this user

* "A huge green fierce snake bars the way!"; or, Building a Text Adventure Game in Python

Have you ever wanted to vanquish a dragon with your bare hands? First step is making a world where you can. In this talk, I'll give you the blueprints for my Python text adventure engine, as well as some recipes for making things in a text-only world.
Katie Silverio

* A Matter of Time

Did you know that every so often, a minute lasts 61 seconds? If that sounds like something that might break some software, you'd be right! In this talk, we'll discuss the common ways that time is implemented in a number of libraries you probably depend on, how these representations can fall short of giving us a complete picture of what time it is, and what we can do about this state of affairs.
John Feminella

* A Pair Programming Workshop

Pair programming is a great way to collaborate on code and to share new ideas and techniques, but the social dynamics can be challenging. In this session, we'll talk about what works and what doesn't, and practice some techniques for better pairing!
Moss Collum, Laura Dean

* Bridging the Digital Divide with SMS Bots

We all know about Twitter and IRC bots, but with about 4/5 of people worldwide without smartphones SMS has the potential to reach those left behind the digital divide. We will discuss the various methods for developing an SMS bot, the legal and ethical implications of doing so, and we will build an SMS bot live.
Briar Schreiber

* Bringing Security to Your Open Source Project

With high profile breaches in open source projects, the issue of security has become one of great import to many people. But many projects, especially smaller ones, are intimidated by the idea of a security audit. This talk will discuss ways for smaller projects to experiment, learn, and even have fun improving their security. No PhDs in security required!
Terri Oda

* Building a self learning word prediction and auto-correct module for FirefoxOS and openweb handling multilingual input

Language input for mobile devices has always been a challenge on how to provide intuitive experience along with the easy of type. One approach towards that end is predictive text input. But predictions are as good as the wordlist that it gets generated from. Often it becomes a much harder problem to implement the same approach for localized languages like Hindi,Bengali (India, Bangladesh) and languages that require IME to type effectively. One approach is to learn from users typing preference and improve the dictionary weight-age to improve prediction. This talk will discuss upon how this can be implemented in Firefox OS and how the same approach can be used for openweb apps universally without locking in to any specific language. We also will briefly discuss how it manages to improve localized language predictions and the challenges some transliteration system faces along with how we can tackle them.
Rabimba Karanjai

* Building and maintaining a healthy community

Open Source organizations and projects are driven by the strength of its community. We have often seen but how big communities fall because of wrong ways of handling it or mismanagements. My talk will be around the lines of how a community leader or manager can take a few extra responsibilities to keep a community healthy.
Priyanka Nag

* Building Diverse Social Networks

While only a handful of social networks like Dreamwidth and Quirell explicitly prioritize diversity, there are plenty of lessons to learn about what to do — and what not to do — from Facebook, Twitter, and others. Best practices include counter-oppressive politics, embedded in the community guidelines and norms; and the right tools, technologies, and policies. This session will look at what does and doesn't work in a variety of online environments.
Jon Pincus, Lynn Cyrin

* Care and Feeding of a Healthy Job Hunt

A job hunt can be a demoralizing and dehumanizing process, but there are a lot of things which you can do to make it more productive and less stressful.
VM Brasseur

* Cassandra at the Keyboard: Whistleblowing at all scales

What do you do if you see something that needs change in your organization. How do you "say something" for your "see something"? What are the benefits and drawbacks of even minor whistleblowing?
Heidi Waterhouse

* Community Moderation: you can't always halt a flamewar with one raised eyebrow (but it rarely hurts to try)

Even in an email list, moderation isn't limited to setting the entire email list to require approval before messages are posted. You can create rules which reflect the culture you'd like to see, and call attention to ways that the community differs from that culture. You can point out when a particular post doesn't fit with that culture -- publicly or privately, whichever you think will do the most good. You can point out when a particular post exemplifies something great about the culture. You can point out particular rules that everyone needs to keep abiding by, without calling out a specific post. If a specific person, or a specific handful of people, have trouble with the rules, you could put them in particular on moderated posting for some time. If someone keeps breaking the rules, that person is a good candidate for being removed entirely. There are limits to what the rest of the community and the moderators should have to deal with, even though your project may choose to keep that as a last resort. Sometimes the problem can be solved by redirection. If the main email list is getting cluttered with off-topic posts, consider a just-for-fun or off-topic side list to divert threads to once they wander off code and into sports, kittens, beer, or knitting. It's easier to say "You shouldn't do that here" than "You shouldn't do that, period"; it's even easier to say "You shouldn't do that here, but it would be great right over there." And most of us could use a sports, kittens, beer, or knitting break every now and then.
Azure Lunatic

* Consequences of an Insightful Algorithm

We have ethical responsibilities when coding. We're able to extract remarkably precise intuitions about an individual. But do we have a right to know what they didn't consent to share, even when they willingly shared the data that leads us there? How do we mitigate against unintended outcomes? In this talk, we'll learn how to build in systematic empathy, integrate practices for examining how our code might harm individuals, and net consequences that can be better for everyone.
Carina C. Zona

* Desigining for Renaming

Renaming yourself is never easy. In Santa Clara County in the State of California, to file a petition to change one's name costs over $400, and may take six months or more. Then one must change one's name (and possibly one's gender marker) on the dozens of sites and services one uses. On many sites, that's easy, I go to preferences and edit my name. But then the site addresses me as "Mr. Emma Humphries," oh really? Other systems will correctly greet me as "Emma" when I log in. But still call me by $DEAD_NAME when they send an email. This brings us to the first best practice: When I change my name in one place, change it in all the places.
Emma Humphries

* Dog Food is for Dogs: Escape the Crate of Your Perspective with User Research

Dogfooding—using your own products—is nice, but is it sufficient to produce good design for people who aren’t you? Our familiarity with our projects and their quirks makes us poor substitutes for users in the wild. So just who are these users, and how do you incorporate them into design and development? In this workshop, we'll explore user experience design and research strategies that will help you design for people who aren’t you.
Rachel Shadoan, amelia abreu

* Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Pelican: A Comparison of Static Site Generators

Want to make a static site or blog, but not sure where to start? Tired of using Wordpress and looking for something better? This talk will get into the nitty-gritty details of how Jekyll and Pelican -- two popular static site generators -- work, and explain how to choose which is best for your project. Using examples you can clone from github, we'll cover the pros and cons of both SSGs, discuss things that neither does well, and give you a better idea of how to get your site up and running (with an open source tool!).
Lucy Wyman

* Fear Driven Development

Have you ever not made a much-needed change because you were afraid of breaking something? Caution is wise, but too much fear can leave even the most agile of software organizations with a crippling aversion to change. This talk will discuss what makes us scared, why it hurts us, and my experiences helping a team I managed get rid of some of our fears.
Ryan Kennedy

* Five years, 1000 students: The story of Open Source Comes to Campus

Since 2010, OpenHatch has been running workshops at college campuses, teaching undergrads how to get involved in open source. In 2015, we expect to reach over 500 students through 25 events. This talk presents how we've the scaled program over the years, how we've evolved our curriculum, and how you can get involved.
Asheesh Laroia

* For Love and For Money

Let’s talk about the work we want to do, the work we have to do, and how we might create systems that don’t continue to force bad choices between building community, technical work, and diversity activism.
Audrey Eschright

* Funding for Open Source Projects: Is a Universal Basic Income the Solution?

Contributing to open-source projects without worrying about making a living? What sounds like a dream could become a reality with the institution of an economic concept called basic income. The idea is currently being debated in numerous countries. This talk will introduce the concept and outline the possible benefits of basic income for the open source community.
Luc Perkins

* GeekChoir 2015

In this session, we'll continue the grand Open Source Bridge tradition of learning how to increase team cohesion, identity, and collaboration through music, joining our voices (in our uniquely geeky way) in harmony.
Michael Alan Brewer

* Good Enough Voter Verification & Other Identity Architecture Schemes for Online Communities

This talk is a deep dive into considerations for Identity Architecture for online communities. It's most specifically applications for political action, civic engagement, or virtual nations. I'll talk about pragmatic solutions for voter verification using the state voter registration database, schemes for peer to peer authentication, offline/online identification, Impartial Identity Architecture to control conflict, and more. The discussion is high level and appropriate for beginners, but there will be links to code and big ideas.
Ele Mooney

* Hello, my name is __________.

Our personal identity is core to how we perceive ourselves and wish to be seen. All too often, however, applications, databases, and user interfaces are not designed to fully support the diversity of personal and social identities expressed throughout the world.
Nova Patch

* How To Be A Great Developer

Being a great developer is much more than technical know-how. Empathy, communication, and reason are at least as important, but are undervalued in our industry. We'll examine the impact these skills can have and how to apply them to our work.
Ed Finkler

* How to Really Get Git

You already know how to use “git status”, “git push”, and “git add” for your personal projects. You know how to work on a team project with git version control. How do you achieve the next level of git mastery and fix mistakes? We’ll cover how to set up your git environment for a productive workflow, different ways to undo your mistakes in git, and finally, how to use the IPython notebook to automate an entire git workflow.
Susan Tan

* How to Teach Git

Version control is a necessary piece of the open source community and git has an unfortunately steep learning curve. Here is what I have learned from teaching git to beginners, so you don’t have to make the same mistakes.
Georgia Reh

* How you tell the story matters: telling better stories and making better technologies

What happens when we tell stories? How do we tell stories about the technology we build, why do some stories get told over others? How do we talk about our successes, and how do we not talk about our failures? Whose stories get heard: how do women, people of color, disabled people, and “non-technical” workers get left out of the stories we hear? In this talk, I'll explore the role of storytelling in technology, and share what I've found about telling better stories.
amelia abreu

* HTTP Can Do That?!

I have explored weird corners of HTTP -- malformed requests that try to trick a site admin into clicking spam links in 404 logs, an API that responds to POST but not GET, and more. In this talk I'll walk you through those (using Python, netcat, and other tools you might have lying around the house).
Sumana Harihareswara

* kenny_g.rb: Making Ruby Write Smooth Jazz

For too long, computers have been shut out of the red-hot music-to-listen-to-while-relaxing-in-the-bathtub genre. Today, that all changes. Our smooth-jazz-as-a-service startup is primed to disrupt this stale industry. All we need is a little Ruby and we'll make automated musical magic.
Tim Krajcar

* Making the web fun again

When Geocities shut down, it did much more than delete a bunch of obnoxious dancing baby GIFs and Limp Bizkit MIDI files. It deleted the ability for people to easily create web sites, and learn how to be in complete control of the content and presentation they provide to their audience. To the economically and socially disenfranchised, it was a disaster that prevented countless people from learning programming. So we brought it back, and open sourced the entire thing (including our financial data). Leave your nostalgia at the door - let us show you our efforts to pave a better future for tech startups, the tech community, and the future of the web itself.
Kyle Drake, Victoria Wang

* Male/Female/Othered: Implementing Gender-Inclusiveness in User Data Collection

You want to gather information about your users that you can use to improve their experience and yours. They want their identities to be acknowledged and treated with respect. This talk is about meeting both needs: How to ask about gender in ways that welcome the diversity of reality while still being able to analyze the data you get back. We'll discuss the nature of that challenge, how some major websites address it, and example solutions for different scenarios.
Finn Ellis, Jonathan Harker

* Morning Keynote — Put Up or Shut Up: An Open Letter to Tech Companies Seeking Diverse Teams

People from marginalized communities struggle to break into tech, clawing our way through a racist, sexist, classist, ableist system only to be fired, quit or just suffer in misery. I’ll explore what it really takes to create a workplace that is truly welcoming of everyone.
Kronda Adair

* Project Fear

Project fear, not dissimilar to imposter syndrome, tends to affect all project leaders at some point (or many points) in their career. This session will tackle project fear by fully defining it, investigating its roots, noting its symptoms, and ultimately discussing a number of successful coping mechanisms.
Adam Edgerton

* Removing Barriers: Ascend Project Post Mortem

Last year the Ascend Project was announced, then in the fall the first pilot took place in Portland. This year we'll report back on how it went, hear from participants, and break down what worked and what could be changed for future versions of this type of program. You'll definitely come away with some ideas for your next learning event, code school, or sponsored training.
Lukas Blakk, Kronda Adair

* So how do you reach every person on the planet: Internationalization at Twitter

Twitter is the world’s most popular platform which enables users to create and share ideas and information instantly, without barriers. In order to fulfill this mission, it has to provide language support for every person seamlessly. This talk will walk through Twitter’s open source language libraries, internationalization and localization standards and technologies.
Alolita Sharma

* Stronger Than Fear: Mental Health in the Developer Community

Mental disorders are the largest contributor to disease burden in North America, but the developer community and those who employ us are afraid to face the problem head-on. In this talk, we'll examine the state of mental health awareness in the developer workplace, why most developers feel it isn't safe to talk about mental health, and what we can do to change the culture and save lives.
Ed Finkler

* Teaching and managing for technologists

After 15 years or so working as a programmer I made two big changes in my job: first I became a manager, then I started working with college students to help them learn to code. This is a personal story of why that has been some of the most challenging and rewarding work I've ever done.
Lennon Day-Reynolds

* Universal Web Design: How to create an awesome experience for *every* user

In this talk, I will describe how Universal Web Design principles can be easily applied to new or existing sites, how these principles will improve your users’ experience, and how Universal Web Design will save you time and money.
David Newton

* User Research For Non-Researchers

User research doesn't have to be time-consuming, elaborate, or performed by a UX professional. If you're willing to talk to a few strangers, you can do user research. In this presentation, I'll talk about how to do lightweight research on any product or topic, no matter what your background and training are. I'll focus on the most effective tools for quick research, and some of the common pitfalls for novice researchers.
Jane Davis

* What Are Computers, Really?

We'll take a whirlwind tour of the theory behind what computers do. We'll start with counting on our fingers and end with an explanation of why there are some problems where the laws of physics say "no, a computer can never do this". No mathematical background necessary.
Clarissa Littler

* What's in a name? Phonetic Algorithms for Search and Similarity

Search can be as simple as returning a word or part of word based on character similarity. LIKE and wildcard matches can be sufficient, but can only account for character or string matching, and fail on misspelled words or names. Phonetic algorithms can help us find matches for misspellings and typo'd user data.
Mercedes Coyle

* Write It Down: Process Documentation from the Ground Up

The collective knowledge base of an organization can be difficult to crack. Some things have "always been done that way" but no one knows why. This talk will help to expose those undocumented corners of your project, and give you tools for writing process documentation for new contributors using lessons from Not-For-Profit organizations.
Kat Toomajian

* Yoga!

Accessible yoga for people of all levels, special attention given to yoga postures and breathing that you can do at your desk.
Sherri Koehler

Favorite proposals for this user

* 5 Things I Wish Someone Told Me Before I Started Programming

There's more to being a successful developer than simply being great at programming.
Culture 2015-02-03 05:55:25 +0000
Kerri Miller

* 90 writing tips in 45 minutes

Almost every job involves a little writing, even if it's code comments or repair notes on a car. But what if you don't feel confident with writing? I have a rapid-fire presentation of writing tips and tricks that can help get you started, keep you going, and make your work better, even if you don't think you're a writer, I bet it will help!
Hacks 2015-01-20 02:50:35 +0000
Heidi Waterhouse

* Crypto 101

Let's make cryptography less cryptic. This talk would give you a peek into the fun world of ciphers and encryption mechanisms with a basic understanding of the hard problems of mathematics behind the magic.
Chemistry 2015-02-13 16:50:26 +0000
Niharika Kohli

* Get Your Shoes (Back) On!

Years ago the enigmatic Rubyist _why created Shoes, a tiny GUI toolkit for writing fun, simple applications in Ruby. Shoes served as the foundation for Hackety Hack, a programming environment specially designed to be accessible to kids.
Chemistry 2015-01-17 00:40:15 +0000
Jason Clark

* Growing up; what’s a techie to do in their mid 30s to keep their career moving

In this session, I’ll share my journey from developer to evangelist to business development. You’ll learn how I got there, what I learned along the way, and what you should look for in order to determine when it makes sense to do a career transition.
Culture 2015-01-21 22:55:37 +0000
John Mertic

* Mastering Bootstrap: how to get the most out of Bootstrap by writing modular CSS themes

Take Bootstrap to the next level by learning how to setup a development environment with harp.js, setup a Less variable and mixin library, make your theme modular, and deploy your theme for use on your projects or for sale on a marketplace.
Cooking 2015-01-11 08:36:42 +0000
Matt Lambert

* Objectivity is a Myth: Your Data is Not Objective and Neither Are You

Data is often treated as an impartial representation of reality--an unbiased delivery mechanism for "ground truth". Data collection, however, is designed by people, whose knowledge and beliefs influence the design decisions they make. How does that impact what we think we know, and how can we adapt our processes to account for it?
Culture 2015-03-08 01:37:51 +0000
Rachel Shadoan

* Sass: What It Is, How It's Used, and Why It's So Syntactically Awesome

This talk will start off with the basics of what Syntactically Awesome StyleSheets are, what features and functionality they have to offer, and why they're a great tool to have in your arsenal. We'll then delve into how to use Sass in developing your own sites and what tools you'll want to use alongside it, complete with a live demo and some in-production examples.
Cooking 2015-02-13 20:41:18 +0000
Lucy Wyman

* Speaking for Non-Speakers

Many conference attendees come year after year without giving presentations. The sense that there's a high bar for perfection is pervasive, and people are afraid of being "wrong." Everyone has a story to tell about a problem they've solved or issues they've tackled. Learn how to share your experiences without fear, and join the speaker community!
Culture 2015-02-10 00:58:26 +0000
Kirsten Hunter

* Teaching Middle School to Program

This past year, I started an experiment and took a different approach to teaching middle school students how to program: Nothing. And you can do nothing too!
Culture 2015-02-07 04:24:27 +0000
Howard Abrams

* The Ethics Of Software Development

The software we build has an impact on millions of people, and while it can be empowering for many, it is often disempowering for many others. Many times we as developers don't really think through these issues, and that is really a shame because the work we do has enormous impact on people's lives, and that impact is very often in opposition to a lot of the values that we hold dear. This session will talk through some of these issues, and explain why it is so important that we think about how we affect the world, and try to frame our work in a way that meshes well with our own values.
Culture 2015-02-18 19:42:28 +0000
Greg Dunlap

* Time for Change: How to approach an OS project switchover

So, who here has an open source project they maintain? Ok, of those people, who calls out or references. Who's had the other thing change in a certain way causing bugs and general headaches? It's a pretty common problem in open source, especially when you're dealing with API's and such. Eventually, services change, move, change, or even shut down completely. And it becomes a tricky decision on how to deal with this change, and how to switch over from an old service to the new. I'm going to talk about how you approach sun-setting interfacing with an old version of a service, and switching over to the new version, cleanly, with lots of spec coverage and testing. I'm not going to pretend that. We're not even fully finished with the switchover yet, and there's still plenty more to learn. But hopefully you won't make the same mistakes we did.
Cooking 2015-02-11 17:33:55 +0000
Peter Souter

* Who wants to make video games?

"So how do you get that beautiful art style that you really want? Your game is done, maybe feature complete, but it's either got your crummy drawings or just grey rectangles dancing around. The music, the sound, the look of a game like 'Dungeon of the Endless' or 'Journey,' how do you get THAT? I have good news for you: there are more artists than there are coders, and more musicians than there are human beings on earth. Yes you'll have to pay them, yes you'll have to handle some conversations about expectations, and I'll cover that shortly, but really it will amaze you how easy it is to find truly beautiful resources to populate your game"
Business 2015-03-13 21:11:48 +0000
Toby Fee