Mercedes Coyle's favorites

Favorite sessions for this user

* 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

* 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

* 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 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

* Calculating Guilt: Using open-source software in forensic DNA testing

DNA testing has become the "gold standard" of forensics, but linking an item of evidence to a person of interest isn't always clear cut. New open source tools allow DNA analysts to give statistical weight to evidentiary profiles that were previously unusable, letting juries weigh the evidence for themselves. This talk will discuss my lab's validation and implementation of the Lab Retriever software package for probabilistic genotyping.
Sarah Chenoweth

* Cat-herd's Crook: Enforcing Standards in 10 Programming Languages

At MongoDB we write open source database drivers in ten programming languages. Ideally, all behave the same. We also help developers in the MongoDB community replicate our libraries’ behavior in even more (and more exotic) languages. How can we herd these cats along the same track? For years we failed, but we’ve recently gained momentum on standardizing our libraries. Testable, machine-readable specs prove which code conforms and which does not.
Samantha Ritter, A. Jesse Jiryu Davis

* 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

* 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

* 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 Do Python Coroutines Work?

Asynchronous I/O frameworks like Node, Twisted, Tornado, and Python 3.4’s new “asyncio” can efficiently scale past tens of thousands of concurrent connections. But async coding with callbacks is painful and error-prone. Programmers increasingly use coroutines in place of callbacks to get the best of both worlds: efficiency plus a natural and robust coding style. I’ll explain how asyncio’s coroutines work. They are built using Python generators, the “yield from” statement, and the Future and Task classes. You will gain a deep understanding of this miraculous new programming idiom in the Python standard library.
A. Jesse Jiryu Davis

* 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 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

* Internet of Things Militia: Paramilitary Training for your IoT devices

Security folk generally talk about how the Internet of Things is bad for security, but it also brings new sensors and connected devices that could co-operate in new and interesting ways. Could we use internet things to enhance security?
Terri Oda

* Introduction to data munging with pandas and IPython Notebook

This talk will go over importing, exploring, and exporting your data, and common issues you may encounter.
Meli Lewis

* 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

* Open source collaboration for tackling real world environmental problems

Public Lab is a two-part project -- an attempt at large-scale community environmental monitoring, AND a massively distributed R&D lab for inventing new monitoring techniques and equipment. The community has grown a lot over the past five years, and we are here to share stories of -- and welcome you to -- an emerging FOSS culture that spans hardware, software, data, community organizing, and advocacy.
Dana Bauer, Mathew Lippincott

* 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

* Software Archeology and The Code Of Doom

You approach the legacy codebase with trepidation. If the vine-draped entrance and collapsing roof weren't enough warning, traces of previous explorers before you lie scattered about, caught in bizarre traps and oubliettes. What next, snakes?!
Kerri Miller

* 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

* The Open Source Writing Stack

Open source makes writing and publishing much easier both online and in print — provided you know what tools to use. This talk covers those tools (from LaTeX to WordPress) and how to choose between them.
Thursday Bram

* Through the Warp Zone: Hacking Super Mario Brothers

Discover new worlds in Super Mario Brothers even the creators never saw!
Emily St., Shawna Scott

* Troubleshooting In Distributed Systems

The shift to microservice and distributed architectures has made software products more flexible and scalable-- and a lot more complex. With so many moving parts, ephemeral conditions and the spectre of partial failure, it can be much more difficult to pinpoint how and why things break. Learn how Logstash, Elasticsearch and Kibana can be used to monitor healthy systems and investigate issues as they pop up, and what we can do outside of software to improve our process of problem-solving.
Megan Baker

* Trustworthy software in the real world

Software is made of bugs, yet software is controlling a growing part of our physical world. As bugs and security holes become potentially life-threatening, what can we do to make our software worthy of the trust we're placing in it? Take quadcopters, for example. Toy vehicles are not just in specialty hobby shops but even in supermarkets; sports stadiums and the White House are trying to find ways to keep them out; and everyone from agriculture startups to Amazon wants to use them commercially. Quadcopters are becoming safety and security critical systems, but how are we going to make them truly safe and secure? I'll present SMACCMPilot, a BSD-licensed high-assurance quadcopter autopilot, and the new tools and technologies that make it feasible to trust a large piece of software.
Jamey Sharp

* Using Julia & D3 to analyse web performance data

If you've always wanted to play around with D3 or Julia, or both, this talk will get you up to speed very quickly. Using web performance data as the vehicle, and an aim to extract meaningful information from it, we will explore both Julia and D3 and come up with some fun visualizations that may not be possible using only one of these tools.
Philip Tellis

* Venturing into the Spooky Science of Ruby

Grab a scalpel as we put Ruby on the table to look at this lovely language's internals. We'll start with class inheritance and method lookup, and then explore the mysterious eigenclass and how it fits in. We'll use our newfound knowledge to turn children into zombies, meet unexpected vampires, and make our own Ruby mutants. Okay, so maybe it won't be too spooky, but you'll come away having a better understanding of Ruby objects and their internals (and braaaains!).
Zoe Kay

* 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

* When Your Codebase Is Nearly Old Enough To Vote

What do you do when your project is so old that technology has changed around you? (Or, how do you future-proof a project that you've just started so that when it gets that old, you'll be ready?) Come hear a case study of Dreamwidth Studios, a fifteen-year-old web app with a codebase consisting of a quarter million lines of legacy Perl and a mission to modernize ... if it doesn't break everything.
Denise Paolucci

* 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

* Get the Message: Scaling Web Applications With Messaging

Go is a great systems language. Asynchronous, distributed, pub-sub message queues written in Go allow you to build really large systems. At Bitly, we built our business using microservices that process messages from our open source message queue system, NSQ (, and make interesting data available over the web. Learn how to build your own scalable web application using microservices and NSQ, what patterns to follow and what problems to anticipate.
Cooking 2015-03-07 23:25:25 +0000
Peter Herndon

* Naked and Afraid: Mobile Offline Access to Emergency Data

There's an emergency. You need critical information that you put in the cloud. But the internet and mobile networks are all down. What now?
Cooking 2015-03-09 00:32:27 +0000
Matt Woodward

* 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