Speakers

Ben Scofield

Ben Scofield

Ruby Central

http://benscofield.com

Ben Scofield has been working in Ruby for … eight years now? And on the web for nearly fifteen years – wait, no, that can’t be right. Let’s start again.

Ben Scofield has spoken, written, coded, and organized his way around the Ruby and Rails community for a number of years now. He’s committed to the idea of improvement, of getting better, of choosing the path you want to take and following it ‘til the end. (He’s nowhere near the end of any of the paths he’s on, but he’s still moving.)

Topic

Better: A Field Guide to Continuous Improvement

In every field and endeavor, the key to getting better is feedback. Much of the time, that feedback is integrated into explicit practice, as when a coach watches you hit hundreds of backhands and corrects your positioning in real-time. There are cases, however, where traditional practice is either not possible or not effective. You can practice how to write code, for instance, but the skills that help you succeed there don’t necessarily translate easily to larger scopes (as in a full three-month project). In these cases, we have to figure out how to take lessons from performance (or doing-it-for-real) and apply them to the future.

In this talk, we’ll look at how different domains (for instance, medicine and the military) deal with the problem of performance-as-practice and the techniques they use to get better over time. We’ll also look explicitly at how this can (though often doesn’t) work in software development. The goal, as always, is to get better, and this session will shed light on how to do just that.

Chad Fowler

Chad Fowler

6Wunderkinder

http://chadfowler.com

Chad Fowler is an internationally known software developer, trainer, manager, speaker, and musician. Over the past decade he has worked with some of the world’s largest companies and most admired software developers. Chad is CTO of 6Wunderkinder. He is the author or co-author of a number of popular software books, including Rails Recipes and The Passionate Programmer: Creating a Remarkable Career in Software Development.

Topic

Joy

As developers, we understand the need to invest in ourselves to further our mastery of the craft of software development. We painstakingly scrutinize our processes. We polish our tools. We critique the way we plan and communicate. We learn new languages and paradigms. We constantly experiment and improve.

Why do we do this?

It makes us more effective. When we are more effective, we can create more and better things. When we create more and better things, we earn money. When we create more and better things, we earn respect and admiration.

When we are more effective and creative, create more and better things, and earn more money, respect, and admiration, we feel happier.

Ultimately, the positive things we do for ourselves serve one purpose: to facilitate happiness.

What is happiness? What is joy?

What practices lead to both? What tools can we employ to achieve them? How should we evaluate our progress on the path to happiness? How do we continuously learn and improve our chances at lasting happiness and joy? Why can’t we give happiness the same attention we give to our craft?

Elise Worthy

Elise Worthy

Brandworthy

http://bebrandworthy.com

Elise is software developer, marketer, and aspiring polymath. She’s obsessed with surfacing data for easy consumption and does so with lots of ruby and javascript. In 2012, she completed LivingSocial’s Hungry Academy program. She is currently on a 6-month fitness sabbatical, finding out her body’s potential and tracking improvement as she goes.

Topic

The History of Women in Programming

Computer science was dominated by women for decades. Women like Ada Lovelace and Grace Hopper paved the way for technical professions today. We’ll cover the history of women in computing, possible causes of the gender shift, and ideas for how our community can shape the future.

Co-presented with Jessica Suttles.

Glenn Vanderburg

Glenn Vanderburg

LivingSocial

http://livingsocial.com

Glenn Vanderburg has been a professional programmer for 25 years. He’s starting to see things come full-circle for at least the second time. Even as we are tackling new challenges, we’re rediscovering lessons that have been learned and relearned by programmers for many years. Glenn is a well known speaker and teacher, and is still having fun with Ruby after twelve years.

Topic

Making Friends with the Turtles

All developers should know something about the internals of their tools. But that’s a huge task … if you insisted on learning all of that up front, you’d never get started. This talk will cover why such knowledge is important and how to gain it while still getting your real work done.

Jeremy Ashkenas

Jeremy Ashkenas

Programmer-at-large

http://ashkenas.com/

Jeremy Ashkenas is a programmer-at-large. When not being itinerant, he works on the Interactive News team at the New York Times, and on DocumentCloud.org. He created the CoffeeScript programming language, Backbone.js and Underscore.js, among other open-source projects.

Topic

Literate Programming: A Modern Approach

Writing software is a discipline that fits uncomfortably among the hard sciences. Instead of treating code as just another kind of engineering – let’s look at how writing code shares similarities with other kinds of writing, and how literary approaches might help us achieve the kind of clarity and precision that we aim for in our software.

Jessica is a vegan cat-lover who lives in Santa Monica, CA and has been a rails developer for the past 4 years. She works for G5, and is on a specialized team reshaping the architecture of their core product.

Topic

The History of Women in Programming

Computer science was dominated by women for decades. Women like Ada Lovelace and Grace Hopper paved the way for technical professions today. We’ll cover the history of women in computing, possible causes of the gender shift, and ideas for how our community can shape the future.

Co-presented with Elise Worthy.

Jina Bolton enjoys creating beautiful user experiences. She currently works as a product designer at Do, an awesome company that helps you get work done. Previously, Jina has worked at rad companies including Apple, Engine Yard, and Crush + Lovely. She also coauthored 2 books, Fancy Form Design and The Art & Science of CSS.

She is currently helping lead Team Sass Design (a task force redesigning the Sass website) and Susy Next, the upcoming version of the Susy Responsive Grid system for Compass. She also has a side project, Art in My Coffee, a curated gallery of coffee art.

Topic

Realigning & Refactoring

Often designers and developers see Markup and CSS Refactoring as a dreaded, monolithic task. Organization, architecture, clean up, optimization, documentation all seem tedious and overwhelming. However, if you’re armed with the right tools and a solid foundation, you may find refactoring to be actually quite fun. Learn some Sass, markup, and documentation tips & tricks from a product designer’s perspective. Start making refactoring a regular part of your design process and development workflows.

Katrina Owen

Katrina Owen

Jumpstart Lab

http://jumpstartlab.com

Katrina accidentally became a developer while pursuing a degree in molecular biology. When programming, her focus is on automation, workflow optimization, and refactoring. She contributes to several open source projects, and is a full-time panelist on the RubyRogues podcast.

Topic

Hacking Passion

Skill is not about talent, and mastery is not about perfection.

Is talent a genentic boolean? Does success come simply because of our natural skill, or is there a path to success that includes hard work and finding your passion? And if the path includes passion, how do we capitalize on it to maximize our success?

Taking a systems approach to passion, success, and mastery, it’s possible to discover a means for bypassing that potential boolean. We can hack our way to success, enjoyment, and a passion-filled life.

Keavy McMinn

Keavy McMinn

GitHub

http://www.keavy.co.uk

Keavy works developing software at Github. As an independent consultant, over the previous decade, she has enjoyed pairing up with some of the top development shops across Europe and the U.S. Like many of her fellow Irishmen, Keavy enjoys telling a good story. Unlike many, she trains for Ironman triathlons and is not a fan of whiskey. Cosmo, anyone?

Topic

What Is Your Why?

TBA

Natalia Buckley

Natalia Buckley

Natalia Buckley

http://ntlk.net

Natalia Buckley is a technologist and interaction designer living and working in Brighton, UK. Apart from making things using the internet as a medium, Nat enjoys teaching beginners how to make their own things with technology. Drinks beer (very well) and rides a longboard (very badly).

Topic

Make the World Less Shit. NOW.

Technology is often somehow seen as objective, especially by people who don’t know much about how it’s made.

But like everything that involves human decision-making, it is riddled with biases.

In search of profit (or sometimes innocent simplification) we, the makers of technologies, the creators of technological tools, have the choice to for example reduce human friendship, with all their nuances, to a boolean: friendship is approved or it isn’t.

I want to tell stories which will make it clear how we are shaping technologies with our belief and value systems.

Among them, a story of a London university which built a neural network to deal with the first round of admission, presumed to be objective and based on logic. It was later discovered to inherit all biases of the people who were doing its job in previous academic years, because that’s what the system was based on.

Or another story, of the biggest encyclopaedia ever created, one that removes barriers to entry and truly democratises knowledge. Only it doesn’t quite achieve this despite the ambition, as the participants are largely a self-selected group that lacks involvement from huge swaths of society.

How we look at these biases will be crucial in building a better world, one where we acknowledge and address the issues we build into technology in the first place.

Reginald Braithwaite

Reginald Braithwaite

Leanpub

http://braythwayt.com

Reg “raganwald” Braithwaite is proof that somewhere, a village is missing its idiot. Either that, or a combinatory forest is missing its Idiot Bird, we’re not quite sure. His interests include constructing surreal numbers, deconstructing hopelessly egocentric nulls, and celebrating the joy of programming. He reminds us that “Ragnvald” is a perfectly good Nordic name.

Topic

The Imminent Collapse of Ruby

The premise of this talk is that Ruby is an inherently untrustworthy language, and that a radical re-imagining of its class dependency model is required to ensure its long-term future.

In this talk I will gently but firmly show why a language that was exciting and fresh in 2002, is dangerously flawed in 2013, and will not survive to 2024. I will also propose an replacement set of semantics that retain the “Ruby Way” and are highly backwards-compatible with the Ruby we love. The talk will cover issues with respect to framework vulnerabilities, gem dependencies, unit tests, and programming-by-contract.

Tekin Suleyman

Tekin Suleyman

crowd.fm

http//tekin.co.uk

Tekin Suleyman is a Manchester-based freelance Ruby developer and general builder of things. As well as helping to run the local Ruby user group, he organises the Bootstrap Business Club, a support group for geeks and techies building their own products. The rest of the time, you can probably find him on a bike somewhere.

Topic

Bootstrapping a Startup, a Developer's Tale

Most developers will be brimming with ideas, some of which end up as side-projects. But what happens when you decide to turn one of these side-projects into an actual business? A product that you charge people money to use and that you hope will one day become your full-time gig?

What follows is a cautionary tale, warts and all, from someone who has been there, done that and got the t-shirt. Hear from a fellow developer: what it’s like to build and launch a product in your spare time; how your developer brain can actually work against you; why your idea might be doomed from the start; and ultimately, how to make the right choices to maximise the chance your bootstrapped startup will be a success.

Sponsors

Organiser

  • Elabs

Fire sponsors

  • Engine Yard
  • Basho

Earth sponsors

  • GitHub
  • ProjectPuzzle
  • Moz
  • Yammer
  • Avidity

Wind Supporters

Interested in sponsoring Nordic Ruby?