Speakers

Our lineup of conference speakers and breakout session leaders brought their deep knowledge of software engineering, machine learning, cryptocurrency, cloud computing and more to Northwest Arkansas. 

 

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Watch videos from 2018's Nowhere Developers Conference below! 

 

Jonas Meyer: Understanding Cryptocurrencies

Abstract: In this technically oriented talk, the basics of Nakamoto Consensus (the technology behind Bitcoin, Ethereum, and other public blockchains) are covered. Proof of Work and Proof of stake are explained, and some of the differences between well known cryptocurrencies are covered. By the end of the talk, you will understand the definitions and capabilities of colored coins, decentralized autonomous corporations/organizations, and smart contracts. This talk does not cover cryptocurrency as an investment. An undergraduate level of Computer Science is assumed.

Speaker Bio: Jonas Meyer works as a Technical Program Manager at Google, helping to coordinate security and management for several hundred thousand desktops, laptops, phones, and tablets. Jonas fancies himself an amateur futurist, focused on the intersection of new technologies, microeconomics, and humanity. He became interested in cryptocurrency in late 2010, and has been a close observer of the space since 2012.


Jeff Parker and Pam Fisher: Operating Services in a Hostile Environment

Abstract: The cloud offers the promise of unlimited compute and always-on network, but what if your environment doesn't guarantee those promises? This talk will highlight techniques used to operate and deploy Walmart's next-generation point of sale (POS) software using micro-cloud technology at the edge. Store-based micro-clouds provide exceptional availability even when faced with exceptional conditions. Learn how Walmart uses the micro-cloud environment to provide redundancy for the solution when connectivity is interrupted or non-optimal to provide a seamless, consistent checkout experience for Walmart's customers.

Speaker Bio: Jeff Parker is an Enterprise Technical Expert at Walmart, where he focuses on research and development for a wide range of areas, focusing on solving business problems with cloud technology. Jeff possesses over 20 number of years of experience in Service Development, Cloud architecture and Analytic systems working for retail giants Walmart and Amazon. He holds a BS degree in Computer Science from the University of Arkansas.

Speaker Bio: Pam Fisher is a Senior Manager in the Customer Technology sector at Walmart. She has 18 years experience in Retail Technology, with approximately 5 in leadership. She’s currently responsible for all Release Management for Store Technology and Customer Technology as well as Release Automation efforts.


Greg Tatum: Sculpting and Drawing with Algorithms using WebGL

Abstract: This talk uses WebGL to demonstrate how to think about working with geometry, topology, and math to create interesting 3d forms. The examples are core parts of how I’ve built many of WebGL visualizations. The content of this talk is aimed at a wide variety of technical levels, as there is both a discussion of the technical process, as well interactive real-time graphics generated through the process.

Speaker Bio: Greg Tatum is a Browser Software Engineer for Mozilla, working on DevTools that help make Firefox and the open web faster. He enjoys finding areas where art and design ideas can help break down complicated technical details into data visualizations, or powerful and intuitive user interfaces.


Sabeen Ali: How Holistic Hacking Leads to Developer Happiness  

Abstract: After seven years of organizing hackathons, innovative initiates, and growing a global developer community we’ve seen entrepreneurs at every stage. Some of the best, and most successful all had one trait in common, something we at AngelHack like to describe as Holistic. A Holistic Hacker's skill sets go beyond code, encompassing general knowledge from the business and communications side; ultimately leading to a diverse set of soft skills, confidence, and overall developer happiness. In this talk, you will learn about these best practices every developer should know, and how to integrate holistic hacking into your everyday life.

Speaker Bio: Sabeen Ali is Founder and CEO of AngelHack, female-owned and majority female-operated company that organizes hackathons and accelerates early-stage startups from around the world. Prior to AngelHack, Sabeen founded and sold her own leadership training and organizational development company; Team Building ROI, which provided leadership and organizational development training to companies such as Google, IBM, Blackberry, NetApp, Cisco, and others. She holds an M.S. in Organization Development from the University of San Francisco and is an expert in change management.


Dr. Michael Gashler: Using Neural Networks to Solve Non-Traditional Challenges

Abstract: It is well understood that deep neural networks can be highly effective function approximators, but it is less well known that function approximation is not the only thing they can do. Neural networks can also infer missing values in data, generate anticipated observations, estimate state in dynamic systems, remove noise from inputs, reduce dimensionality, and fuse information from different modalities. Applying neural networks in such atypical ways requires the user to have a little knowledge about how they work internally. This talk seeks to impart a little intuition for what happens inside a neural network, and will demonstrate how neural networks can be used in applications that require a more than just function approximation. The goal of this talk will be to enable the attendees to make more effective use of neural networks in non-traditional applications.

Speaker Bio: Michael S. Gashler studies in the field of machine learning. His research interests focus on methods that enable machines to perceive and understand high-dimensional observations, and to operate effectively in circumstances that were not anticipated a priori by the programmer. Dr. Gashler earned his Ph.D. in machine learning with a focus in non-linear dimensionality reduction from Brigham Young University in 2012. Prior to his graduate studies, he worked for Microsoft where he helped to develop the security system underlying the Common Language Runtime. He is the architect of several open source projects, including "Waffles", a toolkit of machine learning and data mining algorithms. He taught himself to program when he was young by trying to build the video games that his parents did not give to him. He now hopes to inspire students to build technology that science has not yet given to us. In particular, his lab intents to narrow the gap between the cognitive capabilities of humans and machines.


David Max: A Tale of Two Systems

Abstract: In this tale, a software team attempts to build a new system to replace their old system that was failing because of its inability to scale. The system they end up building meets all their criteria for scaling, but they discover that it has broken other criteria in ways that they did not anticipate. What this team did not take into account is that scalability is only one quality attribute of a system's architecture. Certain quality attributes tend to trade off against each other, so it is often impossible to change just one aspect of a system while expecting all the other attributes to stay the same. This team could have avoided disaster if they had thought more about their system architecturally by making more explicit their goals and accounting for the ways the attributes they needed to change would trade off against the existing constraints their new system still needed to meet.

Speaker Bio: David Max is a Senior Software Engineer at LinkedIn in New York City where he helps build software systems to connect the world’s professionals and create economic opportunity for every member of the global workforce. He earned his undergraduate degree in Computer Science from the California Institute of Technology, and has a Masters degree in Computer Science from New York University. He has previously worked at Google and in the financial technology field.