Brunch 11:00 am
Working in Boston - Sean Lindsay 11:30 am
Why is Boston a special place for technologists and entrepreneurs? What does it have to offer? How can a Boston-area student follow their heart into the local ecosystem of companies? Bill is a local legend. Don't be late. Get a good seat. You'll want to see this one.
- Boston Vim Group Come to learn, or bring your own lightning talk (which must adhere to our strict “no slides” rule. Yes, really.) No registration required. Neckbeards optional.
- The Web Innovators Group Quarterly, about 500 people gather to see the latest startups demo their services.
- UX Boston Book Club Monthly meetup centered around reading a book or series of articles on User Experience, then discussing at the Microsoft NERD center near Kendall Square.
- Refresh Boston A community of designers and developers working to refresh the creative, technical, & professional culture in the Boston area while promoting design, technology, usability, and standards.
- Design With Boston A monthly meet-up for designers interested in the things that make great products possible. 5-10 minutes per person for presentations and discussions grow organically from there.
- Boston Ruby Group A local community of Rubyists and enthusiasts of open source software. The second Tuesday of every month are one or two 45-minute presentations, lightning talks, and announcements. Very active mailing list.
Sean is Co-Founder and Chief Technology Officer at Viximo, the largest independent platform connecting social applications with premium social networks. An experienced technical entrepreneur with a strong history designing and delivering new products to emerging markets, Sean is also an advisor to several early stage startups and coordinates the independent FounderMentors program.
Lean UX - Kate Rutter 11:40 am
Tumblr. Vimeo. Path. Airbnb. These are the startups people reference lately when they want to provide examples of companies where design is not just excellent, but a core differentiator. They are able to take empathy for the customer as their input and rapidly deliver amazing experiences for those customers as their output. Lean UX is a new discipline intended to help others work in a similar manner.
Kate is a co-founder of Luxr. Previously, she was with Adaptive Path, where she specialized in user research and design for complex and emerging digital systems, bringing customer empathy and collaborative design practices to companies such as Nokia, Travel+Leisure Publishing, Globo Networks, and Greenpeace.
Designing for Mobile - Steve Rivera 11:50 am
Brief intro to designing for mobile. How do I start designing an app Where should the buttons go How's it different than designing for anything else? What tools are available to help me design my app? What about mobile web and mobile email? Wait, there's more to mobile than apps?
- Mobile First Going mobile first prepares you for the explosive growth and new opportunities emerging on mobile today, forces you to focus and prioritize your products by embracing the constraints inherent in mobile design, and allows you to deliver innovative experiences by building on new capabilities native to mobile devices and modes of use.
Steve is the lead designer at SCVNGR/LevelUp. He has his hands in everything from app interface design to front-end work on the web to print ad campaigns and packaging.
Steve originally thought art would be more fun than tech and graduated from Harvard with a degree in the History of Art and Architecture. Luckily, he's found a happy middle. When he's not designing he can usually be found planning his next international excursion.
Vim - Ben Orenstein 12:00 pm
Oh, you're using an editor other than vim? That's cool! If you enjoy typing.
Find out why vim is the fastest conduit for 'code in brain' to 'code in editor'. We'll start with the basics for those who've never used it, and work our way up into useful stuff for seasoned vimmers.
Type less. Code faster. Learn vim.
Ben is a vim evangelist, Apple fanboy, and an embarrassingly-frequent Boloco customer. He's spoken at RailsConf, finished 11th in the Rails Rumble, and is flirting with entering the top 50 Rails committers. When not vimming, he sings in a barbershop quartet and assistant-directs a chorus. Ben believes in TDD, A/B testing, and remapping caps lock to escape.
jQuery Mobile - Todd Parker 12:10 pm
jQuery Mobile is a library written on top of jQuery. It makes it easy to develop mobile web applications that work on all popular smartphones and tablets. It is optimized for touch. It uses the lessons learned from jQuery UI to make theming your app simple.
Todd is a founding partner of Filament Group in Boston with Patty Toland in 2001. He brings over a dozen years of experience creating highly functional, accessible and intuitive interfaces that make the most of the technical and interface constraints of a broad range of devices, from mobile devices, to touch screen tablets, kiosks and web sites.
CSS, Sass, & Bourbon - Phil LaPier 12:20 pm
The purpose of Bourbon Sass Mixins is to provide a comprehensive library of Sass mixins that are designed to be as vanilla as possible, meaning they should not deter you from using the original CSS syntax. The mixins contain vendor specific prefixes for all CSS3 properties for support amongst modern browsers. The prefixes also ensure graceful degradation for older browsers that support only CSS3 prefixed properties. Bourbon uses SCSS syntax.
With an approach to UI design that entails a user-centered design philosophy at its core, Phil strives to combine theory with practice by creating a trail of well crafted pixels wherever he goes. A sharply dressed swagger of a fellow, Phil graduated from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute with a B.S. in Graphic Design.
Open Source Software - Erik Michaels-Ober 12:30 pm
Open source software is important. It is a matter of the users' freedom to run, copy, distribute, study, change and improve the software.
- The Cathedral and the Bazaar Eric Raymond's classic details the optimal open source model, tells stories of open source project he contributed to, and argues its benefits.
- The Pragmatic Programmer A book that will help you understand the core processes of software development. Take these lessons with you no matter which technologies and frameworks you get into over the years.
- Git Immersion Learn git by doing it. Follow this amazing tutorial.
UNIX - Mike Burns 12:40 pm
Unix is the underlying operating system of most production web applications. It's been in development for decades. It's generally a good idea to match your development environment with your production environment so we recommend running a unix-like system like Mac OS X or Ubuntu on your laptop.
You access unix through a shell. Mastering the power of the shell will save you crazy amounts of time over the years. Don't do things manually. Automate them. Use a Unix command. You'll be glad you did.
- Learning the Unix Operating System You'll really learn Unix from using it every day and consulting the man (manual) pages, but it's good to read something for an overview.
- The Unix Programming Environment Unix is for programming so the creators wrote a guide on how to use unix as a programmer.
- The zsh workshop zsh is a popular Unix shell and this little tutorial does a good job explaining why you might want to use it.
Ruby on Rails - Catherine Powell 12:50 pm
Ruby is a language for writing beautiful code that makes programmers happy. Rails is an attempt to mold the beauty and productiveness of Ruby into a solution for web applications. It is opinionated software that relieves common burdens on programmers. For example, ActiveRecord, the ORM part of Rails, makes relational data mesh seamlessly with an object-oriented domain model with minimal configuration.
- Ruby on Rails guides Have a question about routing? What you can generally do with ActiveRecord? The new Rails 3 way of using ActionMailer? This is where you go.
- Ruby on Rails API Trying to find a method or class? Need to see the official docs on a method, or trying to remember it's signature? Bookmark this site. It's super-fast to find what you need and will become an extension of your brain as you memorize the Rails API.
- The Pickaxe "Programming Ruby", also called "The Pickaxe", is hands-down the best book on Ruby out there. It was the first English-language Ruby book and really brought Ruby to the United States. Rails wouldn't have existed without Dave Thomas' work, and you won't be able to become a Rails expert without really know Ruby. So pick up The Pickaxe and dig through Ruby with it.
Catherine works for Abakas, a software consulting firm. She specializes in enabling teams to create great software and have fun doing it; she particularly enjoys that she gets to do everything from hiring to development to test to support. Catherine believes that computers respond to encouragement before 7pm, and to insults after 7pm.
Test-Driven Development - Nick Quaranto 1:00 pm
Test-Driven Development is the process of writing tests before implementation code, watching the tests pass, writing the simplest implementation to get them to pass, refactoring, and repeating.
The business benefits of TDD include shipping working software and adapting to change quickly.
The code benefits of TDD include readable specs and code, clean public interfaces, and decoupled modules.
The process benefits of TDD include a regression safety net, fearless refactoring, team trust, and defined process of how to test.
Nick has a Software Engineering degree from RIT, where he programmed in classic ASP and ASP.NET.
After a thoughtbot apprenticeship, Nick joined thoughtbot as a full-time developer. He became a fixture of the Ruby community, creating rubygems.org and receiving a Ruby Hero award.
He now works for 37signals.
Object-Oriented Programming - Bryan Liles 1:10 pm
Software is intended to be soft. Malleable. Easy to change. Unfortunately, as a project gets older, that isn't always the case. Object-Oriented Programming is where it's at for making code easier to change. A great project will be full of small objects with a single, well-defined responsibility. It will have many small methods that do only one thing. It limits the number of types an object collaborates with. It avoids global state. Methods have small, simple signatures. Composition is used instead of inheritance. Programmers can be artists. Design your code with OOP.
Bryan is the Greatest Man Alive. He hacks Ruby. He trolls Twitter. He hasn’t written any books, and doesn’t maintain any major open source projects. Most of his time is spent helping others level up their awesomeness; trying to cause chaos with writings on his blog; or just being a great dad and husband.
Backbone.js - Greg Smith 1:20 pm
With Backbone, you represent your data as Models, which can be created, validated, destroyed, and saved to the server. Whenever a UI action causes an attribute of a model to change, the model triggers a "change" event; all the Views that display the model's data are notified of the event, causing them to re-render. You don't have to write the glue code that looks into the DOM to find an element with a specific id, and update the HTML manually — when the model changes, the views simply update themselves.
PostgreSQL - Harold Giménez 1:30 pm
PostgreSQL is an open source relational database. It is known for its power, focus on data integrity, and strict compliance with SQL standards. Ruby on Rails' object-relational mapper, ActiveRecord, has a comprehensive adapter to make using Postgres in your Rails app very easy. Popular Ruby hosting company Heroku also provides a Postgres database by default, so deploying your Rails+Postgres app to production is easy.
With roots in electrical engineering, Harold always had a fascination for software and a passion for open source. He believes that at the heart of making the right decisions is data. He strives to find better ways to visualize and understand data in order to find useful information, and tries to incorporate that into his work and life. He enjoys playing blues on his acoustic guitar.
Consuming APIs - Brian Whitman 1:40 pm
Developers are the future of music and in this talk, Brian will prove it by consuming the Echo Nest API in an example app.
Brian is recognized as a leading scientist in the area of music and text retrieval and natural language processing.
He received his doctorate from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 2005 in Machine Listening and a masters degree in Computer Science from Columbia University's Natural Language Processing Group. His research links community knowledge of music to its acoustic properties to "learn the meaning of music."
Brian is an electronic musician that teaches computers how to do it for themselves.
Providing APIs - Chris Barratt 1:50 pm
An Application Programming Interface (API) is a way for developers to access your startup’s data. Well-known examples include Twitter, Foursquare, Google Maps, and Amazon Web Services.
This is not a fad. An API can be another revenue stream, a way to increase traffic and traction, or it can unveil ways to pivot the business
Most APIs today are HTTP APIs and use the JSON data format.
So how do you provide one?
Chris is a Lead Software Engineer at RunKeeper and the architect of the Health Graph API, and brings a decade of research and professional experience to his current job of building a scalable, maintainable platform for users around the world. He holds degrees in Computer Science from Worcester Polytechnic Institute (B.S.) and Brown University (Sc.M.).
Workers and Queues - Brendan Schwartz 2:00 pm
Fetching data from remote APIs, reading RSS feeds, resizing images, and uploading data to S3 are all examples of tasks that should be processed as background jobs. The web hit that requests the job places it in queue and returns to the client immediately. The client can then poll for updates to see when their job is complete.
Queueing is the key to building truly scalable web apps. Don’t do any heavy lifting in the web processes (Mongrel/Thin); instead, put things on a queue and do the work in a background process. This ensures that web requests can always return immediately.
Last Year I Was You - Alex Godin 2:10 pm
Last year, Alex was a student attending this conference, then called "Developers Developers Developers Developers." He was a junior in high school. He had been attending NY startup events learning Ruby on Rails for a few months.
Since then, he's been doing great work. In this talk, he'll share what he's learned in the last year.