Our Speakers!

Emily Freeman

Emily Freeman

After many years of ghostwriting, Emily Freeman made the bold (insane?!) choice to switch careers into software engineering. Emily is the curator of JavaScript January — a collection of JavaScript articles which attracts 32,000 visitors in the month of January. A former competitive powerlifter, she works as a developer advocate for Kickbox and lives in Denver, Colorado.

The Intelligence of Instinct

Fear isn’t a gut feeling. It’s your brain delivering critical information derived from countless cues that have added up to one conclusion. This talk will explore fear, instinct and denial. And we’ll look at how we can start to view “feelings” as pre-incident indicators.

Steve Kinney

Steve Kinney

Steve Kinney is a principal engineer at SendGrid where he works on creating a rich WYSIWYG editor for building HTML emails using modern web technologies. Previously, he was the director of the front-end engineering program at the Turing School of Software and Design in Denver, Colorado where he taught JavaScript and other technologies to aspiring developers from across the country. He is a recovering New York City public school teacher and recently learned how to drive a car.

Actually Understanding Asynchronous JavaScript

Reasoning about asynchronous JavaScript doesn’t have to be maddening once you understand what’s going on under the hood. In this talk, we’ll take a good, hard look at how the browser and Node.js implement asynchrony and how to reason about it and build on top of it with confidence and moxie.

Colin Ihrig

Colin Ihrig

Colin Ihrig is a member of the Node.js Core Technical Committee, a libuv collaborator, and a hapi.js core team member. Colin is the author of Pro Node.js for Developers, and co-author of Full Stack JavaScript Development with MEAN. Colin is currently a product engineer at Joyent, focusing on Node.js development and enterprise support.

The State of Node Core

Node.js, as a platform, is constantly changing and evolving. Node’s core is a melting pot of features from our own community, as well as dependencies such as V8 and libuv. This talk will cover the latest developments in Node core, including the freshly released (if we’re on time this year) Node 10.

Julka Grodel

Julka Grodel

Julka Grodel is a Principal Software Engineer at Framebridge, a DC startup disrupting the custom framing market. She is happiest when she can get lost in the details and structure of a thing, making it for work her, making it work better, or cleaning it up to make it easier for others. By day, Julka channels this focus to empower Framebridge customers to frame everything they love and she enjoys seeing how creative and weird people get. When not toiling away for her corporate overlords she spends her time volunteering on literacy projects with the Junior League, in a Pilates studio, or doting over her blind cat Batman and his BFF Robin.

Will You Help Me End Pixelated Images on the Internet?

Have you heard about how Scalable Vector Graphics can look great at any resolution and can take up less space than other images? Let me introduce you to the XML format that is SVG, styling them and some transformations so you can begin putting them to work.

Chris Nguyen

Chris Nguyen

Chris Nguyen is a senior engineer at The Washington Post where he works on scaling the rendering and curation engine that powers Arc Publishing’s distributed CMS. He’s a native Washingtonian and alumni of UMD and GWU, where he studied computer science and linguistics.

Through the Language Glass

Linguistic relativity is the idea that the language we speak shapes the way we see the world. Some ideas are easier to express in certain languages rather than others. For example, in Vietnamese, the word for “blue” is the same as the word for “green”, but that doesn’t mean that Vietnamese speakers are incapable of expressing this difference. Vietnamese is equally expressive as English, much like JavaScript is equally expressive as Ruby or Python.

In this talk, we’ll look at how linguistic relativity appears in human languages and then apply this idea to solve programming problems. Sometimes it’s easier for a bilingual person to respond in one language versus another. In a similar fashion, we’ll look at features of programming languages (like first-class functions) and explore how those features can make a problem easier to solve.

Laurie Barth

Laurie Barth

Laurie Barth has 5+ years of experience in the technology industry as a full stack developer, including 2 years as a Program Manager. She currently works as a engineering consultant with Ten Mile Square in Washington, DC helping to solve complex problems for companies large and small. In Laurie’s spare time she can be found playing board games and solving puzzles.

Building a UI That Can Live Forever

How do you build a tool that can live forever? A tool that can evolve along with updates, and new hardware and ever changing technical specs? This talk is about a tool that does just that. What it does. How it works. And how we built it.

Chris Strom

Chris Strom

You could fill a book with what I don’t know. Which is rather the point. Author of 3D Game Programming for Kids, Patterns in Polymer, Dart for Hipsters and The SPDY Book. Co-author of Recipes with Backbone.

Babylon vs. Three: a WebGL Throwdown

The state of the art of WebGL for visualizations and games has gotten pretty darn great. There are a number of solid APIs and frameworks in JavaScript. Which is the best of the best? The venerable Three.js or the upstart Babylon? Let’s take a look at both and you decide.

Chris Nguyen

Frances Coronel

Frances Coronel is a developer with a design background who gets a lot of personal satisfaction out of helping the local tech community through her varied skill set.

Frances currently works as a Software Engineer at Accenture's Liquid Studio in Silicon Valley, specializing in UI engineering.

She has a Master's in Computer Science from Cornell Tech and a Bachelor's in Computer Science from Hampton University.

In the long-term, she wants to be able to help engineer and invest in alternative forms of education for computer science and become a leader in that community.

Frances is passionate about all aspects of development and regularly contributes to open-source projects while attending conferences, hackathons, and Meetups related to tech.

Progressive Web Apps 101

I’ll walk you through the steps of transforming an existing website into a Progressive Web App from the bottom up. Together we’ll also explore the wide array of companies that have already benefited from the many enhancements PWAs offer.

Tommy Marshall

Tommy Marshall

Tommy Marshall is a Virginia native and Software Engineer at Medallia. He has been building for the web since he was 12 years old (30 now) with projects ranging from JavaScript games to huge applications used by millions of people. His work has won multiple Site of the Day Awwward’s, been featured on Product Hunt, won a Webby, and was even nominated for multiple Emmy's (Who knew that was a thing?).

Six reasons why you should be using Styled Components

In this session, I will dig into strategies that many companies and applications are using to style and theme their products. I'll show the shortcomings, bizarre abstractions and down-right insane-ness that some of them get into in order to satisfy even simple requirements. I'll then give a live demo of what it looks like to convert a simple React app from using the popular classNames styling strategy to using Styled Components (< 3 minutes). After you see what Styled Components looks like and how simple it is, I'll briefly cover how it works under the hood so you can explain it to your parents in case they ever ask. Finally, I'll walk through the Six awesome reasons why Styled Components is the best styling system and strategy I've seen and show how it will make you a happier developer. You're welcome.

Billy Roh

Billy Roh

Billy Roh is a product design lead at Opendoor. He helps organize a monthly meetup called WaffleJS in his spare time. Before Opendoor, he was a designer at Facebook, where he worked on profiles and advertiser tools.

Learning through Art: An Introduction to VR

Virtual reality can be daunting—it’s unclear what you can do with it and it’s hard to know where to even start. I’ll introduce you to fundamental VR concepts by re-creating an interactive installation art piece by Yayoi Kusama in A-Frame, a VR web framework. So you can try it out at home, I’ll also walk you through the ecosystem of VR libraries and affordable hardware that’s currently out there.