SciFiDevCon 2020

29-31 July Virtual
Who doesn't love development? Who doesn't love SciFi/Fantasy/Comics?
Who thinks combinations of the two are going to be even better?
Please note: All times for this conference are in U.S. Central Daylight Time zone (UTC -5)
3
Days
4
Premium Sessions
4
Incredible Keynotes
24
Themed Sessions
24
Additional Sessions
Networking
All-Attendee Conference App

About SciFiDevCon

Who doesn't love development (or solving business problems)? Who doesn't love SciFi/Fantasy/Comics? Who thinks combinations of these things are going to be even better? If you answer ME - then this is the virtual-con for you!

Honestly, we're reeling from the loss of many of our favorite in-person conferences due to COVID-19. We all know the best conferences are the ones that have the best after-session mingling and networking. However, we still need to hear about what's going on in the developer community.

This conference is a gap-fill to satisfy our need to hear from others in the community and also another chance to give those who love speaking about what they know and have learned a place to keep doing it (and doing it well), even in these unprecedented times.

In addition to solving our itch for a good tech conference, this conference is a chance to hear about things other developers are doing and learn new or better ways to improve your daily workflow.

The best parts about this conference will be that not only will we be talking tech, but we'll be encouraging all presenters to enhance talks with sci-fi/fantasy/comics/gaming, and anything else in what was traditionally called geek/nerd culture.

We're also planning to put networking tools in place where people can talk and network around tech and comic-con-like topics.

TL/DR. Stay home and avoid the con-crud. Learn cool stuff from industry and thought leaders. Embrace sci-fi/fantasy/culture in the process. Have a great 3-day conference to gap-fill and scratch our conference itch until we can get our favorite in-person events back.

Why Join Us

  • Themed talks will make this conference one-of-a-kind
  • 30+ industry and thought leading speakers
  • Choose the topics relevant to you
  • Premium talks to get you out of your own way - enhance your career
  • Virtual Networking tool will allow for connections and discussions with peers and speakers
  • We need to keep having tech conferences
  • An extraordinary experience for an extraordinary value

Event Starts In:

The Goal

I've always wanted to donate a well through World-Vision. The cost of the well is 15,000. With the amount of money I've personally invested in this conference included, to break even and donate a well, SciFiDevCon needs to raise a total of 22500. Together, we can satisfy our thirst for knowledge, and a community's search for clean water.

All proceeds after breaking even will go towards this cause until the goal is met (the goal includes breaking even and donating a well)

Why Join Us

  • Themed talks will make this conference one-of-a-kind
  • 30+ industry and thought leading speakers
  • Choose the topics relevant to you
  • Premium talks to get you out of your own way - enhance your career
  • Virtual Networking tool will allow for connections and discussions with peers and speakers
  • We need to keep having tech conferences
  • An extraordinary experience for an extraordinary value

Event Starts In:


Speakers

Call for speakers is now closed! Missed it? Submit anyway (we may still have room for you)! SciFiDevCon Call for speakers

Premium Sessions

Kristin Smedley & Mary Fran Bontempo
Brilliantly Resilient
Read more →
Dr. Dustin Behn
Break the Code of Mediocrity
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Image of Anjuan Simmons
Anjuan Simmons
Lending Privilege
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Scott Asai
Soft Skills Get Hard Results
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Keynotes

Image of Chris Holland
Chris Holland
Director, Engineering, TriNet
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image of Mark Nadal
Mark Nadal
ERA CEO
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image of Nate Taylor
Nate Taylor
Lead Developer at Aviture
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image of Jennifer Wadella
Jennifer Wadella
Founder, Kansas City Women in Technology
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Conference Speakers

John SJ Anderson
Infinity Interactive
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image of Menaka Baskerpillai
Menaka Baskerpillai
Associate Software Engineer Accenture Digital
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image of Robert Boedigheimer
Robert Boedigheimer
Principal Systems Developer
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image of Jeremy Clark
Jeremy Clark
Developer Betterer
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image of Mike Cole
Mike Cole
Principal at Cole Consulting
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image of Arthur Doler
Arthur Doler
Senior Software Developer at Aviture
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image of Devlin Duldulao
Devlin Duldulao
Microsoft MVP, Senior Consultant at Inmeta
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image of Sarah Dutkiewicz
Sarah Dutkiewicz
Microsoft MVP, Data Science Adventurer, Polyglot Programmer
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Christofer Dutz
Industrial IoT Consultant, codecentric AG & VP of Apache PLC4X
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Matt Eland
Instructor at Tech Elevator
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image of Nicolas Frankel
Nicolas Frankel
Developer Advocate @ Hazelcast
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image of Mihaela-Roxana Ghidersa
Mihaela-Roxana Ghidersa
Centric IT Solutions, Software Developer
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image of Joseph Guadagno
Joseph Guadagno
DIrector, Technology at Quicken Loans, Organizer of Desert Code Camp, Microsoft .NET MVP
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image of Courtney Heitman
Courtney Heitman
Technical Accessibility Specialist
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image of Shubhi Khanna
Shubhi Khanna
Co-founder, UaceIt | Sophomore, Computer Science
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image of Jen Luker
Jen Luker
Sr. Software Engineer
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image of George Mauer
George Mauer
CTO at operationspark.org
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image of Brian McKeiver
Brian McKeiver
Solution Architect at BizStream
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image of Simon Painter
Simon Painter
.NET Contractor and Consultant
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image of Guy Royse
Guy Royse
Developer Advocate at Redis Labs
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image of Scott Sauber
Scott Sauber
Professional Software Consultant at Lean TECHniques
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image of Dana Scheider
Dana Scheider
Developer. Tester. Advocate.
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image of Dean Schuster
Dean Schuster
UX Strategy Expert and Partner in Truematter
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image of mitchelsellers
Mitchel Sellers
Flying Code Ninja! - Microsoft MVP
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Anjuan Simmons
Engineering Coach at Help Scout
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Alexander Slotte
Microsoft MVP and Managing Consultant at Excella
Read more →
image of Mat Warger
Mat Warger
Senior Consultant with Keyhole Software
Read more →

Schedule [All times are U.S. CDT (UTC -5)

Brilliantly Resilient

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Brilliantly Resilient

What’s your train wreck? Everyone has one—past, present, or future. Now, COVID19 is the world’s collective train wreck. But how do you keep your train wreck from becoming your story? How do some people come through stronger while others never recover?

A crisis can leave us lost, frustrated, and stuck, wreaking havoc on our mental health. But everyone has inherent Resilience that can help us come through challenges Brilliant, not broken. Kristin Smedley and Mary Fran Bontempo overcame enormous train wrecks and sucker punches by uncovering their resilience as well as a “toolbox” of skills and strategies leading to their brilliance.

In this program, you will learn to:

  • Reset with Resilience—Uncover your Resilience to re-frame challenge and surrender as opportunity.
  • Rise—Establish perception, values and skills to navigate challenges.
  • Reveal your Brilliance—Create an action plan based on your skills and talents to share your Brilliance with the world.

Learn more at Brilliantly Resilient.

Break the Code of Mediocrity

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Session Detail coming soon....

Lending Privilege

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Diversity and inclusion have become hot topics in technology, but you may not know how you can make a difference. However, this talk will help you understand that, no matter your background, you have privilege and can lend it to underrepresented groups in tech.

Privilege is access to societal and economic benefits based on characteristics you possess. The most well understood forms of privilege are birth privileges like racial, gender, and physical privilege, but there are also selected privileges like religion, education, and career.

This session will teach attendees how to lend their privilege to their fellow technologists. They will learn the various types of privilege lending including credibility lending (where you provide visibility to someone without privilege), access lending (where you provide access to someone without privilege), and expertise lending (where you provide a voice to someone without privilege). These different types of privilege lending will be illustrated through well known examples and an explanation of how they can be applied to the technology industry.


Soft Skills Get Hard Results

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Based on his 2020 TEDx Talk in Laie, Oahu, “Saving Soft Skills From Extinction,” Scott teaches audiences how to model soft skills to the next generation producing better communication and performance in the workplace.

Learn more at https://www.scottasai.com/.

Episode IV - A New Hope: Industry 4.0 done our way

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It is a period of technological change. Rebel Industry 4.0 open-source software solutions, striking from hidden bases, have won their first victories against the evil proprietary Industrial Empire. During the battle, Rebel spies managed to implement industrial protocols to the Empire’s ultimate weapons, the industrial Programmable Logic Controllers, almost unprotected pieces of hardware with enough power to destroy an entire planet. Pursued by the Empire’s sinister agents, a representative of the project races through cyberspace aboard his GitHub account, custodian of his plans to revolutionize the way we are building Industry 4.0 applications, that can free all companies and restore freedom to the industry …

Learn how the Apache PLC4X project has evolved and what we have planned for the future and especially how it can currently help close the gap between industrial hardware and modern software solutions to build the next generation of industrial IoT solutions, based entirely on open-source software.

12pm - 12:50pm

All Systems Functional: Understanding Delegates in .NET

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Delegates are the gateway to functional programming. So lets understand delegates and how we can change the way we program by using functions as parameters, variables, and properties. In addition, we'll see how the built in delegate types, Func and Action, are waiting to make our lives easier. With the help of a few commanders from your favorite TV shows (or maybe some you've never heard of), we'll see how delegates can add elegance, extensibility, and safety to our programming.

1pm - 1:50pm

Dungeons, Dragons, and Graph Databases

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Are you an adventurer? Do you want gold? Experience? Levels? Of course you do! And where do you get these things? The dungeon, where else? That wonderful container of all things adventurous! But, unfortunately, dungeons aren't setup for the convenience of adventurers who wish to extract these fine things. It’s almost as if the dungeon master just made the dungeon up at random. And so you wander about and you get what you get.

But you’re also a developer. You could build a database of all the rooms with their shiny and monstrous content. Then you could query it and find the optimal route to get the gold and the experience and the levels. But how would you model this data and write these queries? The rooms. The corridors. The monsters. The sparkling hoozits. That’s a lot of entities to relate to each other. And that’s gonna be a monster of a SQL query. Whoa–look at that JOIN! Better get my text editor ready.

Or, you could use a graph database. A graph database allows you to model these relationships simply and intuitively with nodes and edges. Being schema-free, you can evolve your graph as you encounter new things such as traps or secret doors. And, using the Cypher query language, you can write elegant and easy to understand queries that find the best routes to get the stuff adventures desire most.

In this talk, I’ll use the aforementioned example to introduce you to the concepts of graph databases. I’ll compare how to solve this problem with a relational database and how a graph database makes it easier. I’ll show you how to query and modify your graph. And, as no talk would be complete without a live demo, I’ll do it all using a real-time procedurally generated random dungeon (I am a dungeon master after all).

So come, have a flagon of mead as you learn about graph databases, optimize your dungeon crawl, and equip another weapon in your quest for better software!

2pm - 2:50pm

Org-Mode and Farscape: Two things totally worth your time

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Org-Mode is a fascinating agenda manager, todo system, markup language, notebook programming environment, and static site generator which is worth learning a little Emacs for. Farscape is a show from the late 90s that Guardians of the Galaxy director, James Gunn, once said was among the greatest influences on his films. You just gotta try both.

3pm - 3:50pm

Task, Await, and Outer Space Commanders in C#

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There's a lot of confusion about Task and await in C#. So let's start with the basics and look at how we can consume asynchronous methods using Task and then see how the "await" operator can makes things easier for us. With the help of some commanders from TV shows you love (or maybe have never heard of), we’ll look at continuations, cancellation, and exception handling.

4pm - 4:50pm

Rise of the State Machines

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Come with me if you want to live... without confusing state management! State machines enforce a simple set of rules for your application state - a single state is allowed at any given time and only certain transitions can be made between states. These explicit rules lead to more predictable code and fewer bugs. In this talk, we'll discover what state machines are and learn how they can be incorporated into modern applications. We'll also see how using state machines can help communicate meaning and encode business logic across teams (and beyond just developers). You'll leave with an understanding of how to effectively create and use state machines for your own applications while keeping the business logic clean and declarative. Terminate complexity with state machines! 👍

11am - 11:50am

The Powerful Women of Sci-Fi

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Science fiction has long been accused of being a male-dominated universe. The off-screen world has changed dramatically over the years, but change appears to have come at a much slower pace on-screen, with female characters often restricted to being damsels in distress or space babes.

Nonetheless, a number of brilliant female characters have made their mark on sci-fi audiences over the years, particularly on the small screen. More recently, as sci-fi fandom has made a home for itself online, its female contingent has become increasingly vocal and empowered, reclaiming heroes from the past and identifying icons for the future.

This talk focuses on 10 powerful women of Sci-Fi:

  1. Maria – Metropolis (1927)
  2. Barbarella – Barbarella (1968)
  3. Lieutenant Nyota Uhura – Star Trek
  4. Sarah Jane Smith – Doctor Who
  5. Ripley – Alien (1979), Aliens (1986), Alien 3 (1992) and Alien: Resurrection (1997)
  6. Sarah Connor – The Terminator (1984) and Terminator 2: Judgement Day (1991)
  7. Dana Scully – The X Files (1993-2002)
  8. Kaywinnet Lee ‘Kaylee’ Frye – Firefly (2002) and Serenity (2005)
  9. Kara ‘Starbuck’ Thrace – Battlestar Galactica (2004-9)
  10. Katniss Everdeen – The Hunger Games

12pm - 12:50pm

Training Our Padawans - Mentoring as a Jedi

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While it is one thing to learn from videos or blog posts, it is a different experience when you have someone to turn to that can answer the questions you have when you have them. It makes a world of difference to be able to ask someone “What do they mean when they say ‘inheritance vs. interfaces’?” When you have someone who forces you to think about what it is you want in life and what steps you may need to take to get there… someone who can make introductions and offer direction… it makes your career and life a little less scary and a lot more manageable. In this session, we will look at some practices that are used by great mentors in the field and learn lessons on how we can be great role models and mentors for our future – junior developers!

1pm - 1:50pm

When You Can't Just Make it So: Managing Executive Function Disorders in the Workplace

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Executive function deficits are common among individuals with mental illness and those on the autism spectrum, as well as those who have suffered traumatic brain injuries. Yet even those who suffer from these poorly understood cognitive conditions are often unaware they exist. Consequently, sufferers and those around them often attribute their problems to laziness and other character flaws rather than to a medical condition. In this talk, I explain what executive dysfunction is, how it can affect individuals and teams, and how to help individuals suffering from this type of condition be happier and more productive at work.

2pm - 2:50pm

Communicate Like a Captain: Star Trek and the Psychology of Communication

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Do you ever feel like your coworkers are speaking a different language and you've misplaced your translator? It turns out that communicating with others can be hard sometimes - you have distinct and unique individuals attempting to take what's inside their head and put it outside so that everyone else can understand it. Worse yet, they can disagree with you. If you're not a Betazoid, how do you handle all of that?

Together, let's examine our favorite Star Trek captains and commanders, comparing and contrasting the strengths of each of their communication techniques (with a surprise appearance by Amelia Bedelia). Along the way you’ll learn what communication contexts are and how to use them effectively, you’ll learn about false cognates and shibboleths, you'll learn ways to work through conflict, and you might even learn some things about listening. Boldly stride into your next conversation with confidence!

3pm - 3:50pm

#RemoteLife When You Can’t Just Beam Into The Office

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In this talk, Mike will present tips and techniques that he has learned over several years working remotely. We’ll cover what you can do when you have issues staying motivated because you are isolated physically from the rest of your team. We’ll review a few different kinds of communication breakdowns and what you can do if you feel like a second rate employee of the company. We’ll also look at ways to foster a good remote relationship with your manager and co-workers.

Working remotely is culturally becoming a viable option more and more as time passes, increasing by 140% since 2005. There are great opportunities available to people that may feel stuck or restricted geographically. This presentation is aimed at giving you a headstart or boost in your remote life.

4pm - 4:50pm

What the Soviet Space Program Taught Me About Digital Product Development

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The space race between the USA and USSR was one of the great dramatic stories of the 20th century. Our very industry was born as Washington and Moscow relentlessly competed to master the stars.

For space nuts like me, this fascinating time is utterly compelling. It’s also highly instructive for digital product developers. After all, engineers drove the innovation that pushed us beyond earth. The lessons they learned and processes they created can help us today as we make software, apps, and advanced functionality online.

Of course, the Soviet side of the story tends to be less understood. And that’s exactly what we’ll explore. It’s unbelievable stuff, and a cautionary tale for development teams.

WHAT YOU’LL LEARN

  • How differing philosophies of development lead to different processes and results.
  • What Soviet imperatives parallel modern development approaches.
  • Why the USSR led the space race early, but ultimately failed to reach the moon first.
  • What we can learn, adapt, and avoid today from the 20th century Soviet model.

Azure-The Real Ninja's of the .Net Core 3.1

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In this talk, I plan to provide a in depth concepts of azure and . Net core. Let's understand why we need Azure as a .Net Developer. The most important things yet to cover in this session is Advanced Azure concept like Azure Kubernetes and Azure Data storage.

12pm - 12:50pm

But It was Logged! Practical Logging & Monitoring with .NET Core

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.NET Core makes writing log entries a breeze within your applications, however, that is where the out-of-the-box simplicity ends. So you have decorated your code with all of these pretty log messages that are designed to make your life easier, but then what? Have you actually reviewed them? Something bad happened, did it tell you? What about confidential information, have you limited that from being logged?

Well, this session is designed to help take your logging from ***IMPLEMENTED*** to ***USABLE***. Logging is great, but we have so many questions to answer, including where you store the logs, how you get notifications etc. In this code-focused solution, we explore the following concepts, with detailed examples.

  • Where to log entries to, and flexible configurations
  • Monitoring and escalation of log entries
  • Integration with logging & external assemblies
  • Configuration & build systems with logging
At the end of the session, attendees should be able to work with logging and exception handling in .NET Core effectively.

1pm - 1:50pm

How Test Driven Development Improved My Quality of Life

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I used to love development. Then, sometime after I started doing it professionally, it really started to ware on me. I had days or weeks where I dreaded coming to the office. After all, I knew what I was going to find there. Bug reports from customers that would force me to dig deep into the bowels of the application, make a change and hope that my fix worked. And really hope that it didn’t break anything else.

Whenever I read old code, I absolutely hated it. Especially if I was the one to write it. It would bring back vague memories of conversations we had about the feature, but they were vague. I wasn’t really sure what the code was supposed to be doing, and reading it didn’t always help.

Then I started practicing Test Driven Development, and it changed how I looked at my job and how I looked at my code. Now I enjoy coming in to work. I sometimes find it hard to leave because I’m making so much progress. I find myself having features and user stories just fly by, as I’m continually making progress towards the goal line. Even my code has become more readable.

In this talk, we’ll look at how it was that TDD was able to help me achieve that, how it can do it for you, and how, in the end, TDD is about much more than just testing.

2pm - 2:50pm

Effective Unit Testing with .NET Core & XUnit

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Documentation for .NET Core is great and includes detailed examples regarding Unit Testing. However, these examples often skip over the real-world issues that arise with unit testing. What happens when you use that one thing that Microsoft hasn't actually moved from an Extension Method? What happens if you want to mock a static object that we might use every day, such as DateTime or TimeSpan? In this session we take a dive into real-world unit testing strategies for .NET Core applications, focusing on quickly and easily achieving 100% unit test coverage.

Attendees will leave with a set of examples to help implement effective unit testing, quickly, upon returning to work.

3pm - 3:50pm

Debugging Tips and Tricks with Visual Studio

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Debugging an issue with an application is hard! In this session, we’ll walk through all of the powerful debugging features that Visual Studio provides. We’ll cover how to use breakpoints. Introduce data tips. Show you how you can share your debugging information. Work with the different debugging windows like Locals, Autos, and Watch. Then we’ll look at ways we can follow or step through the code to find issues using the call stack and Intellitrace.

4pm - 4:50pm

SQL Server DevOps

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In this session, we'll start from the beginning and discuss the decisions you need to make when deciding how you want to build and deploy SQL Server schema changes. We'll talk about Migration vs Model based approaches and the pros and cons of both. We'll discuss common gotcha's and review the workflows I've gone through to get to a successful build and deploy pipeline up and running in no time (including a multi-tenant SQL Server database that got its start over 25 years ago).

GRAPHQL VS. BFF: A Critical Perpsective

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Imagine an application that has a web and a mobile, IOS and Android, or that your API is consumed by similar frontends from totally different teams. The functionalities they provide are distinct, hence the need for distinct sets of data and functions. You might think that the solution for this is having an “as generic as possible” backend for all UI’s. From my experience, this kind of backend leads to big issues in matters of performance, entangled user experience as well as extra and unnecessary communication for the development teams in order to align and meet their needs. Fortunately, there is a promising set of approaches taking the stage as they are created with the intention to optimize how front-end applications collaborate with back-ends: BFF (Backend-For-Frontend) pattern and GraphQL. Given these two approaches, which one is the right to consider? Join me in a talk where we will discuss the two approaches, underline both their good and bad sides, and determine which you should consider as the backend technology for your frontend application.

12pm - 12:50pm

3 easy performance improvements in your microservices architecture

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While a microservices architecture is more scalable than a monolith, it has a direct hit on performance.

To cope with that, one performance improvement is to set up a cache. It can be configured for database access, for REST calls or just to store session state across a cluster of server nodes. In this demo-based talk, I'll show how Hazelcast In-Memory Data Grid can help you in each one of those areas and how to configure it. Hint: it's much easier than one would expect.

1pm - 1:50pm

Feature Flag Football with Azure App Configuration

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Utilizing Feature Flags is a powerful technique for allowing developers to modify system behavior without changing any code. .Net Core recently introduced a new Feature Management Library that makes implementing feature flags a breeze. Ultimately, flags standardize feature management in your system.

Azure App Configuration is also a recent Azure offering for configuring a host of variables in your .Net Core application. It offers a central place to manage configuration values that can change the features of your application with a simple flick of a switch. The service also allows updating these configurations at runtime without needing to restart or redeploy an app service.

Imagine these two items being used in conjunction to create a solution where automation rules, deployment risk is reduced, and new features can be introduced into your application very rapidly, but more importantly, very safely. It would be like if the New England Patriots wanted to try out a new offense against the lowly Detroit Lions for one week, while not worrying about de-railing their annual trip to the Super Bowl.

2pm - 2:50pm

The Science, Psychology, and Secrets of Great UI

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Need to improve user experience, but don't know where to start? Worried that UI/UX can only be done by right-brained, artistic people? Take heart. Learn simple, yet powerful UX principles and UI tricks that will help you radically improve your digital products. These secrets are perfectly suited for logical, left-brain, development professionals. What’s more, you can put them into practice now. Esoteric mathematical equations included at no extra cost.

What You’ll Learn

  • Great UI is quantifiable, measurable, fact-based, and objective.
  • Why UX pros care so much about white space, padding, consistency, color choice, layout and all that other stuff that drives you crazy.
  • How to argue effectively with the UX people and stakeholders in your life.
  • How to notice bad UI on your own, and how to fix it whether or not you work with a UX pro.
  • Understanding how our brains work makes us better digital product designers.

3pm - 3:50pm

Pride & Prejudice & C#

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Who doesn't like Jane Austen? She's kick-arse and awesome. The only problem though, is that she didn't write a great deal. Just 6 (ish) books? Not enough! In this talk I'm going to show how, with a bit of C#, some relatively simple maths, and a bit of Blue-Peter-Style creativity, we can automatically generate as much Jane Austen as anyone in their right mind would ever want. I might even show you how this is useful in your day job as well!

4pm - 4:50pm

Hacking C#: Development for the Truly Lazy

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I don't know about you, but I'm a lazy developer. What do I mean by lazy? I don't mean I don't want to do my work - far from it - I mean that I hate to write out a great deal of code to get the job done. I want to accomplish my goals with as little effort as possible.

One of my pet hates is writing enhancements that involve copying and pasting blocks of code, changing a variable name, then leaving everything else the same. I hate having to consider each and every possible null reference exception, and adding in a whole ton of boilerplate to handle it. I hate having to spent ages jumping back and forth in a legacy codebase, trying to understand what it actually does!

What's the alternative? In this talk, I'll demonstrate a way of working that avoids all this unneccesary work, and gives you more time to do something more productive.

We'll look at:

  • Functional Programming - what benefits does this increasingly popular paradigm bring us to cut down coding effort
  • Linq & Generics - These have been a part of C# for a long time now, and are some of the most powerful features available in the language, but hardly anyone seems to be using them effectively
  • MetaProgramming - break open C# and take it to the next level with code that describes how to generate code
Our goal is to write code in as few lines as possible that provides the greatest amount of impact. We also want code that's readable, and easily maintainable. We want to think smart, and think...Lazy.

11am - 11:50am

The Dark Side of UX

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User experience design brings clarity and removes obstacles. It rewards - makes us feel accomplished and like a successful, happy droid. Users are confident when using a well-designed application - as easy as turning on a light switch: [Buy]

But has the dark side of the force ever tricked you in to buying something?

We will explore the wild universe of user manipulation and Jedi mind tricks. The Bait and Switch. Trick Questions. Misdirection. Confirm-shaming! Discover the latest ways UX experts trick their users, how easy it is to do by accident and how it affects your brand.

[ Sounds great ] [ These are not the droids you are looking for ]

12pm - 12:50pm

Helm, Warp One, Engage - Set coordinates for ML.NET

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It’s no exaggeration to say that Machine Learning (ML) is quickly changing the way we live. Things we are accustomed to today are things we could only dream of 10 years ago. As ML is becoming more and more mainstream, you may be asking yourself how to get started.

Historically, many of the tools and libraries used to train a model have been found in the Python and R communities (e.g. Scikit Learn, PyTorch, TensorFlow), but what if you’re a .NET Developer?

This session will be introducing ML.NET! ML.NET is an open-source, cross-platform machine learning library, specifically built to enable .NET developers to train their own custom machine learning models in C# or F#.

In this session we’ll introduce some fundamental ML concepts and terms before transitioning into the world of ML.NET and building our first model from scratch.

Beware, there will be live coding!

1pm - 1:50pm

Using Scientist .NET to Safely Upgrade the Warp Core

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Our starship is in trouble. The warp core that engineering built a decade ago is now awash in technical debt and legacy code and in urgent need of replacement.

Thankfully, our science officer has heard of a library that will let us replace the warp core without risking anti-matter explosions destroying the entire starship.

While Scientist is available in many languages, we'll walk through code samples in C# using Scientist .NET as we explore the advantages and disadvantages of incorporating Scientist into your workflow.

You'll leave with enough information to get started with Scientist and the knowledge of whether or not it makes sense to do so given your project.

With science at your disposal, you'll get that promotion to first officer in no time.

2pm - 2:50pm

Anti-matter Injectors Online: Getting a Grip on Dependency Injection

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Many of our modern frameworks have Dependency Injection (DI) built in. But how do you use that effectively? We need to look at what DI is and why we want to use it. With the help of some commanders from TV shows you love (or maybe haven't heard of), we'll use DI patterns such as constructor injection and property injection to break tight coupling. We'll see how loosely-coupled applications are easier to extend and test. With a better understanding of the basic patterns, we'll remove the magic behind DI containers so that we can use the tools appropriately in our code.

3pm - 3:50pm

Understanding Probabilistic Data Structures with 112,092 UFO Sightings

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There are three reactions to the title of this talk:

  • What the heck’s a probabilistic data structure?
  • UFO Sightings… wha?
  • 112,092 is an oddly specific number.

This is a talk about the first bullet point with the second thrown in just for fun. I like weird stuff—UFOs, Bigfoot, peanut butter and bologna on toast—maybe you do too? As far as the third bullet point, well, that’s how many sightings I have.

Now, if you’re like most developers, you probably have no idea what probabilistic data structures are. In fact, I did a super-scientific poll on Twitter and found that out of 119 participants, 58% had never heard of them and 22% had heard the term but nothing more. I wonder what percentage of that 22% heard the term for the first time in the poll. We’re a literal-minded lot at times.

Anyhow. That’s 4 out of 5 developers or, as I like to call it, the Trident dentist ratio. (It’s actually a manifestation of the Pareto principle but I’m a 70s kid). That’s a lot of folks that need to be educated. So, let’s do that.

A probabilistic data structure is, well, they’re sort of like the TARDIS—bigger on the inside—and JPEG compression—a bit lossy. And, like both, they are fast, accurate enough, and can take you to interesting places of adventure. That last one might not be something a JPEG does.

More technically speaking, most probabilistic data structures use hashes to give you faster and smaller data structures in exchange for precision. If you’ve got a mountain of data to process, this is super useful. In this talk, we’ll briefly go over some common probabilistic data structures; dive deep into a couple (Bloom Filter, MinHash, and Top-K); and show a running application that makes use of Top-K to analyze the most commonly used words in all 112,092 of my UFO sightings.

When we’re done, you’ll be ready to start using some of these structures in your own applications. And, if you use the UFO data, maybe you’ll discover that the truth really is out there.

4pm - 4:50pm

10 opinions to prevent your .NET Core apps from turning to the Dark Side

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As an application adds more and more features, if you're not careful, it can quickly spiral into becoming the application no one on the team enjoys working on. This session is structured as a series of lightning talks on various topics to help you improve the maintainability of your .NET Core applications. We'll discuss libraries and best practices to help with folder structure, validation, ORM's, automated testing, code flow, DevOps, microservices, and more. By the end, you should be able to take a few ideas away that you can start implementing immediately when you get back to the office.

11am - 11:50am

Want to become a better leader? Learn from these sci-fi characters!

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One of the most appealing joys of science fiction is how it can give a fresh set of eyes to the regular day-to-day. By placing its protagonists in bizarre situations, we recognize our own lives, with a twist. But strong sci-fi characters don’t just provide a more entertaining version of reality. They actually help us recognize how much better our lives could become.

This talk focuses on the leadership style of five sci-fi characters:

  1. Andrew “Ender” Wiggin, Ender’s Game
  2. John “Control” Rodriguez, Authority
  3. Lilith Iyapo, Dawn
  4. Renly Baratheon, A Song of Ice and Fire
  5. V, V for Vendetta

12pm - 12:50pm

'Forbidden Planet' Cured my Imposter Syndrome

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Come with me on an adventure with a heroic robot, a mad scientist, a feminist, a pilot, and our monster: imposter syndrome. Let me share how a sci-fi movie from 1956, starring Walter Pidgeon, Anne Francis, and Leslie Nielsen, taught me how to recognize imposter syndrome not as the monster hellbent on ruining my romance with an ever-evolving frontend ecosystem, but as a tool to prevent burnout.

Tell Web Ads to Shut Their Pi-hole!

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Speed up your browsing and protect your privacy and security by setting up a Pi-hole! It is free small DNS server that is "a black hole for Internet advertisements" that runs on a Raspberry Pi. We'll talk briefly about the Raspberry Pi, then learn how to setup Pi-hole on your network for use with all of your devices. With a low cost Raspberry Pi and an hour of setup time, we now surf faster and more securely, with nearly 40% of our DNS queries blocked. Its amazing how much more enjoyable using the web can be, you'll cry when you have to surf without it.

2pm - 2:50pm

Leadership Lessons from the Agile Manifesto

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Whether you’re a Tech Lead, Engineering Manager, or Project Manager for an engineering team, you probably weren’t handed an instruction manual when you were given your first team to lead. This talk will show you how to apply the principles in the Manifesto Agile Manifesto to become a better leader.

3pm - 3:50pm

Lessons Learned from Getting Stunned

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In this session Matt will share his story of surviving a paralyzing condition known as Guillain Barre Syndrome and the lessons he learned on getting through tough things and handling life when everything goes on hold.

We'll start with a brief overview of Guillain Barre Syndrome (GBS) and the typical onset and recovery process of this and then move on into lessons learned from handling life one day at a time.

There are a surprising number of parallels between suddenly being paralyzed and those of us who have encountered sudden shifts to self-isolation, remote work, and potentially even unemployment or furlough.

This session will be partially educational about a rare disease, but will shift into more relevant and applicable content about the "new normal" many of us will find ourselves in at one point or another and tips for handling stress, emotions, and that desire to accomplish things and contribute when life suddenly changes.

Confessions of a Space Cadet

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Folks in IT spend a tremendous amount of time every day working on their keyboards -- writing code, updating tickets, sending emails, building out project plans -- but most of us don't give any thought to _how_ we use that keyboard. This talk will cover a number of keyboarding changes you can make that enable more effective keyboaring -- changes that will potentially reduce the negative consequences of over-use of traditional keyboards. We'll also explore the fantastic range of keyboard customizations that are available today with custom programmable keyboard firmwares.

11am - 11:50am

Introduction to stream processing

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While “software is eating the world”, those who are able to best manage the huge mass of data will emerge out on the top.

The batch processing model has been faithfully serving us for decades. However, it might have reached the end of its usefulness for all but some very specific use-cases. As the pace of businesses increases, most of the time, decision makers prefer slightly wrong data sooner, than 100% accurate data later. Stream processing - or data streaming - exactly matches this usage: instead of managing the entire bulk of data, manage pieces of them as soon as they become available.

In this talk, I’ll define the context in which the old batch processing model was born, the reasons that are behind the new stream processing one, how they compare, what are their pros and cons, and a list of existing technologies implementing the latter with their most prominent characteristics. I’ll conclude by describing in detail one possible use-case of data streaming that is not possible with batches: display in (near) real-time all trains in Switzerland and their position on a map. I’ll go through the all the requirements and the design. Finally, using an OpenData endpoint and the Hazelcast platform, I’ll try to impress attendees with a working demo implementation of it.

12pm - 12:50pm

Automating your infrastructure deployments in Azure, AWS, and GCP using Terraform

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Terraform is an amazing toolset for automating infrastructure in the public and private cloud. This course will teach you the fundamentals of Terraform to deploy infrastructure in a consistent, repeatable manner across multiple services.

Systems Administrators and DevOps Engineers have always been charged to do more with less. Defining infrastructure in code and automating its deployment helps improve operational efficiency and lower administrative overhead. In this session, you'll learn foundational knowledge of Hashicorp's Terraform software, a toolset for infrastructure automation. First, you'll discover how open source tools, such as Terraform can be leveraged to implement Infrastructure as Code (IaC). Finally, you'll learn how to automate your infrastructure deployments in the Cloud with Terraform

1pm - 1:50pm

Transitioning to .NET Core: It doesn't have to be painful

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As more organizations are looking to transition to .NET Core from existing technologies it is important to understand the processes necessary to make the transition. Although a seemingly daunting task, it is something that can be managed with a bit of planning.

This session will dive into the pre-requisite work, as well as a process that can be followed to make the transition as smooth a possible. and will discuss real-world successes and pitfalls of the transition with a goal of making your transition smooth and painless.

2pm - 2:50pm

Build Native Applications with JavaScript and React Native

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React Native lets you build mobile apps using only JavaScript. It uses the same design as React, letting you compose a rich mobile UI from declarative components.

With React Native, you don’t build a “mobile web app”, an “HTML5 app”, or a “hybrid app”. You build a real mobile app that’s indistinguishable from an app built using Objective-C or Java. React Native uses the same fundamental UI building blocks as regular iOS and Android apps. You just put those building blocks together using JavaScript and React.

Data Adventures with Azure Notebooks

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Is there a relation between buy and sell values on the Animal Crossing marketplace? Does ramen style - cup, bowl, can, or bar - matter when it comes to ratings? We have the data, and we can present our findings with Azure Notebooks! Come on our data adventure and learn more about this great tool!

4pm - 4:50pm

Typescript for the Microsoft Developer

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Whether you like it or not, if you are building applications for the Web you are going to need to know JavaScript. Sorry, Flash and Silverlight! Unfortunately, JavaScript is not the easiest language to learn or to understand and the tooling for it is not really good. This is where TypeScript comes in. TypeScript is a superset of JavaScript that tries to solve a lot of these problems and make the code more structured, and less error-prone. And it also offers tooling support in a way that JavaScript just can’t.

11am - 11:50am

Oops...how did I miss MLOps?

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Automation has long been a corner stone of modern Software Engineering and has given rise to successful initiatives such as DevOps.

Automating the end-to-end lifecycle of a machine learning model, from training to deployment in production, is a lot more complex and requires careful consideration of multiple axis of change, such as data, code and configuration, but can yield fantastic results when done right.

MLOps, also known as Continuous Delivery for Machine Learning (CD4ML), has recently gotten a lot of traction and was mentioned by ThoughtWorks as a technique worth keeping a close eye on (https://www.thoughtworks.com/radar/techniques)

Join me in this session where we’ll walk through some of the common concepts related to MLOps, and look at tools and techniques to achieve this both on-premise and in the cloud.

12pm - 12:50pm

Functional Programming in JavaScript

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Functional Programming is becoming increasingly popular and relevant with each year that goes by. With so much discussion around languages such as F#, Haskell and Erlang, it can seem as though getting started with Functional programming would mean first learning a whole new syntax...but what if it didn't?

Using just a few JavaScript libraries, such as RamdaJS, developers can implement some of the most powerful patterns and techniques from the world of functional programming?

This talk will demonstrate how, using ES6 and a few extra libraries, we can write Functional code that is:

More robust

Easier to read

Easier to maintain

This talk might be of interest to anyone looking into moving to a new platform, or in improving the scalability of an existing application, or even just interested in seeing what Functional Programming is all about, but all within the comfort of a familiar language.

We might even attempt the impossible, and explain what a Monad is!

1pm - 1:50pm

A Change-Data-Capture use-case: designing an evergreen cache

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When one’s app is challenged with poor performances, it’s easy to set up a cache in front of one’s SQL database. It doesn’t fix the root cause (e.g. bad schema design, bad SQL query, etc.) but it gets the job done. If the app is the only component that writes to the underlying database, it’s a no-brainer to update the cache accordingly, so the cache is always up-to-date with the data in the database.

Things start to go sour when the app is not the only component writing to the DB. Among other sources of writes, there are batches, other apps (shared databases exist unfortunately), etc. One might think about a couple of ways to keep data in sync i.e. polling the DB every now and then, DB triggers, etc. Unfortunately, they all have issues that make them unreliable and/or fragile.

You might have read about Change-Data-Capture before. It’s been described by Martin Kleppmann as turning the database inside out: it means the DB can send change events (SELECT, DELETE and UPDATE) that one can register to. Just opposite to Event Sourcing that aggregates events to produce state, CDC is about getting events out of states. Once CDC is implemented, one can subscribe to its events and update the cache accordingly. However, CDC is quite in its early stage, and implementations are quite specific.

In this talk, I’ll describe an easy-to-setup architecture that leverages CDC to have an evergreen cache.

2pm - 2:50pm

Owning Your Experience: Talking about Mental Health In the Workplace

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Your thoughts and your emotions affect your work, no matter how much you pretend that you can leave them at the door of your workplace. It's easy to deny your own experience the importance it deserves, especially if it's only inside your own head. But boxing it all away because you have "work to do" is like trying to run a marathon while carrying a Labrador Retriever.

It doesn't have to be that way. This talk will teach you how to frame your world using experiential language rather than clinical language, giving you a powerful tool to discuss your mental health in a way that can be easily felt and understood - and that won't get you in trouble with HR. That sharing becomes the key that unlocks the true power of your team... so come find out how to finally bring your whole self to work!

3pm - 3:50pm

GitHub Pages: An Often Overlooked Web Platform

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GitHub Pages is a highly scalable web host with world class infrastructure, free SSL, and robust workflow tools. And it’s FREE. In this session Mike will explain how to determine if your project is a good fit for GitHub Pages and leave you with enough information to be able to implement from top to bottom. We'll go into the basics of setting up a new site and will cover some built-in functions to add a little dynamicity to your static site. He will show you how to set up a local development environment for you Windows developers out there, several scenarios dealing with different types of publishable content, and we'll look at a few third party services to complement your available toolset.

4pm - 4:50pm

Managing the Burnout Burndown

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In addition to managing backlogs and burndown charts, technology leaders have to follow an ever-changing software landscape, manage team dynamics, and navigate office politics. It’s no surprise that this leads to burnout. This talk will provide tools to help manage stress and reduce burnout.

Developers are, almost by definition, highly capable and strongly driven individuals. These traits are indispensable to success in creating working code, but they are also the very traits that makes developers susceptible to burn out. People who can get things done often find themselves overwhelmed by their to-do lists.

This talk will combine the understanding from the trenches of Anjuan Simmons (who has been a developer and engineering manager for more than 20 years) with the academic understanding of his wife, Dr. Aneika Simmons. Together, they will provide a framework for reducing burnout and consistently keeping stress levels in a managed state.

Tickets

Pricing at TicketTailor will be less if purchase date is prior to 6/30/2020. Early-bird sales will end on 6/29/2020.

Premium Sessions Only

$100
Premium Sessions ticket provides access to all of the premium sessions on Wednesday, July 29.

Conference Only

$100
Conference tickets provide access to all general sessions on day 2 and day 3 of SciFiDevCon.

All Access Pass

$150
All Access tickets give access to all three days of the event.

What's included*?

  • 4 premium sessions*
  • 4 keynote sessions**
  • 50+ talks from industry-leading speakers, 25+ with the SciFi/Fantasy/Comic theme**
  • Connections to other sci-fi fans
  • Networking App for the conference
  • * requires premium or all access ticket
  • ** requires conference or all access ticket