The conference for people who build the web
Oct. 23-24th, 2017
Beanfield Centre at Exhibition Place

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Session Abstracts

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Workshop - Operation M.A.X: Building a Smart Help Desk Bot

October 22, 10 am – 4:30 pm Room 205C

This is a free full-day technical training event in Conversations as a Platform, guided by Microsoft experts, where attendees will build an entire A.I. enabled chatbot assistant from scratch using Node.js.

Agenda: Intro & bots in the real world, Creating your first "Echo" bot with the Bot Builder SDK, Submitting help desk tickets with the bot, Making the bot smarter with language understanding (LUIS)

Lunch Break (Lunch will be provided)

Implementing a help desk KB with Azure Search and Cosmos DB, Deploying your bot to the cloud, Adding user sentiment analysis, Back-channel communication

Who should attend?

This event is for developers who want hands on experience with creating chat bots for multiple platforms from a shared codebase with Conversations as a Platform.

Register for Workshop

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Keynote: Health: The Most Important Dev Tool

by Cassandra Faris

Working in the tech industry often involves spending long hours sitting down, staring at a screen, consuming copious amounts of pizza and caffeine. The work is mentally demanding and can be stressful. In the rush to get everything done, it can be easy to neglect our health. But a healthy body and mind are necessary for effective performance. You’ll leave with a better idea of how to take care of yourself and be a happier, healthier, more productive person.

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Development with Vue.js

by Tirell Mckinnon

Vue.js is considered component driven, extensible, approachable, and performant view library. Whether you’re a web dev without the frameworks or have been deep in development with Angular, Ember, or React, Vue has a something for you. In this presentation, we will go over the Vue fundamentals, dive into state management, data fetching with Vue, and then wrap up with building your application for production. Let's get started building and delivering products using Vue.

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Monitoring and Instrumentation Best Practices

by Jonah Kowall

Monitoring is complicated, and in most organizations consists of far too many tools owned by too many teams. Fixing monitoring issues requires people, process, and technology. Hear common issues seen in the real world including what should be monitored or collected from a technology and a business perspective. Investigate what instrumentation is most scalable and effective across languages, commonly used APIs, and possibilities for capturing data from common languages.

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UX of Voice Interfaces

by Hira Javed

Alexa, Siri and Google Now are indicative of the fact that as a society we are becoming more and more comfortable with interacting with our tech through voice. No longer mediated by visual elements like links, buttons, levers and sliders, our conversations with machines are becoming more natural and human (or at least we hope!). This creates an interesting design challenge. In the absence of visuals, words matter more than ever. The choice of words and how they are strung together to create meaningful conversations requires a deep understanding of the user’s motivation, intentions and expectations. This talk will focus on how the principles of human communications can be applied to the design of natural and intuitive voice interfaces.

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Organizing React Applications

by Alex Wilmer

Since the release and rise of React, client side architecture has become increasingly modular and there have been dozens of popular, but not necessarily compatible, strategies for organizing applications. There exists a plethora of boilerplates and articles on the subject and it's far too early declare a winner. This talk will examine the top methodologies over the past two years and see how they have evolved.

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Good Code: What, Why, and How

by Jane Prusakova

Many programmers are dedicated, or even obsessed, with writing 'good' code. Often we follow certain patterns and practices because we believe they are the best solution for the problem, or because the 'experts' tell us to. In this session, we will discuss what good code really is and what benefits it brings.

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Measuring UX

by Hira Javed

User experience is the sum of a series of interaction. It’s about motivations, expectations, behaviours and attitudes, and that’s hard to quantify. In order to know whether something is working, a signal or an indication of progress is needed, and progress cannot be measured without a clear sense of what success looks like. Metrics are the signals that show whether a UX strategy is working or not. But signals can be ambiguous. This presentation will focus on going beyond basic metrics for evaluating the impact of UX changes, and identifying effective KPIs for measuring the quality of UX.

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Lunch & Learn Presented by Microsoft - DevOps for OSS Developers with Azure and VSTS

by Damian Brady

Visual Studio Team Services is the core of Microsoft’s DevOps solution, and Azure is Microsoft’s powerful cloud platform, but these services are not just for Microsoft developers. Microsoft is truly embracing Open Source with first class support for any language and any platform throughout. In this session, we’ll walk through a DevOps scenario for node developers. We’ll use VSTS to build and deploy open source software to the new Linux App Service on Azure, without touching Windows or .NET at all. Don’t miss the least Microsoft-y Microsoft demo you’ve ever seen!

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Lunch & Learn - UX Engineering @ Google

by Munish Dabas and Dirk Ginader

'UX Engineering’ is relatively nascent and often misunderstood in our industry, but it is crucial to the product design lifecycle. Learn how this discipline operates at Google, its history and impact there, and find out if your passions and interests make you an ideal fit for this unique skillset.

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React Native Ra11y

by Jason Matthews

The React Native platform has taken the world by storm. Big names like Uber, Instagram, Tesla and Facebook are leveraging the platform to accelerate their development process while maintaining high quality. There is generally a strong correlation between great quality apps and the level of accessibly features built in. We’ll go through the general methods of making your React Native apps accessible and explore some of the gotchas in this endeavour.

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Bowerbirds of Technology: Architecture and Operations at Less-Than-Google Scale

by Sam Kitajima-Kimbrel

While aspiring to Google scale is great, if you try to build for it too early you will lose time and effort that could be used building features and supporting the users you do have. This talk will go into depth on how to evaluate, choose, and deploy technology to meet your customers’ requirements without requiring a small army of engineers to answer 2 AM pages. We’ll go through what you should think about when picking open-source systems (as well as hosted PaaS/IaaS/SaaS providers) to meet your needs: maintainership, extensibility, security, stability, and more. We'll also talk about how to pick realistic goals for your project and business: what are the implications of claiming five nines for the person carrying the pager? How will you communicate with your customers when you’re throwing errors and breaking SLAs? What does disaster recovery mean for your systems, and how much effort will it require to implement and test your DR plan (ahead of time!)?

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Accessing Accessible Accessibility

by Jennifer Wong

The World Health Organization states that one billion people live with disabilities. And estimates put internet usage with a screen reader as high as 3.4% of all internet traffic around the world. Web accessibility can help. So what is web accessibility and who needs it? Is engineering accessibility enough? How do you build an cross-functional accessibility culture? And what can you do to prevent accessibility regressions? I had all the same questions… and only four months to guarantee all our consumer user flows were accessible. Well, what happened? Come learn what it takes to lead a web accessibility movement within your company!

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Node.js server side rendering in the Age of APIs

by Ruy Adorno

With the increasing popularity of Universal JavaScript and microservices, more and more front-end developers are taking ownership of their server-side render using Node.js.

In this talk we'll see how leveraging APIs in both server and client side is giving birth to new libraries and frameworks and what is the role of a front end developer in this post-full stack world.

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A Search Index is Not a Database Index

by Toria Gibbs

A search engine is not a database. Search systems are optimized for fast search using an internal data structure called an inverted index. Databases have a similar feature to allow quick access, also called an index, but it’s a totally different thing!

In this talk, Toria Gibbs will take you on a tour of the internals of a search index, comparing it to common implementations of indexing in relational databases. We’ll see how search engines can outperform databases and discuss the tradeoffs in implementing and maintaining such a system. No prior knowledge of database or search index implementations required; experience creating or querying database tables will be helpful.

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My Sensors Bring All the Peeps to the Yard.

by Dan Jenkins

Automating your home or office is easier than ever before. It can be done today using free, open source software and sensors. Placing all the right blocks together can be difficult but not if you're given a push in the right direction. Stop turning on that light at the same time every day - make a machine do it for you.

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React + GraphQL + Elixir/Phoenix

by Rohan Nair

Over the past few months, a competitor and spiritual successor to Ruby on Rails has emerged, in Elixir, using the Phoenix framework. At the same time, Facebook has released a successor to REST - GraphQL. Using the Absinthe library, let's build a GraphQL server in Elixir/Phoenix, and hook it up to a simple React app. The audience will learn about the basics of Elixir/Phoenix, the basics of GraphQL, and how to hook that up to a client-side Application.

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Building Stateful Microservices With Akka

by Yaroslav Tkachenko

Although most microservices are stateless - they delegate things like persistence and consistency to a database or external storage. But sometimes you benefit when you keep the state inside the application. In this talk I’m going to discuss why you want to build stateful microservices and design choices to make. I’ll use Akka framework and explain tools like Akka Clustering and Akka Persistence in depth and show a few practical examples.

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Help! Work Is Killing My Creativity

by Morgan Zion

Did you expect your job was going to be more creative? Have you felt like you have become a rusty version of your old artistic self? Do you feel like quitting your job to find a more “creative” one? Step one, DO NOT panic or trade your mouse for a paint brush and black bourret. In this helpful yet playful session, you’ll be brought through steps, tips and inspirations to get you over your creative blockades and into the working world of creativity.

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Isomorphic React sans Node??

by Ben Ilegbodu

React is a JavaScript library for building user interfaces that has taken the web development industry by storm. Its declarative syntax and DOM abstraction for components not only make client-side development simple, but also enables server-side rendering of those same components, which enables improved SEO and initial browser load time. But how do you render JavaScript React components server-side if your backend doesn’t run on Node? Learn how Eventbrite successfully integrated React with their Python/Django backend so that you can do the same in yours.

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Harnessing the Power of the Cloud Through CLIs

by Kirsten Hunter

Once upon a time, command line interfaces ruled the world. After a long dry spell, they’re back, here to help us automate and integrate cloud services. Come learn about the CLIs available for various cloud products and the lessons we learned when creating our own. Learn to harness the power of the cloud without writing any code.

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Inclusive and accessible products and teams

by B Cordelia Yu

The most engaging social media plan or the most inclusive style guide fails if the product is not also accessible. That is why content strategists who care about inclusivity must be at the table to help shape product strategy and business decisions.

Come hear the lessons from a multi-year effort to help a major national environmental nonprofit—an industry that is both centered around justice and still grappling with its legacy of discrimination—make its programs more inclusive of marginalized communities, as a part of modernizing its editorial, publishing, and programatic processes.

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Designing Voice Powered User Experiences for JavaScript Applications

by Hasan Ahmad

As mobile and web applications continue to evolve into broader domains such as wearables and home appliances, voice based user interaction is becoming critical to new products. Advances in speech recognition technology are starting to be utilized by application developers and designers to provide click-free and hands-free user experiences. This talk will explore how Voice and Speech recognition APIs are being made available to JavaScript applications, that run on web and mobile devices.

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Algorithms to live by and why should we care

by Elle Meredith

Algorithmic thinking in everyday life in language we can all understand. Learn techniques for solving problems, without all the mathematics jargon. We will explore widely applicable algorithms, and how they reveal themselves in our everyday lives, so that we better understand when we can use them in our programs. These stories will help us approach challenges, and make more educated decisions on what algorithms to use, when, and where.

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Remote Working: Swings & Roundabouts

by Ivana McConnell

Remote teams, when built right, are a wonderful unicorn of trust, freedom, and creative productivity. However, in pursuing this unicorn, it’s difficult to remember that working remotely is incredibly difficult— professionally, psychologically, and personally. It affects everyone differently— developers, designers, managers, and everyone in between. In this talk we'll dispel some myths around remote teams and collaboration, torture the Sword of Damocles metaphor, and share some learnings around making those remote teams work, both professionally and interpersonally. Hopefully, we'll achieve vaunted unicorn status.

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#noobsec: The Web Security Fundamentals Every Developer Should Know.

by Kristina Balaam

As developers, we understand the importance of writing scalable, quality code. However, there isn’t always a lot of focus on protecting the applications we build and the data we collect. We’ll discuss the fundamentals of web application security, walk through examples of how to write more secure code and explore how to easily pen-test your existing applications for vulnerabilities.

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Authentication in Microservice Systems

by Dejan Glozic

Authentication is a nontrivial yet unavoidable part of any modern Web application. The rise of microservice systems and micro front-ends have added additional complexity to this area. In this talk, I will share a tried and true technique we battle-tested in a a large production Node.js microservice system. You will be able to apply this technique in your own microservice system with relative ease.

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Designing Everyday Privacy and Security

by Matthew Davey

Two factor shouldn't be just for security experts and encryption shouldn't be presented as defensive. I will look at security from the position of a utility for everyone. Framing it as friendly, important and placing importance on your personal data. Security and Privacy are complex ideas important to everyone. Learn how to lower the bar to entry using language, layout and levity.

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Progressive Web Apps

by Houssein Djirdeh

PWAs are applications that use modern web capabilities to provide a user experience similar to that of mobile and native apps. This presentation will go over how you can add a number of progressive aspects to your application including faster load times, offline support and the ability to install to your mobile home screen.

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Building a Better API with JSON:API

by Chris Guzman

If you’ve implemented API endpoints or consumed APIs it may bug you that every API seems to be different. What if there was a universal standard that made sense? Enter JSON:API, a standard for creating self explaining JSON APIs. Clients built around JSON:API can efficiently cache responses, sometimes eliminating network requests entirely. This session will teach you how you can get started with JSON:API

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Combining AI and IoT. New Industrial Revolution

by Karina Popova

Artificial Intelligence (AI) will be more important in making sense of data streamed in from Internet of Things (IoT) devices. What will happen when we will learn how to combine AI & IoT?

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Lunch & Learn Presented by Microsoft - Dive into Linux applications on Azure with Web Apps for Containers

by Aaron Wislang

Developers need solutions that help them quickly build, deploy and scale applications without having to maintain the underlying web servers or operating systems. Azure App Service currently hosts more than 1 million cloud applications and App Service on Linux brings the same powerful capabilities, including CI/CD, deployment slots and auto scaling, to a multitude of applications developed with the Open Source platforms we know and love. In this session we’ll be hands-on and dive deeper into Azure App Service on Linux with Python and Go applications using Web App for Containers amongst other container platforms on Azure.

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Lunch & Learn - UX Engineering @ Google

by Munish Dabas and Dirk Ginader

'UX Engineering’ is relatively nascent and often misunderstood in our industry, but it is crucial to the product design lifecycle. Learn how this discipline operates at Google, its history and impact there, and find out if your passions and interests make you an ideal fit for this unique skillset.

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Down the SVG Rabbit Hole

by Robyn Larsen

We use Scalable Vector Graphics (SVGs) every day, but how well do we really understand it? More often than not, we are merely scratching the surface of a large and complicated discipline. Most developers and designers don’t realize how powerful and useful SVGs are, you will be surprised at how deep the rabbit hole goes.

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From Commit To Production And Beyond - The Continuous Delivery Pipeline

by Arthur Maltson

You’ve probably heard about Continuous Delivery, and maybe you've heard of DevOps, but how are the two related? Throughout this talk you will learn what Continuous Delivery is and why your organization should strive to achieve it. You will then embark on a Continuous Delivery journey that will highlight the level of DevOps maturity an organization should be at to safely deliver to production on a regular basis and keep it running for the long term.

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Blockchain - Why and how

by Arushi Srivastava

This major technology trend has already started software architecture for financial services and insurance industries and is now making its way to other industries like healthcare, supply chain and government. In the next 2-3 years you will have the responsibility of understanding, implementing an/or using Blockchain, just the way you do it for cloud today. This talk will introduce the you to the Blockchain architecture and we will dive deeper into the specifics of its utility, implementation and technical skills requirement. The talk will end with giving the audience specific steps on how to start their Blockchain journey and if already started then how to overcome the roadblocks.

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In DevTools We Trust

by Henri Helvetica

The modern developer workflow often starts with authoring a simple SPA, followed by a live push, but often concludes with a bottleneck discovery. With near certainty, the application was not tested, despite the availability of a testing tool a keystroke away: option-command-I bka Developer Tools.

‘In DevTools We Trust’ will equip developers with the capacity to correctly conduct application analysis, and provide solutions in the dissolution of performance bottlenecks.

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Get your fancy pants on with Elixir

by Ole Michaelis

With Elixir you get all the power of Erlang and it’s hardened frameworks and libraries like OTP and cowboy with a Ruby-esque syntax. When WhatsApp was sold to Facebook, everyone was talking about Erlang. Everyone wanted to know how it was possible to build such a resilient and highly scalable system. With hot code swapping, the BEAM Machine allows zero downtime deployments and gives you highly available systems.

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Coding for the Greater Good - An Affordable REST

by Shanta Nathwani

There are more than 170,000 households on the waiting list for subsidized housing in the City of Toronto. Location isn't the primary search function, yet the website for Toronto Community Housing and the open data don't address some of the most crucial pieces of information needed for people to find housing: size of the unit (i.e., number of bedrooms) and speciality (i.e., accessibility or seniors residence). This talk shows the shortfalls of both of these sources and shows how I turned both of these on their heads, and was able to present this data on a nicely designed, accessible and mobile friendly front-end, all while making the data available through an API, using scraped and mock data in a week as a student. Think of how much money the City of Toronto could save and how much better the search for subsidized housing could be?

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Conversing with ES2015 and Generators

by Jana Beck

JavaScript got generator functions in ES2015, but perhaps—unlike other ES2015 features like `const`, computed property names, and arrow functions—you haven’t used them yet. The disruption of the “normal” control flow that occurs with generators can feel a bit like turning your brain inside-out, but generators are definitely useful. In this talk, we’ll seek to understand generators through the metaphor of conversation, modeling the relationship between a generator function and its calling context as a turn-taking relationship, just like a (good) conversation so that JavaScript can provide not just our livelihood but our therapy too.

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Effective prototyping with Java 9

by Miro Cupak

One of the more interesting features of the recent release of Java is undoubtedly JShell, Java’s implementation of REPL, which makes prototyping and API exploration faster and easier. The release, however, packs many incredibly useful smaller and less-known features, such as convenience factory methods for collections, process handles, stackwalker, or HTTP/2 client.

This session is for Java developers. You will learn how to effectively work with JShell, and discover several new APIs in Java 9 with its help.

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What Big Data is Missing: Remembering Our Humanity

by Marisa Morby

What makes people buy something online? Is it the color of a button, the words in the headline, or eye-catching design? Big data tells us that if we get the right combination of these things, we'll see a huge uptick in sales. But what it doesn't account for is the individual. Because each person that clicks buy has a much larger story to tell.

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Keynote: Empowering through mentoring

by Marissa Levy Lerer

'Our chief want in life is somebody who will make us do what we can.' — Ralph Waldo Emerson
In tech, we are often left to our own devices to self learn and grow through our own sheer will. We often forget that there are people out there willing and anxious to help pull us to the next rung of our careers. Marissa Lerer, CTO of Compose[d] and mentorship junkie will lead in a discussion about mentorship, leadership and how to effectively give and receive both.


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