#fstoco

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

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Speaker Bios

Here you can learn more about the speakers and follow them on twitter!

Cassandra Faris Photo

About Cassandra Faris

Director of Talent Management at Improving Columbus

Session: Keynote: Health: The Most Important Dev Tool

Cassandra Faris is the Director of Talent Management at Improving Columbus, a software development consulting and training company. She is passionate about growing the tech community and its people, regularly attending, speaking at, and helping organize conferences and events. She is President of the Microsoft-focused Dog Food Conference and Marketing Lead for CloudDevelop. She has an MBA in Organizational Leadership, and is an avid tabletop gamer, runner, and soccer fan who travels as much as possible.

Tirell Mckinnon Photo

About Tirell Mckinnon

Software Engineer at Skookum

Session: Development with Vue.js

Tirell Mckinnon is a software engineer at Skookum located in Charlotte, NC. Tirell has a background in computer science, frontend development has always been his passion. Tirell has always had a curiosity of deeply understanding software, he loves solving problems and exploring new technologies. He is a family man, avid learner, hobbyist mountain biker, and a member of the Army National Guard.

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About Jonah Kowall

Session: Monitoring and Instrumentation Best Practices

Jonah Kowall trained in computer science and co-founded one of the first content filtering companies in the late 1990’s. Jonah became a security expert committing code to both the FreeBSD project and helped build the first wireless cracking algorithms.

In 2011 Jonah changed careers, moving to Gartner to focus on availability and performance monitoring and IT operations management (ITOM). Speaking and writing research globally for IT leaders and CIOs. Jonah led Gartner's influential application performance monitoring (APM) and created the network performance monitoring and diagnostics (NPMD) magic quadrants. In 2015 Jonah joined AppDynamics to drive the company’s product strategy, roadmap and vision, while developing entry into new markets and providing valuable technology and business insights.

Hira Javed Photo

About Hira Javed

Design Strategist at ScotiaBank

Session: UX of Voice Interfaces

Hira is a Design Strategist at Scotiabank's Digital Factory where she helps teams understand their users and make informed design decisions. She was formerly at the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC) where she led the UX research practice in the Digital Operations department. As an in-house usability consultant for CBC TV, CBC Music, Kids’ CBC, CBC News, CBC Sports and CBC Radio, Hira conducted UX research to inform product decisions from conception to post-launch.

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About Alex Wilmer

Software Developer at Ontario Institute for Cancer Research

Session: Organizing React Applications

Alex Wilmer has a passion for all things JavaScript. It started with making side scrollers in Flash and has made its way to building research applications with his amazing colleagues at the Ontario Institute for Cancer Research. He spends much of his free time exploring new technologies, languages and frameworks, giving back what he learns to students at Lighthouse Labs and the Stackoverflow community. He also has a passion for open source and encourages everyone to make as many pull requests as possible. Find him on the TorontoJS slack community to say hello and ask any questions you like!

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About Jane Prusakova

Principal Consultant at Improving Enterprises

Session: Good Code: What, Why, and How

Jane is a software architect and developer, an Agile proponent, and a great believer in building valuable software that users love to use. She builds large back-end systems that require high-performance and high-reliability, and process vast amounts of data. Jane believes that successful software is created by strong teams, requires good engineering practices, and evolves in close collaboration with the users. As a Principal Consultant for Improving Enterprises, Jane works with distributed teams on distributed software. As a member of a consulting team, Jane is focused on technical excellence, close contact with the client, and rapid iterations.

Hira Javed Photo

About Hira Javed

Design Strategist at ScotiaBank

Session: Measuring UX

Hira is a Design Strategist at Scotiabank's Digital Factory where she helps teams understand their users and make informed design decisions. She was formerly at the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC) where she led the UX research practice in the Digital Operations department. As an in-house usability consultant for CBC TV, CBC Music, Kids’ CBC, CBC News, CBC Sports and CBC Radio, Hira conducted UX research to inform product decisions from conception to post-launch.

Damian Brady Photo

About Damian Brady

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

Damian is an Australian Cloud Developer Advocate specializing in DevOps. Formerly a dev at Octopus Deploy and a Microsoft MVP, he has a background in software development and consulting in a broad range of industries. In Australia, he co-organised the Brisbane .Net User Group, and launched the now annual DDD Brisbane conference. He regularly speaks at conferences, User Groups, and other events around the world, and he's been an occasional guest on various podcasts like .NET Rocks and Hanselminutes. Most of the time you'll find him talking to developers and IT Pros to help them get the most out of their DevOps strategies. https://twitter.com/damovisa

Munish Dabas and Dirk Ginader Photo

About Munish Dabas and Dirk Ginader

UX Engineers at Google

Session: Lunch & Learn - UX Engineering @ Google

Munish Dabas - A UX Engineer at Google, Munish applies his user-centric iterative design approach to lead prototyping efforts across Google Maps. Prior to Google he was a product design lead at Amazon, a lead technologist at Sports Illustrated Digital where his work garnered awards from the FWA and AdAge, and an interactive developer at award-winning digital agency and product design firm Fantasy.

Dirk Ginader - Dirk has been building websites for 20 years. He built high performing production websites and applications at scale first for an agency in Germany then later for Yahoo in the UK and the US until he joined Google in 2013 as one of its first UX Engineers. He’s passionate about making Google’s many different products a delightful experience for everyone by closely collaborating with designers, researchers, engineers and last but not least the accessibility team.

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About Jason Matthews

Technical Architect at Sapient Razorfish

Session: React Native Ra11y

Lover of all things mobile, accessibility and performance. Passionate about React Native and Javascripts.

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About Sam Kitajima-Kimbrel

Principal Engineer at Nuna Inc

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

Sam Kitajima-Kimbrel is a software engineer with many feels about healthy teams, distributed systems, and data storage. Sam has a different hair color every month, enjoys cycling and cooking, and resides in the San Francisco Bay Area with his husband Kameron and their dogs Basil and Mochi.

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About Jennifer Wong

Software Engineer at Eventbrite

Session: Accessing Accessible Accessibility

Jennifer Wong is a self-taught software engineer at Eventbrite where she spends her days making the web a prettier and more user-friendly place. She has written for Net Magazine and had projects covered by Mashable, Engadget, Gizmodo, and more. Jenn is an avid conference speaker and loves eating, coding, and sleeping.

Ruy Adorno Photo

About Ruy Adorno

Senior Front-End Developer at Upgrade

Session: Node.js server side rendering in the Age of APIs

Ruy Adorno is a Front-End Developer with more than 10 years of experience working with the web and the many versions of ECMAScript. Also an avid open source user and contributor.

Toria Gibbs Photo

About Toria Gibbs

Senior Software Engineer at Etsy

Session: A Search Index is Not a Database Index

Toria Gibbs is a Senior Software Engineer working on Search Infrastructure at Etsy. She's interested in infrastructure development, distributed systems, and information retrieval (including databases and search systems). Toria holds a computer science degree from the University of Waterloo. In her spare time, Toria bakes desserts for her blog and plays flag football.

Dan Jenkins Photo

About Dan Jenkins

CEO at Nimble Ape Ltd

Session: My Sensors Bring All the Peeps to the Yard.

Based in Kent, Dan's is the founder of Nimble Ape Ltd, which he started at the beginning of 2014. Dan loves working with Node.js and with its community, along with his passion for building great architecture for Applications. For the past few years Dan's been building RESTful Hypermedia APIs but recently, he's been working with the exciting WebRTC technology; as a Google Developer Expert in WebRTC his mission is to get more developers looking at and using the technology.

Rohan Nair Photo

About Rohan Nair

Head of Engineering at Pungle Payments

Session: React + GraphQL + Elixir/Phoenix

Rohan is a polyglot developer, architect and experienced technology leader with over a decade of experience with Javascript. He is currently the Head of Engineering at Pungle Payments, building a real-time payments platform with Elixir, Node and React. Outside of code, Rohan is a history aficionado, beer drinker, and chocolate chip cookie critic.

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About Yaroslav Tkachenko

Senior Software Engineer at Demonware (Activision)

Session: Building Stateful Microservices With Akka

Yaroslav Tkachenko is a software engineer interested in distributed systems, microservices, functional programming, modern cloud infrastructure and DevOps practices. Currently Yaroslav is a Senior Software Engineer at Demonware (Activision), working on a large-scale data pipeline.

Prior to joining Demonware Yaroslav held various leadership roles in multiple startups. He was responsible for designing, developing, delivering and maintaining platform services and cloud infrastructure for mission critical systems.

Morgan Zion Photo

About Morgan Zion

UX Design Manager at Amazon

Session: Help! Work Is Killing My Creativity

As a lover of all experiences both tangible and intangible, Morgan Zion, UX Design Manager and Associate Creative Director , aims to build lasting products and designs. These products and designs of her's carry the very obvious tangible qualities of well-constructed ideas but also convey a deep intangible message. She is an avid artist and even though she works in the world of tech and is an avid recycler, she stills dies a bit inside when people tell her, 'Print is dead'. She loves texture and drawing in real time, with no lag, on paper (sorry Mr. Tree).

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About Ben Ilegbodu

Senior UI Engineer & Manager at Eventbrite

Session: Isomorphic React sans Node??

Ben is a Christian, a husband and a father of 2 with 10+ years of experience developing user interfaces for the Web. He currently leads and manages Eventbrite’s Frontend Platform team. On the side, Ben also enjoys playing basketball, DIY, watching movies, and blogging (benmvp.com) / tweeting (@benmvp) about his experiences with new web technologies.

Kirsten Hunter Photo

About Kirsten Hunter

API Evangelist at Akamai

Session: Harnessing the Power of the Cloud Through CLIs

Kirsten Hunter is an unapologetic hacker and passionate advocate for the development community. Her technical interests range from graph databases to cloud services, and her experience supporting and evangelizing REST APIs has given her a unique perspective on developer success. In her copious free time she’s a gamer, fantasy reader, and all around rabble-rouser. Code samples, recipes, and philosophical musings can be found on her website at http://www.princesspolymath.com

B Cordelia Yu Photo

About B Cordelia Yu

Content & Editorial Strategist at A Yellow Raven

Session: Inclusive and accessible products and teams

Bernard Cordelia Yu is a(n) strategist at the intersection of scholarship, social justice, and policy. They help align organizational, editorial, and product processes in social and environmental justice to make knowledge accessible and inclusive. They love building inclusive spaces to build inclusive teams to build inclusive products to build inclusive communities.

B Cordelia believes that, like in martial arts, the surest path to rapid response times in any campaign is good preparation and training. Their pronouns are they, them, and their.

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About Hasan Ahmad

Senior Consultant at Dev6

Session: Designing Voice Powered User Experiences for JavaScript Applications

Hasan Ahmad is a Senior Consultant at DEV6 where he develops front-end web applications for large enterprise clients of DEV6. He also builds, maintains and instructs courses at DEV6, related to front-end web application development. Hasan has built mobile and web applications for clients in a variety of industries, including healthcare, building management, finance, telecom, automotive and retail. Hasan leads the Toronto chapter of Developer Circles by Facebook, an online and offline accessible community for app developers in Toronto to learn and share their experiences building on top of the Facebook platform.

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About Elle Meredith

Consultant at Blackmill

Session: Algorithms to live by and why should we care

Elle works as a consultant for Blackmill. Before Blackmill, she was a Development Director in the New York City office of thoughtbot. She believes in writing clean code, driven by automatic tests, with agile practices, an even work/life balance, and a respectful and inclusive team culture. She constantly works to improve her understanding of technologies, techniques, anti-patterns, and what is considered best practice.

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About Ivana McConnell

Sr. UI/UX Designer at Customer.io

Session: Remote Working: Swings & Roundabouts

Ivana was born in Sarajevo to a civil engineer-turned-translator and a UN Logistics Officer-turned-software engineer, and is now based in Vancouver. She arrived there via Croatia, Scotland, and Toronto, and has previously made a living as a rock climbing instructor and video game tester. The first code problem she remembers solving is figuring out the difference between a local and public URL while sprucing up a Neopets guild page. These days she’s a senior UX designer at Customer.io, and is most interested in the intersections of technology, identity, and data.

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About Kristina Balaam

Application Security Engineer at Shopify

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

Kristina is an Application Security Engineer with Shopify. She builds web and mobile security tools and helps discover vulnerabilities in the existing platform. Prior to Shopify, Kristina led a team of developers building web and mobile applications for enterprise and start-up clients. Kristina graduated with a Bachelor of Computer Science from McGill University in 2012. She volunteers with DEFCON Toronto, founded the Women in Tech Toronto book club and has a serious computer textbook hoarding problem.

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About Dejan Glozic

Senior Technical Staff Member, IBM Watson Cloud Platform

Session: Authentication in Microservice Systems

Dejan Glozic is a Senior Technical Staff Member in IBM Toronto Laboratory, where he spent more than 20 years working on various projects involving Eclipse platform, Web technologies, Node.js, React and microservice systems. Dejan has a wealth of experience with various topics of modern architecture, and considers himself a Full Stack Architect (if such a thing exists). He is proud of being a 'hands on' architect, avoiding slideware and instead trusting in the power of running code. Read Dejan's thoughts on his blog at dejanglozic.com, or follow him on twitter as @dglozic.

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About Matthew Davey

Senior Product Designer at AgileBits

Session: Designing Everyday Privacy and Security

I grew up in a little village in England 🇬🇧 but I live in Toronto 🇨🇦 and design for 1Password. Previously I've designed for brands like Ecco, Gucci, HSBC and Microsoft.

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About Houssein Djirdeh

Software Developer at Rangle.io

Session: Progressive Web Apps

Houssein is passionate about JavaScript and all things web. Based in Toronto, he works as a JavaScript developer at Rangle.io. On the rare occasions when Houssein is not working on a blog post or his next side project, he enjoys weightlifting and long walks on the beach.

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About Chris Guzman

Developer Advocate at Nexmo

Session: Building a Better API with JSON:API

Chris is a Developer Advocate at Nexmo where he helps developers use their global communications platform. He co-organizes the Baltimore Hackathon, Baltimore’s Google Developer Group, and teaches classes at Betamore.

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About Karina Popova

Head of Development at LINK Mobility GmbH

Session: Combining AI and IoT. New Industrial Revolution

My short BIO: Karina is a well-known woman in tech, an experienced developer and an international speaker with the Trust of The Audience Award in 2016. She has been worked as Developer Lead last 10 years. She has confident communication, leadership skills across different levels, developed through international professional interaction and engagements with representatives of various government institutions or IT companies using agile environment across the world. Her social responsibility and communicative competence are demonstrated in the organization of professional networks, events and conferences. At the same time she gained public speaking skills through frequent academic presentations, workshops and participation as a speaker at IoT and DevOps conferences. 

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About Aaron Wislang

Software Developer at Microsoft

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

Aaron is a Senior Cloud Developer Advocate at Microsoft with well over a decade of software development, systems architecture & security experience across the major clouds, development platforms and industries. His current areas of focus include Code (Go, .NET. python), Clouds, Containers (Docker, Kubernetes) & Security as well as Microsoft, Linux & other Open Source platforms. He joined Microsoft from Rackspace where he was a Senior Systems Architect & Software Developer on the Azure Product & Engineering team. Aaron and his wife currently live in Toronto, Canada with their two boys and their turtle. (More: https://developer.microsoft.com/en-us/advocates/aaron-wislang)

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About Munish Dabas and Dirk Ginader

UX Engineers at Google

Session: Lunch & Learn - UX Engineering @ Google

Munish Dabas - A UX Engineer at Google, Munish applies his user-centric iterative design approach to lead prototyping efforts across Google Maps. Prior to Google he was a product design lead at Amazon, a lead technologist at Sports Illustrated Digital where his work garnered awards from the FWA and AdAge, and an interactive developer at award-winning digital agency and product design firm Fantasy.

Dirk Ginader - Dirk has been building websites for 20 years. He built high performing production websites and applications at scale first for an agency in Germany then later for Yahoo in the UK and the US until he joined Google in 2013 as one of its first UX Engineers. He’s passionate about making Google’s many different products a delightful experience for everyone by closely collaborating with designers, researchers, engineers and last but not least the accessibility team.

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About Robyn Larsen

Front End Developer at Phuse

Session: Down the SVG Rabbit Hole

Robyn Larsen is a former nuclear engineer turned front-end developer, entrepreneur, and speaker. Robyn is also an active community member who advises numerous startups across multiple industries and frequently mentors women in tech and STEM. She is a member of the Technical Advisory Group (TAG) with Microsoft and serves on multiple nonprofit boards. Her tools of choice are product strategy, responsive design, HTML5, CSS3, SVGs and JavaScript. You can find her flying between San Francisco, Toronto and Alberta for client work and surfing waves in Central America during her spare time.

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About Arthur Maltson

Sr. Manager, Software Engineering at CapitalOne

Session: From Commit To Production And Beyond - The Continuous Delivery Pipeline

Arthur Maltson is a Lead DevOps Engineer at Capital One Canada who’s 70% Dev and 30% Ops. He’s currently practicing DevOps during the day and, as a husband and father he’s also doing DadOps at night. Arthur embodies the Full Stack developer with his passion for infrastructure automation, API crafting, front end development and making work fun by introducing and/or building new tools.

In his spare time Arthur spends far too much time trying to keep up with the latest tech. He also occasionally blogs, Tweets and commits to OSS.

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About Arushi Srivastava

Senior Director at NTT DATA

Session: Blockchain - Why and how

Arushi Srivastava is the Senior Director of NTT DATA’s Advance Tech Initiatives Practice. She advises corporate leaders on architecting next generation solutions that result in Digital Transformation. At present, she is leading several internal and customer specific Digital Strategy, Digital Engagement, Design Thinking, IoT and Blockchain initiatives for NTT DATA. She has ~12 years of professional IT experience in large-scale software projects, leading Digital Strategy, Enterprise Architecture, Business Analysis, Solution Design and development areas. Early in her career, she worked with NTT Data’s Telecommunication and Public Sector clients, where she lead several Enterprise, Solution and System Architecture engagements.

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About Henri Helvetica

Freelancer

Session: In DevTools We Trust

Henri is a freelance developer who has turned his interests to a macédoine of site performance engineering with pinches of user experience. When not reading the deluge of daily research docs and case studies, or indiscriminately auditing sites in devtools, Henri can be found contributing back to the community, co-programming meetups including the Toronto Web Performance Group or volunteering his time for lunch and learns at various bootcamps. Otherwise, he’s tooling with music production software or with near certainty training and focusing on running the fastest 5k possible.

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About Ole Michaelis

Senior Software Engineer at DNSimple

Session: Get your fancy pants on with Elixir

Ole Michaelis is the co-founder of SoCoded, a hackfest and web development conference in Hamburg. He’s a Software Engineer working for DNSimple making Domain Automation a breeze. In his free time, he’s building slidr.io, a hazzle-free slide sharing platform. Ole is passionate about open source software, enjoys traveling, and loves Mexican food. He classifies himself as a 'bad' German as he dislikes beer and soccer – the traditional German past-times.

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About Shanta Nathwani

Instructor at Sheridan College

Session: Coding for the Greater Good - An Affordable REST

Shanta is an Instructor in Web Design at Sheridan College and a recent graduate from BrainStation Toronto in their Full Time Web Development program as a Full Stack Web Developer. She has a passion for Open Data and coding for the greater good.

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About Jana Beck

Dataviz Engineer at Stitch Fix

Session: Conversing with ES2015 and Generators

Jana took the long road to web development with a significant delay as a Ph.D. candidate in linguistics doing a lot of scientific computing in Python. Today she creates data visualization applications and tools, typically with a stack including D3, React, and Redux. When she's not coding or sleeping, there's a high probability that Jana is sweating in a dance studio or a gym.

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About Miro Cupak

Senior Software Engineer at DNAstack

Session: Effective prototyping with Java 9

Miro is a senior software engineer at DNAstack, where he develops a leading genomics cloud platform. He is a Java enthusiast with expertise in distributed systems and middleware, and the creator of the largest search and discovery engine of human genomic data. In his spare time, he blogs and contributes to several open-source projects.

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About Marisa Morby

Optimization Director at Clearhead

Session: What Big Data is Missing: Remembering Our Humanity

Marisa Morby has a background in User Experience copywriting, and marketing. She specializes in digital optimization, user research, and user experience flow for web and mobile applications. She's worked with clients to create a more personal approach to marketing, used data to optimize businesses, and helped her clients connect with customers on a human level. When she's not writing or reading about psychology, she can be found in the wild doing all sorts of things like: eating her way around the world, perfecting a chocolate chip cookie recipe, or sitting in the park doing some serious people watching.

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About Marissa Levy Lerer

CTO at Compose[d]

Session: Keynote: Empowering through mentoring

Marissa Lerer is a technologist, musician, cake decorator and mom. She received a BS in Music Education and an MA in Graphic Communications, Management and Technology from NYU. She is currently managing a team of developers, as CTO at COMPOSE[D], a digital creative and development agency in New York. Marissa prides herself on being a “cool nerd” who likes to get her hands in everything. She is also an accomplished singer/songwriter who has released three albums. She has also participated in the 2012 StartupBus and was on the winning team of the 2012 International Space Apps Challenge. She is passionate about mentorship, especially for women in tech. In addition to teaching programming at the School of Visual Arts she is also a regular panelist at Pace Path Live and recently mentored Girl Scouts at a SXSW event sponsored by Twitter and Dove. Last year she was the keynote speaker at Full Stack Toronto.

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