The conference for people who build the web
Oct. 23-24th, 2017
Historic Automotive Building 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.

Alex Wilmer Photo

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.

Sage Franch Photo

About Sage Franch

Technical Evangelist at Microsoft

Session: UX Design for V/A/M Reality

Sage Franch is a Technical Evangelist at Microsoft Canada, developer of holograms and chatbots, and founder of tech lifestyle blog Trendy Techie. Sage specializes in mixed reality computing, cognitive machines, and conversational AI. Her current work includes furthering the use of xR in academic environments and as a tool for remote communication and collaboration. Prior to this role Sage was a Content Developer at Microsoft Learning Experiences, where she created highly technical online training courses for app development with the Universal Windows Platform. Known internationally as 'the Trendy Techie,' Sage has been recognized for her work with diversity and inclusion in technical fields and STEM education. It is her mission to empower others to build the future with technology. Connect with Sage on Twitter and Instagram, @theTrendyTechie.

Jason Matthews Photo

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.

Sam Kitajima-Kimbrel Photo

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.

Jennifer Wong Photo

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 AppDirect

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

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.

Juniper Belmont Photo

About Juniper Belmont

Developer Advocate at Vaadin

Session: What Rocky Horror taught me about Shadow DOM

Juniper Belmont is a genderqueer developer advocate passionate about the open web platform. They love meeting people, talking about their passions, and giving presentations interspersed with bawdy jokes and lavish, mostly true stories. They use they/them pronouns and they can be found @juniperbelmont

Yaroslav Tkachenko Photo

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, 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 he spent some time at Mobify, leading the new Platform team. Yaroslav was responsible for developing, delivering and maintaining various platform components. He also worked on improvements for the realtime analytics pipeline.

Before that Yaroslav held multiple roles at Bench Accounting (the most recent one being the Director of Engineering). He joined the company as a first employee (and a first full-time Software Engineer) and helped to grow the engineering team from 3 to almost 30 people.

At Bench Yaroslav worked with Platform and Integrations teams and was mostly focused on designing and implementing microservices architecture, building platform services, cloud infrastructure and contributing to the DevOps tooling.

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).

Ben Ilegbodu Photo

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.



Session: Fantastic Types and Where To Use Them

Luke is the cofounder and a partner at HumbleSpark located in Chicago, IL, USA. Luke is an active member of the Elm community, helping to maintain several open source packages including elm-lang/core and elm-http-builder. Luke loves contributing to the Elm community by speaking about the language, answering questions in the Elm Slack, writing blog posts, and organizing the Chicago Elm Meetup. When Luke isn't thinking about code he likes to play the guitar, speed-run Metroid Fusion, and watch far too much TV with his fiancée.



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.



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.



BDD Evangelist at HealthSparq

Session: Oh Behave!: BDD with Cucumber

Dana Scheider is a member of the Cucumber core team and lead author of Rambo, a contract testing tool for Ruby. She is particularly interested in testing, REST API design, and improving processes within engineering organizations.



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.



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.



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.



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.



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. 



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.



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.



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.




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.



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.



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.



Software Engineer at Tidepool

Session: Conversing with ES2015 and Generators

Jana Beck is a coffee-fueled engineer at a small open-source and not-for-profit startup called Tidepool, based in the Bay Area of California but with developers on three continents. Tidepool's mission is to reduce the burden of type 1 diabetes through data technology, and Jana works mostly on Tidepool's front-end stack (React with Redux; D3 for data visualization). When she's not coding or sleeping, there's a high probability that Jana is sweating in a gym or a dance studio.



Software Engineer at Shopify

Session: Tackling Technical Debt

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.



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.



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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