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BACON 2012 schedule

Friday 20th April 2012

  • Intro

    At 9:00am to 9:15am, Friday 20th April

    In Auditorium, The Mermaid Conference Centre

  • Keynote - Meditations for Developers

    by Scott Porad

    As developers, we spend a lot of time tinkering with techniques and processes for creating better technology. But, how often do we think about the soul of our technology? Perhaps the secret to success can be revealed by understanding the mysteries of people who make it, their values and identities, loves and fears, and the narratives that tell the story of their lives.

    At 9:15am to 10:00am, Friday 20th April

    In Auditorium, The Mermaid Conference Centre

  • Get Inspired, Make Stuff

    by Syd Lawrence

    Almost every week I end up tinkering with something and creating myself some thing I think is cool. Some people say I have to much time on my hands. Others simply don't understand why I do it. The beauty of the web is it is relatively cheap to make stuff. Let me explain to you why I do it. And why I think it is important to do it.

    At 10:15am to 10:45am, Friday 20th April

    In Auditorium, The Mermaid Conference Centre

    Coverage video

  • Hubot IMG Me Woman Laughing Alone with Salad

    by Jon Hoyt

    Having your very own robot butler is finally possible! HUBOT from GitHub is an easy to setup and highly extensible automation assistant for your everyday needs. Use HUBOT to order food, grab directions, deploy code, and even open the door! Sure, he may take over the world someday, but in the meantime we might as well have some fun.

    Hubot is written in coffeescript on Node.js and easily runs on Heroku and connects to many communication platforms including Campfire, HipChat, any XMPP server, and Twitter.

    At 10:15am to 10:45am, Friday 20th April

    In Newgate Suite, The Mermaid Conference Centre

    Coverage slide deck

  • Design Pairing

    by Samuel Mikel Bowles

    Whether you’re a designer or a developer there’s a simple way to get better at both, help others around you improve, and make working together more enjoyable. The power of design pairing can produce better ideas faster and instill greater empathy for both design and programming throughout your company.

    Samuel Bowles will explore how his team has adopted the principles of design pairing in a number of contexts and configurations. His observations are based on the contrast between his work in traditional design firms and as a member of various Agile development teams. He will explore the various types of design pairing and especially the power of cross-functional pairing.

    At 11:00am to 11:30am, Friday 20th April

    In Auditorium, The Mermaid Conference Centre

    Coverage slide deck

  • I Like to 'Play' Games

    by Pixelh8

    A guided tour of a man careering through his musical life, from hacking to indie development, vintage computers to inspiring the next generation of coders. This talk explores where video games can take you.

    At 11:00am to 11:30am, Friday 20th April

    In Newgate Suite, The Mermaid Conference Centre

  • Those Who Forget The Past

    by Gary Bernhardt

    Software marches forward; each new piece is better than the last! Not quite... it's a bit more subtle than that. There are patterns in the history of our industry: each tool or practice is a reaction to something before it. By paying attention to the pattern, and to the types of reactions, we can better understand our history and our current tools' place in it. More importantly, we can avoid repeating the mistaken reactions that our predecessors have had to new tools (C is too slow for real software!)

    At 11:45am to 12:15pm, Friday 20th April

    In Auditorium, The Mermaid Conference Centre

  • Your Browser Needs You

    by Stuart Memo

    With the increasing popularity of Google's Chrome, the battle for web browser market share is tougher than ever. This battle not only affects earnest developers on the front line, but also many innocent surfing civilians. It is with this in mind that my talk would humorously compare the current and future state of modern browsers to the global conflict of 1939-45.

    In my presentation, I will discuss various browsers by likening them to counties who participated in World War II - The Allies, made up of Firefox, Safari, Chrome, etc. vs. The Axis (The IE family). Throughout my talk I will draw various comparisons to real-life battles from WWII, as well as the similarities of the technological advances that helped these countries win the war.

    My talk will not be a straight-forward IE bashing in any way (especially as they are doing great stuff these days!), but an entertaining look at how developers can survive today's battlefield.

    At 11:45am to 12:15pm, Friday 20th April

    In Newgate Suite, The Mermaid Conference Centre

    Coverage video

  • Maintain Less, Mentor More: Community Building Techniques

    by Wesley Beary

    Open source is hard but it gets much easier with a community backing you. I tried many approaches while developing fog, and thankfully, the resulting community is amazing. Now I'm doing my best to apply the same principles to the Heroku CLI and other open source projects. I make mistakes and often get lucky, but I have learned a lot about fostering community in the process. This session distills some of my techniques and explains how you can help build community around your favorite projects.

    At 1:15pm to 1:45pm, Friday 20th April

    In Auditorium, The Mermaid Conference Centre

    Coverage video

  • Why You Should Be A Coffee Snob!

    by Sam Brookes

    Are you particular about when and how you drink your coffee? Do you try new coffee shops as soon as you see them? Do you stand and watch people make it before you decide if you want to order anything? And above all, do you judges people for their choice of coffee?! Well Sam kinda thinks you should. If you don't, then give him a chance to explain why you should. And also why it's not a bad thing to be a coffee snob!

    At 1:15pm to 1:45pm, Friday 20th April

    In Newgate Suite, The Mermaid Conference Centre

    Coverage video

  • CSS in the 4th Dimension: Not Your Daddy's CSS Animations

    by Lea Verou

    CSS2.1 was two dimensional: There was no concept of depth or time. CSS3 brings us some control over both, with transitions and animations for the latter. In this talk we will start from the basics of these new specifications, but will quickly move to more advanced tips and tricks to fully leverage these exciting technologies. The talk will follow Lea’s trademark presentation style, which has been praised by audiences all over Europe.

    At 2:00pm to 2:30pm, Friday 20th April

    In Auditorium, The Mermaid Conference Centre

    Coverage slide deck

  • Users as Data

    by Paul Ingles

    Clojure is a JVM-based Lisp dialect with simple core abstractions that emphasise immutable data, sequences, and first-class and higher-order functions. In Clojure, code and data are the same.

    These simple abstractions have been the inspiration for building new data tools for uSwitch.com: treating everything as data and building many tools that operate on the same data. It has helped us build monitoring, debugging and analytical tools (many of which are written using Clojure) that help us understand how people are interacting with our websites and provides an open-source, open-schema environment for our data that encourages both consumption and production.

    At 2:00pm to 2:30pm, Friday 20th April

    In Newgate Suite, The Mermaid Conference Centre

  • HTML5 Takes Over The World

    by Phil Nash

    Forever the backbone of the Internet, HTML is now trying to escape the browser, but are web technologies the best ways to make native applications? We will explore various emerging platforms for turning HTML, CSS and JavaScript into native applications and weigh up the benefits of each. We'll then look further into the implications of having many different platforms and on to what the W3C has up its sleeve for the future. This is not the old "web vs native" debate, but a look into "web as native" and what it means to development right now and in the increasingly exciting future for web developers.

    At 2:45pm to 3:15pm, Friday 20th April

    In Auditorium, The Mermaid Conference Centre

    Coverage video

  • Lego Punk

    by Steven Goodwin

    Although LEGO began as wooden toys back in 1932 it was the LEGO system, in 1958, that really cemented the toy as the devs favourite grown-up toy. In this talk Steve reviews some of the biggest, smallest, weirdest, and intriguing LEGO-related projects of recent times, including a working harpsichord, docking bay 94, a portrait of Tori Amos, and a Mindstorms Segway.

    At 2:45pm to 3:15pm, Friday 20th April

    In Newgate Suite, The Mermaid Conference Centre

  • A Craft Beer Revolution (or How to Stick a Bottle in a Squirrel)

    by Jonny Bright

    Mark will tell us about craft beer, and the story of BrewDog.

    At 3:30pm to 4:00pm, Friday 20th April

    In Auditorium, The Mermaid Conference Centre

    Coverage video

  • Building a Resilient Cloud Infrastructure. From Scratch. With No Hands.

    by Jeremy Jarvis

    Learn how the audacious team at Brightbox built out the UKs first multi-datacentre public cloud service, with a team smaller than your average Starbucks (express) and a budget smaller than your average lunch with a Tory (allegedly).

    We'll traverse a wide-range of subjects and experiences, such as: how solving the hard problems leads to competitive advantage, why you shouldn't overestimate your competitors and how to negotiate above your weight.

    At 3:30pm to 4:00pm, Friday 20th April

    In Newgate Suite, The Mermaid Conference Centre

  • Keynote - Open Data & The Internet of Things

    by Usman Haque

    The expected massive growth of connected device, appliance & sensor markets in the coming years - often called the 'Internet of Things' - will need a more rich concept of 'open data' than is currently common. When data is generated through activities of people doing things inside their homes and outside in public in their cities, the question of who owns the data becomes almost irrelevant next to the questions of who has access to the data, what do they do with it, and how to citizens manage and make sense of their data while retaining the openness that we've seen drive creativity and business on the web over the last few years.

    At 4:15pm to 5:00pm, Friday 20th April

    In Auditorium, The Mermaid Conference Centre

    Coverage video

Saturday 21st April 2012

  • Intro

    At 9:00am to 9:15am, Saturday 21st April

    In Auditorium, The Mermaid Conference Centre

  • Keynote - Developing Mobile Tools for Citizens Journalists

    by Chris Haseman

    As the Green revolution and the Arab spring have shown, technology is now an essential tool in organizing, documenting, and cementing peaceful resistance and civil disobedience. For now, the organizers are technologically ahead of the security forces they are demonstrating against. This imbalance, sadly, cannot last without our help. In this talk, I'll cover some of the technical tools needed to help dissidents document abuses. First, we must allow citizens to cover events anonymously, should they wish to. Second, we need to allow them access to their images and video even if the device on which they were taken is confiscated. Last, we need to develop software to help media escape internet blackouts and aggressive filtering.

    At 9:15am to 9:45am, Saturday 21st April

    In Auditorium, The Mermaid Conference Centre

    Coverage video

  • GIT: The NoSQL Database

    by Brandon Keepers

    We all know that Git is amazing for storing code. It is fast, reliable, flexible, and it keeps our project history nuzzled safely in its object database while we sleep soundly at night.

    But what about storing more than code? Why not data? Much flexibility is gained by ditching traditional databases, but at what cost?

    In this talk, I will explore the idea of using Git as a data store. I will look at the benefits of using a schema-less data store, the incredible opportunity opened up by having every change to every model versioned, and the crazy things that could be done with branching and merging changes to data.

    I will also explore the challenges posed by using and scaling Git as a data store, including concurrent access and distributing load.

    At 10:15am to 10:45am, Saturday 21st April

    In Auditorium, The Mermaid Conference Centre

  • Nerd Can Cook

    by Aaron Quint

    I love food. Over the past 10 years, what was a simple love has turned to down right obsession. My brother once dared me with the simple phrase "I wonder how hard it would be to make pickles?". From there its been a non-stop adventure, from sausage making to charcuterie to bacon to fresh cheese to hard cheese to fine french cuisine and just about everything in between. I truly believe the obsessive unrelenting nature of being a developer and wanting to solve problems lends itself very well to being a chef (or at least an amateur one). I'll walk through the science and deliciousness of cooking and a number of fun and challenging techniques, from making simple pickles and bacon at home, to building your own cheese cave. You're a nerd, you can figure this out.

    At 10:15am to 10:45am, Saturday 21st April

    In Newgate Suite, The Mermaid Conference Centre

  • Customers Who Bought Music Also Bought Beer

    by Ben Fields

    From The Hype Machine to Last.fm, music recommendation is now an everyday part of our lives. These services employ many techniques, from curated-playlists to content-similarity to collaborative filtering. But can music recommendation techniques tell us what we should be drinking before a concert? Or where to drink it? Or what tasty beverage best matches a meal? In this talk I’ll be briefly surveying music recommendation techniques, focusing on personalisation and content-based recommendation. I’ll then introduce a dataset of beer descriptions and ratings. We’ll apply the earlier techniques (some with slight modifications) to this rather more intoxicating domain, via a case study. When it’s all over, everyone should know the answer to that most important of questions: What beer will go best (for you) with this bacon?

    (all code used in this talk will be available online under an OSS licence)

    At 11:00am to 11:30am, Saturday 21st April

    In Newgate Suite, The Mermaid Conference Centre

  • Eve: Working Around Evolution

    by Steve Losh

    The human brain evolved to deal with small numbers of medium-sized things. As developers we frequently have to work with huge numbers of extremely tiny things.

    The complexity of the programs we write is increasing far more quickly than our intelligence. If we're going to be able to develop effectively we need to find ways to work around our poorly-suited brains. It's time for the development community to grow up and take some lessons from math and science on how to deal with complexity.

    At 11:00am to 11:30am, Saturday 21st April

    In Auditorium, The Mermaid Conference Centre

  • How I Built a Neural Network Controlled Self Driving (RC) Car

    by David Singleton

    Cheap, mass produced mobile phone hardware laden with sensors combined with the compute power of the machines we use every day make expensive research systems of the 90s implementable in your living room. I'll explain how I did just that. Combining machine learning techniques anyone can learn online, an open source hardware platform, a simple mobile app and a bit of heath-robinson device hacking to build a remote control car that learns how to navigate autonomously.

    At 11:45am to 12:15pm, Saturday 21st April

    In Newgate Suite, The Mermaid Conference Centre

  • Schemaless SQL - The Best of Both Worlds

    by Will Leinweber

    Schemaless database are a joy to use because they make it easy to iterate on your app, especially early on. And to be honest, the relational model isn't always the best fit for real-world evolving and messy data.

    On the other hand, relational databases are proven, robust, and powerful. Also, over time as your data model stabilizes, the lack of well-defined schemas becomes painful.

    How are we supposed to pick one or the other? Simple: pick both. Fortunately recent advances in Postgres allow for a hybrid approach that we've been using at Heroku. The hstore datatype gives you key/value in a single column, and PLV8 enables JavaScript and JSON in Postgres. These and others in turn make Postgres the best document database in the world.

    We will explore the power of hstore and PLV8, explain how to use them in your project today, and examine their role in the future of data.

    At 11:45am to 12:15pm, Saturday 21st April

    In Auditorium, The Mermaid Conference Centre

  • Doing The Right Thing

    by Sean Treadway

    Web sites are complex systems that can spectacularly fail in more ways that they succeed. Most failures are the result of a combination of totally reasonable behaviors. Learn about one of those failures from SoundCloud and how we handle failures by debunking the myth of the "root cause".

    At 1:15pm to 1:45pm, Saturday 21st April

    In Auditorium, The Mermaid Conference Centre

    Coverage video

  • What To Do With 50,000 Scientists

    by Chris Lintott

    At 1:15pm to 1:45pm, Saturday 21st April

    In Newgate Suite, The Mermaid Conference Centre

  • Machine Learning for Hackers

    by Hilary Mason

    Ever tried to use a regular expression to parse an unstructured street address? This talk is an introduction to a few machine learning algorithms and some tips for integrating them where they make the most sense and will save you the most headaches.

    At 2:00pm to 2:30pm, Saturday 21st April

    In Auditorium, The Mermaid Conference Centre

    Coverage video

  • Wombletech

    by Toby Kay

    Wombletech is all about re-use of technology and “making good use of the things that we find”- whether that be code or machines or processes.

    From the nation's canals to worldwide soft-drink distribution, some pioneers are reusing existing technology to create new businesses, social programmes and digital innovations.

    It's about thinking sideways and embracing the ethos of "proudly found elsewhere" rather than "not invented here".

    At 2:00pm to 2:30pm, Saturday 21st April

    In Newgate Suite, The Mermaid Conference Centre

    Coverage video

  • How Many Artists Does It Take To Render A Lightbulb?

    by Rob Pieké and Hannes Ricklefs

    The glamorous world of Visual Effects involves more than just hanging out with movie stars and dressing up in tuxedos to accept awards. We also write a lot of custom technology to enable our artists to help the director realise his vision. This spans the gamut from creating herds of woolly mammoths to blowing up Japanese pagodas, and managing terabytes of data as it flows between hundreds of artists across three timezones.

    At 2:45pm to 3:15pm, Saturday 21st April

    In Newgate Suite, The Mermaid Conference Centre