Future Insights Live 2012 schedule

Thursday 3rd May 2012

  • Unleashing your Inner Hacker

    by Aaron Bedra

    Are there things about your software that keep you up at night? Is the security of your application and the servers they’re running on one of those things? If you answered yes, this talk is for you. If you answered no, this talk is a must! Join Aaron as he introduces you to several methods of quickly learning the basic skills needed to asses the security of a web application and the server(s) that it runs on. You will explore common mistakes made in software development as well as common misconfigurations on servers that lead to their eventual demise. In this session you will be introduced to Webgoat, a project by OWASP that teaches basic web application hacking techniques through exploration and challenges. You will have the ability to work through a few of the labs as a group and arm yourselves with some new skills. You will learn the basic techniques for port scanning and service identification, and how to spot potential weaknesses in server configurations without setting off any alarm bells. After some basic training you will be given a challenge as a group to deface a simple web application running on a virtual machine during the talk.

    At 11:30am to 12:20pm, Thursday 3rd May

  • Why Blind Users Love Their Touch-Screen Smartphones (And the Business Case for Inclusive Design in the Mobile Universe)

    by Robin Christopherson

    In this presentation blind renowned accessibility expert Robin Christopherson will demonstrate the amazing potential that mobile devices (and even more so their apps) have to change the lives of users with disabilities. Find out why a camera is so vital for blind users, and how apps that cost a few pence are replacing specialist bits of kit costing thousands of pounds. Inclusive design has a compelling legal and moral case - but it is also an absolute commercial imperative. Robin will go on to explain why it's so vital that every single app you develop should have accessibility well and truly baked in.

    At 11:30am to 12:20pm, Thursday 3rd May

  • Client/Server Apps with HTML5 and Java

    by James Ward

    The web application landscape is rapidly shifting back to a Client/Server architecture. This time around the Client is JavaScript, HTML, and CSS in the browser. The tools and deployment techniques for these types of applications are abundant and fragmented. This session will teach you how to pull together jQuery, LESS, Twitter Bootstrap, and some CoffeeScript to build the Client. The Server could be anything that talks HTTP but this session will use the Play Framework. You will also learn how to deploy Client/Server web apps on the cloud using a Content Delivery Network (Amazon CloudFront) for the Client and a Cloud Application Provider (Heroku) for the Server.

    At 12:25pm to 12:55pm, Thursday 3rd May

  • Anything That Can Go Wrong Will Go Wrong: Or, How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Cloud

    by Benjamin Coe

    Building on a cloud infrastructure, such as AWS, offers huge benefits to an early-stage startup: You can start with minimal costs; at the same time, you can take solace in the fact that you're building on an infrastructure that will grow with your company. Having said this, the 'cloud' is not a trivial paradigm to develop on top of. A good philosophy is this, "anything that can go wrong will go wrong". We have certainly found this to be the case, in our first year of developing on AWS: servers will disappear and/or become unresponsive; network IO and, in turn, EBS drives have inconsistent performance characteristics; AWS occasionally goes down. There are steps that can be taken to minimize these risks. They're really no different than the steps that should be taken to minimize risk in any software application: have backups of all data; know the risks involved with where you choose to store your data; prepare for any node in your system disappearing; unit-test thoroughly. In this session, Ben will look back on their experiences using AWS to bootstrap a data-heavy startup with some very real technical challenges.

    At 2:05pm to 2:55pm, Thursday 3rd May

  • Beyond Visitors and Bounce Rates, A Data Story

    by George Ortiz

    Your Bounce Rate in Google Analytics is 63%, now what? The way most of us approach site analytics has moved from overall site visitors to aggregating visitor flow. With that, we're still stuck asking these same questions and trying to translate these metrics into actionable tasks. In this talk George will share the story of how we got here and what the future has in store for site analytics. With web apps such as KISSMetrics and MixPanel, we are now moving beyond an aggregate number of monthly visitors to more actionable metrics that tell us exactly how our users what to receive content.

    At 2:05pm to 2:55pm, Thursday 3rd May

  • Does Agile development work for mobile?

    by Farhan Thawar

    It’s not true that you must adopt all the tenets of Agile development or none of them. But then, how do you choose which principles will work best? Are there some principles that resonate more for working on mobile platforms and the constrained hardware of smart phones than others? Does TDD work the same way on these projects? Can you exploit pair-programming and weekly sprints? What are the most lightweight tools and processes to develop in an effective way, while not hampering engineering creativity? In this talk, we’ll discuss the lightweight engineering and product management processes we use at Xtreme Labs to build the top mobile apps around including Groupon, the NBA, and MSN. We’ll focus on tools and very lightweight things that allow engineers and product managers to actually work on building projects and staying out of unproductive pitfalls.

    At 2:05pm to 2:55pm, Thursday 3rd May

  • Engaging your customers: Does your website play nicely with social media?

    by Paul Boag

    The relationship between your website and social media channels is like a tragic love story. Social media is deeply in love with your website and is constantly telling the world they should visit. However, your website seems to care little in return. While social media promotes your site, the site does nothing but display a couple of 'like this' or 'tweet that' icons. User experience does not start and end with your site. It encompasses the entire online experience (and beyond). It is therefore important that your website plays nicely with social media so that users move seamlessly between the two. In this talk Paul shares ways that social media can become deeply embedded into your website rather than exist as a separate entity.

    At 2:05pm to 2:55pm, Thursday 3rd May

    Coverage slide deck

  • Mobile Myths Debunked

    by Josh Clark

    A set of stubborn myths are driving the development of flimsy mobile experiences that patronize and frustrate. "Info snacking." "The distracted, rushed mobile user." Those behaviors don't always, or even usually, exist, yet too often we design solely for those contexts, creating mobile apps as lite versions of their desktop counterparts. Instead, mobile apps should almost always do MORE than their desktop counterparts. "Tapworthy" author Josh Clark explains the difficult craft of designing simple interfaces for complex mobile apps, sharing techniques that will future-proof your mobile efforts.

    At 2:05pm to 2:55pm, Thursday 3rd May

  • Big Data system architectures and strategies

    by Amandeep Khurana

    As a part of this talk, I'll introduce some of the key technologies that are being used to solve data problems in today's date. The talk will touch upon some strategies on how to handle large amounts of data and how to extract value out of it. It's going to be a crash course about the technologies at play.

    At 3:05pm to 3:55pm, Thursday 3rd May

  • Building Highly Optimized Mobile Web Apps

    by Glan Thomas

    The mobile web is all about fast interactions and slick UI experiences. Native apps have set high expectations. Unlike its desktop cousin, on the mobile web the CPU time, memory, and network bandwidth are precious resources. It is up to us as mobile web developers to use these resources wisely. Let's take a look at some tools and techniques available to aid us in creating awesomely responsive mobile web apps.

    At 3:05pm to 3:55pm, Thursday 3rd May

    Coverage slide deck

  • Cloud based infrastructure for massive scale, without massive costs

    by Elmer Thomas

    Cloud based services have enabled companies in 2012 to grow their customer base exponentially, in a matter of months. Even the smallest of startup teams can reach massive scale, while maintaining reasonable costs. Recent examples of this phenomena include Quora, Instagram, Path and Pinterest. 10 years ago, without the benefits of cloud-based infrastructure services, how would these have companies fared?

    At 3:05pm to 3:55pm, Thursday 3rd May

    Coverage slide deck

  • How to use Gamification correctly in your Company

    by Ryan Carson

    Humans have an innate desire to advance their skills and complete tasks. Gamification allows you to harness those factors to improve UX and increase your revenue growth. I'll show you how we've done this at Treehouse

    At 3:05pm to 3:55pm, Thursday 3rd May

  • Leveraging SEO and Social Media Marketing to Build a Symbiotic Customer Acquisition Funnel

    by Rand Fishkin

    This session will explore strategic and tactical methods websites can use to attract customers using search engine optimization (SEO) and social media marketing. We'll start with a broad overview of how and why these techniques work, then dive into specific examples of organizations who've succeeded

    At 3:05pm to 3:55pm, Thursday 3rd May

  • Markup for Mobile (and other devices)

    by Laura Kalbag

    In a few years we've gone from a dire mobile web situation to a sudden boom of smartphones and tablets, with browsers that are almost as capable as those on the desktop. Despite this, decent HTML and CSS can still make a big difference to the browsing experience on a mobile device. In a talk packed with tips on how to make your mobile markup as beautiful as it can be, I'll explore working processes that make it easy to add small screens into your workflow and how to remain device-agnostic to make your sites future-friendly.

    At 3:05pm to 3:55pm, Thursday 3rd May

    Coverage slide deck

  • Build fast and scalable mobile apps

    by Brad Abrams

    Mobile applications are exploding. Every day a new Instagram or Foursquare is born. Come learn how you can take advantage of App Engine and other Google cloud technologies to quickly launch your own mobile applications.

    At 4:25pm to 4:55pm, Thursday 3rd May

Friday 4th May 2012

  • The City As A Startup

    by Zappos.com CEO -Tony and Zach Ware

    Tony Hsieh (Zappos CEO) and Zach Ware (Zappos Campus Project Manager and VegasTechFund General Partner) will discuss how Zappos and the $350 million Downtown Project (www.downtownproject.com) are helping accelerate community, learning, and serendipity in downtown Vegas to generate productivity, innovation, and happiness.

    At 8:45am to 9:55am, Friday 4th May

  • Adapting Ourselves to Adaptive Content

    by Karen McGrane

    For years, we've been telling designers: the web is not print. You can't have pixel-perfect layouts. You can't determine how your site will look in every browser, on every platform, on every device. We taught designers to cede control, think in systems, embrace web standards. So why are we still letting content authors plan for where their content will "live" on a web page? Why do we give in when they demand a WYSIWYG text editor that works "just like Microsoft Word"? Worst of all, why do we waste time and money creating and recreating content instead of planning for content reuse? What worked for the desktop web simply won't work for mobile. As our design and development processes evolve, our content workflow has to keep up. In this session, Karen will talk about how we have to adapt to creating more flexible content.

    At 10:00am to 10:50am, Friday 4th May

  • Data - The new weapon for competitive advantage

    by Amandeep Khurana

    Over the recent past, there has been an explosion of data of all kinds. Businesses have evolved and have started to take advantage of all this data to better interact with customers, plan products, advertise etc. This talk explores some of the trends that are being seen in this new world of data driven business, in light of case studies in verticals like e-commerce and retail.

    At 10:00am to 10:50am, Friday 4th May

  • Pulling together The Cloud

    by Benjamin Coe

    With wide consumer adoption of services like Google Apps, Facebook, Dropbox, and countless other web-based applications, it seems that the cloud is ready for prime time. Having said that, there are problems with the cloud in its current form, many of which are better solved in a traditional desktop paradigm. These problems relate to search, workflow automization and customization, and interoperability between applications. There are efforts in the works to solve these problems. Modern web-browsers are rethinking how someone traverses and organizes their web-based applications. Standards like OAuth allow for application interoperability. In turn, services like Greplin, IfTTT, and Attachments.me can begin building a better platform for the cloud. In this session we look at the short-comings of the cloud in its current form, examine current efforts to address these problems, and present a vision of what things might look like in the very near future.

    At 10:00am to 10:50am, Friday 4th May

  • Social Policy

    by whurley

    At 10:00am to 10:50am, Friday 4th May

  • This Web Goes to 11

    by James Pearce

    You've made your web site fit a 320px screen, but you had a hunch there was more to this whole mobile thing than that. And now you're thinking about geolocation, social design, photo uploading, NFC and augmented reality. Wait, what? CSS3 didn't prepare you for this. The web is getting whole load more exciting, and mobile's at the vanguard. The boundaries between browser and device, device and user - as well as between users and their friends - are where many of its unexplored opportunities lie. Let's talk about what works, what doesn't, what should, and what will - and discuss the real possibilities and opportunities that standardized device and network APIs can offer. Our hopes and dreams for a rich, contextual, social web will depend on them.

    At 10:00am to 10:50am, Friday 4th May

  • Tooling for Change

    by Steve Fisher

    The web will never be the same! Each year the web feels like it hits critical mass and then it does it all over again. This session will dig into how to best engage with an ever changing web and how to connect with the new web. From responsive web design to changing our process.

    At 10:00am to 10:50am, Friday 4th May

  • Building a Dynamic Map Experience

    by Ross Bayer

    With so many methods available that allow people to share where they are at any given moment, how do you, as an engineer, sort through the increasing clutter to aggregate data into one format, like a map? Ross will share the process of managing complex data formulas to ensure cohesion in a product and user experience. What you'll learn:

    • Algorithm challenges in compiling aggregated data for a map
    • Loading data from one’s entire history into one view
    • How to help people understand data well at a high and low level
    • How to manage aggregated data ongoing in so many unrelated verticals

    At 11:30am to 12:20pm, Friday 4th May

  • Building Social By Default

    by Boris Chan

    While current smartphones have made it easy for us to communicate with each other, the focus on apps has diluted the channels through which we communicate, complicating how we connect. What if we think about communications, taking photos, and using location services from the ground up to be social? How can we help people share and tell their stories better if we designed our apps with social in mind first? In this session, we will demo how we can make the current generation of smartphones be social by default. As mobile platforms remain fragmented, building out great native experiences that behave this way will get harder. This talk will also go over practical approaches on how to create these experiences that we are anticipating, as well as how mobile apps and experiences will change as cars, TVs and other objects in your life become connected devices.

    At 11:30am to 12:20pm, Friday 4th May

  • Continuous Delivery under High Availability constraints

    by Bulat Shakirzyanov

    Twilio opens up the black box of Telecom for developers, making it incredibly easy to build apps that can communicate via voice or sms. However, due to the nature of Telecom, this imposes very strict availability constraints and can affect how fast Twilio can ship code to production as every change can affect uptime. Learn how Twilio solves this problem by following a set of engineering principles to build fault tolerant and highly available services in the cloud.

    At 11:30am to 12:20pm, Friday 4th May

  • Impact of personal devices on IT and infrastructure

    by whurley

    At 11:30am to 12:20pm, Friday 4th May

  • Meet the Speakers

    At 11:30am to 12:20pm, Friday 4th May

  • Taking The Training Wheels off Enterprise Social Networking

    by Alan Lepofsky

    Social networking and social media have infiltrated almost all aspects of our personal lives. Now companies are starting to provide similar tools for use at work. Come to this session to learn about how social software is moving beyond just sharing status updates, links and files to being a critical component of business processes that help employees Get Work Done.

    At 11:30am to 12:20pm, Friday 4th May

  • Future of Web Apps

    by Peter S. Magnusson

    The cloud is transforming the way entrepreneurs launch web apps, allowing developers and designers to launch fast and iterate with a small team. Peter S Magnusson, Engineering Director will explore Google's vision for the next generation of cloud computing and how Google is helping developers launch the next big thing.

    At 12:25pm to 12:55pm, Friday 4th May

  • Building Social By Default

    by Boris Chan

    While current smartphones have made it easy for us to communicate with each other, the focus on apps has diluted the channels through which we communicate, complicating how we connect. What if we think about communications, taking photos, and using location services from the ground up to be social? How can we help people share and tell their stories better if we designed our apps with social in mind first? In this session, we will demo how we can make the current generation of smartphones be social by default. As mobile platforms remain fragmented, building out great native experiences that behave this way will get harder. This talk will also go over practical approaches on how to create these experiences that we are anticipating, as well as how mobile apps and experiences will change as cars, TVs and other objects in your life become connected devices.

    At 2:05pm to 2:55pm, Friday 4th May

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