The schedule for the conference will be coming soon, but until then, here are all the session descriptions.

Going Gonzo – an exploration of cultures in software development – Leon Gersing

We’ll get the session description up as soon as possible

How to Learn – Jeff Blankenburg

In our careers as software developers, one of the biggest challenges we face is “keeping up.” I personally know a COBOL developer that is freaking out because there’s “no development work.” This obviously isn’t the case, but because he let his technical skills age over time, he’s now much like the horse carriage repairman that thought automobiles were a fad. This talk will give you some inspiration to learn something new, while showing you some simple ways to make it a reality.

Intuition: Your Very Own Super Power – Susan Bond

What do we mean by intuition? Is it a developer’s friend or foe? Can we train ourselves to have a better sixth sense? How do you do that? What sort of devices can you use? One small part theory and one big part practical, Suzan will give you tips and ideas you can put into practical use.

Making a Difference – Alan Stevens

What are you waiting for?
When would NOW be a good time for you to make a difference? How much more do you need to learn? How many other people do you need to please before you step up and change your world in a meaningful way.
You will never win the lottery. You are never going to be a billionaire. This is fantastic news because there is no someday eventuality that you need to wait for to get started.
Let’s do this!

Your Career is Yours – Tim Wingfield

Make no mistake, your career in software is in your hands. It’s not up to your boss, your mentor, your mom, your bookie named Vito, or the other members of your team to make you a better software developer. It is up to you. While others can help, you need to have the reigns of your career firmly in your hands. What should you learn? What should you practice? What should you read? Whether you’ve just taken your first software job or have authored code bases that would be old enough to drive in some states, you have chosen a field where the learning never stops. We’re going to talk about ways that you can make the most of your career.

The Mythical Team-Month – Justin Searls

Perhaps you’ve heard the old XP joke, “if you can’t fit a requirement on an index card, you should get a smaller card.” The same counter-intuitive epiphany applies to team size, too: if a team of 10 is failing, a team of 20 may only succeed in failing more slowly. And yet, the first solution prescribed to struggling teams is usually to add more people to them. This talk will set out to challenge the line-of-thinking that tends to lead to that conclusion.

People Patterns – Joe O’Brien

We spend a large portion of our time thinking about code and technical project issues. What about the people side of things? The majority of project failures occur because of people, not technology. What we need are guides that help us navigate the waters between the people around us.

People Patterns introduces my latest effort to capture the subtleties and nuances of interpersonal relations. I’m distilling a lot of experience, a bit of psychology and a substantial amount of research and have come up with a series of patterns that can help everyone be more successful in teams and at work. How do you have those critical conversations? How do you get your point across when you think the other person is incompetent? Come and help me reveal these and join a lively discussion.

Dealing with Difficult People – Elizabeth Naramore

Just like we have bugs in our code, we have bugs in our communities sometimes. We call these community bugs “difficult people” — bullies, trolls, Debbie Downers, whiners, drama queens. We all know them. It’s easy to let these toxic personalities cripple your community and cause dysfunction. In this talk, we’ll talk about the negative effects these behaviors can have, how to get to the root of the problem, and how to deal with these personalities in a constructive, effective way.

The People You Like the Least are the People You Need the Most – Laura Bergells

Why can’t we all just get along? Well, we call it “creative tension” for a reason! Innovation seldom springs forth from a placid, stable environment where everyone looks, thinks, and acts the same. If you want to enjoy creative breakthroughs on your team, you’re probably going to have to throw a few weirdos into the mix. Discover why diversity is not only important for coming up with fresh new ideas — but also critical for winning the hearts and minds of your customers.

Developers Can’t Design (and Other Completely Mistaken Design Myths) – Jen Myers

Designers are designers and developers are developers and never the twain shall meet, right? Except – not really. There are some imaginary lines drawn around the two disciplines of design and development, but the truth is they are closely intertwined, and it can be very useful for a developer to have design knowledge and skills in his or her toolbox. This presentation will correct some commonly-held misconceptions about design, cover the basics of design from a developer’s perspective and explore how a developer can employ these principles to build clearer, cleaner and more usable applications.

Leon Gersing

Leon has been bringing value to clients large and small for over ten years, and has a passion for technology, art and community. He has experience using technologies ranging from ASP.Net and C++, to Objective-C, Ajax, and Actionscript – and of course, Ruby and Rails. A believer in building strong communities, Leon spends time presenting on a wide variety of development topics at events and user groups in the region. He loves nothing more than to be around other developers, working together to create something unique and fresh; something that has never been done before. He believes there is no challenge that can’t be overcome with passion and creativity. He can be found tending binary zen gardens with fellow artisans at EdgeCase in Columbus.

Jeff Blankenburg

Ultra passionate. That’s how
Jeff Blankenburg describes his relationship with technology. Over the past 10 years, Jeff has enthusiastically applied his technical expertise to build industry-changing websites and marketing efforts for mega brands including Victoria’s Secret, Abercrombie & Fitch, Ford Motor Company, Sony, and several pharmaceutical companies. He’s especially proficient in user interface design, web standards and mobile application development. In addition to his developer evangelist role for Microsoft, Jeff contributed to the O’Reilly title Windows Developer Power Tools on the subject of code validation services, and is the author of Migrating to Windows Phone. He also serves as an organizer for the CodeMash and Stir Trek conferences. On the academic front, Jeff holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Psychology from Ohio’s Bowling Green State University.


Suzan is a CMO-For-Hire, organizational strategist, blogger, community builder and all around people person. She’s spent more than 25 years studying and working in the areas of motivation, performance intuition and organizational performance. She’s worked in enterprise with companies like: Accenture, A.T. Kearney, Deloitte & Touche, Gap (Banana Republic) and J.P.Morgan. She got her start in tech during web 1.0 creating strategy and IA for intranets for large companies. She also led the project management department for an interactive agency that built sites for renown companies like MSNBC, Sears and Walmart. In her current role she works with many tech startups and growing businesses. An avid blogger and writer, she’s written a book about intuition and is currently working on another about startups. She loves working with developers and most recently spoke at Rocky Mountain Ruby.

Alan Stevens
Alan Stevens is the Winston Wolfe of software development. He solves problems. He is currently a partner at Nerd Hive Industries, LLC where he collaborates with clients to provide solutions that delight users. He is also a jerk on Twitter.

Tim Wingfield
Tim, owner of BKAP Software, LLC, is a Maker of Things. He has been involved in software design and development for over 15 years, and has the scars and stories to prove it. Working mostly in the web space, Tim has worked with a variety of technologies including old-timey ASP, ASP.Net, PHP, JavaScript, and Ruby on Rails. Recently Tim has focused on mentoring and coaching teams in agile practices to help them efficiently create quality software. When the laptop is closed, Tim enjoys coaching his sons’ hockey teams, playing a little hockey himself, and traveling with his family.
Justin Searls
Justin Searls has two professional passions: writing great software and sharing what he’s learned in order to help others write even greater software. He recently co-founded a new software studio called Test Double, where he’s currently helping clients build well-crafted user experiences for the web.
Joe O'Brien
Joe is a father, business owner, speaker and developer. In 2006 he co-founded EdgeCase, a leading Ruby and Ruby on Rails training and consulting company. They have had a tremendous amount of success helping companies as large as Ingersoll Rand, GAP and AT&T Interactive as well as those startups still in the inception stage. Through a partnership he has been giving training for well over three years on testing and development with Ruby on Rails. He is a speaker and has spoken at conferences ranging from RailsConf to numerous regional conferences and countless user groups.
Elizabeth Naramore
Elizabeth is an author, speaker, and recovering PHP developer. Her paying gig is as the PHP Community Manager for Engine Yard and working with the fine fellows on the Orchestra PHP Platform. Besides being passionate about open source communities, she digs writing, fantasy football, good beer, and sci-fi. She’s an avid collector of old books and “that’s what she said” jokes.
Laura Bergells
Laura Bergells built & marketed web sites in the early 1990’s for automotive companies, including Detroit Diesel, Penske Motorsports, and Diesel Technology. Laura also served as an internet marketing consultant in the pioneer days of and eBay Motors. Since 1999, Miss Bergells is a freelance web content developer, community builder, and speaker. Her popular blog,, is a must-read for those who deliver presentations to modern, media-savvy audiences. An adjunct instructor at the Seidman College of Business at Grand Valley State University, Laura teaches Creativity in Marketing and Social Media/Web Marketing. She is a graduate of Michigan State University, with a BA degree in Telecommunications and Sociology. She earned her Master’s degree from Grand Valley State University.
Jen Myers
Jen Myers is a web/interface designer at the software company Relevance. She works from Columbus, Ohio, where she also teaches HTML/CSS and organizes the coding education program Girl Develop It Columbus. Her particular areas of interest are user experience, teaching innovation and using design as a tool for communication. She also likes good movies, comic books and frequently changing her hair color.