Leon’s Allegory of the Cave – Leon Gersing

What is the role of the software developer in the modern world? We are more educated now than during any time in recorded human history. We have more access to tools and the ability to craft our own in order to better communicate with one another; to see the world in all of its various forms, beautiful and strange. All of this information, all of this knowledge and yet the quest for truth, understanding and wisdom has become increasingly strained. We adopt the ideologies and rituals of archetypes instead of masters and therein feel the hollowness of the modern human condition. In this session, I will present to you the teachings of my masters as I have come to understand them and the wisdom I’ve gained over the years in my relentless pursuit for truth in the modern world. Our collective existential ennui is distorting the very fabric of reality. Seeing the world as it truly is can free our minds to the infinite possibilities that lie before us. Can we be more than the context we are born into? Can we rise above the confining binds of hierarchy, class, status and the distortions of those we choose to associate ourselves? Let’s take some time to remember who we are, where we are going and discover, perhaps, why we are here.

Becoming an Outlier: Career Reboot for the Called Mind – Cory House
In the information age, your image and your mind are your product. So to get what you’ve never had, you must do what you’ve never done with these precious tools. If you want to make a bigger impact, raise your income, and build with purpose, join us. This session is about making a paradigm shift in how you manage your career. We’ll discuss concrete activities and skills that transform average contributors into outliers. You’ll learn why leaders can’t afford cable, ways to improve your “luck surface area”, and techniques to compress your career through accelerated development. Prepare to think about your career and in a whole new way.

Culture – Todd Kaufman
The vast majority of developers I know are underwhelmed by their current employers. They are well paid and even working on interesting problems but something is missing from the equation that keeps them from truly finding joy in their professional lives. I was in this very position for the first decade of my career until I finally reached the point where I stopped waiting on others to make me happy. In 2011 I helped to start a small studio and focused on creating a culture that we felt would promote developer happiness above all else. This talk will focus on the values that we and other joy ridden companies believe are necessary for creating this culture and we’ll dispel some myths that are keeping people from their true pursuit of happiness.

Fear – Jeff Blankenburg
We make thousands of decisions every single day. Some take thought, and some are just instinctual. How many of those decisions are based on fear? Fear of the unknown, fear of embarrassment, or maybe just fear of spiders? We will look at ways fear shapes our everyday lives, and how we can control it to make more rational decisions. Don’t let fear shut you down, make it an opportunity for success.

Live Long and Prosper: How Movies can make us Better – Mike Wood
Have you ever heard a quote from a movie that just really grabbed you?  Not one that just made you laugh, but one that made you think about your place in life?  In some cases we have internalized these lessons and it has become a part of who we are… we all have a little bit of Yoda, Mr. Miyagi and Spock in us.

Together, let’s go back and talk about advice and humor from some of our favorite characters to cover things like good communication skills, what it really means to part of a team and how the environment you choose to exist in is important.  We’ll even cover using the Crane technique won’t win you every fight.

Popcorn and drink not provided.

Mentoring – Josh Holmes
I measure my career by the mentors that have guided me through that period of time. When I stop learning new things, that’s when it’s time to move on. Sometimes, it’s technology that I need to learn, sometimes it’s leadership, sometimes it’s hard to quantify. Regardless, I love learning new things and it’s mentors that have taught me over the years.

I’ve also had the pleasure and the honor of serving as a mentor to many others on a very wide range of topics from technology to managing company politics.
In this session, we’ll talk about mentorship, how to find a great mentor and when/how you should step up as a mentor.

Own It: The Art of Shameless Self-Promotion – Jen Myers
We probably all hesitate when it comes to talking about something we’ve accomplished. We’ve been taught that it’s not polite to brag – and that’s a good thing. To a certain extent. But sometimes it can hold us back from sharing our ideas, projects and experiences. Let’s start stripping away the expectations of false modesty and start teaching ourselves and others to own the exciting work we’re doing in technology.

Risk and Happiness – Aly Fluckey
What does risk mean? Why do we fear failure? What is the worst that could possibly happen? Recently, I moved away from everything I had ever known, stepping onto a path that was hazy and shrouded in fear, doubt and risk. My friends and colleagues were astounded by what they saw as my “courage” and yet it seemed there was nothing preventing them from taking similar risks to better their own lives. In this session, I want to examine our relationship to failure and risk. We’ll look at the risks for what they really are and use this information to confront our fears head on. Let’s explore the importance of taking risks in pursuit of successful, happy lives.

Simplicity – Keith Elder
Stress. Perfectionism. Unhealthy relationships. A never ending quest to acquire more and more. Many things add complexity to our lives. It is time we take a stand and focus on enjoying life rather than waiting on the next rat race to begin. Join us in today’s session on the journey to achieve ultimate sophistication…simplicity.

You’re Not Special! – Zach Briggs
Top Talent, Rockstars, A-Players. Tradition states that these are exceptional humans, possessing talents that others do not. The good news is they are not special, they were not born into success.

The better news is that you’re not special either.

This talk is about learning to learn, putting ourselves in a place where being more awesome is inevitable. It will explore how the brain’s structure changes as we internalize skills and how that can be used to build positive feedback loops. It talks about how I believe that focus itself is an acquired skill and how we can nurture that to build more grit. Finally, we explore how our perception of others effects their ability to grow.

This talk is for anybody who’s ready to stop being special and start becoming great.

Compassionate CommunicationElizabeth Naramore
Communicating with your fellow humans is hard. We are emotional and illogical, and we have lots and lots of feels, making communication even more challenging sometimes. How do we sort through it? How do we move past difficult conversations into greener pastures? How do we make the world a little less violent and abusive, and a little more compassionate and empathetic? How do we get our needs, and the needs of those around us met?

In this talk, we’ll learn about a thing called Compassionate Communication; a style for communicating that is effective in turning conversations into a win for both sides. This style of communication will help you build authentic, honest and empathetic connections with those around you, and bring you a little inner peace in the process.