Empathy Is Your Secret Weapon 

It can be argued that trauma is defined by perception. As different as we all look, sound and act, so to are we different in how we process our life experiences, even the most dramatic. The things that have happened to you are likely to have the strongest influence on your current and future behavior but the way you process those experiences can be altered. Empathy is your greatest ally in life and business. It is also a muscle that needs to be exercised in order to evolve.


It’s a dog-eat-dog world. We celebrate individual speed, strength, and intelligence, embodied within our workplace as more hours, less vacation, and my-code-is-better-than-yours. But software development is not an individual sport. If a compile fails, we all suffer. If a deadline is missed, we all feel the pain. This model is broken, and we all need to fix it. To build projects together, we must start building projects together. No more individual scores. Celebrate teamwork, collaboration, and co-ownership. Let’s build, united, as We.

Stronger Than Fear: Mental Health in the Developer Community

Mental disorders are the largest contributor to disease burden in North America, but the developer community and those who employ us are afraid to face the problem head-on. In this talk, we’ll examine the state of mental health awareness in the developer workplace, why most developers feel it isn’t safe to talk about mental health, and what we can do to change the culture and save lives. Attendees will leave with 5 things they can do to make their workplace safer for those dealing with mental health disorders.

The Power of Apathy

The most successful people in the world embrace strategic apathy. In many facets of life, the less you care, the greater your advantage.

How To Be Everything: A Look At The Way We Give Advice

From our first lines of code onward, we are bombarded with well-meaning advice on How To Tech Right. Often, this includes “owning your ignorance” and “squashing your ego” in order to embrace a learning mindset. But we also frequently tell people, particularly women and minorities in tech, to “own their expertise” and not be afraid to confidently stake their claim as a programmer. The fight between impostor & entitlement syndromes has left us with a confusing assortment of advice we dole out to beginners and vets alike: be humble but be confident, be a novice but an expert.

So what can we do with this incongruity? Is there a way to find balance? Or do we need to rethink our guidance model altogether? In this talk, I’ll examine the impact our advice has on disadvantaged groups in tech and explore ways in which we can move the onus of change from the impacted individuals onto the community at large.

(Reality) – (Expectations) = Relationship Status

What if all conflict could be boiled down to the difference between what someone expected and what really happened? How would your marital, professional, and/or bluegrass band relationships change if you could master that equation? Let’s deep dive into science, psychology, philosophy and mildly funny anecdotes to explore the world of managing expectations.