Technical content expert, developer, teacher, and musician
Talks and Appearances
I’ve given the following presentations. Contact me to come speak at your conference, user group, or to appear on your podcast to talk about software development, content creation, or topics about a career in the tech industry.
Most web sites don’t have data that changes, so why power them with a database and take the performance hit? In this talk we’ll explore static site generation using Hugo, an open-source static site generator. You’ll learn how to make a master layout for all pages, and how to use Markdown to create your content pages quickly.
Then we’ll explore how to deploy the site we made to production. We’ll automate the entire process. When you’re done, you’ll be able to build and deploy static web sites quickly with minimal tooling.
Need a web server? So did I. But setting everything up by hand is tedious. In this talk, you'll see how to build a load-balanced web server using Ansible, Terraform, and DigitalOcean, a cloud provider aimed at developers. First, you'll see how to build out the servers and load balancer, and then you'll see how to use Ansible Playbooks to install and upload the web site. When we're done, you'll have scripts you can run to set up your own environment.
Need a Linux box to test a Wordpress site or a Windows VM to test a web site on IE 10? Creating a virtual machine to test or deploy your software doesn’t have to be a manual process. Bring one up in seconds with Vagrant, software for creating and managing virtual machines. With Vagrant, you can bring up a new virtual machine with the software you need, share directories, copy files, and configure networking using a friendly DSL. You can even use shell scripts or more powerful provisioning tools to set up your software and install your apps. Whether you need a Windows machine for testing an app, or a full-blown production environment for your apps, Vagrant has you covered.
In this talk you’ll learn to script the creation of multiple local virtual machines. Then you’ll use the same strategy to provision production servers in the cloud.
I work with Vagrant, Terraform, Docker, and other provisioning systems daily and am excited to show others how to bring this into their own workflows.
Docker is an amazing tool, but unless you work with it every day, you're probably left with a ton of questions. What's a container? What's an image? What's the difference between Docker, Machine, Compose, and Swarm? Why the heck should I care? Well, Docker makes it easier than ever to deploy and scale your applications and services. In addition, it lets you simulate your production environment on your local machine without heavy virtual machines. In this talk, we'll explore the basics of Docker, create a custom image for a web application, create a group of containers, and look at how you can put your apps into production on various cloud providers. At the end of the talk, you'll have the knowledge you need to put this to use with your own applications.
Come explore Elm, a functional programming language for making web things. Elm aims to solve some of the same problems that Ember, React, and Angular 2 solve, but in a radically different way. Strong and static typing ensures that data you pass around in your apps really is what you think it is. A simple and tried-and-true architecture makes it easy to understand, and great tooling makes it fun to use.
If you've ever looked into how to create Gems, you've probably seen a bunch of ways to do that. Project generators like Hoe, Jeweler, and the like offer some nice ways to get started, but they may often be overkill for many projects. If you're just starting out, why not learn to do it from scratch?
In this talk, we'll create our own gem from scratch, using only things that are provided by Ruby, its standard library, and RubyGems to craft a simple gem.
You'll learn how to set up a project, how to write and run tests, how to use Rake to quickly build the gem, and even how to create a gem that installs an executable command-line program.
Beyond the massive hype of Ruby on Rails, there's an amazing world of frameworks, DSLs, and libraries that make the Ruby language a compelling choice when working on the web. In this talk, you'll get a chance to see how to use Ruby to quickly build a static web site, create complex stylesheets with ease, build a simple web service, crete a simple Websocket server, and test your existing applications. Finally, you'll see a few of the ways Rails really can make developing complex applications easier, from advanced database querying to rendering views in multiple formats.