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.


ThatConference Keynote 2017

Using tmux for productive mouse-free development

HTML5 and CSS3 - Web Workers

Other presentations

Creating and Deploying Static Sites with Hugo

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.

Automating the Cloud with Terraform, and Ansible

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.

Create Development and Production Environments with Vagrant

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.

Rethink Frontend Development With Elm

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.

Building A Gem From Scratch

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.

Intro To Advanced Ruby

Intro talks never let you learn about the things that make a language truly cool. In this talk we'll discover how advanced features of Ruby help us write cleaner more modular code.

Web Development With Ruby - From Simple To Complex

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.

Intro to Ruby

Chippew Valley Code Camp 2009 talk. Very similar to the slides from Twin Cities Code Camp 7.

Make GUI Apps with Shoes

Presentation for the October 1 ECRuby Open House. A shorter version of the Twin Cities Code Camp IV slideshow with updated content.

The Why Of Ruby

Simple introduction to Ruby and what it can do for you, not just technically, but professionally. Promotional presentation for our user group.