Marcy Sutton: A Web for Everybody

How can we, as Web developers and designers, ensure that our sites and applications can be used by the largest possible audience? Whether required to by law, encouraged by the prospect of attracting customers, or just because you want to, there are numerous reason to make your Web properties accessible. There are standards for accessibility, but what do those mean, and how can we include them in our work? In this talk, Marcy Sutton introduces the idea of the accessible Web, pointing to the many places in which small changes on our part can make a big difference for many of our potential visitors and customers.

Michael Stonebreaker: Big Data is (at least) Three Different Problems

Michael Stonebreaker is known for many advances in the world of databases: He created Ingres, Postgres (which was later used as the basis for PostgreSQL), and even more recently SciDB, VoltDB, and Tamr. He was, last week, awarded the Turing Award by the ACM, for his contributions for the world of databases. In this talk, Stonebreaker describes the term “big data,” and what it really means for people implementing and using databases.


Scott Hanselman: Virtual Machines, JavaScript and Assembler

It has often been said that JavaScript is becoming the “assembly language of the Internet” — a language that people program in, but also the target for many languages. This also means, to some degree, that we can think of JavaScript — and the browsers in which it runs — as virtual machines. How do these ideas fit together, and what do they mean for the future of the Web, and of computing? Scott Hanselman discussed these in his keynote talk at the Fluent conference in 2014.

Chris Wilson: Introduction to WebRTC Apps

Want to create real-time, peer-to-peer Web applications?  You know, as in collaborative drawing programs, or screen-sharing applications, or any other sort of software in which two browsers need to communicate quickly and reliably. In this talk, Chris Wilson introduces WebRTC, a protocol that allows you to do just that. With a relatively small amount of JavaScript, you can write such programs, opening the door to an entirely new class of what we call “Web applications.”

Nicholas Zakas: Maintainable JavaScript

JavaScript is both popular and ubiquitous. For better or worse, this means that anyone can (and often does) write JavaScript code. But as JavaScript projects and applications become increasingly complex, it’s important to consider how we can write code that’s not only readable, but also maintainable. In this talk, Nicholas Zakas introduces techniques that will help to make your JavaScript easier to understand, follow, and maintain.

Jessica Kerr: Functional Principles for Object Oriented Development

Functional programming is a well-known programming technique in which we treat functions as first-class objects, and all (or many) objects as immutable. In this talk, Jessica Kerr shows how even when we’re working in an object-oriented language, functional programming techniques can help to make our code tighter, more elegant, and easier to understand — as well as more reliable.

Raymond Hettinger: Python’s Class Development Toolkit

Python is an object-oriented language, meaning that nearly everything in the language is an object. You can (and are encouraged to) create your own classes. But what are the best ways to create classes?  And what tools does Python provide for us to create classes as easily and well as possible?  In this talk, Raymond Hettinger shows us how to create Python classes, starting with the basics and working up to testing and user feedback. Even if you have written many Python classes before, you’re likely to learn something from this talk.

Dimitri Fontaine: Large Scale MySQL Migration to PostgreSQL

MySQL and PostgreSQL are both well-known open-source relational databases. What happens if you want to move your application from MySQL to PostgreSQL?  Data migrations are always difficult; if you have a great deal of data, or you have used many of MySQL’s built-in functionality, then you may encounter problems. In this talk, Dimitri Fontaine describes  a real-life example of migrating a very large data set from MySQL to PostgreSQL. What was easy, and what was hard?  What does he recommend to others interested in doing so?