Conference Talks

My particular areas of interest at the moment are OO design and SOA, pair programming, the effects of dev team social dynamics on code, and increasing community involvement in open source.

Confreaks has a nice collection of videos of my past talks (mostly from Ruby conferences). If you’re looking for a specific talk, check below; I’ve linked videos of individual presentations, where available.

I’m open to speaking invitations at all types of conferences. Send me an email (my twitter handle @ gmail) and please include dates, location, and a link to your code of conduct and/or anti-harassment policy. (Just the text is fine if your site isn’t up yet.)

Upcoming Talks:


June 2015:

  • RubyNation in Washington DC

March 2015:

February 2015:

January 2015:

  • Boston.rb (Weirich Fellow talk).

December 2014:

  • NDC in London, UK, December 1-5.

October 2014:

September 2014:

July 2014:

May 2014:

  • La Conf in Paris, France. I did a new talk called “Multitudes” about the difference between writing application code and writing library code, illustrated by live-coding RSpec.

March 2014:

October 2013

September 2013

August 2013

  • She Codes in Mountain View, California. My talk was called “Sarah’s Incomplete and Mostly Wrong Guide To Working With Men.” You can see my slides with notes, but I haven’t found a video.

July 2013

May 2013

  • Fluent in San Francisco, CA, on May 30th. I did a talk based on my RubyConf 2012 keynote called “More Than Good Design.”

April 2013

March 2013

November 2012

September 2012

May 2012

  • Fluent in San Francisco, CA, on May 29th. I taught a workshop on Backbone.js called “Backbone.js: Basics & Beyond.”

April 2012

September 2011

  • RubyConf in New Orleans, Louisiana. I gave a talk called “MongoDB to MySQL: The How And The Why,” about Diaspora converting all their data from MongoDB to MySQL after spending 8 months in production. You can watch the video. I redid this talk in October 2013 for All Your Base Conf (slides), and then wrote a blog post about it.

May 2011

  • Farmhouse Conf, Hollywood, California. I told a story about how programming made me an extrovert. There were no slides, but you can watch the video.

April 2011

September 2010

August 2010

  • Ruby Kaigi, August 27th-29th, Tsukuba, Ibaraki, Japan. “Feels Like Ruby” – how be happier when you write Javascript. Slides here. Video here (starts out in Japanese, but the technical part is in English). I also ran a half-day pair programming cultural exchange in which Japanese and non-Japanese programmers came together and communicated via Ruby – it was awesome.

June 2010

May 2010

February 2010

January 2010

  • Catalyst Conference, January 26th. I moderated a panel of impressive technical women at noon, on the topic of “Curious About Coding & Developing: Developing Creativity & Building a Business.” (All the sessions started with “Curious About X” where X is one of the high-level tasks involved in running a tech business.) Since the audience was mostly non-technical, we focused on how folks without a CS degree could become programmers.
  • She’s Geeky, January 29-31, Mountain View. I did several sessions. On Friday I did one on how to get more women into your technical community. On Saturday I did one called “Code Rocks! How to become a programmer even if you’re totally new,” in which we spent most of the time disambiguating all the different programming languages and frameworks, and talking about what each one is good for. Got a lot of positive feedback on that one – I mean, from the outside, how are you supposed to tell the difference between C, C++, C#, and Objective C? Also on Saturday I did a session with Anna and Jen-Mei on pair programming, which was a lot of fun.

November 2009

October 2009

May 2009