Garry Tan

Partner at Y Combinator

Startup Lessons:
How to Change the World With Your Mind | Watch Video

Friday, 10/5 @ 5:00PM

1404 Siebel

We live in extraordinary times where hackers can build software that reaches billions of people. But creating things is hard. For every successful startup, a hundred big things and thousand little things have to come together in the right mix. Come learn lessons I learned the hard way about how to think about ideas, how to get them into other people's heads, and how to get there from where you are now.


Garry Tan has been in your shoes. As a naïve computer science student at Stanford, he landed a spot at Microsoft's Windows Mobile, pre-iPhone. He was an early employee who co-founded the engineering team for Palantir's financial product, and designed Palantir's logo. He co-founded Posterous, as a part of Y Combinator's Summer 2008 batch. Now he's a partner with Y Combinator, helping jump start tomorrow's world-changing startups. Learn the lessons Tan learned the hard way as a student, big company drone, early startup employee, founder, and now, an investor.

Amber Graner

Co-author of The Official Ubuntu Book

Without Fear:
You Don't Need Permission to Contribute to Your Own Destiny | Watch Video

Saturday, 10/6 @ 10AM

1404 Siebel

In this talk, Amber Graner will look at how applying Open Source philosophies she learned through her own contribution experience to everyday life has helped her become a stronger, more confident, and successful person in all areas of her personal, professional, and project life. Amber will share some of the most intimate moments of her Open Source, and especially Ubuntu, experiences to overcome some of her greatest fears, and will challenge the audience to to overcome their's as well. Amber will look at being open and transparent--what does meritocracy mean? Failure isn't failure, and more with her Southern wit and humor, she will challenge you to adopt these principles and become a better and more confident you.


Amber Graner is currently the User Experience and Community Specialist with Linaro, LTD. In 2009, Amber Graner started her journey into Open Source via Ubuntu by blogging about her experiences. Soon she became a writer for Linux Pro and Ubuntu User Magazines, as well as co-author for the 6th and 7th Editions of The Official Ubuntu Book (Prentice Hall). Graner is also a reviewer for the 1st and 2nd Editions of The Art of Community (O'Reilly). While currently working in the Linux on ARM ecosystem, Amber is still an active Ubuntu community member and organizer who encourages everyone around her to participate, support, and learn about Ubuntu and Open Source. With a smile and a sense of humor, Amber reminds people that there is a place for everyone in the both the Linaro and Ubuntu communities--regardless of technical skill level (or lack thereof). She is constantly looking for people, places, and events within the Open Source communities that help inspire users to participate actively within the community of their choice.

Shannon "JJ" Behrens

Member of Google DART Team

Structured Web Programming:
An Introduction to Dart | Watch Video

Saturday, 10/6 @ 1:30PM

1404 Siebel

Dart is a new class-based programming language for creating structured web applications. Developed with the goals of simplicity, efficiency, and scalability, the Dart language combines powerful new language features with familiar language constructs into a clear, readable syntax.

Bullseye: Your First Dart App

Saturday, 10/6 @ 6:30

2405 Siebel

Build your first Dart app! We'll lead you through the process of building a modern web app with the Dart platform, using both client-side and server-side Dart. You will explore the language, libraries, editor, and integration with Chromium. You'll leave this session with a working Dart app that works in modern browsers. Note that for this workshop you will need to have DART Editor installed on your computer. Please make sure you have it downloaded installed before attending the code lab.


Behrens is a developer advocate for Dart. He blogs at on topics such as Dart, Python, Ruby, Linux, open source software, the Web, and lesser-known programming languages.

Shauna Gordon McKeon

Team Member at OpenHatch

How to Get Started Contributing to Open Source

Saturday, 10/6 @ 1:30PM

1310 DCL

This talk walks you through the life cycle of a bug, discusses tools you'll use to contribute to free, open source software, and teaches you how to communicate for a project. A great intro to the open source workshop on Sunday!


Shauna Gordon-McKeon is a freelance writer, researcher, and programmer, living in the Boston, MA, area. She’s also a volunteer organizer for various open government and open software causes. Feel free to contact her at

Ian Chan

Front End Engineer at Twitter

Engineering at Human Scale:
Building Software for 1 to 100 million users | Watch Video

Saturday, 10/6 @ 2:45PM

1320 DCL

Building great software products for large consumer audiences is about solving big problems at huge scale, and a ton of code. As engineers, sometimes these challenges overshadow or distract us from the main goal: delivering great experiences to our users and customers. When hundreds of millions of users cause millions of lines of code to be run every second, the one in a million corner case can occur thousands of times a day. Things can break; things will break. How can we avoid, prepare for, and manage these unique, yet often inevitable, issues? This talk shares and investigates some of the more interesting corner cases encountered at Twitter over the years. Additionally Chan explores various techniques used to enable the smooth development and release of new software to millions of people around the world.


Ian Chan is a Sr. Software Engineer at Twitter, where he has worked on the Web and Platform team for the last 2.5 years. He graduated from the University of Toronto, studying Software Engineering and Computer Science. Prior to Twitter, he helped build user interfaces and consumer experiences for Thoora, Autodesk, and IBM.

Jiquan Ngiam

Director of Engineering at Coursera

Technology Meets Education:
Building A Scalable Online Learning Platform

Saturday, 10/6 @ 4PM

1320 DCL

A revolution in education is coming; recently massive online courses have brought together millions of students from all over the world. These courses have been designed from the ground-up as complete classes, where students are expected to submit homework, meet deadlines, and are awarded a "Statement of Accomplishment" only upon meeting a high grading bar. This talk will be about the key technological ideas that Coursera has developed to support massive online courses. Ngiam will discuss interactive video lectures, scalable online Q&A forums, sophisticated auto-graded homeworks, and carefully-designed peer grading pipelines that leverage the crowd for grading open-ended essays and design work at scale.


Jiquan Ngiam works at the cross roads of machine learning, education, and large-scale systems. He obtained an MS in Computer Science while doing research with Prof Andrew Ng at Stanford University, and a BS from Carnegie Mellon University. In Fall 2011, he led the efforts in creating a massive online class on machine learning, which transitioned into Coursera. He now directs the engineering efforts at Coursera to help change the world through education.

Radu Rusu

CEO of Open Perception, Inc.

Perceiving the World Through the Eyes of a Robot | Watch Video

Saturday, 10/6 @ 6:30PM

1320 DCL

Mankind has always been fascinated by the study of geometry and 3D shapes. Greek mathematicians formed the basis of modern geometry using inspirations from Babylonian and Egyptian discoveries, and their axioms started a revolution that led to a better understanding of many physical phenomena. Among many of the fields that profited from these developments was astronomy, the evolution of which fundamentally transformed society and culture. For instance, understanding the motion of planets and mapping them led to advances in navigation, which led to economical and social progress.

Fast forwarding to the 20th century, robotics have flourished from an idea to an existential part of our society. Coping with high volumes of products, in order to keep pace with the extremely large demand that we consume, would be unthinkable without robots in our modern world. However, the robots of today are very much like the explorers of the pre-Greek era: due to their limitations in navigation, they are very inefficient, and their economical impact is only a fraction of what it could be if we were to make them cheaper and more flexible. It is thus the right time to devise new mapping theories that are essential for a "post-robotic" generation of robots that can localize, navigate, and manipulate more efficiently. Our new playground is not astronomy, but a virtual representation of the world obtained using precise sensing devices that sample 3D collections of points on every surface they touch. We call these collections, "point clouds", and the new "science" that acquires, interprets them, and extracts meaningful information from them, "3D point cloud processing."


Radu B. Rusu is the President and CEO of Open Perception, Inc., and a Visiting Lecturer at Stanford University. Before Open Perception, Rusu was a Research Scientist at Willow Garage, where he created the Point Cloud Library (PCL) project. Rusu received his Ph.D. in Computer Science from the Technische Universitaet Muenchen (TUM), Germany in 2009 with summa cum laude. During his Ph.D., Rusu was affiliated with the CoTeSys (Cognition for Technical Systems) excellence cluster at TUM, the AIC (Artificial Intelligence Center) at SRI (Stanford Research Institute) as an International Fellow Researcher, and Willow Garage, working on 3D semantic mapping techniques for mobile robots. Rusu has been on the boards of many workshops and scientific events in the field, held at prestigious conferences such as: RSS, ICRA, IROS, ECCV, ICCV, AAAI, etc. He has co-authored over 70 peer-reviewed scientific publications, including 1 book (+1 pending), a best paper award (ICAR 2009), and a best student paper award finalist (RSS 2011). His doctoral dissertation has also been awarded second place in the EURON Georges Giralt 2011 PhD Award out of 31 other excellent submissions. Rusu is a senior IEEE member, and besides many events that he co-organized, he was also the general chair of the IEEE ARSO 2011 conference.

Joe Boutros

Product Manager at

Extremely Rapid Prototyping | Watch Video

Saturday, 10/6 @ 7:45PM

1404 Siebel

What is product prototyping? Why do we do it? How is it different from software engineering? In the startup world, we often find ourselves building a product and defining requirements for that product at the same time. Done properly, this allows you to anticipate and adapt to changing needs and requirements while building something truly awesome. Done poorly, you end up with wasted time, missed deadlines, and a steaming mess of unmaintainable code. In this talk, Boutros will share the philosophy and best practices that he's built up over the years and put into use every day working in the startup world.


Joe Boutros leads Indeed Labs, the "startup within a startup" at Indeed, the world's leading destination for jobs. He spends his day balancing between technical and product functions, and helps inject early stage startup ethos into everything he touches. Previously, Boutros was a technical consultant to startups, both independently and as a part of Thinktiv. He also spent years as a product hacker at both B-Side Entertainment and Trilogy Software. Boutros holds a degree in Computer Science from Case Western Reserve University, and lives in Austin, TX, where he also runs a small real estate investment company.

Danielle Feinberg

Director of Photography--Lighting at Pixar Animation Studios

The Making of Pixar's Brave:
The Art and Algorithms Behind Movie Magic

Friday, 10/5 @ 7:45PM

1404 Siebel

What does it take to bring a computer animated film to the bring screen? It is an intriguing combination of creativity and technology. Brave was Pixar's most ambitious film to date, with a complexity level well beyond their previous movies. Feinberg and her team were tasked with creating an ancient Scottish world with telltale varied landscapes and lush, complex forests. The world was to be inhabited by a heroine with an insane head of curly red hair, a cast wearing multi-layered costumes and a slew of hairy bears. In this talk, Feinberg will take you behind the curtain, to the inner workings of their process, as well as show you some of the unique and creative solutions they found to satisfy the immense demands of this movie.


Danielle Feinberg began her career at Pixar Animation Studios in February 1997, as a render technical director (also called a “render wrangler”) on the feature film, A Bug’s Life. She quickly discovered her love for lighting and went on to work as a lighting artist on many of Pixar’s feature films including, Toy Story 2, Monsters, Inc., and the Academy Award®-winning Finding Nemo, The Incredibles, and Ratatouille. Feinberg worked as the director of photography for lighting on another Oscar®-winning feature, WALL•E, and worked in the same role on the recent Disney•Pixar release, Brave.

Feinberg’s love of combining computers and art began when she was eight years old, and first programmed a Logo turtle to create images. This eventually led her to a Bachelor of Arts in Computer Science from Harvard University. Now, in addition to her Pixar work, she works with teenage girls, encouraging them to pursue math and science by demonstrating to them the same beautiful simplicity she found with the programmed art of the Logo turtle.

Zed Shaw

Creator of Mongrel

Undoing Your Student Code | Watch Video

Saturday, 10/6 @ 1:30PM

1320 DCL

A presentation on the things that annoy everyone about beginner or "student" code, and the things you can do to avoid it. Shaw will show you what makes beginner code painful, how your code gets this way, how even professionals like Shaw still write code like this, and various tips, tricks, and techniques for making your software a pleasure to read and use. At a minimum you'll get a laugh at his expense as he shows you his own shameful "student code" and how he fixed it.


Zed A. Shaw is the creator of the greatest software development methodology ever: Programming, Motherfucker. He also writes books that teach people to code, including Learn Python The Hard Way, Learn Ruby The Hard Way, and soon to be released, Learn C The Hard Way. He plays a lot of guitar, and builds them too.

Stefano Zacchiroli

Debian Project Leader

19 Years of Free Software, Do-ocracy, and Democracy | Watch Video

Saturday, 10/6 @ 2:45PM

1404 Siebel

Debian is one of the oldest Free and Open Source Software (FOSS) distributions in existence. The project was founded in 1993 to further Free Software distribution, and is still doing so in a purely community-based way. The Debian Project and distribution are both made by volunteers who employ a dual "do-ocratic" (a form of meritocracy based on the outcome of individual work) and democratic model to make decisions and drive Debian toward the goal of creating the best-possible entirely Free Software operating system. The uniqueness of Debian is manifest in its Free Software values, independence from commercial interests, and in its importance as the base of a huge ecosystem of several hundreds of derived distributions, which include today's most popular GNU/Linux distributions.

In this talk, Zacchiroli will present the Debian Project and distribution, discuss its unique traits, and outline the communication challenges that a distribution entirely based on "geek" communities has to face.


Stefano Zacchiroli is an Associate Professor of Computer Science at University Paris Diderot. His research interests span formal methods and their applications to improve package quality and user experience in the context of Free Software distributions. He has been involved in the Debian Project since 2001, taking care of many tasks from package maintenance to distribution-wide Quality Assurance. He has led the Debian Project since April 2010.

Ken Taylor

Engineering Manager at Neustar

Secrets of the Universe, or A Few Random Bits

Saturday, 10/6 @ 2:45PM

1310 DCL

You can write code, but how do run your startup or your career? In this talk, Taylor will apply his almost thirty years of experience in the computer science industry, from multiple startups and Fortune 100 companies, and bring direct insights applicable to the road that lies ahead.


Ken Taylor is the Engineering Manager at the Neustar Innovation Center, located in the University of Illinois Research Park. He was part of the team that convinced Neustar to open an office in Champaign. Early in his career, Taylor co-founded a software consulting company with his college roommate, which lead to venture capital funding for the development of a biometrics device. At Motorola, Taylor lead the USB Connectivity team where he was a technical representative to While at Yahoo, he worked on a variety of projects from monitoring tools to revenue collection on Hadoop. Taylor holds a Computer Science degree from the University of Illinois.

Jonathan Verrecchia

Front End Engineer at Yelp

Writing Large Scale CSS With OOCSS and Sass

Saturday, 10/6 @ 4PM

1404 Siebel

CSS has always been left behind in terms of engineering because of its lack of features as a language. Even very basic ones like variables, math, or mixins, aren’t usable yet due to the slow W3C standardization. But when it comes to writing large-scale CSS, the need for keeping CSS files maintainable becomes stronger and leads to new techniques to deal with these weaknesses. OOCSS and pre-processors like Sass are two recent and brilliant techniques that make CSS development much smarter. During his talk, Verrecchia will explain how they both work and how to combine them together to get the best of both worlds.


Jonathan Verrecchia is a Front-End Engineer at Yelp in San Francisco. Originally from Paris, he wrote a French book about HTML5 and created Initializr, a tool to help web developers get started quickly with new projects. He enjoys teaching and blogging about HTML, CSS, JavaScript and Web Design, and always tries to make it simple and understandable for all. You can read more about what he does on, and follow @verekia on Twitter.

Rian Hunter

Software Engineer at Dropbox

Dropbox Notification Servers | Watch Video

Saturday 10/6 @ 4PM

1310 DCL

Dropbox aims to propagate changes across your computers as fast as possible. In most cases, as soon as a file is changed on your phone or on the web or another computer, the new data is usually available on all your computers within seconds. At the core of this system is a small number of highly-efficient and custom-built servers, each responsible for notifying millions of computers when they should be syncing with Dropbox. In this talk, you’ll hear about how Dropbox engineered this system, pushed the Linux networking stack to its absolute limit to blow the C10K problem out of the water, and came to support tens of millions of connected users with roughly a dozen servers.


Rian Hunter is Dropbox’s third engineer. He’s developed and helped shape the entire product from its early alpha and beta versions to its current form, supporting millions of users today. He’s a graduate from MIT, and his experience spans distributed computing, highly concurrent systems, databases, file systems, kernel and embedded programming, and data synchronization algorithms.

Andrew Ritz

Development Manager for Windows at Microsoft

Designing Windows for SOC PCs

Saturday, 10/6 @ 6:30PM

1404 Siebel

The advent of System of Chip (SOC) PCs has generated a number of new opportunities for Windows. SOC PCs promise a tightly integrated system and unique new peripheral devices. SOC PCs introduce new usage models for consumers, and offer a new level of energy efficiency and battery life. To address this opportunity, Microsoft had to understand how an SOC PC could be best designed. In this talk, Ritz will review some of the key hardware components of SOC PCs and how Windows was optimized for these components. He will review how Windows evolved to support new usage models, and how battery life was optimized for SOC PCs.


Andrew Ritz is the development manager for core networking in Windows, which provides the heart of secure, simple, and scalable communications for mobile devices, enterprise networks, and the cloud. Ritz helped enable network communications for Windows 8, and helped redefine the networking for the private/public/hybrid cloud through Hyper-V Network Virtualization and Hyper-V Extensible switch. A 16 year Microsoft veteran, Ritz was previously the development manager for the Windows Kernel, working on a number of server scalability projects, innovating on power management for mobile devices, and helping provide the abstraction layer between core platform hardware and Windows. Ritz holds a BS in Computer Engineering from the University of Illinois. In his spare time, he enjoys running, reading, following sports, and spending time with his family.

Gaming Q & A | Watch Video

Saturday, 10/6 @ 7:45PM

1320 DCL

Suggest questions here.

Steve Jaros

Lead Writer for Saints Row (Volition)

Steve Jaros is the Creative Director at Volition, Inc., and the Lead Writer for every Saints Row title. He enjoys pro wrestling, Disney World, the CW, and storytelling.

Erik Wolpaw

Co-writer of Portal (Valve)

Over the last ten years, Erik Wolpaw has contributed story and dialog to several games including, Psychonauts, Team Fortress 2, the Half Life episodes, Left 4 Dead 1 & 2, and Portal 1 & 2. He currently works for Valve in Bellevue, WA.

Startup Panel | Watch Video

Saturday, 10/6 @ 11:15AM

1404 Siebel

Amit Kulkarni

Co-founder of Do

Amit Kulkarni is the co-founder and vice-president of Do, a company. He balances his time between company strategies, metrics, and operations. Before Do, Amit was the CEO and co-founder of Manymoon (acquired by in 2011), the #1 most installed app in the Google Apps Marketplace. Amit has also been responsible for product management at various companies where he took multiple products from whiteboard to revenue.

Cory Levy

Co-founder of One

Cory Levy is a 20 year-old entrepreneur with over five years of startup experience. At the age of 15, he worked for NutShell Mail (acquired by Constant Contact). From there he went on to do externships, while in high school, at TechStars, Union Square Ventures, DFJ Mercury, and the Founders Fund. Additionally, Levy created the NextGen Conference, a conference bringing together young entrepreneurs with more experienced entrepreneurs and VCs. Previous speakers include: Peter Thiel (Founder of PayPal), Scooter Braun (Justin Bieber’s manager), and Ashton Kutcher (attendee). As a result of Levy’s work, he has been asked to speak about entrepreneurship to university students across the country including Duke University and the University of Illinois.

Levy studied Computer Science at the University of Illinois. At the University of Illinois, Levy, as a freshman, was a Teachers Assistant in the Engineering Entrepreneurship course. He received four merit scholarships from the Dean of Engineering. Levy spends his time at One working in operations, technical management, and business development. He is taking a leave of absence to work full-time on One.

Dan Manges

Developer at Braintree

Dan joined Braintree as a software developer in 2008 and wrote much of the first versions of Braintree's software. Previously, Dan was a senior consultant with ThoughtWorks, a global IT consultancy. He received his Bachelor of Science in Computer Information Systems from DeVry University. He enjoys working on open source projects and is an avid runner.

Dave Paola

Hacker at Bloc

Dave has spent the past several years hacking on education and gaming analytics, living off ad revenue, and figuring out how to live a digital nomadic lifestyle. His most recent work continues at Bloc, where he and his team are rebuilding education from the bottom up. He believes that the best way to teach (and to learn) is by example.