Speakers – DevFestDC 2015 – DevFestDC 2016

Speakers – DevFestDC 2015


DevFestDC – Friday Sep 11 & Saturday Sep 12, 2015 @ AOL in Dulles, VA

UPDATED: Check the schedule (day 1, day 2) for videos and slides of the presentations.


James LaPlaine

CIO & Senior Vice President, Technology Operations, AOL

As Chief Information Officer, James LaPlaine manages the solution, development, and operations organization that is responsible for the company’s overall IT infrastructure. James oversees AOL’s global data centers, public and private cloud services, employee productivity services, networks, systems, storage, application engineers, and NOC supporting all of AOL’s consumer facing applications and advertising services. AOL’s media platform (AMP), content hub, data warehouse/analytics, and Relegence services (semantic and content trends analysis) are developed under James’ leadership.

James is a strong advocate for Technology Business Management and has completed a metric driven, rules-based financial model that accounts for every dollar spent from central technologies and how this maps back to business decisions. James is actively involved in youth activities promoting the importance of STEM education and advancing women and minorities in technology and leadership roles.

James currently serves on the Executive Technical Advisory Board for Intel Corporation and the Americas Board of Advisors for Hewlett-Packard.

James is an upstate New York native and holds a computer science degree from State University of New York at Oswego. He blogs about leadership, technology, tapping into a global workforce, and changing culture at mentaleffort.wordpress.com.

Day 1 – Welcome and official event kick-off.


Mike Brown

CTO, comScore

Michael Brown was a founding member of comScore, Inc. in 1999. He leads the technology efforts of the company to measure Internet and Digital activities. comScore’s environment currently has over one year of data online and captures over 1.5 trillion rows of new data every month to measure the Internet in over 45 countries. He also has been responsible for over twenty patent applications at comScore.   Seven of these patents have already been issued by the US Patent and Trademark Office.

Prior to joining comScore in 1999, Mike worked on several different projects for companies in the Washington, DC area. One of these projects included working on a large help desk deployment and modernization effort for Deutsche Bahn in Frankfurt, Germany.

In 1993, Mike cofounded Pragmatic Image Technologies with several associates from IBM. This consulting group focused on the implementation of IBM’s ImagePlus technologies at several different firms. One of the core projects completed was the successful role out of IBM’s ImagePlus product at Pennsylvania Blue Shield to over 1,200 users resulting in the largest image workflow installation on the east coast at that time.

Mike began his career at IBM in 1989 at the age of 19 in the image processing team in Gaithersburg, MD. He finished his Bachelor’s degree in Computer Science at night at the University of Maryland University College in 1992 and earned his Master’s degree from Hood College in Computer and Information Science in 1997.

Please follow this link to view Mike’s profile on LinkedIn.

Day 1 – Keynote – “Bots Don’t Drink Soda


Katy Kasmai


Katy Kasmai (Twitter, LinkedIn) is founder of TeamX – building high-impact teams around moonshot ideas, and Program Manager on the Material Design engineering team at Google in NYC. She develops and executes strategies to solve complex problems using technology, with a focus on achieving product excellence. Katy has over 15 years of experience in the tech industry, with a BS in Computer Science and MS in Conflict Resolution from George Mason University, and MBA from The Ohio State University.

Day 2 – Keynote – “Moonshots and Sprints”


Mark Murphy


Mark Murphy is the founder of CommonsWare and the author of The Busy Coder’s Guide to Android Development. He is active in supporting the Android developer community, from answering questions on StackOverflow topublishing sample code and reusable components as open source.A three-time entrepreneur, his experience ranges from consulting on open source and collaborative development for the Fortune 500 to application development on a myriad of platforms. A polished speaker, Mr. Murphy has delivered conference presentations and training sessions on a wide array of topics internationally.

What You Should Be Doing About Android 6

Code Lab – Android 6.0 Runtime Permissions


Jordan Tigani


Jordan is one of the original engineers working on Google BigQuery, and has written a book on the subject, Google BigQuery Analytics. Prior to joining Google, Jordan worked at several startups, which ranged from building mobile social apps to web security to machine learning-based advertising. He also spent time at Microsoft Research and as an engineer on the Windows kernel. He lives in Seattle, Washington with his wife, Tegan.

Breaking boundaries with Google BigQuery


Nitya Narasimhan

GDG New York, and Hudson Valley

Nitya Narasimhan (Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+) is a software architect, researcher and innovator with ~20 years of experience building distributed and ubiquitous computing solutions for mobile & embedded platforms. She consults on Android, AngularJS and Meteor projects, and currently leads Engineering for a Social Good startup. She also organizes Meteor Hudson Valley, GDG New York and GDG Hudson Valley where she can frequently be found speaking, hacking or mentoring at local tech events.

Materialize All The Things: A Developer Perspective


Francesc Campoy Flores


Francesc Campoy Flores focuses on Go for Google Cloud Platform. Since joining the Go team in 2014, he has written several didactic resources and traveled the world attending conferences, organizing live courses, and meeting fellow Go-phers. He joined Google in 2011 as a backend software engineer working mostly in C++ and Python, but it was with Go and Cloud Platform that he re-discovered how fun programming can be.

Fun Fact
Francesc celebrated his 30th birthday riding a bike wearing a red tutu from San Francisco to Los Angeles.

@francesc+FrancescCampoyFlores, Site

Building a web app with Go and Polymer on App Engine

Ray Tsang

Ray Tsang


Ray is a Developer Advocate for the Google Cloud Platform. Ray had extensive hands on cross-industry enterprise systems integration delivery and management experiences during his time at Accenture, managed full stack application development, DevOps, and ITOps. Ray specialized in middleware, big data, and PaaS products during his time at RedHat while contributing to open source projects, such as Infinispan. Aside from technology, Ray enjoys traveling and adventures.

Erik Isaksen

Erik Isaksen

Deloitte Digital & The Web Platform

Erik Isaksen is a Front End Engineer Lead & User Experience Professional in Reston, VA. He is a Google Developer Expert in Web Technologies, specializing in Polymer. He moderator of the Polymer Community on Google Plus, and a core contributor to webcomponents.org. Erik is the organizer, maintainer and host of @TheWebPlatform Podcast, a weekly free developer discussion about web technologies and the people who build with them. He co-organizes and runs readthesource.io, a live video Google Hangout discussion that goes through open source code projects with the people who build, contribute to, or use them to expose and promote greater knowledge sharing with the developer community at large.

Publishing Your Web Components

Polymer Polytechnic Lab


Emily Rasowsky

All Women in Tech

Emily Rasowsky is an award winning presenter, digital strategist and trainer. As the Founder and CEO of All Women in Tech, the creator of both the Women in Tech campaign and the #TechIsMore digital event series, Emily uses storytelling and community building events to expand the definition of women in tech to be more inclusive of all roles that make up the industry. Through the work of All Women in Tech, Emily has profiled over 80 women, from 8 different countries and representing different sectors of technology including engineering, design, digital marketing, operations, sales, marketing, and everything in between.
Emily is also the Director of Marketing at Social Driver, a digital innovation agency in Washington, DC. She was recently named a WWPR Emerging Leader and a 500 hour certified yoga instructor.
Bret McGowen

Bret McGowen


Bret McGowen is a software developer at Rackspace, designing and building RackConnect, which lets customers have the best of both traditional and cloud hosting. Bret has spent most of his professional life writing software using Microsoft’s .NET framework but is beginning to see the light and has started to dabble in open source technologies. When he’s not on the jogging trail or volleyball court he enjoys working on and reading about tech startups.

Cody Henthrone

Cody Henthorne

OrderUp at Groupon

Cody Henthorne is the Senior Android Developer at OrderUp, now a part of Groupon. Before helping hungry Android users get their hometown favorites delivered, he led development of a security-focused fork of AOSP and mobile app development at a digital agency in DC.

From Otto to RxJava

Dinesh Ganesan

Dinesh Ganesan

Octo Consulting

Dinesh (Twitter,LinkedIn) is a Mobile Technology Strategist with 18 years of experience in information technologies and working as Mobile Practice lead at Octo Consulting Group.   Dinesh has extensive experience in developing enterprise mobile application and providing strategic guidance to federal agencies to transform traditional web into mobile optimized web experience. He enabled mobile based FIOS TV service ordering service for Verizon. Aside from day work, he organizes and leads ‘GDG Baltimore‘ and ‘Meteor DC‘  technology meetup group.

Understanding Meteor


Nathen Harvey


As the Community Director at Chef, Nathen helps the community whip up an awesome ecosystem built around the Chef platform. Nathen also spends much of his time helping people learn about the practices, processes, and technologies that support DevOps, Continuous Delivery, and high velocity organizations. Prior to joining Chef, Nathen spent a number of years managing operations and infrastructure for a diverse range of web applications. Nathen is a co-host of the Food Fight Show, a podcast about Chef and DevOps. Nathen helps organize ChefConf, the Chef Community Summit, DevOpsDays DC, and the DevOpsDC meetup group.

Get Cooking with Chef


Dean Wagner

National Mediation Board

  • CISO and in-house developer at the National Mediation Board (a small independent federal agency)
  • faced with security and budgetary challenges in 2012 went “100% cloud”
  • currently, the fun work is coding applications, primarily using the google appengine as backend, polymer for the clients and experimenting with firebase.
  • EE/MBA

Google Technologies Adoption – Customer Solution Experience


Nathaniel Waggoner


Nathaniel is the Android Lead for XappMedia in Washington DC. There he handles the Android SDK for their Voice Recognition technology. He’s led development on applications for DARPA, owned and operated a recording studio and built musical robots. He is also one half of the winning team of the first ever TekFeuds live technology debate. He has a B.S. in C.S. and an AA in Piano Performance.

Everything is Awesome


Gaurav Agrawal


Gaurav Agrawal is a Senior Software Engineer at AOL Inc working for Data Warehouse group since 2 years. He has a Bachelor of Computer Science and Engineering Degree. He utilizes his professional expertise to build highly-scalable and extensible data platforms that provide the foundation for collecting,storing,modeling and analyzing massive data sets from multiple sources using leading edge technologies like Amazon Web Services, Hadoop, Vertica. His passion and goal is to design/code for customer needs and better customer experience.

Migrating Data Processing To the Cloud

Danny Blue

Danny Blue

Deloitte Digital & The Web Platform

Danny Blue Front end developer responsible for taking designs and turning them into a functional product or prototype. Architect JavaScript applications using core JavaScript as well as front end frameworks such as Ember Js and Angular Js. Experiments with new front end technologies such as Web Components (mostly with Polymer) and Web workers (multithreaded JavaScript wooo!)

Polymer Polytechnic Lab

Michael Evans

Michael Evans


Android Lead at LivingSocial. Prior to LivingSocial, I worked at The Washington Post, and FINRA. I’ve been writing apps since Cupcake, co-organizer of DC Droids (the DC Android Meetup), and embarrassingly was one of those people walking around with Google Glass at one point. My mom also says I’m very smart.

Android Annotations and Annotation Processors


Martin Omander


Martin Omander, the man, the myth, the legend, all the way from the Google HQ in Silicon Valley Developer Relations Team. G+


Virginia Poltrack

Fat Russell, LLC

Virginia Poltrack is an artist, illustrator, designer and builder, making everything from Android Wear watch faces to websites, illustrations to t-shirt designs. She’s worked on projects for Google Glass, Android Wear and everything in between. She founded Fat Russell, LLC in the summer of 2013, with the intention of combining art and technology in a meaningful and delightful way. You can see more of her work at virginiapoltrack.com, or fatrussell.com.

Lessons Learned with Android Wear Watch Faces


Jono Poltrack


Jono Poltrack is a co-founder of Johnstown Pennsylvania-based technology company focusing on learning, training and performance support. He’s interested in all things wearable and began developing for wearables during the initial release of Google Glass. After Google IO 2014, Jono started to support the Android Wear platform including creation of watch faces designed by his wife, Virginia.

Lessons Learned with Android Wear Watch Faces


Durga Nemani


Big Data System Architect at AOL with Hadoop, Vertica, and Cloud experience.

Migrating Data Processing To the Cloud


William Hoang


William (Twitter, LinkedIn) is a Developer Advocate on the Mobile Engineering & Developer Relations team at Couchbase. His love for coffee and code has transcended him into the world of mobile while appreciating the offline in-person experiences.

Prior, William worked on Developer Relations team over at Twitter, BlackBerry, and Microsoft while also having been a Software Embedded GPS engineer at Research In Motion.

William graduated from McGill University in Electrical & Software Engineering and has spoken at various technology conferences; some includes: GDC, Droidcon NYC & Montreal, Mobileweek NYC, AnDevCon Boston, PAX Seattle and along with tech meetups in various cities.

Building Apps with Couchbase Mobile on Android


Ajit Kumar

Walking Tree

Ajit Kumar (Twitter, LinkedIn) has over 16 years of experience in technology areas ranging from embedded systems to large enterprise applications. He worked with various multinational corporations such as Honeywell, Hughes, Virtusa, and Convergys, before starting his own company — Walking Tree — which helps its customers build habit-forming product.

Ajit has authored books on open source frameworks, including Sencha and ADempiere, which he considers his way of thanking the awesome open source community!

If he is not coding, training, mentoring, and writing, he invests his time into traveling and observational learning.

Build collaborative app with Polymer & Firebase


Jared Sheehan


Android Lead at Driversiti – We are reinventing vehicle safety, are you onboard? I am leading Driversiti’s development of its Android application using Apio Situational Awareness™ algorithms for a highly disruptive mobile platform, initially providing safety benefits to drivers and transportation.

Previous episodes:

Android Ninja and Glass Explorer with Lab126 – My team and I are developing the Speech Recognition application for the Amazon Fire phone. This includes implementing the Android Speech API’s (Intent and Service layers for dictation) and Voice commands.

Senior Android Developer – Portfolio of applications: AIM Android, Engadget Android, Distro Android, TechCrunch Android, AOL HD, AIM Blackberry.

Voice Recognition in the mobile world

Josh Smith

Josh Smith

OrderUp at Groupon

Joshua Smith is a Senior Developer at OrderUp, now a part of Groupon. He operates as a jack of all trades bouncing between web (back- and front-end) and Android. When he’s not fixing the office wireless, you can find him tinkering with Raspberry Pis driving TVs around the office, or writing Slack bots to control the stereo.

Evolution of an Android App at a Startup


Mariella Paulino

Code For Progress

Before becoming a staff member at Code For Progress, Mariella was working for the Georgetown University IT Department as a Software Developer. She was also a part of the 2014 inaugural class of the Code For Progress program and has worked as a Financial Analyst for the Department of Defense. Although she has many interests that have taken her to a range of diverse industries, coding has been able to combine all her interests in one place, or rather, one script. Her current role focuses on diversifying the tech community through direct advocacy efforts and engagement projects with tech organizations in DC.

How to Diversify Tech


Naeem Yeager

Code For Progress

Before joining Code For Progress, Naeem worked as a freelance web programmer, building websites and applications. His interest in software began when he decided to build a website for a friend, having had no prior coding experience. He visited the library, and armed with book after book, got to work. Once the project was completed, he was hooked! Before truly committing himself to software, however, Naeem spent some time working as a mortgage underwriter for three years, but the force was too strong in this one and he quit that job after two years, fully committing himself to creating cool online tools. He now trains the next generation of full stack developers for Code For Progress.

How to Diversify Tech


Brad Leege


Brad is an engineer at Mapbox, making our tools run just as smoothly on mobile devices as they do on the web. He recently built out the mobile stack at the University of Wisconsin, has collaborated on iTunes U with Apple and business process automation with ShopBop and Amazon, and built websites for the Seattle Mariners and New York Rangers. He’s passionate about open source, open data, and sharing both with others.

Custom Maps and Location Analytics With Mapbox Mobile


Lloyd Cledwyn

GDG Twin Cities

Lloyd Cledwyn is the founding co-organizer of GDG Twin Cities and the Director of Advancement IT at Macalester College in St. Paul, MN. He is also an adjunct professor at the University of St. Thomas Graduate Programs in Software teaching the Advanced Web Applications course for the past 5 years as well as the CTO of a local startup effort to make course syllabus management streamlined and usable for the modern classroom.

Hands on with Firebase – Build a Real Time Web App


Patrick Stoddart


Patrick, Founder and CTO of Phone2Action, is responsible for technology and product development.

Since he was 11, Patrick has been tinkering with technology. Starting on the family computer, he was captivated by the ability to quickly build and iterate on ideas. His hunger for teaching himself everything he possibly could quickly turned into a desire to develop platforms to solve real-world problems. He built his own content management system and licensed it to a few companies to finance his first computer (and, later, his first car), so he could keep building. At 16, before even graduating from high school, he started his first company to solve communications and scheduling problems he experienced as a student.

Stoddart is a PIPELINE member (2013 fellow), a contributor to 2BillionUnder20, and a Thiel Fellowship Ambassador.

Startup Panel


John Niedzwiecki

ThreatTrack Security

John is the lead UI developer of the ThreatSecure family of products at ThreatTrack Security. He’s been coding since high school when he taught himself HTML and coded his TI-83 and 89 calculators. Now he codes things a little more complex, creating UIs across large data sets, visualizing data, and finding fun ways to do new things.

When not coding, he adjuncts at Northern Virginia Community College, runs for fun (that fact surprises him too), sports a kilt on occasion, and enjoys time with his wife and two kids.

AngularJS : Prototypes You Don’t Need to Throw Away

Jonathan Jonas

Jonathan Janos


Jonathan is a Solutions Architect at MapR, helping executives and technologists better understand today’s landscape of big data technologies and their potential to fundamentally alter how organizations operate.  He has been working in the Information Technology sector for over 15 years, leveraging a variety of roles to build a broad perspective as to how technology is sold, implemented, and managed.  He previously worked at SAS, a worldwide leader in predictive analytics software, communicating to customers the many linkages between data, algorithms, and business value.  Earlier in his career, Jonathan was a Technical Manager and Database Developer for Oracle, where he first began to appreciate the criticality of data to the success of any organization.

Jonathan has a B.S.E. in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science from Duke University.

Hands-on-Drill Demo with GCE Platform


Lou Mintzer


Lou Mintzer (Twitter, LinkedIn) is the co-inventor of Homesnap’s core technology. He is a technical web and mobile product builder. He leads the product design and development team that built Homesnap’s award-winning mobile app. Homesnap was recently awarded the “Top Developer” badge on Google Play.

Lou has over 15 years of design and programming experience. Prior to Homesnap, Lou worked at AOL and IBM. Lou holds degrees from Penn State the University of Maryland.

Startup Panel


Benjamin Pecheux

Applied Engineering Management

Benjamin Pecheux is director of information research at Applied Engineering Management in Herndon, VA. Mr. Pecheux has over 18 years of experience in auditing, architecting and prototyping data collection, data mining, text mining, business intelligence and data visualization systems. He worked on high-visibility projects for several clients including the US Department of Defense, the US Department of Homeland Security, the Intelligence Community, the US Department of State, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the Government Services Administration, the US Department of Transportation, the US Department of Justice, the US Department of Education and several local agencies. He is currently serving as subject matter expert for the Brookings Institution / Urban Institute providing strategic and technical advice on the creation of large-scale data infrastructure and process to satisfy the different centers simulation and analytical needs. He is also serving as senior data scientist for the U.S. Department of Education Institute of Educational Science providing technical advice and support to the Education Resources Information Center (ERIC), one of the world’s largest library of digital education literature. He previously lead various teams to analyze and forecast the worldwide customer service demand for hardware products at Google, assess and evaluate latest and upcoming large-scale graph analytics solutions for the US Department of Defense and the Intelligence Community, developed To-Be architecture of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), National Environmental Satellite, Data, and Information Service (NESDIS), Ground System Division (GSD), developed a prototype low cost mobile nuclear sensor network for the Defense Threat Reduction Agency (DTRA), US Department of Defense and served as Aide de Camp (ADC) to the Admiral in Charge of the French Military Mission at the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO). Mr. Pecheux completed a Master’s Degree with Honors in Computational Mechanics from the Institut National Des Sciences Appliquées de Lyon, France, and completed a Masters Degree in Mechanical Engineering from the Université de Poitiers, France.

Traffic Prediction Through data mining in Las Vegas.