Ed FinklerJennifer MarsmanHeather Migliorisi

Lessons from Real Life

Date: This event took place live on June 14 2016

Presented by: Ed Finkler, Jennifer Marsman, Heather Migliorisi

Duration: Approximately 3 hours.

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There's theory, fiction, and fantasy. . .and then there's real life. Life's lessons—successes and failures alike—have much to teach us. Since there is only so much that one person can experience in a given time, learning how a company or team has succeeded with a new initiative, implemented a new language, or reconfigured their architecture is both fascinating and incredibly enlightening—and so is hearing about their failures. The In Real Life track at OSCON brings you war stories from the front lines. In this related online conference, Heather Migliorisi, Jennifer Marsman, and Ed Finkler share their experience and offer practical takeaways you can apply to your own projects. Come ready with your questions.

Making awesome things accessible
Heather Migliorisi

Open source is the fuel that runs the technology we use to solve many of the problems we face every day. These projects are amazing, heavily distributed, and loved by many. Heather Migliorisi explains how they can be made even better when accessibility is added into the open source mix. Heather covers topics including:

  • Quick and easy fixes you can do right now (contrast, colors, and :focus)
  • Common mistakes we make (images, icons, placeholder text versus labels, semantic faux pas, and roles)
  • How to handle forms and errors
  • How to make accessible SVGs
  • Proposed features in the W3C pipeline
  • Testing techniques and automation
  • How to ensure standards are understood and implemented

About Heather Migliorisi

Heather Migliorisi is a software engineer for Blackhawk Network, where she implements innovative ideas for the GiftCards.com website. Some of those ideas include developing the company's custom pattern library and code-based style guide, responsive image techniques, and accessibility solutions. In her free time, Heather contributes to the Make WordPress Accessible project, Accessible SVG Community Group, and The A11y Project.

Hadoop on Azure: Microsoft's open source journey with big data
Jennifer Marsman

In recent years, Microsoft's culture has grown to embrace the open source world. Jennifer Marsman shares the cultural journey undertaken by Microsoft's big data team, which provides Hadoop on Azure. Jennifer explains why the team decided to use open source software (Apache Hadoop) instead of building their own solution, what they learned, mistakes they made, how they've grown, and how OSS is shaping the investments they make today.


About Jennifer Marsman

Jennifer Marsman is a principal developer evangelist in Microsoft's Developer and Platform Evangelism group, where she educates developers on Microsoft's new technologies and frequently speaks at software development conferences around the world. In 2016, Jennifer was recognized as one of the "top 100 most influential individuals in artificial intelligence and machine learning" by Onalytica. She has been featured in Bloomberg for her work using EEG and machine learning to perform lie detection. Jennifer has received numerous honors and recognition for her contributions and innovation. As a software developer in Microsoft's Natural Interactive Services division, she authored two patents for her work in search and data mining algorithms. Jennifer holds a master's degree in computer science and engineering and a bachelor's degree in computer engineering from the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor.

Stronger than fear: Mental health in the developer community
Ed Finkler

Mental disorders are the largest contributors to disease burden in North America, but the developer community and those who employ developers are afraid to face the problem head-on. Ed Finkler examines the state of mental health awareness in the developer workplace and explores why most developers feel it isn't safe to talk about mental health and what we can do to change the culture and save lives. Ed outlines five things you can do to make your workplace safer for those dealing with mental health disorders.


About Ed Finkler

Ed Finkler, also known as Funkatron, started making websites before browsers had frames. Ed does frontend and server-side work in Python, PHP, and JavaScript and is the lead developer and head of developer culture at Graph Story. Previously, he served as web lead and security researcher at the Center for Education and Research in Information Assurance and Security (CERIAS) at Purdue University. Along with Chris Hartjes, Ed is cohost of the Development Hell podcast. Ed's current passion is raising mental health awareness in the tech community with his Open Sourcing Mental Illness speaking campaign. Ed writes at Funkatron.com.