Presentation Summaries

Michael Go:  Intro. to Neural Networks with the NEAT Algorithm

There are various versions of neural networks, and we will cover how to use genetic algorithms to train a neural network. In this session, we will build an A.I. that can beat the first level of NES Super Mario Bros., using the NEAT algorithm.

Chris Dail:  Good Code

Have you ever worked on a project with code that was an unmaintainable pile of garbage? How did the code get like that? Without the proper attention to code quality, over time, all projects descend into disorder. 

Everyone agrees that good code is important, but many developers do not really know how to create good code. Chris Dail covers the basics of what good code is, why it is important and how to keep projects from descending into chaos.  New software developers will learn tips and tricks for writing good code. Experienced developers will benefit from a refresher and reflect on any bad habits they might have picked up.

Speaker Biographies

Michael is a full stack developer with 8 years of experience.  He is currently the CTO of, and his main focus in the company is disrupting the real estate industry with A.I. He has a variety of experience in web and mobile application development. In his current tool-box, he is using React, Rails, and Python.

Chris is a Senior Director of Software Engineering at Akiri, a healthcare networking startup. He has 15 years of experience building software products in various roles, including as a software developer, architect, and manager.  Chris is a programming language enthusiast and is passionate about clean, readable code.

Register on Eventbrite

Presentation Summaries

Vincent Roy:  Infrastructure Workflow with Terraform

HashiCorp Terraform enables you to safely and predictably create, change, and improve infrastructure. It is an open source tool that codifies APIs into declarative configuration files that can be shared among team members, treated as code, edited, reviewed, and versioned.

Paul Brooker:  Real-time Data Migration in Real-life

We will cover how Alongside planned and implemented a large scale legacy data migration with no interruption of services for the largest job board service in Atlantic Canada.  Topics will range from initial planning stages to actual implementation of our final solutions and a brief overview of results.

Speaker Biographies

Vincent Roy is a full stack software developer with just under 10 years of experience. In that time he's had a chance to work with various technologies from backend services written in Ruby on Rails to browser applications written using CoffeeScript.  He is currently a Senior Software Engineer at EMC writing backend and infrastructure services in Java, Python, JavaScript and Go.

During the past three decades, Paul Brooker's career has undergone almost as many regenerations as Dr. Who. His current incarnation is a Web Developer for Alongside, where he can find himself in any part of the web stack at any given time. Paul volunteers some of his spare time to Startup Weekend NB and the technology council of Oulton College, of which he is an alumnus.

Presentation Summary

Recently, there has been a move by the major browser vendors to simplify the development of software through the new Web Components standard.  Polymer, a free open-source library by Google, makes use of this new standard to make web software reusable (see YouTube, newly built using Polymer). Firebase, a collection of cloud services, combined with Polymer, make for a compelling development platform for web and mobile apps and the new push for mobile web apps. In this talk we will cover Polymer, Firebase and the major services of Google Functions, Hosting, RealTime and Firestore Databases. Examples will be shown of a production app in progress.

Speaker Biography

Simon Gauvin is an expert in the field of UX, mobile and cloud computing with 25 years of experience developing several startup software companies. He was former VP of Applications Technology at Plazmic Inc. (acquired by RIM in 2002) where he led the development of a mobile media platform for Warner Brothers and Disney in the Japanese mobile market. He completed Ph.D. research in Computer Science at Dalhousie University and has been published in several leading academic journals. Simon has authored software patents, invented and developed several new programming languages, and used this work to co-found, a visual programming mobile app development platform. He recently co-founded another startup, Safelii Inc., which is using mobile and AI technology to help improve health and safety services for employees in corporations. He is also a freelance Chief Technology Officer consulting for small to medium sized companies in Atlantic Canada.

Presentation Summary

Why is software architecture so important?  What is it, anyway?  How can "clean" software architecture actually make software development easier, faster, and less-painful?

"Uncle" Bob Martin has attempted to take the most robust and battle-tested architectural patterns and boil them down into "one architecture to rule them all"--in a matter of speaking...

We'll briefly look at what "Clean Architecture" is and what problems it attempts to solve.  Then we'll focus on how we might implement it in a .NET Core application with practical tips from real-world experience sprinkled throughout.

Speaker Biography

James Hickey is currently the senior software developer at IronFlow Technologies.  He focuses on improving software development processes, automation and architecture.  His current technical interests include .NET Core, Event Sourcing, Microservices, etc.

Presentation Summary

Kotlin is a statically typed, concise, safe, and pragmatic programming language that runs on the JVM and other platforms. It has been gaining in popularity over the last year ever since Google announced official support for Kotlin on Android. There are a lot of misconceptions out here of what Kotlin is and what it is good for. This talk focuses on dispelling some myths about kotlin and serves as a general introduction to the language.

Akiri has been using Kotlin for server and API development, replacing a traditional Java based stack.  Content for this talk is based on practical experience building a product using Kotlin.

Speaker Biography

Chris Dail is a Senior Director of Software Engineering at Akiri, a healthcare networking startup. He has 15 years of experience building software products in various roles including as a software developer, architect, and manager.  Chris is a programming language enthusiast and is passionate about clean, readable code.