Join Me for a Live Stream Conversation on Programming, Infrastructure, Data, Databases, or Your Opinions!

It’s happening! It’s really happening y’all! People have opinions and things to say!


I’m starting a new segment for my Twitch channel – and by proxy this new future prospective podcasting that will go along with it as lagniappe – and am looking for those that have something they’d like to converse about!

If you’re in the Seattle area visiting, living, or otherwise and would like to join me on a live stream sometime this is your invite! If you’ve just gotten into programming, started handling infrastructure, dealing with that big data in those database, let’s talk. I want to hear about your interest in what you do, what use cases you have, what the mission is, and how you aim to accomplish innovative ways to solve the problems you and/or your organization are working to solve.

As I was saying programming, infrastructure, database, are all open topics for the live stream. There are a few caveats and topics that I do have an extra interest in. Come join me and tell me, and by proxy have a conversation with the audience about database tech, databases, how your company is using databases and managing all of its data, and of course especially if that database happens to be Apache Cassandra, DataStax Enterprise, or even some other large scale distributed database or multi-model database system. I want to hear from you and what you’re building, so let’s get together and have a conversation and have our audience pull up a chair to the table for questions, comments, and more!

Just pick a time, and we’ll be set on the calendar. I’d love to chat!

Andy Piper & Troy Howard, Now Twitter is up to Something!

Twitter is up to something. I’m betting it’s something good.

In the last 2 weeks I’ve found out two fellow coders are rolling into the Twitter family. These two people are top tier talent, so I’m just assuming Twitter had their act together when they went after these two new recruits. So who are these two individuals? Andy Piper and Troy Howard, two people everybody keeps track of. Wait, you do keep track of these guys right? Hmmm, if you don’t it might be high time you need to get in gear and follow them! Here are their deets, so you’re in the loop.

Andy Piper
Andy Piper

Andy Piper @andypiper, heading over to become Developer Advocate in London. Andy has been a great advocate over at Cloud Foundry. I only assume, as many who have used the Cloud Foundry Platform, he’ll continue to be an advocate for it. I’m super excited to see the efforts Andy leads forward with in this new role with Twitter. I’ll be keeping an eye out and hopefully this year landing in London to visit for a few lines of code and a brew or two.

Troy Howard
Troy Howard

Troy Howard @thoward37 is heading over to become the Technical Documentation Super Genius (my label) to which he humbly refers to as Documentarian. He’s helped lead projects like Node PDX Conf (which he and I stumbled ourselves into 2+ years ago) and he’s since knocked out work with organizing Write the Docs,


Hujs (check out Glenn Block’s write up) and others! Besides being a mad awesome conference organizer he’s all over the Portland tech community, code space & devops world.

For other trend setters and coders that get shit done and make waves, check out my Awesome Coders category. I’ve introduced more than a few top tier amazing people over the years that I’m totally stoked to have worked along side, hacked with, coded with or otherwise been involved with in the software & hardware industry!

Summary => References =>

So begs the question, “what’s Twitter up to eh?

Node PDX – Introducing Adam Baldwin, James Halliday, Ryan Jarvinen, Mike McNeil and Horse JS

This is it, last string of introductions. Hope you’re registered.

Adam Baldwin is presenting…


Adam Baldwin
Adam Baldwin

Adam Baldwin is a web app hacker, team lead at ^Lift Security and the CSO for &yet. Adam has presented at various security & dev conferences in the past including, DEFCON, Djangocon, Toorcamp and RealtimeConf.

The node.js community is growing at an amazing rate. At the time of writing there was 27,757 modules publised on npm. Have you ever stopped to think just what you are putting into your project when you npm install somebody else’s module? Do you trust that code? This is an insane project to find out the answer to that question.

This talk will introduce the project, it’s goals, current results in hopes of inspiring involvement and receiving feedback directly from the node community!

James Halliday is presenting…

beep boop


Oh hello. I write too much code. I co-founded browserling. Here are some pretty pictures.

Unix philosopher and methodological reductionist etc.

shake the fist

Learn how to make computer sounds in node and the browser with the same api.

Using just a single function that takes a parameter t, time in seconds, and returns an amplitude between -1 and 1, inclusive, you can create music!

You can use this basic approach to write songs and synthesizers. In javascript. Yay!

Ryan Jarvinen is presenting…

Clustering Node.js on OpenShift


Ryan Jarvinen is an Open Platform Advocate working with RedHat’s OpenShift team. He lives in Oakland, California and is passionate about open source, open standards, open government, and digital rights. You can reach him as ‘ryanj’ on twitter, github, and IRC.

Learn how to automate builds, deployment tasks, and application scaling as we use OpenShift’s platform architecture on-demand to build your own git-based release pipeline, including: development, testing, staging, and cloud-scaling production environments for node.js.



An adaptation of this talk was presented recently at HTML5DevConf in SF –

Intro to Sails.js

Mike McNeil is presenting…


Mike autobiogrophies himself as, “I’m Mike, a developreneur based out of Austin, Texas and connoisseur of fine code. I’m also the creator of Sails.js, the open-source BaaS framework which allows front-end developers to build robust, scalable APIs using only JavaScript.

My first startup was in social television, where I saw the need for more efficient, easy-to-use solutions for realtime social features. Because of that, I got involved in Node.js early on, and after building a few early apps, recognized the need for an MVC solution to normalize patterns. Early last year, I founded Balderdash, a UX-focused mobile and web studio, which has given me an excellent opportunity to build out and utilize Sails.js in production.

Sails.js makes it easy to build custom, enterprise-grade Node.js apps. It is designed to resemble the MVC architecture from frameworks like Ruby on Rails, but with support for the more modern, data-oriented style of web app development. It’s especially good for building realtime features like chat.

Sails empowers UX and design teams to build hi-fi prototypes in no time without waiting for the back-end to be finished. This means focusing more resources on the user experience, which means better products. One Sails.js project at a time, companies move their legacy architecture over to a simpler, more efficient Node.js cloud. Each new client-side code base is more maintainable, since it’s built using the universal language of the internet: a RESTful JSON API.

Chris Dickinson is presenting…

Implementing Git in JavaScript & the Browser: A Case Study


Chris describes himself as “I make silly things with JavaScript: I particularly love bit-twiddling and WebGL-based projects. I live in Portland OR and work at Urban Airship as a JavaScript engineer.”

Git is one of my favorite things to hack on. It’s long been my goal to get a working (workable?) implementation of git running in pure JS, in the browser. My first attempt two years ago failed; and for a long time I’ve let the thought bounce around in the back of my head.

Spurred on by the recent interest in js-git, I recently restarted the journey towards an in-browser git, in order to help creationix deliver the best possible js-git. Newly armed with browserify and the small-module ethos, I’ve come much closer to a working git in browser and Node, and in the process have really put browserify and its shims through their paces.”

This talk will be comprised of:

A quick intro to the git object model and transport protocol
How browserify and the small module ethos have enabled great successes in the project.
Difficulties encountered in the process, both with Node.JS itself and with browserify, and how I’ve worked through them.
How I’ve diagnosed and worked through various performance issues.
Where is this project going?

Horse JS is presenting…

JavaScript, This is Confusing

….Horse JS Tweets, nuff’ said.  Horsing around…


Want to learn more?

Want to know the dates?

Want to know who else is speaking? Stay tuned here or go check out!

Node PDX – Introducing Zach Bobb, Paul Jungwirth, Forrest Norvell and Charlie Key

…and the fifth iteration of Node PDX Introductions!

Zach Bobb is presenting…

Building a Computer In Your Browser

Zach the TriMet Ticket Man!
Zach the TriMet Ticket Man!

Zach is a mobile engineer with GlobeSherpa working hard to bring you the app that will let you buy TriMet tickets on your phone.

Want to learn how computers work under the hood while learning Web technologies? Come learn about the Von Neumann 51, a series of tutorials that will take you through building a computer from the ground up in JavaScript, HTML5, and CSS3.

The talk will start by laying out some of the motivation behind the project and then demonstrate some of the components people will build through the tutorials: logic gates, adder circuits, displays, etc. The end of the talk will demo a prototype of the vN51.

Some of the technologies in this talk are:  D3 | A JavaScript library for dynamic data-driven SVG graphics HTML5 Canvas | Pixel manipulation for display output

Paul Jungwirth is presenting…

Handling Errors with Cluster and Domains


Paul will jump into,

Node’s callback pattern makes error handling difficult: throwing an exception kills the entire node process, terminating all current requests, and every callback initiates a new stack, so stacktraces are terse and don’t indicate how you got where you died. You can solve these problems using some newer features of Node called clusters and domains. This talk with explore using these tools for better error handling.

Forrest Norvell is presenting…

Do as I say, not as I do: Node in the real world


Forrest is a software engineer who has spent the better part of the last two years working with Node full-time, first working on bringing Singly’s Locker Project up to web scale, and then exploring the wilds of monitoring the performance of Node applications for New Relic. He has learned an unreasonable amount about JavaScript, V8, libuv, and making it all work well in the real world.

Forrest has spent the last year plumbing the depths of Node for New Relic, as he brings support for Node to New Relic. It’s a process that has required ingenuity, guile, and the willingness to break a lot of otherwise very sensible rules. He will take you on a tour of some of the more powerful but dangerous tools in the JavaScript toolbox: monkey patching, working with Node’s internals, and mixing synchronous and asynchronous code without setting your hair on fire.
Charlie Key is presenting…

Building a Multiplayer World for Pillow Pets


Charlie is Co-founder of Modulus, a premier Node.js hosting solution. He has spent the last six-years working in the software, where he has created over a dozen production websites and applications for many global brands.

He is also a core contributor on Pulse game engine and one of members of the team who developed Pillow Pets World.

The talk will dive into the design goals, architecture and end result of creating this massive virtual world. Come see how Pulse (a HTML5 game engine) and Node.js were combined to create a fast, expandable, mobile ready world. Targeting a game at 10,000,000 people? Then come and find out how Pillow Pets World was built. Pillow Pets World is a virtual world built for millions of kids. Scalability and performance were aspects that were included from the start.

The technologies included in this talk are:

Pulse | HTML5 Game Engine Node.js | Scalable small servers | Real-time communication using Web sockets Redis | Small in memory storage used for pub/sub communication between servers


Want to learn more?

Want to know the dates?

Want to know who else is speaking? Stay tuned here or go check out!

Node PDX – Introducing Adam Ulvi, Aron Racho, Christopher Meiklejohn, Max Ogden and Brock Whitten!

…and the fourth iteration begins!

Adam Ulvi is presenting…

Put a Sensor On It!

Adam Ulvi
Adam Ulvi

Adam is a Portland native (straight out of the Simpsons) with a penchant for software and systems integration. 8-bit gamer, seasoned professional, perpertual noob. Specialization is for insects.

Learn how easy it is to create your own monitoring system! Hobbyist components and a rich ‘maker’ community puts advanced system designs well within the reach of your average software wonk. Stop planning and start building!

Our case study is ‘GroMon’, a solution for monitoring a tiny indoor lettuce garden. Our wireless sensor keeps track of temperature and humidity, if the plants get too hot or too cold then we are notified via text message.

We will discuss the design goals and architecture, as well as component selection, prototyping and debugging steps. With a little bit of programming skill and patience, anyone can build this network. Learn how to easily extend this solution for your own use.

Our stack is Node.js running on a Raspberry Pi. We connect over Bluetooth to an Arduino hosting a single sensor. All components can be purchased off-the-shelf, no soldering is required and the total cost is around $80. Code and bill of materials is available on GitHub, let’s hack!

Aron Racho is presenting…

Jive Purposeful Places SDK – A NodeJS Bromance


Aron Racho is a Senior Software Developer at Jive Software. Aron’s background has primarily been in Java, about 10 years in. He is a relatively recent convert to Javascript, and server-side Javascript in particular. Though relatively new to NodeJS, he has been smitten by its fluency, flexibility, and superb design. One might even say a Bromance has been started.

Ok, get ready, this description for this sessions is HUGE!

Jive Software’s latest cloud release enables 3rd party developers to easily push data marshalled from external systems of record such as Salesforce into Jive. Our aim is to publish a developer framework and API which makes it drop-dead simple — and fun — to get up-and-going from scratch, or easily integrate into an existing framework. We chose NodeJS precisely for those reasons:

  • High developer adoption
  • High velocity development — javascript! no compilation required
  • Best-in-class IDE support (IntelliJ for example)
  • Native support for REST and HTTP
  • Excellent package management system (NPM == maven the Good Parts)
  • Tons of great libraries
  • Amazing documentation, well organized, very easy to get started instantly

Our framework is built on Express, and is designed to be programmed by “convention: fill in the blanks with logic specific to your application, and as long as you’ve satisfied the contract, the framework automatically:

  • Wires up routes required for configuring your integration
  • Notifies your listeners for integration life cycle events (integration created; destroyed; updated, etc.)
  • Executes recurrent tasks you’ve scheduled
  • Handles persistence of required objects. We have support for 3 types of persistence out of the box — in-memory, file, and MondoDB.

The framework is designed for developers who want to as quickly as possible start integrating a 3rd party service with Jive, with minimum setup.

For those interested in integrating Jive into an existing NodeJS Express app, we are going to make the underlying API available to developers, allowing them finer grained control over the setup of their integration. This API will be the same one underlying the mechanics of the aforementioned framework.

For my presentation, I will be describe how we used NodeJS as the basis for this framework and API. Please note at the time of this proposal, we’ve created the framework, and are now in the process of refining the API so that it can be used independently of the framework.

Christopher Meiklejohn is presenting…

An Introduction to Functional Reactive Programming

Chris Meiklejohn
Chris Meiklejohn

Christopher Meiklejohn is a Software Engineer with Basho Technologies, Inc. where he focuses on building rich web applications for Riak using Erlang and JavaScript. Before joining Basho, he worked at Swipely, a loyalty program startup based in Providence where he maintained critical infrastructure components written in Ruby. Christopher currently serves as one of the maintainers of

Chris also knows a thing or three about this show… called The Wire… he could probably speak entirely in quotes solely from The Wire and still make complete sense. So throw a quote out, I bet he’ll catch it.

There is no doubt that todays web applications continue to grow in adoption, replacing their desktop counterparts in all areas of computation. Essential to their growth is their ability to provide near-native performance and rich user experiences. As these applications grow in essential complexity, they also grow in accidental complexity due to the imperative callback processing style found in most web applications. The asynchronous nature of most of these applications also further compounds the issues due to guarantees around message ordering, and a level of indirection required in callbacks handling events.

Functional reactive programming is one approach for mitigating accidental complexity, using a declarative and composable data-flow model. During this talk, we’ll look at the history of functional reactive programming, some JavaScript implementations of FRP, and finally some ClojureScript implementations of FRP and examples on how to get started with using functional reactive programming.

Max Ogden is presenting…


Max Ogden - Penciled and colored!
Max Ogden – Penciled and colored!

Max used to live here in Portland, and at some point defected to work on noble causes with Code for America. Since then he’s been an Oaktown Coder (Oakland, the other city near San Francisco).

In January of 2013 he started the Voxel.js Project. Since he and contributors have generatored nearly 100 node modules related to 3D game development and distribution. Examples including voxel rendering and first person controls and physics. On the main voxel-engine the project has received over 50 pull requests from 20 contributors. All of this since January. Max is going to dive into this effort and what inspiration people have taken to dive into game development with JavaScript.

Brock Whitten is presenting…

Mighty Messaging Patterns

Brock Whitten
Brock Whitten

Best know for having co-created PhoneGap, Brock went on to work at Joyent where he created the Public API for the beloved (and now sunset) Platform. He’s now working on the Harp Platform where he’s worked with a team to have created a dead simple publishing platform that uses Dropbox as its deployment mechanism. Much has been learned, he’s read to share.

He describes his course as, “Messaging is the lifeblood of distributed systems yet it is often treated as an afterthought when applications are architected. Few get passed the point of tacking on a message queue to fire and forget tasks with no visibility into what is happening on the system. I’m here to tell you we can do better. That Messaging can do more for us than just put tasks in the background. By combining basic messaging paradigms we can build powerful distributed systems with full awareness of what is happening around the network. And we can do it all in pure JavaScript.

In this talk, I will start with a crash course on the basic messaging patterns push/pull, pub/sub, and request/reply and then show a real example of how we have combined these patterns to build a custom message broker that we have used to build a fully distributed and modular architecture for the Harp Platform. I will share details about what we have learned and common pitfalls to avoid when building a messaging system for your needs.

Basic outline for the talk:

  • how messaging can be useful
  • crash course on the basic message patterns
  • how to get started with zeromq/axon
  • common pitfalls when in production
  • proven trade secrets we have learned

By the end of the talk, my hope is that everyone will have a new appreciation for what can be achieved with massaging and will know where to begin when attempting to integrate messaging into their next project. I feel this aspect of building modern web applications is often overlooked and viable techniques need to be shared and discussed.


Want to learn more?

Want to know the dates?

Want to know who else is speaking? Stay tuned here or go check out!

Have a last minute request, idea, comment or a speaking proposal?