Node PDX – Introducing Jason Denizac, Thorsten Lorenz and Peter Braden

Here’s the second of a series of introductions for the upcoming Node PDX Conference while I train ride up to Seattle today.

Jason Denizac presenting…

Programming With a Purpose

Jason Denizac

Jason Denizac

I met Jason over a year ago while he was in Portland at a coding conference. Since then we’ve kept in touch, and everytime I’ve enjoyed seeing him speak. This guy is from a place far over the hills and valleys somewhere in that central part of the United States, but I’m stoked he’s out here on the west coast now bringing more brainpower to the region.

Jason described his talk, “As programmers we are wizards. Our job is to manufacture super powers. Like with the Manhattan Project, wielding such great technological power entails moral implications which we ignore at our peril. But we can recognize this power, embrace it, and use it for great good. Node gives us a tool kit to confront great problems and share in solving them. Specifically: radical decomposition, horizontal reuse, and positive community norms around testing and documentation.

Audience participation requested: be prepared to share your expertise in a real world problem space like education, civics, social equity, environmental conservation, healthcare, or your own favorite “intractable” problem. If time and scheduling permits, I’d love to have a series of lightning talks in which people could introduce other developers to the problem domain.

This should be a good one.

Thorsten Lorenz presenting…

Module Driven Programming

Thorsten Lorenz

Thorsten Lorenz

Thorsten Lorenz has been creating nodejs projects for over two years mostly in his spare time. The main reason why he can’t (and won’t) stop is, that ideas can be transformed into something that works in a very short amount of time when implemented in JavaScript. Aside from these projects, he also contributes to projects important for the community, one of the recent additions is source map support to browserify. These source maps even allow debugging transpiled languages (i.e. CoffeeScript) right in the browser.

Thorsten threw a bullet point list of the key points for his presentation, which follows:

  • what constitutes a module
  • why it is desirable to build smaller modules
  • challenges and patterns for separating the application into independent modules
  • process of pulling out a module from an application
  • replpad case study
  • how to become module driven phase1 and phase2
  • browserify and how it enables to even manage your client side modules with npm
  • quick primer on tools like npm init, pkginit, travisify and npm link that help with module driven development

Peter Braden presenting…

Teaching Robots to See With Javascript

Peter Braden

Peter Braden

Peter Braden is the author of the node-opencv bindings that allow node scripts to interface with this powerful computer vision library. Peter related to us that he’s both excited and terrified for a future of seeing drones and robots. Currently he works as a web consultant-of-all-trades at

In his talk he’ll be diving into, “As we start to use javascript to control quadrocopters and robots, it becomes important that they can see with images from cameras onboard. In this talk we’ll take a step back and look at the field of computer vision; look at some of the exciting practical problems that can be solved with CV techniques, and look at how we can do this with javascript. Whether it’s detecting and recognising faces, building a picture of surroundings from a video stream, or tracking shapes, we’ll look at how we can make our javascript programs see. And all going well, we’ll have a live demonstration of a drone navigating based on onboard camera data.”

…ready to get your tickets?


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?

Node PDX – Introducing Ward Cunningham, Nexxy, Jerry Seivert and Hannah Fousanon!

Here’s the first of a series of introductions for the upcoming Node PDX Conference here in bright and sunny Portland, Oregon!

…and no, that isn’t sarcasm, it’s the summer time now so we’re allowed to have sun and warm weather! With that, the speakers for Node PDX!

Ward Cunningham presenting…

My Sensors Love Node.js

Ward Cunningham

Ward Cunningham

Who’s Ward? In his own findings, “The Oregonian describes me as the Old Growth of the Silicon Forest. I appreciate the thought but move way too fast to be compared to trees. Think of me as your intellectual immune system separating good technology infections from bad. Ditch that fever. Go with node.

As Ward describes this presentation, “I’ve tested a half-dozen home sensor integration technologies over as many years and learned something important about architecture with each generation. I’ve replaced Arduino hardware with Teensy which offers much better USB support. I’ve replace C++ with Perl then with Ruby/Sinatra and now Node/Wiki each time feeling the fresh air of a more friendly and dynamic environment. I’ve plotted results with ascii-art, java-2d, flot and now d3.js which can be a career in itself. I’ll share the good parts of each of these and suggest how you will know when it is time for you to move on.

Nexxy presenting…

Realtime Hardware with Node.js



Key facts about Nexxy:

  • Nexxy has been hacking on things in one way or another SINCE THE BEGINNING OF TIME.
  • Nexxy is also known for her occasional use of hyperbole as a literary device.
  • Nexxy first began hacking arduinos with node while she was working with a vegan strip club named Casa Diablo.
  • Nexxy is now enjoying her work with Ninja Blocks as they take over the world with the internet of things!
  • Nexxy inexplicably decided at the last second to write this section of the proposal in 3rd person, bullet form.

…and I have recreated this proposal section here for your information!

Join Nexxy & all for another installment of “Realtime Hardware with Node.js” as we take a look at just how exactly one should go about making a fool of themselves on stage with a bunch of electronics. We will cover the basics of getting started with hardware, demonstrate some cool tech, and conclude with a super rad (slightly hazy) and interactive dance party of epic (modest) proportions — if everyone cooperates. Questions are welcome throughout the presentation and audience members are encouraged* to participate.

* bribed with stickers

Jerry Seivert presenting…

Know Your Environment

Jerry Sievert

Jerry Sievert

Jerry is a conousier of fine beer, drinks and other assorted things. The relevant list of coarse includes Lego, trains and JavaScript. His own words of these things, being a drink or beautifully coded up application, “I love to build things!” summarizes up Jerry’s love of building perfectly!

Jerry will pose the question, “What if your software knew about its environment and could react?” With very basic electronics skills, and the ability to read a datasheet, you can be well on your way to a smarter and more responsive application. We will discuss some common hardware protocols and how to interface your code with them to build something all “teh aWeSOME“!

Hannah Fousanon presenting…

Optimizing Single-Page Javascript Websites for SEO



Hannah Fouasnon is a cofounder and lead engineer at DJZ based in San Francisco. While a full time hacker, she’s currently focusing on creating DJZ’s next single-page javascript website optimized around playing media and games. Former projects include Luckysort, a big-data, text-analytics company based in Portland, OR, where she implemented a large portion of the node.js architecture.

Hannah will cover how to create single-page javascript websites and enable developers to more easily support advanced web client features. For example, the persistent playing experience on soundcloud is supported by a single-page backbone.js architecture. One of the downsides when deciding on this architecture is that web crawlers have trouble indexing content, which can hurt seo and facebook sharing.

This presentation covers how we solve this problem at DJZ. The example will be a simplified angular.js application optimized for seo using primarily phantom.js. Viewers can follow along with code on github (link to come).


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?

I Messed Up, Cascadia.js Kicked Ass, Defrag Conversations Continued Without Me!

I wasn’t able to get to Cascadia.js. Sometimes during the course of working smart and hard one misses the smart part and scheduling falls apart. Well, I messed up. I messed up and my scheduling got completed dorked for the last two weeks. What did that result in? I missed Cascadia.js, a codeathon in Spokane that I was putting together and to top it off I was missing Defrag in Denver – which really put me out because I was out of pocket personally for Defrag. Altogether it was a financial, logistical and scheduling nightmare for me.

To all, I apologize for my lapse in scheduling prowess!

Amid all of this mess, I’ve got some great new things coming up in the coming week for the OSS Projects I’m working on, the north west, a little emerald for Seattle, some earthy stuff for Portland and all around interesting tidbits here and there.

Before I go rambling on about those things, I wanted to leave this pre-weekend before Thanksgiving with some shout outs to the Cascadia.js Team & Presenters. Carter, Troy, Luc, Jerry, Laurie, Bobby & the whole lot of the team that put that together – you guys seriously ROCK!

The conference had a number of speakers, who totally rocked it, and here’s a few of my first views. I wasn’t there, as I said, so I was seriously stoked that the team put the videos online.

Angelina Fabbro @AngelinaMagnum presents

Matt Padwysocki @mattpodwysocki presents

Jason Denizac @leJden presents

Rick Waldron @rwaldron presents

Emily Rose @nexxylove presents

…and there ARE MORE PRESENTATIONS at Cascadia.js on youtube. Check them out, each is a blast!

Pull Request for People by Chris Williams

@voodootikigod <- but don’t look for him on Twitter… watch the ending keynote of his. It’s really good and we all need to think about what he is saying, seriously think about what he’s saying.

As for some of his questions he asks, I’ll have some answers to that – which I could indeed rattle off quickly, in response. I do say though, I don’t provide these answers to counter what he is saying. I do so only to state and reaffirm what he talked about. I am absolutely, 100% in agreement with what he is saying about the current state of the startup & tech sector.

With that, I’m going to spend some time with friends. Maybe even make some new ones. Cheers! :)

…as for Defrag, I’ll have more about that in the coming days too.

Changes & Awesome People

Warning, if you’re looking for tech, this isn’t the article. I’m writing this up in relation to the people in the industry.

Geoloqi goes ESRI!

Geoloqi and ESRI are the same force now, if anyone was watching Geoloqi they already know this. But I just wanted to follow up since I know personally – as good friends – the team over there and a new member of their team.

Amber Case

Amber Case, CEO and brain stormer, thinker and all around great person has lead the Geoloqi crew on a great path to acquisition. She kept the VC vultures at bay, helped to maintain the integrity of building a real platform versus a quick buck “dine and dash” type of company. I commend her on a job well done! I can’t wait until I get to chat with her again about all the great things they’ve been working on and what’s in store for the team now! Follow Amber on twitter, Cyborg Anthropology and her site.

Aaron Parecki & Kyle Drake

These guys are great. The coders, hackers, architects and implementers of Geoloqi from the beginning. I wrote about Kyle before when we had a chance to have him speak at Node PDX (a few words here and here) earlier this year. Kyle & Aaron have worked diligently on building out the real time nature of the high I/O systems of Geoloqi. Follow Aaron on twitter, blog and code and flickr. Follow Kyle on twitter, and code.

Jerry Sievert

My friend and also a Node PDX Speaker, has joined to lead the development efforts of Geoloqi in the new ESRI Structure. I’m super excited for Jerry and what this will bring for hacking endeavors next time we get to hang out. He also blogstweets and of course codes nonstop – see Github.

Warner Media Group (WMG) gets Brian McClain

I’m jealous, another person I’d love to work with. With this change I might get to do just that in some ways. Brian has been an active contributor and instigator in the Cloud Foundry Community and is now kicking off what I can only imagine as some awesome projects at WMG! I’m on pins and needles waiting to hear about what they’re working on. Congratulations to Brian, Dave McCrory (who has a twitter & blog too) and the whole team over there. WMG just got a great new team member! Follow Brian on twitter or via his code on Github.

…and that’s it for today. I’ll have more news on some key people at key companies in the very near future. Keep on guessing, cheers!

Thor Project Opens Up, Building the Cloud Foundry Ecosystem with the Community

The Iron Foundry Team are big advocates of open source software. We write code across all sorts of languages, just like many of the development shops out there do. Sometimes we’re heavy on the .NET, other times we’re all up in some Java, Ruby on Rails, spooling up a Node.js Application or something else. So keeping with our love of open source and our polyglot nature we’ve created the Thor Project with three distinct apps.

Before jumping into the applications though, a little context for what and where Thor is in the grand scheme of things. We need to roll back to the Cloud Foundry Project to get into that. The Cloud Foundry Project is an open source project built around software for PaaS (Platform as a Service) which can be used to build your own PaaS internally or externally, in a cloud provider or directly on hardware. It’s your choice how, when and where you want to use it. For more context on PaaS check out my previous entry “The Confusions of IaaS, PaaS and SaaS“.

Thor Project

Cocoa for OS-X

Thor Odinson

Thor Odinson, God of Thunder

You know who Thor is right? He’s this mythic Norse God, also known as the God of Thunder. Since we’re all about bringing the hamma we welcomed Thor into our team’s stable of applications. So starting immediately we’ve released Thor into the realms for contributions and fighting the good open source software battle! If you’d like to join the effort, check out the github project and feel free to join us!

Technically, what is the Thor Application? This is a Cocoa Application built for OS-X that is used for managing, deploying and publishing applications to Cloud Foundry enabled and or Iron Foundry extended PaaS Environments.

.NET for Windows 7

The .NET Metro version of the Thor Application is also released via github with a provided installer. We’ve almost taken the same path, except of course for the very different UX and UI queues with Windows 7 and the Metro UX design guidelines.

WinRT for Windows 8

I wasn’t really sure what to call this version. Is it Metro or WinRT or Windows 8 or something else? Anyway, there is a project, it is albeit empty at this point, but it is the project where the Windows 8 version of Thor will go! For now get the Windows 7 version and install it on Windows 8, it won’t have touch interface support and things, but should work just like a regular application on Windows 8.

The Code

To get started with these, generally you’d just clone the repo and do a build, then get started checking out the code. There is one catch, for the OS-X version you’ll want to pull down the sub-modules with the following command.

git clone
git submodule update --init --recursive

Once you do that in XCode just make sure to then select the right project as the starting build project.

…then when the application is launched…

Thor Running in OS-X

Thor Running in OS-X

I’ll have more in the coming days and weeks about Thor & Iron Foundry. For now, check out the blog entry on the Iron Foundry Blog and subscribe there for more information.