Suggested Ideas for Tech Talks

Presenting at our group is a great way to show off your skills. Teaching is the best way to learn. For freelancers, it’s a great way to market and network. And the software development community in Roanoke will grow from our shared experiences

If you’d like to present at a Tech Talk, please notify organizers at least two weeks prior to the event. Presentations should be at least 15–30 minutes and up to an hour, but the structure and length are just suggestions. If you’ve got something you’re excited to share with the group, we’d love to have you. If you’d like to support your local dev community by presenting, but are unsure of what you’d like to present on, message DC and we’ll get you set up. Or browse through the list of suggestions.

Here’s a list of ideas for presentations. Topics for beginners or those that appeal to everyone are best. Or simply present a project you’ve been working on. Remember — authoring a guest blog on our Medium is a great way to prepare for your talk, although it’s definitely not required.

Web Design Frameworks:

Bootstrap and Foundation; SASS and LESS; Wordpress Themes

Web Standards:

HTML5 & CSS3; responsive web design; adding responsive CSS to a Wordpress theme

Game Design:

Getting started with Unity; mobile game development; getting to GreenLight on Steam

Fun projects when learning to code:

Drawing with HTML Canvas; building a to-do list app in Rails; building a song playlist app with Swift or Javascript.

For Beginners:

Learning git; writing your first web app; using Github; deploying an app to Heroku

Open Source Software:

How to find a project to contribute to and how to collaborate online; submitting a pull request; subscribing to a repository’s feed to help manage support issues faster


Rails 5.0; web sockets with Action Cable; integrating with a front end framework like React; Writing a ruby gem

Frontend Dev:

Intro to Angular or React; managing static assets; running ES6 with Babel; ES6 features


Advantages of event-driven and asynchronous nature of Javascript


Running Jupyter notebooks; python for data science using SciPy & NumPy

Programming Paradigms:

Functional programming; reactive programming; object-oriented design

Programming Practices:

Test-driven development; continuous integration; agile & kanban

Pragmatic Programming:

Generalized techniques for coding and learning; or present on the book itself, The Pragmatic Programmer

Creative Projects:

Making electronic music with Clojure and Overtone; graphics with Processing; image processing for art with OpenCV; transforming video streams in real-time with ffmpeg and RTMP for special effects on your Twitch stream

Process Automation:

Setting up a server to subscribe to event feeds (RSS, emails, twitter mentions) and respond or notify; writing a Slack or Twitch chatbot to post GIF’s; building a webcam to let you know when coffee has been brewed


Design, deployment techniques and stories from the trenches; Docker and CoreOS; Deploying an app to multiple regions; Jenkins for automated builds and continuous integration


Reports and dashboards with SQL; scaling with NoSQL; using a Graph database

Backend Services:

Using Redis or RabbitMQ for queueing; Cassandra for highly-available; massive data sets; indexing your app’s data for ElasticSearch

Distributed Services:

Service discovery; using Ruby’s EventMachine; log aggregation with GrayLog

Programming Languages:

Swift; Clojure; Lisp; Scala; C#; F#; Haskell; Chicken; Racket; [insert your favorite niche language here]

Big Data:

Storm/Kafka/Hadoop; Architecture and scaling for stream-based big data systems

Developer Tools:

Getting started with emacs; mastering vim; organizing your dotfiles; bash/zsh/fish


Configuring Nagios to monitor a network; python services to respond to suspicious network events; buffer overflow; protecting against XSS and other web vulnerabilities; properly configuring SSL in Apache or nginx


Using vagrant for declarative configuration of networked VM’s
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