The first five talks + a bonus lightning talk!

DACHFest Program Announcement #1

Today is the day! As the DACHFest call for papers is coming to a close, we are ready to start announcing our program, speakers, and talks.

We’ll begin with five amazing talks (and a bonus lightning talk!) that we’re absolutely sure you will love. So sure, in fact, that we’ve decided to pre-select them before the call for papers is even finished.

Ready? Let’s go!

console.log(brain)

Armagan Amcalar (Berlin, Germany)

What is the ultimate hack of our lives? What is the one thing that we strive to learn the most about? What is the thing that will truly unlock our potentials? What if you could log your brain to the developer console, typing with your brain signals?

This talk is a demonstration of an open-source Brain-Computer Interface that is completely developed with JavaScript, from the ground up, using neural networks and signal processing. Armagan hits the stage with a wireless EEG headset, shows how to read signals from the brain in JavaScript using native C++ Node.js modules over USB, and the implementation in Electron, Node.js and Vue.js.

If Code is Law, who’s in charge of Ethics?

m4dz (Paris, France)

Your scientists were so preoccupied with whether or not they could; they didn’t stop to think if they should.

The industrial revolution was a massive movement for research and intellectual progress. Our society is going to its future at lightning speed, sometimes without taking time to think to this future itself. Question isn’t to know if we can get this or that technology available to the masses, but when. In the meantime, the free market pushes our economy to massive consumption of those technologies.

In 1989, the RFC 1087 was the first to mention digital ethics. 30 years later, what did we do to take care of it? As developers, designers, product managers, UX, etc., we have to protect our users from the free market overflows. That means prevent privacy leaks when users aren’t aware of the power of our apps.

How can we define this ethic for digital labors? Who’s wondering every day about its code and design consequences? Is not this code the freedom guarantee of our digital lives? Before we passed the limit, we must wonder: where does our responsibility start as a digital craftsman?

Accessibility-Friendly Documentation

Carolyn Stransky (Berlin, Germany)

Accessibility (a11y) has been finding its stride in the web development community — and it’s not hard to figure out why. According to the World Health Organization, there are over one billion people globally who need an assistive device. With these statistics, organizations and open source projects alike realize that they could be unintentionally locking these people out of their products. As a result, they adjust their developer workflows. And it often ends there, at the product. Documentation is left out of the conversation.

If documentation is meant to serve as a tool for learning and comprehension, then it must be included in those conversations. After all, we want to write docs that are truly for everyone — regardless of the technology they use to read it.

In this talk, we’ll look at how assistive technology consumes documentation and cover some points to consider when building out your docs. Along the way, we’ll touch on quick regulation wins and inclusive writing practices.

The Universal Serial Web

Sebastian Golasch (Cologne, Germany)

As a web developer it’s easy to feel intimidated by the world of hardware hacking and the physical web. We have to leave our comfort zone and need to get familiar with a completely new development environment. But not anymore, thanks to wonderful possibilities that the WebUSB Api brings to our browsers.

In this talk, Sebastian will give an intro to the endless wonders we can encounter in the hardware world through our browser windows. Aside from learning the basics of USB and serial port communication, we’ll paint on USB displays, live tweet to receipt printers, control an Arduino, steal data from Android phones and many more… The only limit is your imagination.

Considering Code Schools: Diversity, hiring, and what we might do differently

Perry Eising (Portland, Oregon, USA)

Diversity and Inclusion are more than buzzwords — they are part of a greater call to action that involves radically re-interpreting the way we train, educate, recruit, hire, and staff teams. We all know that studies show diverse teams and companies are more productive, have less inbuilt bias, and report higher profit margins.

Tech education has a key role to play in this re-envisioning of our field. Many opportunities are missed to hire in a diverse way because of institutional bias. A lack of standards is often cited, somewhat defensively, as a reason to not hire school candidates. On the other hand, high-quality graduates fire back that they represent the very diversity tech so desperately needs, but no one is giving them a chance.

Code schools and the tech industry lack perspective on each other, but it doesn’t have to be this way. Together, we’ll explore practical ways everyone, regardless of role, can help build a more diverse, accessible pipeline. You will walk away from this talk ready and equipped to help make a difference — by making tech & tech ed more accessible, more relevant, and more diverse!

Bonus lightning talk! Observability in the Kitchen: Improving Your Breadmaking Skills with Open-Source Monitoring

Daisy Tsang (Berlin, Germany)

Daisy loves to bake. A few months ago, she became quite interested in the art of making one’s own sourdough, a type of bread that, due to its fermentation process, is a much healthier alternative to the type of bread that is readily available today. The sourdough bread-making process is a fascinating combination of biology and physics, but working with natural starters can be difficult because they are very sensitive to variations in temperature and humidity. As a result, these parameters need to be closely observed.

It is fun and useful to leverage inexpensive sensors, Raspberry Pis, and Prometheus (a monitoring system written in Go) to monitor the humidity and temperature of sourdough cultures in order to gain insight into how these parameters affect the growth of each type of culture. The result? Analytical insights into an age-old bread-making process via graphical reports and alerting rules.

Daisy is going to share her delicious and metric-filled bread-making process, hopefully inspiring attendees to see how modern-day tooling written in Go can be used to enhance traditional fields.


Join us and our amazing speakers at DACHFest—and stay tuned for more announcements. And as November is getting closer and closer, now is a good time to get your ticket!

See you in Munich. ❤️

How about some sourdough bread? Prometheus monitoring optional.