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9 Talks I Can't Wait to See at Iterate

This year on February 27th my team at Okta will host our first ever developer conference, Iterate. It will be held in downtown San Francisco at Bespoke and has an incredible lineup of speakers from around the world. I am beyond excited to see some of the things that will be discussed. In this post I’d like to share with you the nine sessions I’m most looking forward to:

1. Our Opening Keynote with Jeff Atwood

I wouldn’t miss a chance to see Jeff Atwood talk about building great software. Not only has he developed the single most important tool in my coding arsenal (Stack Overflow), but his blog has been on my reading list for the last 10+ years! I even had a Coding Horror laptop sticker at one point. He’s a man of outspoken opinions. Even though I don’t agree with all of them, I respect his opinion and will definitely be fighting for one of the front-row seats to his talk!

Along with the opening keynote, Iterate will have two tracks, Build and Evolve. Build is all about, you guessed it, building stuff, and Evolve is about being the best programmer and productive human you can be. In our Build track, these are the sessions I’m excited for:

2. API Throwdown: RPC vs. REST vs. GraphQL

I’ve been developing APIs professionally for years. I’ve developed RPC-style APIs and now sit firmly in the REST camp. I’ve heard lots of buzz about GraphQL for APIs and am still a little skeptical. Nate Barbettini will be comparing and contrasting these three approaches and I am excited to see more about GraphQL and Nate’s opinion on how it works from an API standpoint. Nate is an outstanding developer, a Microsoft MVP, and one of the nicest guys ever. If you have a chance to talk to him, ask him about SpaceX!

3. The Reusable JavaScript Revolution

Cory House is a friend, colleague, and uber-successful React consultant. JavaScript reusability is a big deal with componentized architectures and package management making those reusable components easier to share. The fact that it’s Cory and that he will be discussing reusable JavaScript instantly puts this talk on my must-see list.

4. Observability and the Glorious Future

Charity Majors is a Parse alum as well as the founder, coder, and CEO of Honeycomb. She’s also an accomplished programmer and systems engineer. In this talk, Charity will be discussing observability monitoring! Gaining insight into what’s going on with your systems can be tricky. You either get so much information that the important bits get drowned in the noise, or you don’t see the whole picture. So, I totally can’t wait to see this.

5. Deconstructing REST Security

Founder and CEO at Tomitribe as well as a hardcore Java developer, David Blevins is going to talk about OAuth 2.0, JWTs, and bleeding-edge security for REST services. Now I work for a security company, so this is right up my alley, but I am also a bit of an API freak (and REST fanboy) so I will definitely not miss this talk!

Huh… That’s actually all of the sessions in the Build track. I guess that means it’s 100% worth checking out! Now, let’s walk through the sessions in the Evolve track that seem the most awesome:

6. How to Be a Passionate Programmer

Passion drives success. We’ve seen it time and again from entrepreneurs to athletes. In this talk, Emily Morehouse-Valcarcel and Frank Valcarcel will discuss how to charge (and recharge) your passion for software development. I’ve always fancied myself a passionate programmer, and I would love to hear their insights on how to fan those flames. Emily and her husband Frank run a world-class agency called Cuttlesoft that builds highly scalable software. They’re also good friends with Randall Degges, who is a total sweetheart, so they have to be super cool people!

7. Becoming a 10x Developer

I’ve been on teams that delivered quality consistently and quickly, and the one thing they all had in common was a great team dynamic. Kate Hiddleston, CEO of Opsolutely, will talk about 10 concrete keys to becoming a better teammate, and who couldn’t benefit from becoming a better team player? The fact that Randall Degges calls Kate “one of the coolest, smartest, and most awesome programmers I know” puts her squarely on my list of talks to attend.

8. Manage Yourself Up

Craig Kerstiens is a Heroku alum, Python developer, Postgres expert (cough fanboy), and a wine & BBQ connoisseur. He currently runs “cloud” at Citus Data (a very cool scalable Postgres hosting company). Craig will talk about managing yourself so that you can be a better developer and team member. I’ve always been pretty self-managed, but I know I could be doing a better job, so I am definitely gonna see this talk!

9. Optimize Your Life

I sometimes feel like not such a productive person. I get distracted easily and it can be hard to get back on track. But the bigger problem is: how can I measure my productivity and efficacy? On the days I do feel productive, there nothing really definitively saying I was more productive. Even if I got more things done, were they smaller or easier? That’s what Mahdi Yusuf is going to talk about. How to measure your efficiency, so you can use that measurement to improve. I’m so there!

So, those are the nine tracks that I will not be missing at our inaugural Iterate Conference! It’s possible that they’re also all of the sessions at Iterate. Thank goodness we’ll have the video up on our YouTube channel immediately after the event!

And, now that I’ve shared mine, I have to know, what talks are on your list? Reply in the comments, or hit me up on Twitter @leebrandt. You should also follow my team @oktadev for some day-of goodness.

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