Here’s an idea for a great geek weekend:

It’s happening on Saturday, November 11th at Disney’s Contemporary Resort, and it’s called DevFest Florida!

Organized by the Space Coast, Central Florida, and Sun Coast Google Developer Groups, DevFest Florida is a day-long conference with over two dozen speakers and sessions in three tracks talking about the latest development topics with a Google-y bent. There’s web development, cloud development, mobile development, IoT development, VR and AR, and more, in a fantastic setting in a nice climate, all for a mere hundred bucks!

The conference’s timing is excellent. Just as much of the northern hemisphere is settling into winter, Florida is getting into a temperate groove with warm (but not too hot) days and cool (but not too cold) evenings. There’s also the 2017 edition of the Epcot International Food and Wine Festival, which overlaps DevFest Florida. Since the conference takes place on a Saturday and only on that Saturday, you can take in the Festival on Friday and Sunday!

Of course, one of the reasons you’ll want to attend the conferences are the speakers — check them out! One of them is my Sourcetoad coworker, Connor Tumbleson, who’ll talk about Attacking an Android application…

…and Yours Truly will also be there, with a talk aimed at web developers who are wondering if it’s safe to dip their toe into the native Android development pool.

Sourcetoad, where I work, is a proud sponsor of DevFest Florida. We’re also big fans, so you’ll see a lot of us there!

It’s a lot of geeky conference bang for a hundred bucks, but that price won’t last for long. Register now, so you don’t miss out on DevFest Florida!


I’m presenting the ARKit workshop at RWDevCon 2018!

by Joey deVilla on August 14, 2017

I’m a confirmed speaker at RWDevCon 2018, which takes place Thursday, April 5th through Saturday, April 7th, 2018 at the Westin Alexandria, just outside Washington, DC!

I’ll be doing a couple of sessions, one of which is a half-day workshop on one of the hottest new technologies that’ll come out with iOS 11: ARKit, the augmented reality framework for iPhone and iPad.

If you’re wondering what’s possible with ARKit, check out the futuristic battle scene on a table from the demo by Wingnut AR at the WWDC 2017 keynote:

If you want to see what indie developers have been able to do with beta versions of ARKit, check out this compilation:

I’m not yet at liberty to discuss exactly what I’ll be presenting, but I can say this: it will be mind-blowingly good, and you won’t want to miss it.

There will also be workshops on:

  • Machine Learning with CoreML and Vision, with Patrick Kwete and Audrey Tam
  • Practical Instruments, with Luke Parham
  • Swift Algorithms, with Kelvin Lau and Vincent Ngo

You can find out more about the RWDevCon workshops in this article.

If you want to get in on some of this development action, follow this blog, and go register for RWDevCon 2018!

Early bird conference registration is $899, but if you really want to dive deep into AR and catch my workshop, early bird conference + workshops registration is $1,399.

RWDevCon is a conference where all the sessions are developer tutorials. It’s organized by the fine people at:

RWDevCon is a smaller conference with a few hundred attendees, but those attendees are part of the dedicated, tightly-knit community that frequents The focus on tutorials means that if you’re a developer looking to boost your iOS development skills, you’ll get a lot of bang for your conference buck:

The size of the conference, coupled with the nature of the community, means that you won’t just be another face in the crowd, and you’ll make friends and connections at this conference — those of you who were at the early RailsConf conferences in Chicago and Portland, or the Toronto conference RubyFringe and FutureRuby, or the GIANT conferences will know what I’m talking about.

I’m also told that they throw a good party:

In addition to tutorials, RWDevCon features a number of “inspiration talks”. Here’s one from RWDevCon 2017 — I’m an Idiot, by Rich Turton, in which he talks about how to leverage your inner idiot to make you a better coder, writer and communicator:

I’m looking forward to this event!


Every week, I compile a list of events for developers, technologists, and tech entrepreneurs in and around the Tampa Bay area. We’ve got a lot of events going on this week, and here they are!

Do you have an tech or entrepreneurial event in or around the Tampa Bay area that you’d like to see listed here? Drop me a line about it at!

Monday, August 14

Tuesday, August 15

Wednesday, August 16

Thursday, August 17

Friday, August 18

Saturday, August 19

Sunday, August 20


No matter where you stand on the firing of James Damore — whom I prefer to refer to as “the manifestbro” — you should take away this valuable lesson:

If you write a document that becomes such a public relations nightmare that it requires the CEO to cut short a family vacation to deal with the mess, update your resume.

This article also appears in The Adventures of Accordion Guy in the 21st Century.


Of course I got her to sign my laptop.

I accompanied Anitra to the Women in Agile session that took place yesterday at the site of this week’s Agile 2017 Conference in Orlando. While she attended the session, I continued with getting caught up on a freelance project at the hotel’s coffee shop.

After the session, I remarked to Anitra that I had a look at the conference schedule and saw that one of the speakers was Rebecca Wirfs-Brock. “I pretty much learned object-oriented programming from her and Scott Ambler.” (It turns out that he’s also speaking at the conference.)

You have to remember that in the mid-1990s, internet access outside an academic or government organization — if you had it — was done via dial-up modem, search engines were in their infancy, you got your software tools — even if they were free-as-in-beer — from dedicated stores (I used to buy mine at “Developer’s Workshop” in Toronto) or mail order, and if you wanted to learn a new programming language or paradigm, your best option was dead-tree books. I learned a lot about oriented design from Designing Object-Oriented Software, which she co-wrote in 1991, and some noodling with CodeWarrior on my first Mac, a Quadra 660AV.

“She was sitting at my table at Women in Agile!” Anitra said. “Do you want to meet her?”

“Yes, please!”

And so Anitra led me to Rebecca, and we had a wonderful conversation in the conference center lobby, largely about:

  • How I’d graduated from computer science before object-oriented programming was being taught to computer science undergrads, so I’d learned a lot of it from her book, and later, the original pre-UML edition of Scott Ambler’s The Object Primer. (It occurred to me later the edition of Rebecca’s book that I owned was an “Eastern Economy Edition” that I’d bought in the Philippines as I was still making “first job out of school and working at indie software company making interactive CD-ROMs” wages.)
  • Applying the things I’d learned about OOP from her to Lingo, the object-oriented programming language of Macromedia Director that I used for developing CD-ROM software at Mackerel Interactive Multimedia and teaching the most unlikely people about CRC cards.
  • The need for a return of the prominence of software design — called software architecture these days — and the need to encourage developers, who are so focused on unit testing, to get back into big-picture thinking when building software. I suggested making them watch episodes of the UK edition of Ramsay’s Kitchen Nightmares, because at their core, they’re entertaining examples of designing practical, functioning systems that meet customer needs and expectations.
  • What other big names from the object-oriented world of the 1990s are up to these days.

At the end, I did what any good computer science fanboy would do: I took out a sharpie, and asked her to autograph my computer.


Every week, I compile a list of events for developers, technologists, and tech entrepreneurs in and around the Tampa Bay area. We’ve got a lot of events going on this week, and here they are!

Monday, August 7

Tuesday, August 8

Wednesday, August 9

Thursday, August 10

Friday, August 11

Saturday, August 12

Sunday, August 13


Google’s Go Gopher, dropped into the increasingly zeitgeist-y “this is fine” comic.

Reported first on Motherboard and then published nearly in full on Gizmodo, the ten-page manifesto titled Google’s Ideological Echo Chamber is a screed published by an unidentified Google senior software engineer that went “internally viral” late this week. It calls for the replacement of the search giant’s race and gender diversity programs with one that would encourage ideological diversity, particularly to make it a “safe” workplace for social conservatives.

I’ve read the document on Gizmodo. It appears to be the 2017 edition of that particularly toxic brand of libertarianism that’s one of Silicon Valley’s stocks in trade, mixed with a lot of “men are better than women, and that’s just the way nature and science are”, sexism in its scientific disguise of “evolutionary psychology”, broflake-y talk about psychological safety, and a whole lot of completely unresearched assertions that cry out for [CITATION NEEDED].

Predictably, given that the current socio-political environment in the U.S. has made bigotry cool again, the manifesto is finding more than just fringe support among Googlers. Motherboard quotes a few:

“I’m impressed. It took serious guts to post that,” wrote another. “I hope nothing happens to the guy.”

“We should all go and respond with support,” another replied. “The more the supporters, the safer he is.”

“The fella who posted that is extremely brave. We need more people standing up against the insanity. Otherwise ‘Diversity and Inclusion’ which is essentially a pipeline from Women’s and African Studies into Google, will ruin the company,” another comment in the thread said.

This is nothing new. I saw this sort of rant in the late ’80s posted by poorly-socialized computer science and engineering students on Soapbox, the forum on the mainframe at my alma mater, Crazy Go Nuts University. I later saw it in the very early 1990s when I gained access to Usenet. It would pop up again on Slashdot, then Hacker News, then Reddit, then 4chan, and then 8chan when 4chan just wasn’t vile enough. It’s repeated often on “men’s rights” sites like Return of Kings and other places in the “manosphere”. I’m sure the essay’s getting slathered with praise on the alt-right’s favorite social networking site and terrible-people-magnet, Gab, whose official Twitter account posted this:

(If you ever need to prove that no technology is purely sociologically, culturally, or politically neutral, Gab makes for fine evidence.)

All this reminds of one of my favorite lines from Neal Stephenson’s novel Snow Crash, which celebrates its 25th anniversary this year. Written when internet access was a rare and precious thing even among computer science majors, it captured the techie mindset quite well, particularly in the way it summarized how a lot of men in tech view women.

The line comes from the end of a section that introduces Juanita, and I’ll close this article with it (the formatting, for emphasis is mine; the words are Stephenson’s):

Her name is Juanita Marquez.

Hiro has known her ever since they were freshmen together at Berkeley, and they were in the same lab section in a freshman physics class. The first time he saw her, he formed an impression that did not change for many years: She was a dour, bookish, geeky type who dressed like she was interviewing for a job as an accountant at a funeral parlor. At the same time, she had a flamethrower tongue that she would turn on people at the oddest times, usually in some grandiose, earth-scorching retaliation for a slight or breach of etiquette that none of the other freshmen had even perceived.

It wasn’t until a number of years later, when they both wound up working at Black Sun Systems, Inc., that he put the other half of the equation together. At the time, both of them were working on avatars. He was working on bodies, she was working on faces.

She was the face department, because nobody thought that faces were all that important — they were just flesh-toned busts on top of the avatars. She was just in the process of proving them all desperately wrong. But at this phase, the all-male society of bit-heads that made up the power structure of Black Sun Systems said that the face problem was trivial and superficial.

It was, of course, nothing more than sexism, the especially virulent type espoused by male techies who sincerely believe that they are too smart to be sexists.