Conferences Tampa Bay

The poweredUP Tampa Bay Tech Festival happens Wednesday, May 22!

The annual event returns — the poweredUP Tampa Bay Tech Festival will take place at St. Pete’s Mahaffey Theater on Wednesday, May 22!

Topics at this year’s poweredUP will include:

🎵 Music & Technology: Explore the intersection of tech and tunes, uncovering how AI is reshaping the music industry.

💂‍♂️ Military & Innovation: Dive into the latest advancements in defense technology and how innovation is shaping modern defense efforts.

🤖 Practical Applications of AI: Discover real-world applications of artificial intelligence across industries, from healthcare to finance.

🏙️ City Security & AI: Delve into the realm of urban security and learn how AI is enhancing city safety measures.

There will also be opportunities to:

  • Network with industry leaders, tech enthusiasts, and potential collaborators
  • Check out the booths run by the Geek Row vendors
  • Lunch options available for purchase in the upstairs ballroom from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.
  • The post-event happy hour with complimentary drinks

Here’s poweredUP’s agenda:

11:00 a.m. – 12:00 noonDoors open/morning networking
12:00 noon – 12:05 p.m.Opening remarks w/ Meghan O’Keefe, Executive Director of Tampa Bay Tech
12:05 – 12:40 p.m.Keynote Speaker: Igor Jablokov, CEO at Pryon
12:43 – 1:13 p.m.AI-Powered Retail Innovation with Just Walk Out Technology, Featuring AWS
1:16 – 1:46 p.m.Innovation Nexus: An Innovation Panel Bridging Corporations, Startups and Higher Ed, Featuring Accenture, USF, VU Studios and Vinik Sports Group
1:49 – 2:24 p.m.Navigating AI: Practical examples for delivering business value, Featuring Revstar, CDW, JP Morgan Chase and Trellix
2:24 – 2:34 p.m.Intermission
2:34 – 3:09 p.m.Harmonizing Innovation: Technology’s Impact on Music, Featuring TrueFire Studios, Symphonic Distribution, DJ Fresh Events and Pasco County Schools
3:12 – 3:47 p.m.AI-Powered Security: Safeguarding Assets in the Digital Age, Featuring SoftServe, TelcoNet and Nvidia
3:50 – 4:25 p.m.Innovating Defense: Thinking Differently for Modern Security Challenges, Featuring Abacode, USCC, USF IAE and HAYS
4:25 – 4:30 p.m.Closing remarks w/ Meghan O’Keefe
4:30 – 6:00 p.m.Radically Connected® Happy Hour

Tickets are $75 to attend, and Tampa Bay Tech members can attend for free (email for details). Register to attend here.

Artificial Intelligence Conferences Tampa Bay What I’m Up To

I’m speaking on the “AI Superpowers Unlocked” panel on May 15!

Masterminds Tampa Bay is holding their AI Superpowers Unlocked panel on Wednesday, May 15th with the following panelists:

  • Ken Pomella, CEO of RevStar, known for leveraging AI to enhance business growth and scalability.
  • ​Lenar Mukhamadiev, from IdelSoft, focusing on GenAI solutions for organizations and developing an AI-powered startup.
  • Sat Ramphal, CEO of Maya AI, a serial entrepreneur with deep expertise in AI applications in regulated industries.
  • Yours Truly, Joey de Villa, Supreme Developer Advocate for, AI enthusiast, Python instructor, and general computational person about town.

Here’s Tampa Bay Masterminds’ description of the event:

Unlock the future of Artificial Intelligence at “AI Superpowers Unlocked: An Expert Panel,” an event meticulously crafted for entrepreneurs, tech enthusiasts, and forward-thinkers ready to explore AI’s transformative potential. Join us to gain practical insights on becoming a leader in AI application and connect with industry pioneers.


  • 6:00 PM – 6:30 PM: Socializing Time
  • 6:30 PM – 7:15 PM: Expert Panel Discussion
  • 7:15 PM – 8:00 PM: Audience Q&A / Conclusion

Main Takeaways:

​🧠 Understand the crucial role AI plays and why mastering it is essential.

​🧠 Learn strategies to best leverage AI for 2024 and beyond.

​🧠 Discover essential AI tools beyond ChatGPT.

​🧠 Explore best practices, ethics, and more through interactive FAQs.

Why You Should Attend:

🚀 Tailored for Forward-Thinkers: Designed for those poised to disrupt markets and lead innovations, this panel will help you stay ahead in the AI curve.

🚀 Unparalleled Insights: Spend an hour with AI luminaries discussing strategies and visionary applications to outpace competitors and drive success.

🚀 Networking Opportunity: Connect with like-minded professionals and innovators, and perhaps discover your next great collaboration.

This is a paid event — attendance is $35 and supports Tampa Bay Masterminds’ mission of fostering innovation and education in technology, with all ticket sales considered donations.

Want to attend? Register at!

Conferences Programming Tampa Bay

Attend Civo Navigate Local Tampa 2024 with my super discount code!

You can register for next Tuesday’s Civo Navigate Local Tampa 2024 conference, happening at Armature Works, for the low, low price of TEN DOLLARS with this discount code…

…as opposed to the regular price of $40 (still a deal, but you can spend the $30 you saved on Bake’n Babes cookies or whatever else you prefer from Armature Works’ food stalls).

What’s Civo Navigate Local Tampa?

Civo Navigate Local Tampa is a one-day version of Civo’s 2-day Navigate conferences, with a stronger focus on local organization and techies. It will feature four topic categories…

  1. Cloud Native
  2. AI/ML
  3. Emerging Tech
  4. Thought Leadership

…over two tracks:

  1. A main stage track with panels and presentations, and
  2. A workshop track with lightning talks and workshops

Want to know what Civo’s two-day conference is like? Here’s a video summary of the most recent one, held in Austin in February:

Want to know more? All the details are on the Civo Navigate Local Tampa site.

Conferences Security Tampa Bay

BSides Tampa 11: April 5 and 6 at USF!

It’s back! The 11th edition of BSides Tampa, Tampa Bay’s community-led cybersercurity conference, happens Saturday, April 6th at Marshall Student Center at USF.

You’ll want to attend BSides if:

  • You work in cybersecurity, because your peers — some of whom you might not know — will be there.
  • You’re looking for a cybersecurity job. You’ll get to network with people in the field, and you’ll find the conference’s Career track helpful.
  • You’re curious about cybersecurity. What do cybersecurity people do? They test systems for vulnerabilities (go to the talks in the Offense / Red Team track), they protect systems from attackers (go to the talks in the Defense / Blue Team track), and they create processes to enhance security (go to the talks in the Governance track).
  • You’re into intelligence — human and artificial. There’s an AI / Defense track that covers these topics.
  • You want to learn. I can’t think of a BSides where I didn’t learn at least three important things.
  • You want to know what the Tampa security scene is like. Tampa has an underappreciated security scene, and you’ll get to see what it’s like at BSides Tampa!

Want to attend BSides? Register before April 6!

BSides Tampa is sponsored by the Tampa Bay chapter of (ISC)², which is clever and mathematically-correct shorthand for “International Information System Security Certification Consortium”. (ISC)² is a non-profit specializing in training and certifying information security professionals.

BSides gets it name from “b-side,” the alternate side of a vinyl or cassette single, where the a-side has the primary content and the b-side is the bonus or additional content.

Here’s the origin story: When the 2009 Black Hat conference in Las Vegas received more presentation submissions than they could take on. There were many presenters whose talks weren’t accepted, but were still very good — there just wasn’t enough room for them at Balck Hat.

So they banded together and made their own parallel conference that ran in parallel to Black Hat — it’s from that event that we get BSides.

BSides conferences are community events, and unlike a lot of tech conferences, they’re inexpensive. BSides Tampa 2024 costs $45 to attend — the same price as last year — and that gets you:

  • Access to all conference tracks
  • Access to Discord server
  • Access to the exhibition area, villages, and sponsorship area
  • BSides Tampa 2024 t-shirt
  • BSides Tampa 2024 badge
  • Admission to the happy hour after the conference

There are a lot of tracks at BSides Tampa 2024:

  1. Main track
  2. Offense / Red team
  3. Defense / Blue team
  4. AI / Defense / Other
  5. Governance
  6. CISO track
  7. Career track

Want to attend BSides? Register before April 6!

Want to get a feel for what BSides Tampa is like?

Here’s my writeup of last year’s BSides Tampa.

Artificial Intelligence Conferences Programming Tampa Bay

I’m speaking at Civo Navigate Local Tampa on April 16th!

At the upcoming Civo Navigate Local Tampa (taking place Tuesday, April 16 at Armature Works), I will be giving a 15-minute lightning talk on RAG — Retrieval-Augmented Generation — and how you can use it to make your AI apps produce better results.

And by “better,” I mean:

  • Able to use data that’s newer than their last update
  • Incorporating information that they wouldn’t otherwise have
  • Using the content of a document that you provide
  • Able to incorporate data from a database

And yes, there will be Python code, which I’ll run live for your viewing pleasure, explain for your understanding, and give to you for your own use!

My presentation will be one of several that you’ll be able to catch at Civo Navigate Local Tampa, and best of all, you can register for the conference for the low, low, low price of…

ten dollars, as opposed to the regular price of $40 (still a deal, but you can spend the $30 you saved on Bake’n Babes cookies or whatever else you prefer from Armature Works’ food stalls).

Just use this discount code…

…and register for Civo Navigate Local Tampa!

Find out more about Civo Navigate Local Tampa 2024 at the official site!

Bonus reading material: Here’s a post about my first hardcore encounter with RAG back in October — Scenes from an AI meetup in San Francisco.

Conferences Tampa Bay

Civo Navigate Local Tampa happens Tuesday, April 16 at Armature Works!

Do you remember the first Civo Navigate conference that took place at Armature Works last February? Do you remember how much fun it was to see an upstart cloud company give interesting presentations at Armature Works, the first time it was used as a tech conference venue?

We get to do it again! Civo are returning to Tampa with Civo Navigate Local Tampa 2024, a one-day conference taking place at Armature Works on Tuesday, April 16!

We’ll get to see CEO Mark Boost again…

…and the event will be hosted by Tampa Bay’s own Daniella Diaz and Suzanne Ricci (pictured below; sorry, Woz isn’t coming to this one).

The conference will feature two tracks:

  • One for talks on various topics, including:
    • Emerging tech
    • Thought Leadership
    • AI / ML
    • Cloud Native
  • Another for workshops

Find out more about Civo Navigate Local Tampa 2024 at the official site!

You can attend for $10 with my discount code!

The cost to attend Civo Navigate Local Tampa 2024 is normally $40, but you can reduce it to a mere $10 with my coupon code: JDCIVOLOCAL!

Artificial Intelligence Conferences What I’m Up To

I’m speaking at Civo Navigate North America in Austin next week!

Tap to view at full size.

In exactly one week, I’m going to giving my presentation, You’re Not Too Late to the AI Party at the Civo Navigate North America conference in Austin, Texas!

The talk, which is in a prime time slot — day one (Tuesday, February 20) just after the opening keynote (10:30 a.m.) — is for people who’ve been too busy with their actual work to get into AI and have been feeling increasing amounts of FOMO.

I’ve been spending my suddenly copious amounts of free time polishing this presentation and accompanying demos to a bright sheen. Here’s a sample from my current set of slides:

Tap to view at full size.

In the talk, I’ll cover four reasons why it’s not too late to get into AI, as well as possible ways you can get started.

I’ll also talk about:

  • AI’s overnight success was 70 years in the making
  • Are you a centaur or a minotaur, and which one is better?
  • AI options if you can code, and options if you can’t
  • AI techbros and “chaos muppets,” and the effect they have on the industry
  • AI ethics and how badly we need it

This talk won’t be all hand-wavey and descriptions, but will also feature demos of actual working code that you can also download, including:

  • ELIZA, the original 1964 chatbot, but written in present-day Python.
  • A basic neural network demo that shows how you implement them — perhaps the one that recognizes handwritten numbers, perhaps something a little more interesting!
  • “Sweater or no?” — a large language model-powered application that tells you what to wear based on your location, the weather, and the event you’re attending.

Most importantly, the talk will be fun!

I’ll be in Austin for most of next week. If you can attend Civo Navigate, I’d love to see you there! I’ll also be free and out and about in Austin that Thursday (Feb 22) for most of the day — if you’d like to meet up, let me know!