EVENT SPEAKERS

Randy dojutrek

Randy Dojutrek proves that a passion for people differentiates leaders from managers. As a transformational IT leader, Randy drives positive results by concentrating on the people that make it happen. Randy has extensive experience delivering technical solutions through building and leading best in class organizations across multiple IT disciplines. Whether the workforce is domestic or international, at the heart of any solution is setting a vision, getting the right people engaged, and providing them what they need to succeed. One of the key components of success is building strong relationships through effective communication. Earning his Master’s in Writing, and completing another in Organizational and Interpersonal Communications (2021), Randy champions the idea that communication is a key differentiator in building a successful technical career.

Josh Long

(@starbuxman): Josh is a Spring Developer Advocate at Pivotal. Josh is a Java Champion, author of 5 books (including O’Reilly’s “Cloud Native Java: Designing Resilient Systems with Spring Boot, Spring Cloud, and Cloud Foundry”) and 3 best-selling video trainings (including “Building Microservices with Spring Boot Livelessons” w/ Phil Webb), and an open-source contributor (Spring Boot, Spring Integration, Spring Cloud, Activiti and Vaadin).

David Giard

David Giard is a former accountant and a former biochemist, who has been developing solutions using Microsoft technologies for nearly 3 decades.  Currently, David helps people build solutions in his role as a Microsoft Senior Software Engineer. David has been very active in the developer community, speaking at numerous major conferences, code camps, and user groups around the world; helping to lead user groups; and helping to organize conferences and other geek events. He is the host and producer of the mildly popular online TV shows Technology and Friends and GCast.  He is the co-author of the Wrox book Real World .NET, C#, and Silverlight. You can read his latest thoughts at DavidGiard.com.  His hobbies include video, photography, sports, and embarrassing his sons.

Derek Ashmore

Derek is a senior technology expert with over 30 years of experience in a wide variety of technologies and industries. Derek is currently a Principal Cloud Architect at Asperitas Consulting. Derek is focusing on microservice architectures, cloud computing, and migrating applications to the cloud. Derek’s approach allows companies to increase speed to market while also increasing application availability. Derek routinely speaks at JavaOne, DevNexus, the Chicago Coders Conference, and many others. Derek’s books include the “The Java EE Architect’s Handbook” and “Microservices for Java EE Architects”.

Erik Boyd

Eric D. Boyd is the Founder and CEO of responsiveX, a Microsoft Azure MVP, a Microsoft Regional Director, a regular conference speaker, and the co-author of Step-by-Step Azure SQL Database from Microsoft Press. He is so passionate about cloud, mobile and modern applications, that he founded responsiveX, a technology company that helps customers deliver great web, mobile and enterprise apps using the cloud and Azure. Eric launched his technology career almost two decades ago with a web development startup and has served in multiple roles since including developer, consultant, technology executive and business owner. You can find Eric blogging at http://www.EricDBoyd.com and on Twitter at http://twitter.com/EricDBoyd.

Jonathan "J" Tower

Jonathan “J.” Tower is a six-time Microsoft MVP, Lynda.com author, and business owner with over twenty years of experience in the software industry. He loves solving problems and the creative aspects of software development, as well as sharing what he’s learned and helping to build the technology community. His current technology interests include architecture, .NET Core, and the whole JavaScript ecosystem. J. lives in Grand Rapids, Michigan with his wife and children, where he exercises his passion for the tech community by running the Beer City Code software conference.

venkat subramaniam

Dr. Venkat Subramaniam is an award-winning author, founder of Agile Developer, Inc., creator of agilelearner.com, and an instructional professor at the University of Houston.

He has trained and mentored thousands of software developers in the US, Canada, Europe, and Asia, and is a regularly-invited speaker at several international conferences. Venkat helps his clients effectively apply and succeed with sustainable agile practices on their software projects.

Venkat is a (co)author of multiple technical books, including the 2007 Jolt Productivity award winning book Practices of an Agile Developer. You can find a list of his books at agiledeveloper.com. You can reach him by email at venkats@agiledeveloper.com or on twitter at @venkat_s.

Heather Downing

Heather is a passionate coder and entrepreneur. She has experience working with Fortune 500 companies building enterprise-level voice, mobile and C#/.Net applications. She focuses on external thought leadership, encouraging fellow programmers to present on topics outside of the office and in the community. She is an international technical speaker and co-host of the YouTube channel “The Hello World Show” — a weekly video series that interviews software masters and teaches the audience something valuable in less than 10 minutes. ​

Heather encourages those with nontraditional backgrounds to enter the world of software development, as she changed careers at 27 and does not have a degree – yet has built a reputation as an early adapter of new tech. She is an advocate of women in tech, and part of Kansas City Women in Technology. When not coding, Heather spends her time as a competitive equestrian and learning the art of mounted archery.

Ben Galewsky

Ben is a Sr. Research Programmer at the National Center for Supercomputing Applications (NCSA), a role where he acts as an IT consultant to scientists who are struggling with the mountains of data new research tools produce. Prior to NCSA Ben helped set up STA Group’s Big Data Practice and served as the Chief Technical Architect at the global investment bank UBS Warburg.

Damian Brady

Damian is a Cloud Advocate specializing in DevOps and MLOps. After spending a year in Toronto, Canada, he returned to Australia – the land of the dangerous creatures and beautiful beaches – in 2018.

Formerly a dev at Octopus Deploy and a Microsoft MVP, he has a background in software development and consulting in a broad range of industries. In Australia, he co-organised the Brisbane .Net User Group, and launched the now annual DDD Brisbane conference. He regularly speaks at conferences, User Groups, and other events around the world.

Most of the time you’ll find him talking to software engineers, IT pros and managers to help them get the most out of their DevOps strategies.

Damian has his own Channel 9 show – The DevOps Lab. Check it out for real-world guidance on implementing DevOps in your organisation!

James Lamb

James is an engineer at Saturn Cloud, where he works on a managed Dask + Kubernetes offering and contributes to open source projects in the Dask ecosystem, such as Prefect. Before that, he spent 4 years as a data scientist working on industrial internet of things (IIoT) problems at AWS and Chicago-based Uptake. He is a maintainer on LightGBM, a popular machine learning project from Microsoft Research, and on 2 R packages on CRAN and 1 Python package on PyPi. James holds masters degrees in Applied Economics and in Data Science.

Simon Maple

Simon Maple is the VP, Developer Relations and Community at Snyk, a Java Champion since 2014, JavaOne Rockstar speaker in 2014 and 2017, Duke’s Choice award winner, Virtual JUG founder and organiser, and London Java Community co-leader. He is an experienced speaker, having presented at JavaOne, JavaZone, Jfokus, DevoxxUK, DevoxxFR, JavaLand, JMaghreb and many more including many JUG tours. His passion is around user groups and communities. When not traveling, Simon enjoys spending quality time with his family, cooking and eating great food.

Phil Japikse

An international speaker, Microsoft MVP, ASPInsider, MCSD, PSM II, PSD, and CSM, and a passionate member of the developer community, Phil Japikse has been working with .NET since the first betas, developing software for over 35 years, and heavily involved in the agile community since 2005 as well as a Professional Scrum Trainer. Phil is co-author of best-selling books “Pro C# 7” and “Pro C# 8”, the Lead Director for the Cincinnati .NET User’s Group and the Cincinnati Software Architect Group, co-hosted the Hallway Conversations podcast, founded the CincyDeliver conference, and volunteers for the National Ski Patrol. During the day, Phil works as the Director of Consulting and Chief Architect for a boutique consultancy in Cincinnati. Phil always enjoys learning new tech and is always striving to improve his craft. You can follow Phil on twitter via http://www.twitter.com/skimedic and read his blog at http://www.skimedic.com/blog.

Ben Rodriguez

A global technology leader with nearly 20 years of progressive corporate and startup experience who values new challenges, building relationships, and identifying solutions that deliver customer satisfaction. Strong entrepreneurial drive demonstrated through six technologies ventures and multiple product management strategies for data driven initiatives using APIs, and technology diversity pipeline development. Currently, a senior manager spearheading XP development best practices and participating on cloud native journey at a well-known health insurance company in Chicago. I enjoy being the part of the journey to resolve technology problems related to health insurance. You can find me walking around Chicago with a mask and my dog buddy pretending to be climbing mountains.

Arlen D'Arcy

Passionate Software Engineer @ Arity loves technology, loves teaching technology and mentoring people. Arlen is a Chicago native specializing in full stack cloud native design and development.

Lisandra Maioli

Author of the book “Fixing Bad UX” (Packt, 2018) and the chapter “UX for High Performance” for a book on Digital Marketing (ComSchool, 2016), besides reviewing several book in UX, Lisandra Maioli has two decades of a multicultural and multidisciplinary experience in different positions in Digital Communication with focus on UX, working in cross-team projects for large agencies and portals, as well as for small companies, start-ups for clients based in Brazil, US, Italy, Ireland, Germany, China, the Netherlands and UK.

Ian Hamilton

I’m a full stack progressive developer/architect focused on progressive-web, mobile, cloud software. I am driven philosophically as well as technologically, and committed to changing the way IT teams interact with business and ultimately the way software solutions are delivered.

For me, I live that commitment out through collaboration, and how to partner with business and the technology we can together deploy.

What makes the approach different is the symbiotic relationship that is built with the business counterparts. I want that relationship to harvest a mutual understanding so we can deliver on business market edge.

 

Mariano Gonzalez

Mariano is a Chicago-based computer geek originally from Mexico. Over the last years, he has been working with big data technologies such as Hadoop, Cassandra, and Spark, just to mention a few. He has been using the JVM for more than 15 years, implementing multiple kinds of applications for different business fields (insurance, banking, trade shows, and recently IoT). He enjoys sharing his knowledge about JVM and its vast ecosystem with the Chicago tech community.

Dean Wampler

Dean Wampler is an expert in data engineering for scalable streaming data systems and applications of machine learning and artificial intelligence (ML/AI). He is a Principal Software Engineer at Domino Data Lab. Previously he worked at Anyscale and Lightbend, where he worked on scalable ML with Ray and distributed streaming data systems with Apache Spark, Apache Kafka, Kubernetes, and other tools. Dean is the author of several books and reports from O’Reilly. He is a contributor to several open source projects, a frequent conference speaker. He also co-organizes several conferences around the world and several user groups in Chicago. Dean has a Ph.D. in Physics from the University of Washington. Find Dean on Twitter: @deanwampler.

Nolan Grace

Nolan Grace is a Senior Solution Architect at Lightbend who splits his time between helping customers build reactive software and traveling the world tasting food and wine. Nolan is both a certified sommelier as well as a reactive architect. Recently Nolan has been spending most of his time working on and evangelizing Lightbend’s new open source project cloudflow. If you have any restaurant recommendations or if want to talk about distributed systems Nolan would love to chat.

Mark Heckler

Mark Heckler is a Professional Problem Solver and Spring Developer & Advocate at VMware, conference speaker, published author, & Java Champion focusing upon developing innovative production-ready software at velocity for the Cloud. He has worked with key players in the manufacturing, retail, medical, scientific, telecom, and financial industries and various public sector organizations to develop and deliver critical capabilities on time and on budget. Mark is an open source contributor and author/curator of a developer-focused blog (Hecklers in Development, brewing stronger Java) and an occasionally interesting Twitter account (@mkheck).

Brad Vandermoon

• Developer and hands on IT Architect for many years at a Large Insurance\Financial Company
• Work with Java, Open Source, Continuous *, and Agile since 2002 
• Current CloudTraining.io Instructor

Markus Eisele

Markus is a Java Champion, former Java EE Expert Group member, founder of JavaLand, reputed speaker at Java conferences around the world, and a very well known figure in the Enterprise Java world.

Simon Maple

Simon Maple is the VP, Developer Relations and Community at Snyk, a Java Champion since 2014, JavaOne Rockstar speaker in 2014 and 2017, Duke’s Choice award winner, Virtual JUG founder and organiser, and London Java Community co-leader. He is an experienced speaker, having presented at JavaOne, JavaZone, Jfokus, DevoxxUK, DevoxxFR, JavaLand, JMaghreb and many more including many JUG tours. His passion is around user groups and communities. When not traveling, Simon enjoys spending quality time with his family, cooking and eating great food.

Manuel Gonzalez

With 10 years of experience in Graphic, Print, Web and UX/UI Design, Manuel Gonzales has been successfully managing UX/UI teams, collaborating closely to Tech, Delivery and Dev teams in small and complex projects, from different industries, for several companies in Spain and UK.