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Andrew Bolster

Bolster is a Technologist, founder of multiple technology-based groups and organisations, an award winning researcher, community leader, and an occasional public speaker.

Currently Data Scientist at AlertLogic, using advanced data mining and machine learning to analyse potential hacking and malware attacks on cloud infrastructure.

Founding Director of Farset Labs, Northern Ireland’s First Hackerspace, located in Weavers Court Business Park, Belfast. Farset Labs now provides the technical and entrepreneurial community with a place to share resources, knowledge and experience in a relaxed atmosphere, laying the foundation for the next wave of Northern Irish industry-leading technologists and business leaders.

Data Art: Creative collisions and getting out of your comfort zone

Andrew Gribben

As a former teacher Andrew’s experience has seen him working as a consultant for several startups and publishers. Outside of work he gives seminars on the importance of inclusion, web standards, accessibility and ebook development and is even known to blog about it (occasionally).

Andrew lives in Portadown where he is co-creator and producer of the Ordinary People Podcast. He loves strategy wargames, retro video games, good coffee and building Lego with his wife and kids.

Who cares about accessibility?

Andrew Hiles

Keen techie who enjoys working on the web

Resurrecting the past for a modernised future

Andrew Johnston

Andrew is a Software Tester based in Belfast. With a focus on micro-services based platforms that use Kubernetes and Docker he enjoys tinkering understanding how things work.

In his time at PwC he’s been involved with projects that have ranged from insurance through to swapping collectibles and supply chain traceability

Never stop learning. Everyday’s a school day.

Dev & Test, a Shared Journey!

Angela Lavery

Passionate about tech

Introduction to Azure Machine Learning

Aoibhinn Nic Aoidh

It’s pronounced a-veen.

I’m currently studying for a CyberSecurity A-Level equivalent at Belfast Met. I have being advocating the use Linux and other open source software for ~15 years, and I used to be a regular contributor to the source-based distro Gentoo.

Improve your productivity and go minimal!

Arnaud Roger

A relatively old software developer who worked in many industries - finance, media, security -, with a particular interest in Java, the JVM and performance. He likes to play with byte-code generation and indulges in looking at the ASM generated by hotspot.

Everything you don't want to know about Safepoints

Brian Douglas

Brian Douglas is CEO of Coding Fury. His company specialises in training for Data Science. He is also known as one of the organisers of IoT Belfast, and has a PGCE in Physics, from a former life.

Hands-on with Quantum Computing

Chloe Thompson

I am a aspiring Software Engineer with a wide range of skills from my experience in the IT industry. As a young professional I am passionate about planning and leading events to help educate the local technology community and I love how this enables me to connect with new people. I have a passion for emerging technology, especially AI and AR and if you put me in front of a coffee machine I can make a pretty good flat white.

AI: It's easier than you think

Chris Kitson

Software engineer with over 15 years experience. I’ve spent the last 7 years working in FinTech specialising in UI technologies.

Micro-frontends - reversing the anti-pattern!

Chris Laughlin

Javascript developer based in Belfast N.Ireland. Has been making and breaking the web for years. When I’m not writing setTimeouts I can be found behind the lens of a camera taking nature pictures.

All your packages are belong to us - Protecting your npm dependencies

Chris Nixon

Programming Language Nerd for a long time

Introduction to Fuzz testing with AFL

Ciaran Conliffe

Ciaran is a technologist at Liberty IT, where he’s worked on everything from automated application security to online customer service portals. Currently he is the technical lead for their Risk & Security unit, and is doing his best to bring user-centric thinking to the world of information security.

Ciaran is also a writer with a regular history column at, and has found that studying history helps to drive the cynicism about human nature that you need for working in IT security. It was through this column that he was persuaded to give a talk about the history of Phoenix Park, which improbably led to him speaking at technical conferences from Boston to London over the last two years. In his very occasional spare time he enjoys sleep and looking at pictures of cats.

Planes, Trains and Automobiles: The Internet of Very Big Things

Claire Wilgar

Claire Wilgar is a frontend developer with a passion for accessibility, currently working for Bazaarvoice Belfast.

She is an avid speaker at conferences & meetups, and organises local events and groups such as Women Techmakers Belfast, Women in Tech Lean In Belfast, Global Game Jam and BelfastJS.

Claire is also the Community Manager for Farset Labs and has worked with the CoderDojo and other local and education events.

Web components - Without your Favourite Framework

Dan Callahan

Dan Callahan is a Developer Advocate at Mozilla, where he works to ensure that the future of the Web is driven by the needs of real-world developers. He also educates developers about emerging technologies that are transforming the Web into a more capable, resilient, and interactive medium. He previously led the Mozilla Persona project.

Unphishable Authentication with WebAuthn

Darren Broderick

I’m a 28 year old senior software engineer living in Lisburn. I’ve been a professional engineer for 6 years, working at Liberty Information Technology (LIT) which is a IT software company for Liberty Mutual Insurance.

I started a few years before a massive agile transformation came my way and switched my technical focus from .Net to Java and react/redux/typescript and onto AWS services before getting my certification.

Cloud First - Building Connections

Darren Forsythe

7 years of working on JVM applications and beyond. From monolithic IBM Websphere application to Spring Boot centric microservices.

Making Secure Applications the path of least resistance

Desy Kristianti

Desy Kristianti is a Technology Consultant at Deloitte. She specialises in Enterprise Integrations using middleware tools such as MuleSoft and Dell Boomi to create a network of applications. She has delivered large digital transformation programmes building integrations to reduce architecture complexity and deliver more customer centric business strategies. Desy is also a City Leader at Women Who Code (WWCode) Belfast, a non-profit organisation dedicated to inspiring women to excel in the technology sector.

How to Give a Compelling Technical Talk

Diarmaid McGowan

Diarmaid McGowan is an enthusiastic Senior Software Developer working with Overstock Ireland in #SiliconSligo and enjoying the Wild Atlantic Way.

Twelve Factor App

Eamon Scullion

Kotlin fan specialising in JVM and Android.

Easy integration testing with TestContainers

Emanuil Tolev

Emanuil is a Community Engineer with Elastic, the company behind the open source Elastic Stack (Elasticsearch, APM, Kibana, Beats, and Logstash). He used to be a freelance web developer + ops lead and ran a small open science web dev consultancy with partners for several years. Interested in mentorship, inclusion, small businesses, archery and always curious about how the world works in detail.

Anxiety at work - a vision for an empathetic and resilient workplace

Hiring a Private Investigator for your app: Application Performance Monitoring

Ewa Grabowiecka

Career changer from physical to digital bugs. II am now a front end developer with a passion for building communities

Guided Conversation - Junior developers

Garth Gilmour

Garth Gilmour is the Head of Learning at Instil, a software company in Belfast that specialises in Kotlin. Starting back in 1999 he first taught C++ to C coders, then Java to C++ coders, then C# to Java coders and now teaches everything to everybody, but prefers to work in Kotlin. He speaks frequently at meetups, presents at conferences and co-organises the Belfast BASH series of developer events. When not at the whiteboard he coaches Krav Maga, lifts heavy weights and fights nerf wars with his kids.

The Bestiary of Pure FP

Geoff Macartney

Developer with long experience in the telecoms and internet sectors, working in Belfast and internationally, writing mainly in C++ and Java, and, these days, Go. Committer at the Apache Software Foundation and current Chair of the Apache Brooklyn Project Management Committee.

Why don't we encrypt it? A practical guide.

Glenn Russell

I’ve spent several years working with people and technology, sometimes both at the same time, building platforms and applications with security and maintenance in mind. I love working with new things, and my dog, not necessarily in that order.

Secrets and the tools that keep them

Iancho Dimitrov

Iancho has been in the software industry for 20 years and considers himself to be an IT professional with business affinity, or the other way around. He has gone through many operational roles – software engineer, business analyst, software architect, project and program manager, CTO & COO, Business-IT Consultant. For more than 15 years he has also been dealing with sales, marketing and key account management. His current interests are focused on how innovation can be effectively managed and applied in big organizations and on the enterprise application of Blockchain, IoT, Artificial Intelligence and Big Data technologies.

In his VP role at Musala Soft Iancho covers both business and operational responsibilities. He leads the Business Development team that drives new clients and projects acquisition and sales. He has also been responsible for assuring the business and operational success of the company’s strategic clients, including by personally managing the Projects & Service delivery for some of the company’s key clients like Deutsche Telekom, Commerzbank, Telenor, T-Systems, Bulgarian Ministry of Interior and others. Iancho is also responsible for the company’s growth in the area of innovation and emerging technologies.

Iancho enjoys sharing knowledge and experience - and his talks are focused on people, their professional and career development and also on the intersection of technology, business, management and innovation. Conferences where he has spoken recently include Confoo (Montreal), EclipseCon Europe (Ludwigsburg), Innotech Summit (Stockholm), Smart Home Day (Darmstadt), Wearables Barcamp (Darmstadt), ISTA Con (Sofia), DEB.BG All-in-one (Sofia), SIBMI (Berlin), Balkan BA Conference (Sofia), Hack Conf (Sofia), Muffin Conference (Sofia, Skopje), Meet the Masters (Skopje).

Against all odds - a team contributing full-time to Open Source projects in your company

Jason McBride

15+ years in technology working in Java building enterprise solutions with multinational corporations.

Enterprise API Strategy

Joakim Kennedy

Joakim Kennedy is the Threat Intel Manager for Anomali Research. His job involves playing with malware, tracking threat actors and everything else around threat intelligence.

Go Under the Hood: Learning Go the Hard Way

Joan McAleer

Joan a has a diverse career spanning 14 years with experience in delivery of large scale financial enterprise systems, product development and integration software. Currently a software development manger for Bazaarvoice and mother to 3 children. She is very passionate about developing people’s careers especially women in tech.

Proofing your career for a year off

Joe McCrea

I’m a recent graduate and Junior Developer who loves building new and interesting tools in Python.

Bridging the gap in Air-Gapped systems

John Mahon

Student studying Software Engineering at Belfast Metropolitan College. Currently doing his best to learn as much as he can.

Lost In A Sea of Opportunity

Jonathan McDowell

Jonathan is a software architect who knows just enough about electronics to annoy hardware engineers. He has an interest in building systems that respect the freedom of their users, and has been an active member of the Debian project for many years. He believes privacy and security should be considered from the outset of any project, and that not doing so does a disservice to users. Jonathan currently lives in Belfast working for a local technology company, but has spent time living in England and California working for various multinationals.

Building a personal home automation setup

Jordan Jones

Jordan is a Software Engineer at Liberty IT In his spare time he plays around with code, video games, and guitars - all to varying degrees of proficiency.

How to survive an AI hackathon while knowing very little about AI


I’m Kenigbolo Meya Stephen, Full Stack Software Engineer working as the Frontend Engineering Team Lead at BCaster OY. Formerly Arch Conveyer/Community Manage of CodeAfrique (now Reload), a not-for-profit weekend intensive software engineering bootcamp for underrepresented groups in IT based out of Estonia.

During my free time I sometimes volunteer as an open source developer for, play golf and coach football (soccer as Americans call it). I also have a nick for writing tiny javascript modules on npm to help a few developers out there so they need not rewrite same utilities that we all might need (usually it’s the case that we’re only a handful needing those so there’s really nothing too worry much about).

Continuous Documentation - This best time is now

Kailyn Johnson

Kailyn is a Cyber Threat Intelligence Analyst at Anomali. Her work focuses on strategic intelligence conducting research and analysis of cyber security threats and threat actors from a geopolitical and social sciences perspective. Her efforts help customers gain greater context of the cyber threat landscape and implications of past/present/future cyber threats. She has previously worked for a security and risk assessment intelligence platform, as well as a think tank that focused on strategic forecasting for Iraq.

Being Intelligence-Led: The Necessity for Threat Intelligence in Cyber Security

Kathy Ayers

Born in Wales, raised in the US, resident of Northern Ireland for the past 20 years. I first learned to programme working as an intern for NASA (FORTRAN!). I enjoyed the experience so much, I promptly went to university and studied political science. I’ve worked as a public policy lecturer, bookstore clerk, accounting assistant at a major film studio, policy officer for a political party and gave out lottery grants for almost 15 years. Then I ran away and joined the circus or rather, did a conversion course at QUB in software development and got hired as an analytics engineer in the data science division of a really big US insurance company. I really do love data, want to mathematically model human behavior, and just wish I was better at everything except maybe making cocktails. I am content with my margaritas. And the things I do with vodka, a martini glass, and my cocktail shaker.

Collaboration in Practice: How an open source ethos delivers data science

Kevin Cowan

Kevin is the Director of Engineering at ShopKeep Belfast. He has also worked at Amphion, Andor, Pace and Cirdan. He has been coding since a ZX Spectrum+ was a thing.

Transforming Engineering Culture

Kevin Keenan

An ex-academic researcher, with a Ph.D in computational evolutionary genetics, Kevin Keenan has been working in industry for the last 5 years. After spending some time in the cyber-security world, applying exploratory data analysis and classification models to network and log data for the purpose of detecting vulnerabilities/breaches, Kevin is currently working in the financial service industry where he is primarily focused on helping to deliver an industry-leading analytics platform.

Rapid development of complex analytics solutions using event sourcing and microservices architecture

Konstantinos Anastasiou

Electrical and Computer Engineer turned Data Scientist.

5 years in Engineering School 10 months Full-Stack developer 4 years aspiring Data Scientist

From ENG to DS: An engineer's path to Data Science

Kulbushan Shah

Being an international student from Queen’s University is an added value to my learning skill. Since I am interested in exploring the field of Data Science to know about how AI, Machine Learning facets assist us in everyday life, I lean forward to study these subjects. As a Master of Science in Data Analytics student, I am currently working on analyzing the data of Car Manufacture, Credit Card Fraud and Trading Market. Being a Machine Learning enthusiast, I intend to build my own product.

What is Machine Learning and why it is important?

Laura McFadden

Laura is an Arts Graduate who completed an MSc in Professional Software Development at University of Ulster in 2015 and is now a Senior Engineer at Flexera in Belfast. She educates engineers on common sense approaches to testing which enables teams to own their own quality.

Testing Microservices in a Global Engineering Team

Luke Donnelly

Luke is a graduate of the games program at Ulster University. There he developed a tool for reconstruction of 3D audio signals. At axial3D he applies those skills to reconstruct 3D medical imaging data and display it in the platform. He is funded by InnovateUK in a Knowledge Transfer Partnership with Ulster University. James is a physics graduate from Trinity College Dublin and has been working on axial3D’s machine learning algorithms. He is working in collaboration with University College Dublin’s School of Medicine on MRI analysis of hearts funded by InterTradeIreland. Together we have developed a number of key parts of the axial3D platform working on data integration and visualisation. We will talk about the tools we have used as well as the results of our work to date which have been presented at a number of international conferences, most recently VizBi.

What does a scanner see?: Visualising anatomy in 3D

Mark Allan

Mark is an Azure MVP based on the beautiful North Coast. He’s been a professional developer since the 1980s and freelance since 2000, working on a myriad of projects for everything from local startups and councils to multinational corporations and federal government departments. While something of a technology omnivore, particularly if it’s new and shiny, he currently tends towards Xamarin and React front-ends sitting on top of scalable Azure services, using a functional and reactive approach. In his spare time he’s a STEM Ambassador, CoderDojo mentor, Barefoot volunteer and organiser of the Northern Ireland Developer Conference.

Serverless vs Containers

Martin McKeaveney

Full stack web developer, open source contributor and general JS nerd passionate about SaaS and the web platform.

Truly Grasping Async and Concurrency Patterns in JavaScript

Matthew Wilson

Full stack developer and husband to Rebekah, who thinks I just copy and paste all day. She knows me too well!

Can a developer live in the “post PC” era

Michael Hughes

Cut his teeth as a BOFH in the early 2000s and found a passion for trying to break things. After teaching himself how to code (badly) he moved to Northern Ireland in 2010 to pursue a career as an automation engineer.

Currently enjoying his time at Bazaarvoice being encouraged to try new things outside his usual comfort zone like speaking here.

Microservices, monorepos, versioning, CI/CD and me

Michael Sage

I’m a 21-year-old software developer, living in Belfast, working for Allsop.

From Acting to Angular: How Transferable Skills have made me a Better Software Developer

Minu Beena Sisupal

Minu is an enthusiastic, energetic and experienced IT professional, who worked in one of prominent global IT solution providers in India. She is currently doing Data Analytics Masters at Queens University. She likes to participate in Hackathon and like to do presentations on topics in Data Science, MS Excel and Software Testing. She is an excellent motivator and always motivated her team to learn new things. She believes in the tag line : Never Too Late To Study.

News Analytics in 30 Minutes


Peter Pito is a technical lead at Deloitte Digital with over 20 years of experience designing and delivering software products.

An agilist practitioner, a bit of developer, a bit of manager, curious by nature; he likes to understand why things work, constantly reminded how little he knows.

Peter has worked as a software developer, consultant and managing director across a wide variety of domains and technologies. His focus is on helping software teams deliver high quality software predictably.

US Marines, Agile and heuristics

Patrick Blake

9+ years hands on technologist working Java, IBM Products and open source frameworks to deliver solutions.

Enterprise API Strategy

Paul Barrett

Mainly frontend development & web design but also 3D modelling, animation and game development.

Godot Game Engine

Paul Breen

The world’s okayest programmer

What should a normal dev know about web security?

Peter McConnell

Laziness has fundamentally driven Peter to automation which he has used over the course of the past 15 years to try and avoid doing any real work himself. Unfortunately there’s always something else that needs automated so 15 years on he’s still building his robot army.

Terraform 101 - a practical example

Richard Gibson

Richard has over 14 years experience as a developer and consultant. Most of this time has been spent building back-end, distributed systems in Erlang, Scala and Kotlin. His passion is for Pure Functional Programming, which he is eager to share with anyone who will listen. He regularly presents on FP at conferences and meetups and is an active contributor to Open Source projects. Richard started his teaching career with Instil three years ago, delivering advanced workshops in Kotlin and Scala. In his spare time he likes running, especially over the odd mountain when he gets a chance.

The Bestiary of Pure FP

Robert McGibbon

I graduated last summer from Queen’s with a degree in physics. Since then I’ve been working as a software engineer at Bazaarvoice.

Making Python doubly fast

Roger Simms

How many codepaths must a dev walk down, before you he can call it complete. And how much C must that dev write, before he can stop grinding his teeth. After deciding that working with at risk youth was too easy, Roger has devoted his career to answering these and other questions

API first development with DDD, Go & Goa

Saoirse McCann

I graduated from Queen’s University Belfast in June 2017 with a BEng in Computer Science. My passion for programming significantly increased when I moved to Smashfly, where I started working as a front-end engineer.

State Management with Akita JS

Simon Whittaker

Simon is Cyber Security Director at Vertical Structure, an established company providing cyber security related services and training. The majority of his work involves consulting with companies to perform security and penetration testing and helping improve processes and procedures.

He also runs training events to help developers improve their secure coding practices, especially in Cloud applications.

All of Simon’s work is based around the principles of Prepare, Protect, Persist® - whereby clients are prepared to encounter security threats through training, protected through identifying / resolving issues and persisting the resilience through certification and ongoing consulting.

Compromising AWS for fun and profit


Stefan McShane

Stefan has worked on projects which include everything from enterprise mobile applications, to automated ultra-low latency software-defined networking in datacenters across the globe. As the Director of Software Development at Options IT, a Belfast-based company who received a $100m investment, he is working on transforming the MSP sector to bring it up to 21st Century standards.

Produce Early, Produce Often

Stephen Rushe

Stephen has failed to move to a cat island since last year, so has returned. He is partial to cats (unsurprisingly), tea, and sumo, and will happily look at any pictures of your cats that you care to share. He has never met a pun he didn’t like. He wonders whether this blurb will be read out before his talk, and how the presenter will deal with the word “onomatopoeia” in that case. He clearly hasn’t learned how to write biographies since last year, and still doubts the wisdom of writing about himself in the third person.

Engineering - The Movie

Theo Tsompanidis

Theo is a Senior Software Engineer, working for PwC - New Ventures & Blockchain team, in Belfast.

He works with cloud technologies, in an agile environment, with focus on micro-services and areas of expertise, software development and infrastructure.

His prior experience is in FinTech and Healthcare Research.

Dev & Test, a Shared Journey!

Tina Lauro Pollock

Tina is the co-director at Brain and Nerd, an independent game studio based in the Pixel Mill in Ormeau Baths. When she’s not bossing around the other half of the Brain and Nerd duo, Brendan Drain, Tina is found writing about tech or games at Sync NI and Massively Overpowered. Tina recently won the Community Award at the NI Game Dev Awards 2018 and her studio’s first game, Predestination, took home Game of the Year too.

Things I wish I understood when I became a game dev

Tristan Smith

Tristan moved from NASA Ames Research Center to Signifyd in 2015. where he has worked remotely as an engineer, team lead, and manager. He is excited to be in Belfast as part of the company’s next chapter.

Do I have to choose between my team and my work?

Victoria Sloan

I joined the SmashFly team in February this year and have worked as a Front End Developer since graduating from Ulster University in 2017.

Designers and Developers: No longer a house divided

Zeki Kucuk-Kose

Zeki has over 3 years of experience developing cutting edge technology solutions. Most recently, this has involved working with various Blockchain technologies at the Rakuten Blockchain Lab in Belfast and previously in FinTech at Deloitte Digital. In his spare time he is an advocate for improving mental health support in Northern Ireland and beyond.

Using Progressive Web Apps to Code for Good

Zoe Gadon-Thompson

Zoe loves creative problem solving and getting massive headaches, especially when it focuses on things that put her out of her comfort zone and force her to learn new things like maths and physics in programming.

Her best accomplishment to date has been the personal and professional progress she has made in the last year, which include studying a foundation degree in software engineering, organising numerous events, ~10 public speaking events, and (almost) successfully raising a toddler. Also, getting a job as a professional nerd at Flax & Teal.

She tries to be actively involved in the Belfast tech community, organising events and encouraging other organisers to make events family friendly.

Data Processing in PHP, and Other Natural Disasters

chris mccabe

Having been involved in startups for 10 years. Chris is former CTO at Pearlai, a shopping centre loyalty and analytic product being rolled out across shopping centres both here in Ireland and across Europe. Chris is also passionate about public speaking as a skill and is the current area director for Toastmasters in Belfast, an organisation that teaches public speaking and leadership skills. Chris is part of Newry digital which is aimed at growing a software community in Newry and the surrounding areas

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