2014 Invited Speakers Nominations

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Nominations for invited speakers/keynotes for Code4Lib 2014. Please include a description and any relevant links and try to keep the list in alphabetical order. Suggestions will close on August 30, 2013 at midnight (EDT), which will be followed by a community vote. We will contact nominees before the vote to confirm their interest.

Sarah Allen

"Sarah Allen is a serial innovator with a history of developing leading-edge products, such as After Effects, Shockwave, Flash video, and OpenLaszlo. She has a habit of recognizing great and timely ideas, finding talented teams, and creating compelling software. She has led small and large teams and confidently turns vision into reality.


Sarah leads an innovative product strategy, design & development company, Blazing Cloud, and in her spare time works to diversify the Ruby on Rails with RailsBridge, which she co-founded in 2009. In keeping with her belief that programming is a life skill, she also regularly volunteers teaching programming to kids. Sarah believes that open source software provides solid technical foundations and compelling business models. She is an expert with Ruby and Rails and was a member of the OpenLaszlo core team, where she coded in asynchronous Javascript before it was cool."


John Allspaw

John Allspaw (https://twitter.com/allspaw) is the Senior Vice President for Technical Operations at Etsy (http://etsy.com). Prior to that he built infrastructure for Salon, InfoWorld, Flickr, and others. His publications include "Web Operations" and "The Art of Capacity Planning". You can find his blog at http://www.kitchensoap.com/.

As library development teams grow from single programmers writing "glue" scripts to small teams working together on mid size web apps and further to large development shops producing complex and large scale systems, they find themselves struggling with issues of scale. These issues of scale are not just with the systems being built, but with the operations of the team itself. Operations can often be overlooked during the daily routine of project meetings, writing code, fixing bugs, etc. John's insights on operations and capacity planning would be useful to the library development community, particularly for those in departments that are maturing from one or two programmers to mid-size or larger development teams.

Amber Case

Amber Case is a researcher exploring the field of cyborg anthropology and the interaction between humans and technology. She has been featured in Forbes, WIRED, and many other publications, both in the United States and around the world. Her main focus is mobile software, non-visual augmented reality, the future of location, and reducing the amount of time and space it takes for people to connect. Case has spoken at TED on technology and humans and was featured in Fast Company 2010 as one of the Most Influential Women in Technology. She’s worked with Fortune 500 companies at Wieden+Kennedy and on major applications at Vertigo Software. In 2012 she was named one of National Geographic's Emerging Explorers and made Inc Magazine's 30 under 30 with Geoloqi co-founder Aaron Parecki. She is @caseorganic on Twitter. Geoloqi was acquired by global mapping company Esri in October 2012.


Michael Dalessio

Director at Pivotal Labs, co-author of Nokogiri, extreme web scraper, and advocate for pair-programming and Agile development. A sampling of some of his open-source contributions: http://www.daless.io/projects.html

Cory Doctorow

Cory Doctorow (craphound.com) is a science fiction author, activist, journalist and blogger -- the co-editor of Boing Boing (boingboing.net) and the author of young adult novels like HOMELAND, PIRATE CINEMA and LITTLE BROTHER and novels for adults like RAPTURE OF THE NERDS and MAKERS. He is the former European director of the Electronic Frontier Foundation and co-founded the UK Open Rights Group. Born in Toronto, Canada, he now lives in London.


Jeri Ellsworth

Jerrielsworth.com, Jeri Ellsworth is an American entrepreneur and self-taught computer chip designer. She is best known for creating a Commodore 64 emulator within a joystick, in 2004, called C64 Direct-to-TV http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jeri_Ellsworth

Limor Fried

'In 2003, Fried earned her BS in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science (EECS) from MIT. She stayed on, and earned a Master of Engineering in EECS in 2005. She is the founder of Adafruit Industries, as well as the engineer behind the electronic kits sold by the company.

In 2009, she was awarded the Pioneer Award by the Electronic Frontier Foundation for her participation in the open source hardware and software community.

In 2005 Fried began New York-based Adafruit Industries after receiving her master's degree at MIT.

In 2011, Fried was awarded the Most Influential Women in Technology award by Fast Company magazine.

Entrepreneur magazine named Fried "Entrepreneur of the Year" in its January 2013 issue. In 2012 Limor was the only female finalist against 14 other male finalist entrepreneurs. Also in 2012, Fried became the first female engineer featured on the cover of Wired. [3] In an interview with CNET, Fried said, "If there's one thing I'd like to see from this, it would be for some kids say to themselves "I could do that" and start the journey to becoming an engineer and entrepreneur."'


Personal site

Jeff Gothelf

Jeff Gothelf is a product designer who recently published Lean UX: Applying lean principles to improve user experience (O’Reilly 2013).

Sumana Harihareswara

Engineering community manager at Wikipedia. Advisor of the Ada Initiative. Regular in #libtechwomen IRC channel. @brainwane.

Personal site

Keynoted Open Source Bridge

Gene Kim

Gene’s area of passion is helping companies build super-tribes where Development, IT Operations, Product and Project Management and Information Security simultaneously maximize throughput of features from “code complete” to “in production,” without causing chaos and disruption to the IT environment. He’s helped some of the largest Internet properties, such as Microsoft, Yahoo!, AOL and Microsoft companies he’s worked with Microsoft. He loves finding and fixing bottlenecks which impede and frustrate the entire organization, enabling management from each tribe to achieve the greater organizational goals. http://www.realgenekim.me/speaking/

Sarah Lacy

Founder of PandoDaily, tech journalist and author. I (Roy) saw her speak and she was awesome. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sarah_Lacy

Brian Mathews

Brian Mathews is Associate Dean for Learning & Outreach at Virginia Tech. Mathews is the author of The Ubiquitous Librarian[1], about designing better user experiences and the pursuit of use-sensitive libraries. He is the author of the paper, Think Like A Startup[2], which advocates for the concepts of Eric Ries in the library domain.

[1]http://chronicle.com/blognetwork/theubiquitouslibrarian/ [2]http://vtechworks.lib.vt.edu/handle/10919/18649

Jessica McKellar

Jessica Mckellar is "an entrepreneur, software engineer, and open source developer". She is a maintainer for Twisted python library and OpenHatch, "a non-profit dedicated to matching prospective free software contributors with communities, tools, and education". A Director of the Python Software Foundation and an organizer of the Boston Python Meetup, she has successful record of promoting diversity within the Python community and developing great open source projects.

Jessica McKellar and Asheesh Laroia speaking about diversity outreach in the Boston Python User Group

more of her talks

Jessica McKellar was also personally supportive of the Library Code Year Interest Group's work in adapting the Boston Python Workshop for ALA, and helped secure sponsorship from the PSF for this event.

Jennifer Pahlka

Jennifer Pahlka is the founder and executive director of Code for America, currently on leave, serving as Deputy Chief Technology Officer of the United States under CTO Todd Park. She is known for her TED talk, Coding a Better Government. The Oxford Internet Institute awarded her the 2012 Internet and Society Award, Government Technology named her one of 2011’s Doers, Dreamers and Drivers in Public Sector Innovation and the Huffington Post named her the top Game Changer in Business and Technology the same year. She spent eight years at CMP Media where she ran the Game Developers Conference, Game Developer magazine, Gamasutra.com and the Independent Games Festival. Previously, she ran the Web 2.0 and Gov 2.0 events for TechWeb, in conjunction with O'Reilly Media, and co-chaired the successful Web 2.0 Expo.

Jukka Pennanen & Mace Ojala

Jukka Pennanen & Mace Ojala are the primary organizers of the Cycling For Libraries Unconference ( http://www.cyclingforlibraries.org/ )

"Founded in 2011, the Cycling for libraries is an international cycling conference for librarians and library lovers. It aims to advocate libraries and increase awareness of the valuable services and resources that libraries offer to the community."

I was lucky enough to participate in this event last summer and I think it was an incredible experience. I think Jukka and Mace have a great perspective in how to organize a wide encompassing international library community.

Mark Pilgrim

Before committing infocide in 2011, Mark Pilgrim produced five highly regarded books, including Dive Into Python, Dive Into Accessibility, and Dive Into HTML5, as well as one of the more popular blogs for some time, Dive Into Mark. He helped create and promote the Atom standards, and has been an active and persuasive promoter of open source, standards, and accessibility. Although he is mostly offline these days, he is contributing to the Firefox project. And he may be willing to address code4lib because he lives in nearby Cary and because his mother was a librarian.

Wikipedia entry

Speech at Webstock 2011

Daniel Reetz

Daniel Reetz is the mastermind behind http://www.diybookscanner.org/ . It is an incredible community building open source software and hardware for book scanning using affordable consumer equipment. The project has evolved incredibly over the last few years and now include beautifully hackerspace-made scanner kits. He seems like a great speaker and I believe his perspective would be different from the traditional academic/research library focus.

Kathy Sierra

Kathy Sierra has been interested in the brain and artificial intelligence since her days as a game developer (Virgin, Amblin', MGM). She is the co-creator of the bestselling Head First series (finalist for a Jolt Software Development award in 2003, and named to the Amazon Top Ten Editors Choice Computer Books for 2003 and 2004). She is also the founder of one of the largest community web sites in the world, javaranch.com. Kathy's passions are skiing, running, her Icelandic horse, gravity, and her latest favorite thing--Dance Dance Revolution.


David Silver

David Silver is an associate professor of media studies and environmental studies at the University of San Francisco where he teaches classes on media history, digital media production, and green media. David co-directs USF's Garden Project, a freshmen-to-senior living learning community built around an organic garden on campus. He blogs at http://silverinsf.blogspot.com/. He was the keynote at the TRLN Annual Meeting and talked about the importance of the Library as a keystone to his teaching of media studies, the Library as a keystone of collective curiosity and community action, and why we should enable students to contribute back to the Library. Some quotes I tweeted from his talk:

  • "Too often library instruction starts at library databases. Librarians, this has to stop."
  • "I want my seniors to contribute to the library, to give something back."
  • "Whenever there is community curiosity and collective action, that's where the library should be."

I believe his keynote would be motivational in reflecting how what we do in Code4Lib is critical to Libraries support his mission as a professor and researcher, his students, and the community at large. Expect humor, humility, and creativity from David Silver.

Victoria Stodden

She is a co-founder of http://www.RunMyCode.org, an open platform for disseminating the code and data associated with published results, and enabling independent and public cloud-based verification of methods and findings, and an assistant professor of Statistics at Columbia University, and affiliated with the Columbia University Institute for Data Sciences and Engineering. She just recently gave a great keynote at Open Repositories. http://www.stanford.edu/~vcs/Bio.html

Andromeda Yelton

Formerly a developer with Unglue.it, she recently left full-time work there to work to help people learn to code. I (Roy) would love to hear her talk about how to help people break into coding. http://andromedayelton.com/about/

John Unsworth

John Unsworth is the Vice-Provost for Library and Technology Services and Chief Information Officer, Brandeis University. Prior coming to Brandeis, he was Dean of the Graduate School of Library and Information Science (GSLIS) at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign from 2003 to 2012. In addition to being a Professor in GSLIS, at Illinois he also held appointments in the department of English and on the Library faculty. At Illinois he also served as Director of the Illinois Informatics Institute, from 2008 to 2011. http://people.lis.illinois.edu/~unsworth/