SPEAKERS

Here is our fantastic lineup of speakers for the 2012 conference:

KEYNOTE SPEAKER:

Alan Michas

Alan Michas

@alanmichas

I was born in Germiston and realized as soon as I was born that I really didn't want to grow up in a small town so at age 4 days I persuaded my parents to move to Johannesburg. I started programming at Wits in 1970 using Fortran IV and was immediately hooked by the development bug.

In 1973 I got a job at a computer bureau who also used Fortran IV and also COBOL, Assembler and RPG. We had an IBM 360 with Punch Cards, Paper Tape, Mag Tapes, a line printer and a few hard disk drives and I spent many sleepless nights punching cards, compiling, linking and debugging my core dumps and generally having a ball.

In 1979 I acquired my first micro-computer, an IBM 5110 with a 5" monitor, 8" floppy diskettes, 32K RAM and IBM Basic and I developed an accounting system for the medical profession.

I eventually ended up at my current employer in 1997 as an IT Manager but have never given up on my passion which is programming.

SESSION SPEAKERS:

Garren Smith

Garren Smith

@garrensmith
blog
(Red Comet Labs, www.RedCometLabs.com)

After qualifying as an electrical engineer, Garren entered the world of embedded development and .Net solutions. Garren soon started exploring other development platforms and environments. He has also worked as an Agile consultant. He has developed a passion for Ruby and server-side JavaScript using Node.js. Garren is the founder of Red Comet Labs where he tries to put all that he learns into writing great software (and playing xbox).

Robert MacLean

Robert MacLean

@RMacLean
(BB & D, http://www.bbd.co.za)

Nestled in a typical open plan development office at BBD, you will find Robert MacLean’s desk where this passionate technology specialist is often working on the latest and greatest technology from Microsoft.
This desk is often vacant as he can often be found presenting, demo’ing, networking or drinking free beer at the many conferences, events, user groups & communities.
His highlights include a son capable of playing games on Xbox, but not toilet trained (yet) & winning the Microsoft Most Valuable Professional (MVP) of the Year in 2011.
When not at work or at community events he can be found still coding for his many personal projects (that he hopes will bring him fame and fortune or at least a thank you from a person who has benefited from them) or for Microsoft through his involvement in the Microsoft Rangers.

William Brander

William Brander

@WilliamBZA
(BB & D, http://www.bbd.co.za)

William Brander is based in Johannesburg, sunny South Africa and works full-time at BBD. He has a MSc in Computer Science and Applied Maths and is currently working towards a PhD in Neural Networks and Swarm technology... assuming he ever settles on a topic. He has been passionate about IT and programming for almost as long as he can remember. His very first program simply printed the lines to Roald Dahl's Augustus Gloop poem on the screen. Exciting stuff, but we all have to start somewhere! Since then, He's used his passion for programming to earn spare money, feeding more and more into an unhealthy obsession with problem solving.

His current techno interests are focused on structuring web applications correctly, always striving to improve and looking for ways to do things better.

Steven McDonald

Steven McDonald

@stevenmcd_code
(Chase Software, http://www.chasesoftware.co.za)

Sadly I am not a ninja, a rockstar or a guru in any way shape or form. I have been in the development field for 7 years now having started in VB.Net and quickly moving over to C#. I've had the luck of working with and for some extremely talented people in my career and continue to do so with the lads at Chase Software. I mostly work with ExtJS, C# and I am digging into Ruby, Rails and a host of other open source technologies.

I have a wife, a daughter and too many overactive Huskies. I am a massive football supporter, lover of music and gamer.

Marc Heiligers

Marc Heiligers

@marcheiligers
(Mad Mimi, http://www.madmimi.com)

Marc Heiligers has been programming ever since his grandfather got him that Commodore 64 when he was just 10 years old. Since then he's studied Computer Science, worked in desktop and web development using .Net and built web-based GIS applications used by companies such as ACSA. He made the switch to Ruby two years ago coming to it via the Prototype.js JavaScript library, which he thinks is an unusual route.
He is now the Chief of Technology at Mad Mimi, where he spends his time solving scaling issues and developing new features. In the past he has developed a whole series of Prototype-based widgets, the most downloaded of which is still Widget.Fader, much to his dismay.

Jarrod Hermer

Jarrod Hermer

@JarrodHermer
www.JarrodHermer.com
(Microsoft)

Jarrod has been involved with computers since before the Internet, cutting his teeth on the ZX Spectrum.
Today he holds a BSc in Electrical Engineering.
Jarrod has a passion for his bicycle and all things geeky, he enjoys creating awesome services using his coding powers.

Peter Munnings

Peter Munnings

@PeterMunnings
(Developer, Dariel Solutions, http://www.DarielSolutions.co.za)

Peter Munnings graduated from UCT (Elec Engineering) in 1992. He immediately got stuck into writing applications at Eskom. Back then it was getting csv files off the mainframe and processing them in SQL 4.21. After a brief stint at Training Connection, Peter helped start NewSolutions Consultants. Over the years he has worked on many Enterprise systems and is currently with Dariel Solutions, based at FirstRand bank Group Treasury.

Peter is passionate about developing great software, training people to create great software and loves the current explosion of devices, design patterns, social networks and cloud platforms and the opportunities that all of those are bringing.

Johann de Swardt

Johann de Swardt

@MightyStassen
(Aitako Consulting, http://www.aitako.com)

Johann de Swardt started tinkering with programming in BASIC and Pascal around the innocent age of 10; this was thanks to his dad, with whom he journeyed through the wonders of the earliest versions of MS DOS on his trusty Olivetti M24. He often wondered how the hell we ended up with what we have today if everything evolved from those technologies.
After studying a bit and partying a lot, his first real job involved writing code in C# with the first version of .NET on a big ERP system and fetching coffee for @simonstewart. After a few formative and incredibly entertaining years at his first job, he moved into the great big world of corporate software development and after about another 5 years he realised that filling in TPS reports and writing boring business code that should really have been generated wasn't really his thing.
In 2009 he started Aitako Consulting, a forward thinking consulting company which prides itself in providing quality software solutions and building easy to use and pretty to look at user interfaces which offer users an effortless experience whilst making them more productive. Since he's always had an eye for UI design and a love for interaction design, all of this comes quite naturally.
He is currently working hard to shift the focus of the company towards taking on guidance and mentorship engagements with new clients and providing advice to partner companies regarding user interface design, interaction design, front-end architecture, spatial integration and process optimisation.
He likes to think that he can play guitar and in his spare time he can often be found making the valves on his amplifier glow eerily while the neighbourhood cats scatter like kids when you are dishing out chores. He also enjoys pretending that he is Heston Blumenthal, sometimes quite successfully; he might add. He lives in the part of Johannesburg where too many people sound like Lucy Hirsch. He shares his domain with his awesome wife and their two cute and cuddly Persian cats. He is very NSFW and not a vegetarian. You can follow him on Twitter at @mightystassen, at your own risk.

Pieter Germishuys

Pieter Germishuys

@pgermishuys
blog
(www.pieterg.com)

Business Software Developer by day, stuck in the trenches of ASP.NET Webforms. Escaping to the joys of ASP.NET MVC at night!
Pieter started blogging about game development in 2005 and founded MDXInfo and XNAInfo later which was focussed on tutorials on how to create games.
In 2008, Pieter discovered ASP.NET MVC and divorced ViewState. As a token of his appreciation, he created an open source blog engine called Subtle using MVC and now hosts his blog (http://www.pieterg.com) on it.

MC/ORGANISER:

Simon Stewart

Simon Stewart

@simonstewart
(Chief Architect, Broken Keyboards Software, www.brokenkeyboards.com)

Pursuer of Mindfulness and founder of FindFreeWiFi and FindABookShop.

I've been running Broken Keyboards Software for 12 successful years and we're hiring!

3 degrees from Kevin Bacon.