What do blockchain, IoT, and cookies have in common? …Chariot Day 2018!

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At Chariot Solutions we put on a lot of conferences and training seminars. We believe it’s a great way for us to stay involved in Philadelphia’s robust technology community. We’ve enjoyed many successful years hosting Emerging Technologies for the Enterprise (PhillyETE) as well as more targeted conferences like the recent IoT Fusion. Of all our events, there is one that we get just a bit extra excited about—We call it Chariot Day—a one-day, internal conference put on by Chariot, exclusively for Chariot team members!.

Below are some brief descriptions of the talks that were given this year to give you an idea of the variety of skills and personality that make up our awesome team!

Socrates once said “The only true wisdom is in knowing you know nothing about blockchain”

Ok, maybe I added the part about blockchain—it seems that the more I learn about it the more I realize there is soooo much more to learn. Luckily our resident blockchain guru, Anatoly Polinsky, has a knack for explaining the very complex in a digestible way—he enlightened us all in his talk The World of Blocks and Chains.


Your programming language might hate the environment!

In a talk titled Green Programming, Andrea O. K. Wright (known around here as A-OK) taught us about the vast improvements happening in the world of eco-friendly software development. Even now there are changes developers can make, both in the tools they choose and with things like the data structures they utilize, that would make an immediate difference for our environment. So consider this a call to all developers to go hug a tree(structure) #dadjoke

Hard     it can be     asynchronous programming     to learn

Will Vuong guided us through his Adventures in Async with a Synchronous Brain. It was especially interesting for me to hear how an engineer as talented and experienced as Will still looks for ways to challenge himself to rethink his approach to a project—he said “it was like rewiring my own brain.” He’s not afraid to talk about the mistakes he made along the journey and how they ultimately led to a superior product.


Alexa can be a real jerk!!!

Our very own CTO, Aaron Mulder, went toe to toe with Alexa (into which he breathed some very sarcastic life) in this thoroughly entertaining presentation about Building Serverless Apps in AWS. Not only did we learn a complex subject in a very simple way, but we had tons of fun doing it!


The power of simplicity

Dan Boykis gave us a great primer on the power of Clojure Transducers and how incorporating them into his work had a huge impact. This method of transforming data makes code more reusable, less prone to errors, and it can speed up delivery! Dan told us that he was surprised how simple it was to learn and it really changed the way he programs in a small yet powerful way.

LoRa likes long distance relationships

Long Range, Low Power (LoRa) wireless communication technology is a relatively new entrant into the IoT space. It offers very-long-range transmissions with very low power consumption. Don Coleman, who literally co-wrote the books on Bluetooth and NFC, gave us a great overview of the technology and how it fits into the current landscape of similar technologies. He also showed off some of the fun prototypes he’s built—his talk was titled Long Range IoT with LoRa.


Looking back gives you regrets but looking forward, opportunities

There’s always a new hot thing in the software development world. Some are flashes in the pan and some turn out to have a profound impact on our industry and how we build the wonderful technologies of the future. It is part of our job as a software consultancy to stay on top of those new things and predict which will have staying power. In his talk, Look at you, Vue / oh hello, GraphQL, Ken Rimple walked us through a couple of the newer technologies that appear to have some real promise.


Design; I do not think it means what you think it means

Design isn’t just about beauty; it’s about solving business challenges and improving the entire experience of a product or service. Design firms are being bought-up by technology companies at an alarming rate. Design-led companies are outperforming the S&P by over 200%! In my talk, Good Design is Good Business, I talked about how design is becoming a bottom line investment and how some companies are cashing in!


All technology talks should come with cookies!

Sometimes our after-hours passions come with benefits like chocolate malt cookies or triple walnut bread! Rich Isaacs, besides being an accomplished engineer, is also a phenomenal baker. He gave us a crash course and shared some interesting facts about the art and science of baking—including some samples of his work. Easily the most delicious talk of the day!

Chariot Day is an opportunity for Charioteers to share the things that they are most passionate about with other members of the Chariot family. Some talks are about technologies we are pioneering on client projects and some are about a side project that someone is doing to scratch their own itch. Chariot Day gives us a chance to cross-pollinate ideas and a chance to blow off some steam and hang out with folks we don’t get to see every day. Charioteers are life-long learners and this is a chance for everyone to revel in our community of like-minded people. Here’s looking forward to next year!