Selected Talks and Essays


Occasionally, I Say Things of General Interest

2019-05-22: Embracing Change as an Organization

Presentation on how a 500-person organization can stay agile and embrace change.

2015-12-18: Abstraction, or, The Gift of Our Weak Brains

"Our brains are naturally limited. This can be a curse, or it can be a gift, depending on how you look at it."

2014-05-06: Immersion

"Nothing is hidden, everything is transparent, and you are in the driver’s seat."

2013-10-02: enterprise-fu, or, How To Succeed in Business Like A Ninja Samurai

Subversive lessons from two decades spent in enterprisey companies.

2013-09-20: History of Nokogiri (slides) (video)

The history of a successful OSS project, along with humorous stories and lessons learned. This talk, given multiple times, is presented here in its final version from GoGaRuCo 2013.

Some Things Are For a Narrower Audience

2018-02-21: Cloud Foundry Overview

In an interview published on the Software Engineering Daily podcast, I talk about Cloud Foundry, Pivotal, and a potpourri of other topics.

2017-05-24: ruby values

A meditation by an aged software engineer on the principles and values learned from the Ruby community, and how the GORUCO conference is changing along with the community.

2015-05-28: why you're in the right place at the right time

A talk given to CUNY students and recent grads about the importance of community in shaping a career.

2014-10-10: Agile Inceptions 101

An internal "Core Practice" talk given at Pivotal Labs.

And Some Things are Pretty Esoteric

2016-03-20: Making a Useful C++ Buildpack

In which I smash together C++ and the cloud native vision of "here is my source code / run it on the cloud for me / i do not care how"

2010-03-09: Stupid XML Tricks

Introduction to OSS projects Loofah, Lorax and McBean to modify, compare and transform HTML and XML documents. Presented at NYC.rb.