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We’re bringing the community powered EE CONF to Minneapolis, MN for even more inspiration, learning, and fun. EE CONF 2019 features two days of top-notch speakers in two tracks plus optional hands-on workshops. Come join us at EE CONF 2019!

Tickets are on sale now!

Enter to Win the EEConf 2019 Awards

Want a chance to be recognized for your work? Submit to the EEConf 2019 awards and you could win! You or your company must be a speaker, sponsor, or attendee of EEConf 2019 to submit your site or add-on. You may enter as many sites, add-ons, or categories as you wish. Good luck!

Speakers

Oleg Abramov
Oleg Abramov
Technical Program Manager, WiseUpStudio

How To Lead a Remote Team Effectively

Today we are living in the age of a remote workforce. The Internet and globalization are erasing the borders between cities and countries. And if you decide to accept remote teams for your business, you need to know effective practices for successful management of a remote or virtually-based team. Special if you have the cross-border, multicultural team in many time zones. In this presentation, we’ll go over some things to keep in mind when leading your remote teams and making sure you don’t lose touch with your employees, and manage to retain the cohesiveness that keeps you together.

Bio

Oleg Abramov
Technical Program Manager, WiseUpStudio

Oleg Abramov is a technical team lead, project manager and software developer living in Charleston, SC. For the last 12 years, Oleg working with multi-cultures virtual and on-site teams. When away from the workplace, he prefers to spend time with his family, do swimming and running races. Most known in the EE community by the nickname - Max Lazar.

Ari Banerjee
Ari Banerjee
Consumer51

Increase your ROI with these 5 powerful everyday words

Words matter. We know that. But, what if you could quantify the value of the words you use to determine ROI? In this presentation, I will show you how making simple changes to your everyday vocabulary can drive massive returns for your personal and business growth. How do I know this? Before I founded my company, built teams, landed clients, I spent well over 10,000 hours as a copywriter, helping brands connect with consumers using the right words. I learned through firsthand experience how words could shape opinions, change perceptions, and transform actions. This is not a course on copywriting, however. I will not teach you how to write a great headline in this course. What I will provide you with is just 5 words that when used correctly can transform your life. These are everyday words you are already using. Now learn when and how to use these words and pay attention to how they drive your ROI.

Bio

Ari Banerjee
Consumer51

Joanna Bergdoll
Joanna Bergdoll
Director of Operations, Immerge

People are More Important than Code

Technology is meant to make life easier and to connect people; however, the complexities of creating and using technology have a tendency to disconnect people. Working in technology, for over 15 years and specifically in web for the last 10 years, I learned one lesson that even the best of us can forget - People are more important than code. From the people who need the website or web app (and their end users) to the developers who ultimately build it, every person who the technology touches is valuable.

Bio

Joanna Bergdoll
Director of Operations, Immerge

Joanna Bergdoll is a people and relationship-centered person who brings over 15 years of diverse and extensive experience to her role as Director of Operations. She began her career in technology as a technical writer, teaching herself the systems for the training that she developed. Her years of experience with customers has made her an empathetic leader who focuses on relationships. Joanna lives in Virginia with her husband and two children.

Kandarp Bhatt
Kandarp Bhatt
Founder & CEO, ZealousWeb

Taking Freelancing to the Next Level, Starting Your Own ExpressionEngine Agency

Kandarp will share the step by step strategies required, in the transition from being a freelancer to create your dream agency for all those who have an entrepreneurial bug within. His session will guide us to actionable tips on: 

  • Mindset change
  • The right time to shift from freelance to a creative agency
  • How ExpressionEngine can help accomplish this transition
  • The required critical support system 

Bio

Kandarp Bhatt
Founder & CEO, ZealousWeb

Kandarp is a technocrat by heart. Technology excites and fuels his endeavour. In 18 years of his professional life, he has devoted a major part of his professional life in building ZealousWeb (A full service Web & Digital Marketing Agency) from one man army to team of 140+ professionals. Since the outset, it has been his burning zeal to straddle the technology space, to exist at the cutting edge and to deliver unprecedented value to their valued customer which spreads across 25 countries today covering the US, UK, Europe & Middle East.

Adrian Calton
Adrian Calton
Web Developer, Foster Made

ExpressionEngine: Leveraging the power of search to improve user experience

In an online world speed counts, and we’re not just talking bandwidth. Implementing an instant search platform on your site can dramatically improve user experience, lighten the load on your server, and help deliver desirable content easier and more accurately. This session will focus on how to cleanly and easily integrate an Algolia instant search experience by extending ExpressionEngine.

Bio

Adrian Calton
Web Developer, Foster Made

Adrian originally hails from Melbourne, Australia though currently resides in Richmond, Virginia working as a CMS developer for Foster Made. Self taught in PHP he found his way into the professional world through Foster Made’s apprenticeship program and has since found a passion for back end development, focusing his efforts on ExpressionEngine add-ons.

Kyle Cotter
Kyle Cotter
Author Experience Lead, Happy Cog

Empowering Content Editors: 7 Principles for Improving Author Experience

A talk including various principles, tips, CP enhancements, and examples displaying how the author experience should inform the entire project from the beginning.

EE’s powerful “blank slate” approach to content management can be abused and actually hinder clients if you aren’t planning properly and working towards empowering your clients with a carefully thought out system.

All companies large and small can benefit from applying these principles and tips to their projects.

While diving into the ExpressionEngine control panel and template language is fun, it shouldn’t be the first thing you do. This talk will take a step back from that and outline principles teams can apply to their projects to take their ExpressionEngine sites to the next level.

Bio

Kyle Cotter
Author Experience Lead, Happy Cog

Based right outside of Washington, D.C., Kyle Cotter has been making websites since middle school. He’s been involved with various PHP based CMS communities for the bulk of that time.

After more than a decade of self-employment, he is currently the Author Experience Lead at Happy Cog. His job is to standardize the entire CMS process at Happy Cog. This encompasses all things that affect a content editor on a CMS project. From the structuring of content to thinking about the Author Experience, an area that is typically neglected, Kyle has involvement in all CMS projects at Happy Cog. He values consistency and an attention to detail — both critical pieces of a successful CMS build.

Outside of the world of CMSes, Kyle enjoys good food and drink with his wife, puppy, and kittens.

Geoff Cowan
Geoff Cowan
Founder, Orionesque

Redis & ExpressionEngine Addon Development

Redis is a mature, open source in-memory NoSQL key-value data store. Because it’s in-memory it means it’s fast.. blazing fast.

Redis is extensively utilised for leaderboards, queues, and messaging (think pubsub) amongst other things. Widely used by companies like Twitter, GitHub, Pinterest, Snapchat to name a few. It’s used by ExpressionEngine for a cache type, but the use cases go well beyond.

In this talk, I’ll outline some of the Redis fundamentals, or data types (list, sets, hashes etc) and the most common commands to interrogate the data.

Lastly I’ll walk through a simple use case / addon.

Bio

Geoff Cowan
Founder, Orionesque

Geoff Cowan is the founder of Orionesque, a UK based technology consultancy. Originally started as a classic web design / development agency, it now focusses on providing support and guidance for techincal projects involving Laravel and ExpressionEngine. Supporting agencies, corporates and start ups with team development, performance improvements and the odd bit of code here and there. In his spare time he runs, travels and tries to get as far way from a “screen” as possible.

Valerie DiCarlo
Valerie DiCarlo
CEO / President, SEO Web Consulting

Google’s User-Focused Commitment: How to Win with Google’s Recent Algorithm Updates

How are your marketing and SEO teams working to manage the effects brought upon by the most recent Google algorithm update? How does Google evaluate UX for SEO? Learn the technical – and non-technical – aspects of what’s needed to ‘win’ in the current search space.

Bio

Valerie DiCarlo
CEO / President, SEO Web Consulting

Valerie DiCarlo is the principal and owner of SEO Web Consulting, established in 2005. SEO Web Consulting is not your typical SEO firm. My SEO consulting firm is a hands-on, partnering approach providing clients with a high standard of expertise, offering holistic, ethical best practices that demystifies SEO -and all its accompanying online marketing strategies- and turns them into a manageable process that consistently drives measurable results.

TJ Draper
TJ Draper
Developer, Happy Cog

Custom App Development with EE

Whether you have an existing project that you need to take to the next level, or you’re getting ready to start a new project that has both CMS needs as well as a lot of custom dev needs, you need look no further than ExpressionEngine to fill in those needs. In this presentation I’ll show how to combine composer with custom PHP development to fill the requirements of almost any project.

Bio

TJ Draper
Developer, Happy Cog

TJ is a PHP developer by day, by night, and pretty much all the time. But occasionally you’ll also find him recording podcasts about nerdy things.

He was thrown into the fire of web development when he inherited the website at a small film company. After discovering a love of web development, he later left the small films industry to become a senior developer at a digital agency in Franklin, TN and it has been software development in some form every since.

TJ is the father of four amazing children ages 13, 10, 8, and 6. He has been married to their mother, the love of his life, for 14 years. Additionally, as a stereotypical nerd, TJ is into several sci-fi and fantasy franchises, mostly in the form of movies, TV shows, and audio books, but his first nerd love since before he can remember has always been Star Trek.

Robert Frankovich
Robert Frankovich

Leadership Through Martial Arts

This 3 hour workshop will provide participants with the opportunity to learn about how swords work. The workshop is based upon the Korean sword art, Haidong Gumdo, and presents some basics along with fighting drills.

These basics and drills are quickly learned and fun. The drills develop leadership through remembering how to learn and work with partners in safe setting. It includes using wooden swords to practice basics and the fighting drills.

Learning how and when to fight can provide insight to problem solving. This knowledge helps develop everything from teamwork and customer service.

Bio

Robert Frankovich

Matt Johnson
Matt Johnson
EE Harbor

Don’t Be A Dummy: Secure Your[self,company,site]

As web developers, we are the first line of defense when it comes to web security. The choices we make, as far as which software we use, and how we configure it, can lead to a great user experience, but can also leave our sites vulnerable to all sorts of attacks.

I will go over several attack vectors websites face, demonstrating why they are a problem, and then showing how to fix them. This will include general web things, like defending against XSS, SQL Injections, always configuring SSL (and why), etc. It will also include ExpressionEngine specific attack vectors, like keeping your software up-to-date, only installing add-ons from trusted developers, things to look out for in templates, and running system files above the web-root, etc.

There are several best practices that all developers should be implementing when working on or with websites. This presentation will show many ways hackers break into servers and sites, as well as how to defend against these attacks. This talk will leave developers with a greater understanding of the importance of following security practices as well as actionable methods on implementing them.

Bio

Matt Johnson
EE Harbor

Matt Johnson is a software developer at EEHarbor / Packet Tide. He majored in Computer Science with a minor in Math and Music Performance: Classical Guitar. He has a passion for Cyber Security, which he specialized in, serving as the president of the Cyber Defense Club.

He has been working for EEHarbor / Packet Tide for the past 5 years, where he primarily worked on Laravel applications and transitioned into full-time ExpressionEngine add-on development. He helped build the foundation for EEHarbor’s unified add-on system that brings compatibility to older add-ons to work across ExpressionEngine versions. Using his expertise in add-on development, he became the project lead for ExpressionEngine and third-party add-on upgrades. He has been upgrading ExpressionEngine websites of all sizes and challenges, as well as continuing to help develop and maintain custom add-ons for the past few years.

When not working in software, he enjoys hiking, rock climbing, photography, and performing music. He aspires to hike to the highest point of every state, and so far has summited 24 states. He and his wife both play and sing in a band with Madison Vandenburg, the second runner up on American Idol 2019.

Paul Jones
Paul Jones

Keynote: Mythology, Movies, and Management

Patterns are not just for programs; we also see them in people and processes. In this presentation, we will explore patterns found in popular hero(ine) stories like Star Wars, Princess Bride, Tron, The Matrix, Star Trek,
The Hunger Games, The Last Airbender, Harry Potter. We will then use those lessons to work through some patterns in the workplace, including the people you meet and the organizations they belong to, with an emphasis on how to work effectively with them.

Bio

Paul Jones

Paul M. Jones is an internationally recognized PHP expert, working in that language since 1999, and programming in general since 1983. He has held roles from junior developer to VP of Engineering in all kinds of organizations (corporate, military, non-profit, educational, medical, and others). He is a regular speaker at technical conferences worldwide. Paul takes a special interest in promoting high-quality, high-maintainability coding practices. This interest is reflected in his books on Modernizing Legacy Applications in PHP and Solving the N+1 Problem in PHP, as well as his white paper on the Action Domain Responder pattern.

His current major open-source project is the Atlas ORM for PHP. Paul’s historical open-source work includes being the project lead on the Aura for PHP libraries, the architect of the Solar Framework, and the creator of the Savant template system. He has authored a series of authoritative benchmarks on dynamic framework performance. He was a founding contributor to the Zend Framework, now Laminas (the DB, DB_Table, and View components). Paul past community leadership involves having been a founding member of the PHP Framework Interoperability Group, where he was the driving force behind the PSR-1 Coding Standard, the PSR-2 Style Guide, and the PSR-4 Autoloader recommendations. He was one of the first elected members of the PEAR Project. He was also a member of the Zend PHP 5.3 Certification education advisory board, and wrote some of the questions on that test.

Michele Landis
Michele Landis
Co-Founder & CRO, Accessible360

Website Accessibility - What you need to know to get it done right.

Legal demand letters and lawsuits continue to increase as plaintiff attorneys Attempt to enforce ADA website compliance. The need to make your websites more accessible to all should be a top priority before year end. It’s not a matter of if, but rather when you do this- and the sooner the better(!)

Michele Landis of Accessible360 will discuss how and why you should strive for WCAG 2.0 AA compliance and how to get it right the first time so you don’t waste time, money and other resources on the stuff that doesn’t work.

Bio

Michele Landis
Co-Founder & CRO, Accessible360

Leading client development and marketing along with strategic partnerships, Michele spends a lot of time educating companies and business associations across all verticals on how to tackle an accessibility audit project, how to build with inclusive design & the business case for accessibility. Specializing in reducing risk, she’s frequently leading CLE on this topic across the nation, and was recently invited to speak at SXSW on the topic of Mitigating Legal Risk in this niche area of technology.

Andy McCormick
Andy McCormick
Project Manager, EE Harbor

Delusions of Grandeur and The Reality of Agency Project Management

Every agency must have a form of project management to successfully deliver any type of product. However, managing multiple projects for different types of clients can seem like an endless labyrinth full of scope creep, awkward conversations, unclear roles, and over promises with under deliveries.

The solution is easy, just be agile and use SCRUM or Kanban or waterfall or Lean or hybrid or XP or whatever else comes out this year. After all, according to which blog you read they all solve all your problems. We constantly hear about how these methodologies create smooth running agencies with beautiful client relationships. Yet we all wonder why our agency isn’t as smooth. Why can’t we just insert a framework and everything work perfectly? It’s because we are all delusional.

In this session we’ll touch on project management issues that agencies run in to and have a bit of a therapy session as we come back to reality and work through these together.

Bio

Andy McCormick
Project Manager, EE Harbor

I live in Lexington, SC (just outside Columbia). As Director of Operations and Development, I’m responsible for all of our front and back-end development as well as operations at Dubose Web Group. I love spending time with my family (my Bride, and two sons [6 & 3]).

Ty Morton
Ty Morton
Principal, Tylonius Studio, Inc.

More Than Just Websites: Selling Clients on EE as a Productivity Tool

Selling EE can be difficult. Even though the core software itself is now open source, it can take significant time to develop, making the process prohibitively expensive for some client. One way to solve this problem is leveraging EE to drive additional operations that the client also pays for, eliminating other expenses. Many organizations, particularly not-for-profits, often pay ridiculous annual license fees for substandard products.Using EE’s channel architecture, we can duplicate that functionality and do so in a way that not only saves clients thousands of dollars a year, but also eliminates repetition and simplifies workflows.

Bio

Ty Morton
Principal, Tylonius Studio, Inc.

Ty has been at the forefront of web design and development since the introduction of the Mosaic web browser in 1993. Over the course of that time, he has closely followed the developments of digital media (and learned his fair share of now-obsolete coding languages in the process). Over his near twenty years of agency experience,, he has also developed a deep understanding of client relationships which allows him to not only develop solutions that work, but that are tailored to an organization’s specific needs. His portfolio spans a wide range of clients, from small local nonprofits to internationally-based global brands. He is also passionate about craft beer and makes a hobby of visiting breweries (148 and counting) with his wife, Traci.

Marcus Neto
Marcus Neto
Owner and Creative Director, Blue Fish

Flip your agency on its head

Over the last couple of years we have developed internal tools that allow us to sell websites for a monthly fee vs a large up front project fee. This means that we have monthly recurring revenue coming in. It also means that the cost of a website is less of a barrier to clients. It allows us to build a relationship with them and sell them additional products like social media management or advertising. It also means we sleep better at night knowing that if one of our smaller clients leaves then it leaves a smaller gap in our monthly revenue.

Bio

Marcus Neto
Owner and Creative Director, Blue Fish

Marcus Neto is the owner of Blue Fish, an advertising agency located in Mobile, Alabama. He started designing and developing websites back when spacer gifs were a thing. He discovered ExpressionEngine in 2007 and fell in love. Previously, he worked as the Director of Business Development and Product Evangelist for EllisLab. He has worked on hundred million dollar Enterprise Software Systems and $500 dollar websites. He likes photography, design, being on or near the water. Oh… and ice cream.

Brandon O’Hara
Brandon O’Hara
Chief Technology Officer, Trak Software

Utilizing Build Tools to Automate Your Workflow Workshop

Implementing automation and build tools has a steep learning curve, and getting started improving your development workflow can seem daunting. Utilizing Webpack and package management, local environments should work for you, rather than against. Automate minifying stylesheets and script files, sizing images, and even live updates in the browser without refreshing. Get your projects off the ground quickly, and keep your team in sync with modern development practices. In this workshop, we’ll set up a new project to utilize Bootstrap’s Sass Framework, ES2015 javascript syntax, and live browser refreshing that will work with your entire development team. We’ll stand up a simple dashboard, and see what’s new in the world of javascript. Other Information Development tools covered in this talk: Webpack NPM Sass / Less Browsersync ES2015 Javascript / Babel

Utilizing Build Tools to Automate Your Workflow

Implementing automation and build tools has a steep learning curve, and getting started improving your development workflow can seem daunting. Utilizing Webpack and package management, local environments should work for you, rather than against. Automate minifying stylesheets and script files, sizing images, and even live updates in the browser without refreshing. Get your projects off the ground quickly, and keep your team in sync with modern development practices.

In this workshop, we’ll set up a new project to utilize Bootstrap’s Sass Framework, ES2015 javascript syntax, and live browser refreshing that will work with your entire development team. We’ll stand up a simple dashboard, and see what’s new in the world of javascript.

Bio

Brandon O’Hara
Chief Technology Officer, Trak Software

Montana based web developer specializing in creating web applications in Laravel, VueJS and Angular. Currently overseeing engineering at Trak Software as Chief Technology Officer, building a web application to simplify and streamline communication in sponsorship activation and management.

Antoinette Smith
Antoinette Smith
Software Engineer, Glitch

Modern JavaScript + EE Workshop

Get familiar with modern JavaScript development practices in this workshop that will guide you through building a real-time comments notification microservice. We’ll hook into this Node and Vue JS service via an ExpressionEngine extension.

Bio

Antoinette Smith
Software Engineer, Glitch

Antoinette thinks programming is fun and finds herself in the extremely fortunate position where that fun translates into spendable dollars. Antoinette wants to make technology accessible for all that want to use it: from future programmers to clients with a problem that is best solved by a technical solution.

Antoinette started programming as a teen with the help of HTMLGoodies, Geocities, and that one PHP/MySQL book with the shopping cart example. Antoinette is formally degreed in technical communication, business administration, and software engineering.

Outside of work, she serves as co-organizer and co-founder of Blacks in Technology Twin Cities, serves on the board of Technovation[MN], and recently began her role as chair for next year’s MinneWebCon.

Travis Smith
Travis Smith
President, Hop Studios

Licensed to Bill: The Story of How Hop Studios Set up Our Own License Validation Service

With the launch of EE’s new Add-on store, Hop Studios decided to get serious about monitoring licenses for our add-ons. We added dynamic license validation to each add-on, and created a web service that responds to check-ins from each add-on to ensure they are using a valid license. We’ll explain how we created an API to respond to EllisLab’s purchase webhook, and also a service that fetches the latest licenses from Devot-ee’s API. We’re lifting the veil and showing you how it all works, in case you want to do the same.

Bio

Travis Smith
President, Hop Studios

Travis F. Smith is the owner of Hop Studios, a Web design and development company that has such clients as Stanford, Berkeley, and LucisTrust.org. He has been building content-rich, elegant Web sites since 1994, when he was one of the creators of the Los Angeles Times Web site. He’s also a professional speaker on such topics as blogging, subscription-based revenue models and online journalism. He has been the editor of Variety.com, and a lecturer at the University of Southern California, and now also serves on the board of the World Flying Disc Federation.

Robin Sowell
Robin Sowell
Development Liaison, EllisLab

Absolute Beginners Workshop

A hands on introduction to ExpressionEngine for those who have little to no experience. Each participant will start with a blank installation and we will walk through all of the steps needed to get us to a simple, functioning site.

Bio

Robin Sowell
Development Liaison, EllisLab

Robin got involved with EllisLab products in 2002, using pMachine Pro to build a personal site.  Since then, her casual interest in web development has grown into an obsession.  She’s now a fair hand at PHP and MySQL and enjoys nothing more than seeing what new tricks ExpressionEngine can be coaxed into performing.

Tony Ticknor
Tony Ticknor
Irish Titan

Making the Leap from Engineering to Leadership

With so much emphasis placed on technical skills, most software engineers never develop the necessary soft skills to be successful in a leadership role. But that hasn’t stopped the wave of promotions, leaving new leaders (and their teams) floundering. In this talk, Tony will share his 25 year journey from Geocities Homesteader to VP of Software Engineering and how he’s managed to make the leap from coding to leading a successful development team.

Bio

Tony Ticknor
Irish Titan

Tony has been making websites professionally since that dancing baby gif was all the rage. During this time he’s spent more hours than he cares to admit making websites work on all manner of browsers and devices (including the much maligned IE6) for clients like the United Nations, Victoria’s Secret, and Delta. About five years ago, he gave up full-time development and moved into leadership roles where he is known for building high-performing teams that produce quality software. When he’s not busy watching old StrongBad videos you can find him searching for Minneapolis’ best tacos.

Agenda

  • Workshops
    October 2nd
  • Day 1
    October 3rd
  • Day 2
    October 4th
Workshops
October 2nd
9:00 AM
Antoinette Smith
Antoinette Smith
Glitch
Software Engineer
Modern JavaScript + EE Workshop

Get familiar with modern JavaScript development practices in this workshop that will guide you through building a real-time comments notification microservice. We’ll hook into this Node and Vue JS service via an ExpressionEngine extension.

9:00 AM
Robin Sowell
Robin Sowell
EllisLab
Development Liaison
Absolute Beginners Workshop

A hands on introduction to ExpressionEngine for those who have little to no experience. Each participant will start with a blank installation and we will walk through all of the steps needed to get us to a simple, functioning site.

1:30 PM
Robert Frankovich
Robert Frankovich
Leadership Through Martial Arts

This 3 hour workshop will provide participants with the opportunity to learn about how swords work. The workshop is based upon the Korean sword art, Haidong Gumdo, and presents some basics along with fighting drills.

These basics and drills are quickly learned and fun. The drills develop leadership through remembering how to learn and work with partners in safe setting. It includes using wooden swords to practice basics and the fighting drills.

Learning how and when to fight can provide insight to problem solving. This knowledge helps develop everything from teamwork and customer service.

1:30 PM
Brandon O’Hara
Brandon O’Hara
Trak Software
Chief Technology Officer
Utilizing Build Tools to Automate Your Workflow Workshop

Implementing automation and build tools has a steep learning curve, and getting started improving your development workflow can seem daunting. Utilizing Webpack and package management, local environments should work for you, rather than against. Automate minifying stylesheets and script files, sizing images, and even live updates in the browser without refreshing. Get your projects off the ground quickly, and keep your team in sync with modern development practices. In this workshop, we’ll set up a new project to utilize Bootstrap’s Sass Framework, ES2015 javascript syntax, and live browser refreshing that will work with your entire development team. We’ll stand up a simple dashboard, and see what’s new in the world of javascript. Other Information Development tools covered in this talk: Webpack NPM Sass / Less Browsersync ES2015 Javascript / Babel

Read More Read Less
Day 1
October 3rd
8:00 AM
Registration, Breakfast and Coffee

Get your name badge and some goodies!

9:00 AM
Tim Hoppe
Tim Hoppe
Creative Arc
Project Manager
Opening Remarks

Opening remarks from Tim Hoppe, local conference sponsor.

9:30 AM
Paul Jones
Paul Jones
Keynote: Mythology, Movies, and Management

Patterns are not just for programs; we also see them in people and processes. In this presentation, we will explore patterns found in popular hero(ine) stories like Star Wars, Princess Bride, Tron, The Matrix, Star Trek,
The Hunger Games, The Last Airbender, Harry Potter. We will then use those lessons to work through some patterns in the workplace, including the people you meet and the organizations they belong to, with an emphasis on how to work effectively with them.

10:30 AM
Michele Landis
Michele Landis
Accessible360
Co-Founder & CRO
Website Accessibility - What you need to know to get it done right.

Legal demand letters and lawsuits continue to increase as plaintiff attorneys Attempt to enforce ADA website compliance. The need to make your websites more accessible to all should be a top priority before year end. It’s not a matter of if, but rather when you do this- and the sooner the better(!)

Michele Landis of Accessible360 will discuss how and why you should strive for WCAG 2.0 AA compliance and how to get it right the first time so you don’t waste time, money and other resources on the stuff that doesn’t work.

11:45 AM
Lunch

Assimiliating all this information can be hunger inducing!

1:00 PM
Andy McCormick
Andy McCormick
EE Harbor
Project Manager
Delusions of Grandeur and The Reality of Agency Project Management

Every agency must have a form of project management to successfully deliver any type of product. However, managing multiple projects for different types of clients can seem like an endless labyrinth full of scope creep, awkward conversations, unclear roles, and over promises with under deliveries.

The solution is easy, just be agile and use SCRUM or Kanban or waterfall or Lean or hybrid or XP or whatever else comes out this year. After all, according to which blog you read they all solve all your problems. We constantly hear about how these methodologies create smooth running agencies with beautiful client relationships. Yet we all wonder why our agency isn’t as smooth. Why can’t we just insert a framework and everything work perfectly? It’s because we are all delusional.

In this session we’ll touch on project management issues that agencies run in to and have a bit of a therapy session as we come back to reality and work through these together.

Read More Read Less
Business
2:00 PM
Valerie DiCarlo
Valerie DiCarlo
SEO Web Consulting
CEO / President
Google’s User-Focused Commitment: How to Win with Google’s Recent Algorithm Updates

How are your marketing and SEO teams working to manage the effects brought upon by the most recent Google algorithm update? How does Google evaluate UX for SEO? Learn the technical – and non-technical – aspects of what’s needed to ‘win’ in the current search space.

Dev
2:00 PM
Matt Johnson
Matt Johnson
EE Harbor
Don’t Be A Dummy: Secure Your[self,company,site]

As web developers, we are the first line of defense when it comes to web security. The choices we make, as far as which software we use, and how we configure it, can lead to a great user experience, but can also leave our sites vulnerable to all sorts of attacks.

I will go over several attack vectors websites face, demonstrating why they are a problem, and then showing how to fix them. This will include general web things, like defending against XSS, SQL Injections, always configuring SSL (and why), etc. It will also include ExpressionEngine specific attack vectors, like keeping your software up-to-date, only installing add-ons from trusted developers, things to look out for in templates, and running system files above the web-root, etc.

There are several best practices that all developers should be implementing when working on or with websites. This presentation will show many ways hackers break into servers and sites, as well as how to defend against these attacks. This talk will leave developers with a greater understanding of the importance of following security practices as well as actionable methods on implementing them.

Read More Read Less
2:45 PM
Snack

Take a break, and have a snack!

Business
3:15 PM
Marcus Neto
Marcus Neto
Blue Fish
Owner and Creative Director
Flip your agency on its head

Over the last couple of years we have developed internal tools that allow us to sell websites for a monthly fee vs a large up front project fee. This means that we have monthly recurring revenue coming in. It also means that the cost of a website is less of a barrier to clients. It allows us to build a relationship with them and sell them additional products like social media management or advertising. It also means we sleep better at night knowing that if one of our smaller clients leaves then it leaves a smaller gap in our monthly revenue.

4:20 PM
Ari Banerjee
Ari Banerjee
Consumer51
Increase your ROI with these 5 powerful everyday words

Words matter. We know that. But, what if you could quantify the value of the words you use to determine ROI? In this presentation, I will show you how making simple changes to your everyday vocabulary can drive massive returns for your personal and business growth. How do I know this? Before I founded my company, built teams, landed clients, I spent well over 10,000 hours as a copywriter, helping brands connect with consumers using the right words. I learned through firsthand experience how words could shape opinions, change perceptions, and transform actions. This is not a course on copywriting, however. I will not teach you how to write a great headline in this course. What I will provide you with is just 5 words that when used correctly can transform your life. These are everyday words you are already using. Now learn when and how to use these words and pay attention to how they drive your ROI.

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Dev
3:15 PM
Oleg Abramov
Oleg Abramov
WiseUpStudio
Technical Program Manager
How To Lead a Remote Team Effectively

Today we are living in the age of a remote workforce. The Internet and globalization are erasing the borders between cities and countries. And if you decide to accept remote teams for your business, you need to know effective practices for successful management of a remote or virtually-based team. Special if you have the cross-border, multicultural team in many time zones. In this presentation, we’ll go over some things to keep in mind when leading your remote teams and making sure you don’t lose touch with your employees, and manage to retain the cohesiveness that keeps you together.

4:20 PM
Kyle Cotter
Kyle Cotter
Happy Cog
Author Experience Lead
Empowering Content Editors: 7 Principles for Improving Author Experience

A talk including various principles, tips, CP enhancements, and examples displaying how the author experience should inform the entire project from the beginning.

EE’s powerful “blank slate” approach to content management can be abused and actually hinder clients if you aren’t planning properly and working towards empowering your clients with a carefully thought out system.

All companies large and small can benefit from applying these principles and tips to their projects.

While diving into the ExpressionEngine control panel and template language is fun, it shouldn’t be the first thing you do. This talk will take a step back from that and outline principles teams can apply to their projects to take their ExpressionEngine sites to the next level.

6:30 PM
Party

Join the EE CONF party on Thursday night! All conference attendees, sponsors, and speakers are invited. Food & drinks are served. See you at Brit’s Pub at 1110 Nicollet Mall! (Wear your name badge!)

Day 2
October 4th
8:00 AM
Breakfast and Coffee

Join us for coffee and breakfast!

Business
9:00 AM
Ty Morton
Ty Morton
Tylonius Studio, Inc.
Principal
More Than Just Websites: Selling Clients on EE as a Productivity Tool

Selling EE can be difficult. Even though the core software itself is now open source, it can take significant time to develop, making the process prohibitively expensive for some client. One way to solve this problem is leveraging EE to drive additional operations that the client also pays for, eliminating other expenses. Many organizations, particularly not-for-profits, often pay ridiculous annual license fees for substandard products.Using EE’s channel architecture, we can duplicate that functionality and do so in a way that not only saves clients thousands of dollars a year, but also eliminates repetition and simplifies workflows.

10:05 AM
Kandarp Bhatt
Kandarp Bhatt
ZealousWeb
Founder & CEO
Taking Freelancing to the Next Level, Starting Your Own ExpressionEngine Agency

Kandarp will share the step by step strategies required, in the transition from being a freelancer to create your dream agency for all those who have an entrepreneurial bug within. His session will guide us to actionable tips on: 

  • Mindset change
  • The right time to shift from freelance to a creative agency
  • How ExpressionEngine can help accomplish this transition
  • The required critical support system 
  •  
11:10 AM
Joanna Bergdoll
Joanna Bergdoll
Immerge
Director of Operations
People are More Important than Code

Technology is meant to make life easier and to connect people; however, the complexities of creating and using technology have a tendency to disconnect people. Working in technology, for over 15 years and specifically in web for the last 10 years, I learned one lesson that even the best of us can forget - People are more important than code. From the people who need the website or web app (and their end users) to the developers who ultimately build it, every person who the technology touches is valuable.

Dev
9:00 AM
Travis Smith
Travis Smith
Hop Studios
President
Licensed to Bill: The Story of How Hop Studios Set up Our Own License Validation Service

With the launch of EE’s new Add-on store, Hop Studios decided to get serious about monitoring licenses for our add-ons. We added dynamic license validation to each add-on, and created a web service that responds to check-ins from each add-on to ensure they are using a valid license. We’ll explain how we created an API to respond to EllisLab’s purchase webhook, and also a service that fetches the latest licenses from Devot-ee’s API. We’re lifting the veil and showing you how it all works, in case you want to do the same.

10:05 AM
Adrian Calton
Adrian Calton
Foster Made
Web Developer
ExpressionEngine: Leveraging the power of search to improve user experience

In an online world speed counts, and we’re not just talking bandwidth. Implementing an instant search platform on your site can dramatically improve user experience, lighten the load on your server, and help deliver desirable content easier and more accurately. This session will focus on how to cleanly and easily integrate an Algolia instant search experience by extending ExpressionEngine.

11:10 AM
Brandon O’Hara
Brandon O’Hara
Trak Software
Chief Technology Officer
Utilizing Build Tools to Automate Your Workflow

Implementing automation and build tools has a steep learning curve, and getting started improving your development workflow can seem daunting. Utilizing Webpack and package management, local environments should work for you, rather than against. Automate minifying stylesheets and script files, sizing images, and even live updates in the browser without refreshing. Get your projects off the ground quickly, and keep your team in sync with modern development practices.

In this workshop, we’ll set up a new project to utilize Bootstrap’s Sass Framework, ES2015 javascript syntax, and live browser refreshing that will work with your entire development team. We’ll stand up a simple dashboard, and see what’s new in the world of javascript.

12:00 PM
Lunch

Refuel with a lunch buffet!

Dev
1:00 PM
TJ Draper
TJ Draper
Happy Cog
Developer
Custom App Development with EE

Whether you have an existing project that you need to take to the next level, or you’re getting ready to start a new project that has both CMS needs as well as a lot of custom dev needs, you need look no further than ExpressionEngine to fill in those needs. In this presentation I’ll show how to combine composer with custom PHP development to fill the requirements of almost any project.

2:05 PM
Geoff Cowan
Geoff Cowan
Orionesque
Founder
Redis & ExpressionEngine Addon Development

Redis is a mature, open source in-memory NoSQL key-value data store. Because it’s in-memory it means it’s fast.. blazing fast.

Redis is extensively utilised for leaderboards, queues, and messaging (think pubsub) amongst other things. Widely used by companies like Twitter, GitHub, Pinterest, Snapchat to name a few. It’s used by ExpressionEngine for a cache type, but the use cases go well beyond.

In this talk, I’ll outline some of the Redis fundamentals, or data types (list, sets, hashes etc) and the most common commands to interrogate the data.

Lastly I’ll walk through a simple use case / addon.

3:10 PM
Tony Ticknor
Tony Ticknor
Irish Titan
Making the Leap from Engineering to Leadership

With so much emphasis placed on technical skills, most software engineers never develop the necessary soft skills to be successful in a leadership role. But that hasn’t stopped the wave of promotions, leaving new leaders (and their teams) floundering. In this talk, Tony will share his 25 year journey from Geocities Homesteader to VP of Software Engineering and how he’s managed to make the leap from coding to leading a successful development team.

Venue

Millennium Hotel

Millennium Hotel

Situated along the tree-lined streets of Nicollet Mall, Millennium Minneapolis is just moments away from the city’s cultural districts. 321 guest rooms and suites, featuring stunning views, combine a distinctive contemporary elegance with the service and amenities to create an experience to be remembered.

Booking Your Room

All attendees should stay at Millennium Hotel. While the reservation deadline has passed, you can still book rooms by calling 612-359-2206. Please make sure your room gets booked under our EEConf block so it counts toward our room block minimum. Email us at hello@eecommunity.org to let us know you booked so we can double check with the hotel later and make sure you were credited to our block. Also feel free to reach out if you have any trouble at all.

Transportation

Transportation from the airport to the hotel is easy. Just get on the Lightrail Blue Line at the airport. It will take you all the way downtown where you get off at the Nicollet Mall stop. Once on Nicollet Mall you will head South West about 10 blocks to the hotel. If you don’t want to walk that far, wait for one of the free buses on Nicollet Mall (bus numbers 18, 10, and 59. They say “Free Ride”).

Things to do in Minneapolis

  • See a show at First Avenue, where Purple Rain was filmed.
  • Play bocce ball on the roof of Brit’s Pub.
  • Walk, bike, or scooter around Lake Bde Maka Ska. Or just sit and people watch (you will need to catch an Uber/Lyft to get there).
  • Check out the Stone Arch Bridge that spans the Mississippi river and Mill City Museum (take the free buses on Nicollet Mall North East, and the bridge is just a few blocks away).
  • Take a tour of Prince’s recording studio, Paisley Park (this will definitely require an Uber/Lyft).
  • Take a cruise down the Mississippi river.
  • Get lunch or dinner at Sea Salt next to Minnehaha Falls, a waterfall in the city.
  • Check out the Prohibition Bar in the W Hotel downtown.
  • Take a short walk from the hotel to the Walker Sculpture Garden and see what the big spoon and cherry is all about, then head inside and see more art.
  • Grab a Nice Ride, Lime, Lyft scooter, Bird or whatever and cruise around. There are bike lanes everywhere (including along the river front). Minneapolis is consistently one of the top 5 biking friendly cities in the country.
  • See a show at the Acme Comedy Club or the Dakata Jazz Club.
  • Sample some beer. Breweries as far as the eye can see. Freehouse, Clockwerks, Modist, Foxhole, and Finnegans are all downtown.
  • Go to the Mall of America. It is big. Bring your walking shoes. To get there just take the Lightrail Blue line South (clothing is tax free in Minnesota, so stock up on your wardrobe).
  • Catch a Twins game. If their current form continues they will be in the MLB playoffs!
  • Get lost in the Skyway. Minneapolis has one of the biggest (if not the biggest) skyway systems in the world. Walk virtually anywhere downtown and never go outside.
  • Have breakfast at Hell’s Kitchen.
  • Take the Lightrail Green line East to St. Paul. We’re called the Twin Cities for a reason.
  • While you’re in St. Paul take a ganster tour.

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