Every year I go to Prairie DevCon which is put on by the stylish and dapper fellow who is D’Arcy Lussier.  Every year he schedules me in the worst speaker’s spot and laughs and laughs. Once he put me in the last spot of the conference and gave away free beer in the room next to me. 3 people came to my talk. 1 left when I mentioned the free beer. Come to think of it, he really isn’t so much dapper as an ass.

None the less he finds interesting topics and great speakers. I wanted to highlight the talks which I think are going to be really interesting. Probably after reading this D’Arcy will change my schedule so I can’t attend any of them but I’m going to take the risk:

1. Machine Learning for Developers – In university I tried some machine learning and it was terrible. That being said it is a really interesting field and if it really is possible, with modern tools, to get something built in an hour then I’m adding machine learning to everything.

2. A Primer on LESS and Sass – The last time I tried to design a website 3 large men broke down my door and broke my fingers. They said that I had killed all the beauty in the world and that if I ever designed another site they would be back and they would bring pizza.  I don’t know what that means nor am I anxious to find out.  Eden, on the other hand, can design things and she is a computer scientist. So when you can learn about CSS from a designer to knows how to program you should jump at it.

3. *Building Cross-Platform Mobile Apps with Sencha Touch and PhoneGap - *I’m starting to really think that PhoneGap is the way to go for developing the vast majority of mobile applications. It is the only real way to get cross-platform compatibility and it’s also quick to develop. I’ve played a bit with it but I really am excited to see how a skilled person can use it. I don’t really know anything about Sencha Touch, so that should be fun to learn too.

  1. Git Magic – A couple of conference back David Alpert taught me a bunch about git. I haven’t used any of it. Frankly I felt like the advanced stuff he was teaching me would only be used if you had somehow failed to use git properly and had messed up. I’m starting to change my mind about that so I’m going to give James Kovacs a chance to solidly change my mind.

  2. Hacking Hardware – I talked a couple of months back with Donald Belcham about his experiments with hardware hacking and was inspired. Not inspired enough to actually do anything but still inspired that a software guy could pick up hardware. I’m super curious to see what he has built.

There are many other interesting looking talks out there but these were my top 5. If you’re near Winnipeg or if you can run there at the speed of light you should pick up your conference tickets now and come out. It will be a riot.