Code like a Rock Climber - Hannah Oppenheimer

When anthropologists first discovered “Rock Climbers”, they were found to be a culture of people who risked their lives to reach the top of un-hike-able rock formations for absolutely no reason at all. Many members of this culture even pay fees to climb fake indoor walls only to fall repeatedly. In an immersive ethnography over the past few months, I joined this clan and discovered that, at the heart of this insane sport, there lies a practice not far off from our own world: the practice of problem solving.

Rock Climbers are a culture of problem solvers. They refer to their climbs as “problems” and discuss the design, components, performance efficiencies, and risks involved. They perform “psuedo climbs”, hack at them, “pair” on difficult ones, reveal “betas”, and even reverse engineer them. In this talk, I’ll reveal my study’s findings, and share what we can learn from them and vice versa.

Hannah is a developer and designer for Muve Health, a medical company that is reimagining how your Nana gets joint replacements. Hannah didn’t faint when she watched a body builder get their hip taken out of their body. When she’s not in the O.R., you can find her making avant garde ice cream flavors or taking her pit bull on hikes with her nerdy club “Techsas Outdoors.” She comes to Austin by way of Brooklyn where she worked for Michael J. Fox and other famous people she could name drop but won’t. She loves rock climbing because America.

Sorting Rubyists - Caleb Thompson

Let’s take a peek under the hood of the magical “sort” method, learning algorithms… by sorting audience members wearing numbers! Intimidated by the word “algorithm? Not sure what performance means? Confused by “Big O Notation”? Haven’t even heard of best-, worst-, and average-case time complexities? No problem: we’ll learn together! You can expect to come out knowing new things and with Benny Hill stuck in your head.

Caleb is a dreamer, speaker, and computer whisperer. He organizes the Keep Ruby Weird conference, which of course you’ve heard of, and are very impressed by. When he’s not painting miniatures or climbing cliffs to jump off into the water, he works for Heroku and writes Ruby and Go code. He walked barefoot from the wintry tundra of Alaska to the harsh deserts of Arizona. Okay, that’s not true, but he did live in those places. He currently hails from Austin, TX - the taco capital of the United States.