DevFest Northeast 2021 - Free Online Event

DevFest 2021 will help local developers learn and connect as a community by exploring how to use Google technology to accelerate local economic impact.

Nov 13, 2021, 5:00 – 10:00 PM


Key Themes

Career DevelopmentCloudDevFestInclusionMachine LearningMobileNetworkingWebWomen Techmakers

About this event

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Join us for DevFest Northeast 2021!

This year GDGs of the Northeast region will be joining forces to connect our local communities and learn together!

Saturday, November 13, 2021 from 12:00pm - 5:00pm EST

Agenda (EDT):

12:00 PM - 12:15 PM Intro and Welcome

12:15 PM - 1:00 Samantha van der Merwe

Talk Title: Data Science in Production with Shiny

Speaker Bio: 
Samantha van der Merwe is a Data Science Tech Lead at Kantar. She has a strong technical background having a Bachelor's Degree in Industrial Engineering and a Masters in Statistics. Her expertise lies in helping Data Science and Analytics teams build and deploy their solutions at scale. In addition to this, Samantha provides career support and mentorship to women who are aspiring Data Scientists through her online platform and YouTube channel. She is passionate about using Machine Learning to solve some of the world's toughest social challenges.

1:00 PM - 2:00 PM Brian Suk

Talk Title: Google Next 2021, Let's Chat About What's New!

Speaker Bio:
Brian Suk is an Associate CTO for Data Engineering and Analytics at SADA. He is helping to lead SADA’s data strategy and helping customers unlock the value of their data on Google Cloud. Previously holding roles in companies like Google Cloud, SAP, and Informatica, he focuses on the data space and is always looking to help customers innovate with the latest technologies. He also looks to focus on how cloud technologies can be leveraged in the sustainability space. 

1:45 PM - 2:15 PM Mark Díaz

Talk Title: Responsible AI Feedback Session - participate in an Ethical AI feedback session with Google's Responsible AI team. Enter a raffle to win a prize for sharing your feedback!

Speaker Bio:
Mark Diaz
is a Research Scientist, Ethical AI at Google. He focuses on social bias and the use of algorithmic technologies to analyze human behavior, particularly the behaviors of underrepresented social groups. Most recently, he's focused on values and biases embedded in natural language datasets.

2:15 PM - 2:30 PM Break

2:30 PM - 3:30 PM Dan Sullivan

Talk Title: From Certification to Dream Job: 10 Tips for Passing Google Cloud Certification Exams and Getting Real-World GCP Experience

Speaker Bio:

Dan Sullivan is a Principal Engineer with PEAK6 Technologies and a software architect with extensive experience in data architecture, data science, machine learning, stream processing, and cloud architecture. He is the author of the official Google Cloud study guides for the Professional Architect, Professional Data Engineer, and Associate Cloud Engineer. Dan has created a range of online courses for cloud computing, data science, data modeling, and data architecture. 

3:30 PM - 4:30 PM Frank van Puffelen and Paul Ruiz

Talk Title: Firebase, Flutter, and Android Q&A with Paul and Puf

Speakers Bio:

Frank (or Puf) is an engineer for Firebase at Google. He helps developers build extraordinary apps that use Firebase as their back-end. If you've ever asked a Firebase question on StackOverflow, you've probably met Frank already.

Paul is a Developer Programs Engineer with Android Partner DevRel out of Boulder, Colorado, in the US and has a background in Android and IoT development. Outside of work he is wrapping up an MBA, gardens, woodworks, makes movie props, and is a member of a Star Wars costuming charity where he volunteers at events as various movie characters including an Imperial Snowtrooper, X-Wing Pilot, or Tusken Raider.

4:30 PM - 5:00 PM - Raffle / Wrap-up / Closing Remarks


Google offers 3 Google Nest Hub Max (value $229 each).

O’Reilly offers 5 ebooks/books for our raffle and to all attendees 30 days full access to their online learning platform (value $50 each).

Atria Institute of Technology 
Atria will offer the license to all our attendees. Atria Institute of Technology is partnered with Coursera - the leading online learning platform in the world. As a part of this program, you will have free, long-term (life-time) access to high-quality online learning on Coursera and you can enroll into Unlimited Guided Projects & 1 Course per year.

AICamp offers two AICamp courses (value $299 each)

ROI Training 
ROI Training offers for our raffle 4 On Demand Vouchers for Google Cloud Certification training: Associate/Professional Cloud Engineer ($500 value each), as well as 4 ROI Training Sweatshirts.

Brought to you by:

  • GDG Capital Region
  • GDG Lawrence
  • GDG Cloud Boston
  • GDG Bronx
  • GDG Android Boston
  • GDG Hudson Valley
  • GDG Manchester, NH
  • GDG New Haven



Saturday, November 13, 2021
5:00 PM – 10:00 PM UTC


Samantha van der Merwe
Brian Suk
Mark Diaz
Break / Networking
Dan Sullivan
Frank van Puffelen and Paul Ruiz
Raffle / Wrap-up / Closing Remarks


  • Frank van Puffelen


    Firebase Engineer

  • Paul Ruiz


    Developer Programs Engineer

  • Dan Sullivan

    PEAK6 Technologies

    Cloud Architect and Data Scientist

  • Sierra Obryan


    Software Engineer

  • Samantha van der Merwe


    Data Science Tech Lead

  • Brian Suk


    Associate CTO

  • Mark Díaz


    Ethical AI Research Scientist

  • Roman Jaquez


    Flutter GDE / Google Certified Cloud Architect

  • Madona Wambua


    Sr. Android Engineer


  • Anna Nerezova

    Analytics and Optimization Consultant

  • Roman Jaquez


    Flutter GDE / Google Certified Cloud Architect


  • Madona Wambua


    Sr. Android Engineer

  • Kevin Quan

    GDG Lawrence

    GDG Organizer


  • Wendy Durica


    Lead Engineer


  • Eva Sofianos

    GDG Bronx


  • Elizabeth Mezias

    Outside, Inc.

    Android Engineer

  • Lukas Karlsson

    GDG Cloud Boston

    Cloud Architect / Developer Advocate

  • Yulia Ovchinnikova



  • Linda Kovacs


    Software Engineer

  • Rainer Paskiewicz

    Information Technology and Services