DevFest WI is a conference for all technologists, organized by GDG Madison and volunteers from the Madison tech community. It will take place on August 18th, 2022 at the Memorial Union in Madison, WI.
Our conference theme this year is inclusivity: how to create development teams and software products that are welcoming to everyone. We hope to see you there!
DevFest WI is a single-day conference held in Madison, WI where technologists of all skill levels can come together to network and learn from one another. We are very excited to be bringing this conference back live and in-person this summer after 2 years with very few in-person meetups, and cannot wait to see you!
We'll be posting speakers and schedules as we get closer to the event, so please watch this space and/or visit the DevFestWI (https://www.devfestwi.com/)website for updates as we work out the final details.
“Using Our Powers for Good: Tech and Social Impact”
Want to make a difference in your community, but don’t know how, or feel like you don’t have time?
You’re not alone. Luckily, there are a number of ways you can use your tech-industry skills to create positive change in your community - and yourself! (Fun fact: volunteers live longer and make more money than those who don’t volunteer.)
Hilary Stohs-Krause will explore the why’s, how’s, and where’s for sharing our skills, both technical and non-technical. You’ll learn more about the breadth of ways to give back, and hopefully leave feeling empowered to reach out in your own community and start making connections.
“Impostor Syndrome and Advocacy”
Ross Larson explains impostor syndrome and encourages you to advocate for the people around you.
In this session,
“Accessibility Best Practices”
What is accessibility? How can prioritizing accessibility benefit both products and users? What is the importance of the ADA, and how can we ensure our compliance?
In this talk, Savina Imhan will go into all of this and more, including an intro to accessibility, best practices for developing with accessibility in mind, what to expect when performing an accessibility audit, and some examples of tools and technologies we've found helpful in assessing and improving the accessibility of our clients' products.
Our areas of focus are based on the WCAG 2.0 Level AA Standards and the 4 core principles of content being Perceivable, Operable, Understandable and Robust, which we will also discuss.
“Is Your Software Teachable?”
Software that is polished, usable, and well-documented enough to be taught in a college classroom has a distinct edge in the market, as new graduates arrive ready to hit the ground running. During this talk, Dorothea Salo answers the questions: what blocks instructors from teaching particular software packages, and how can you avoid those blockages?
“What’s Hockey Got to Do With It? Building Inclusive Teams On and Off the Ice”
Hockey is a fast-paced game and one where many folks have felt historically excluded. Amanda Thornton explains how growing the largest LBGTQ hockey league in the world requires careful consideration around inclusivity, bias-training, and team-building to allow players to feel like they belong on the ice.
“12 Stages of Burnout”
Burnout in the tech industry has always been an issue and the pandemic has only exacerbated it. In this talk, Naveen VK covers the 12 different stages of burnout as defined by psychologists and some techniques that have actually helped people in the tech industry. All coping mechanisms and ideas came from an open space about the same topic at THAT conference last month (July 2022). The main take-away from this talk is to be able to recognize burnout in oneself and others (friends/family/coworkers) and to use tools that have helped others.
"Just be a person – the importance of empathy in creating an inclusive team culture”
Creating a safe, welcoming, and inclusive environment in the workplace is not really that difficult, but it requires commitment and the willingness to really see and listen to your co-workers. Morgan Andersen's talk will emphasize the importance of empathy while also providing a few concrete steps that you can take to facilitate and foster an inclusive team culture.
“Empathy is Hard: Why Web Accessibility is Still an Unsolved Problem in 2022”
Empathizing with people very different from yourself, with entirely distinct perceptions of and interactions with the world, is a high energy/effort task. Most accessibility tooling does not attempt to lower or erase this empathy barrier, focusing instead on reducing technical hurdles. Sadik Shahidain explains that a new class of tooling is needed, one that makes empathizing with disabled peoples’ experiences as easy or easier than empathizing with others’.
You are an individual, and you belong in tech. Lauren Kieliszewski talks about how recognizing your humanity, advocating for your specific individual needs, and understanding your priorities are critical components of professional self-care. Acknowledgement of our shared imperfection makes for stronger workplaces, happier colleagues, and a better version of you.
Talkback / Retro
Group discussion RE: what our individual and collective takeaways from the talks are, along with actionable ways we can bring our learnings with us back to our workplaces and into our professional lives.