Code PaLOUSa 2019

Another year! Another amazing Code PaLOUsa come and gone.


This year Code PaLOUsa was at the Hyatt Regency, which is smack dap in the middle of downtown. This location makes it a perfect spot for all the speakers and conference-goers to experience some of the tourist spots in Louisville and still enjoy the conference.


The sessions were action-packed, as well. A (useful?) attribute of a conference is the level of difficulty for goers to decide which speakers to see! There were so many sessions at each hour to choose. Here is the list of ones I chose (could) to attend.

Demystifying accessibility - Keynote

Accessibility is an essential attribute for websites, and developers need to keep that mind but it is easy to forget. In this talk Gianugo Rabellino from Microsoft’s Accessibility team delivered the keynote Wednesday night for Code PaLOUsa. In it, he talked about what developers can do and impressed upon them how important it is to make sure Accessibility is part of the design cycle.

Leadership Journey: From Software Developer to Leader

My first Thursday session was from Michael Eaton, where he discussed his transition from developer to Leader and back to a developer. In this talk, Micheal lamented the difficulties of these transitions, the first transition from developer to a Leader of developers is and how desperately he wanted to go back to writing code.
Michael gave great feedback for developers going through this, for example, know you’re why; why are you doing what you are doing, whether you’re a dev or a leader. If you are a leader, work on your emotional intelligence. The pieces of advice that resonated with me were “Be consistent” with your decisions and with your team. The second is to always “Own your mistakes.” Michael said, “Successes are his engineers and their failures his.” This quote is an excellent mindset for a leader to have, and I would look for in any leader.

Microservices - The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly

This session, directed by James Quick, gave insight into his lessons of running Microservices at FedEx. In it, we discussed some of the challenges of running Microservices at a scale. Service discovery was a hot topic; James explained several of the solutions. He painted moving to Microservices as not the rosy picture it seems to be and he wanted to make sure Developers know the Good, The Bad, and The Ugly of microservices.

OAuth 2.0 and OpenID Connect In Plain English

Lee Brandt from Okta gave a riveting performance explaining OAuth 2.0 and OpenID Connect in plain English (which he exactly promised in his title). I work with infrastructure and Cloud a lot, so my experience with OAuth is in name only. After Lee’s talk, I felt like I had a grasp of the technology. He kept referring to the same code flow but kept going deeper and deeper into the complexities of OAuth while keeping it attainable for people like me or new developers. He used an analogy of a hotel room transaction, which is
something that is all too familiar to us. Keeping complicated tech engaging is hard for 45 mins, and I applaud Lee for his efforts.

Overcoming the Paradox of Choice when moving to the Cloud

Derik Whittaker gave a session on the extensive list of the choices developers have when moving to the Cloud! There are many services and nuances when moving to the Cloud, he used AWS in his examples. Developers need to have a plan of action when moving to the Cloud. Do we use SQL server? On RDS? Self-hosted on EC2. Research and experimentation go a long way when making the shift to the Cloud.

Make sure to check out the AWS Well-Architected framework

All about JWT’s

JSON web tokens have become an essential part of a developer’s toolbox to secure their applications and sites. This talk Stephanie Chamblee started with where we came from, to the development of JWT, and an explanation for the need for them. As with the OAuth session, Stephanie was able to make a non-developer grasp this technology, and it’s importance, kudos to her.

and a corgi, thanks Cassandra for bringing Katie and sorry I couldn’t attend your sessions, I’m sure they were AWESOME!

Intro to Kubernetes

It’s always a great feeling as a speaker to have a full house and LOTS of questions. We had a great session this go around! I changed up the format for the exercises, utilizing katacoda this time instead of native GCP/GKE and kubectl. It helped reduce the time for setup and made the experience smoother for both me as a speaker and the workshop attendees. I think I will continue to use this service.

Here is the presentation and code

Serverless and Terraform

I was able to help fill in a slot for Chad since he could not speak, he was busy with running the conference! In this talk, I gave an overview of how to develop, deploy, and manage a slack bot with AWS Serverless technology and Terraform.

Here is the presentation and the code


I had a great experience at Code PaLOUsa 2019! And will continue to support our local Developer Conference to make it the best experience for our community. Thanks again for having me as a speaker Chad and Code PaLOUsa, I look forward to next year!