!!Con 2016 notes: Day 1

Notes from a conference about the joy, excitement, and surprise of programming

07 May 2016

!!Con is a conference held every spring in New York City. It’s filled with all kinds of hilarious lightning talks that celebrate the joy, excitement, and surprise of programming – you might’ve heard of it from the talk “I made a cell phone! (DON’T TELL THE FCC KTHX!)” given at last year’s conference.

I attended with some of the teaching staff from the Advanced Programming course at school. Even though our class is about systems programming, we still learned a ton and we’ll definitely be back next year!

Five students with red shirts standing near water

We have matching pancake stack shirts (for when you need to explain in a pinch how the call stack works).

Catt Small: The Creative Programmer (Keynote Speaker)

Code culture and her path into programming

Kiran Bhattaram: The tales of the cursed operating systems textbook!

Mark Allen: values of β may give rise to dom!

One of the strangest error messages in an operating system

Lydia Gu: Ping! Are you there?

The ping tool: “Whenever I’m feeling lonely and wondering if I have a connection…to the Internet”

Katie Bechtold: Code in Spaaaaaace!!!

What it’s like to program for spacecraft

Allison Parrish: Lossy text compression, for some reason?!

Poetry and programming

Brendan Curran-Johnson: A Shot in the Dark!

Reverse engineering a camera

Sher Minn Chong: Plants are Recursive!!: Using L-Systems to Generate Realistic Weeds

Diana Liao: Mixing Paint! With Computers!

Andreas Fuchs: I’m not a number, I’m a free file descriptor!!1 (Our protagonist promptly disappears down a wormhole)

Kamal Marhubi: Storing your data in kernel space: an excellent bad idea!

A man holding a clear plastic pipe onstage

Unix pipes, explained with an actual plastic pipe!

Samy Al Bahra: Debugging debuggers!!!

Laura Lindzey: Convolution and the Fourier Transform: Math! (in pictures!!)

Jennifer Fernick: All Together Now! Programming the Quantum Computer

Mark Phillips: Upstream/Downstream: Discovering and Displaying Watershed Topology!

Mark Dominus: My favorite NP-complete problem!