NYC Tech Events: October 2015

We just came off a great experience at Velocity NY and our very first NYC-based meetup, but we’re always on the lookout for the best events around the city, and we’ve found a few more worth your time.

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NYC Tech Events: TestBashNY

— Load Impact is constantly on the hunt for the best meetups and conferences around New York City. In this new blog series, NYC Tech Events, we talk about some of the tech-focused events around the city that feature great speakers and promote the sharing of ideas from professionals and hobbyists of all skill levels.

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Velocity NY Preview: Evan Gilman of PagerDuty

Imagine a world with no perimeter firewalls (Photo Courtesy of StockSnap.io)

— This is Part 5 of Load Impact’s Velocity NY Preview Series. Load Impact is chatting with some of the cutting-edge developers and executives who will be speaking at Velocity NY Oct. 12-14.

O’Reilly Media prides itself on organizing conferences that feature interesting speakers with a wide range of expertise and the ability to look beyond the status quo.

Evan Gilman, an operations engineer at PagerDuty, the downtime-fighting operations performance software, is redefining the norm when it comes to network architecture in his Velocity NY session, Perimeter-less networks: The Death of the LAN.

“I’ve found that people hold on to private address space and centralized security management quite strongly — almost with a death grip,” Gilman said. “My goal is to show attendees that it’s OK to let go of your private address space.”

For years, there was a sense of security behind private networks, VPN tunnels and perimeter firewalls, but Gilman says those days are long gone now that the best and brightest companies are operating in the cloud.

So, Gilman urges companies to tear down the firewalls and private networks, and as the title of his talk suggests, he thinks companies should be employing a “perimeter-less” approach.

What Inspired This Idea?

In Gilman’s previous work as a network engineer, he gained a lot of experience working with working with large, publicly addressable networks. He formed “kind of a distaste” for private networks in that time, and that’s when he started to expand on his ideas for how any business could operate on a public network.

When Gilman got to PagerDuty, he had the freedom to explore his ideas and execute his plan to completion. He described it as “a breath of fresh air.”

“I have the opportunity to remove private address space,” Gilman said. “And I also have the opportunity to take that one step further and get rid of perimeter firewalls and the things that typically become choke points or single points of failure inside of a network infrastructure.”

Gilman said one of the many things he’s enjoyed about working at PagerDuty has been the freedom to tackle this project.

“We can take this publicly addressable network and make it even better,” Gilman said. “We can remove all the topology. We can do point-to-point everywhere. So, the needs of the PagerDuty infrastructure were the impetus for our [network] design and the talk, as well.”

The Session

Gilman said the talk is going to give some real insight into how he and PagerDuty have taken on this architecture pivot, and he’s ready to be met with some hesitance.

“I tell people what we’re doing with our current architecture, and they’re usually very surprised,” Gilman said. “Well, we’ve found a lot of success with this, and we think there is a lot less complexity in this model than the other models that people are kind of married to.”

Gilman’s session is on the final day of Velocity, and he’s hoping to inspire a few people before they head back home from the conference.

“Hopefully I can drum up some excitement about this,” Gilman said. “I think it’s the future, and it makes a lot more sense than what most companies are doing now.”

— Attend this session and many more at Velocity NY. Use this coupon code — RAGNAR20 — for 20 percent off your pass. CLICK HERE TO REGISTER.

Contact us anytime on Twitter, Facebook or LinkedIn and let us know if you’re attending Velocity. We’re always happy to meet up and chat.

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NYC Tech Events: NYC Testers

— Load Impact is constantly on the hunt for the best meetups and conferences around New York City. In this new blog series, NYC Tech Events, we talk about some of the tech-focused events around the city that feature great speakers and promote the sharing of ideas from professionals of all skill levels.

At Load Impact, performance and load testing is our passion, but the software testing industry as a whole has a depth and complexity all its own.

Whether you’re testing for performance, usability or functionality, we all live under the same umbrella, and the goal for the NYC Testers meetup group is to give testers in the city a place to share ideas, learn and meet like-minded people.

“Before the NYC Testers meetup was started, I was looking for a home,” said Tony Gutierrez, a co-organizer of the group. “The fact that I can help contribute to the meetup and meet other people in the community helps with career development and growth as a tester. It’s something for me to look forward to every month.”

Gutierrez, an experienced QA engineer, didn’t really have that “home” where he could meet fellow testers because meetups and conferences focused on the industry were few and far between.

Then, during CAST 2014 in New York, Kate Falanga and Anna Royzman decided they would help create that community in the city.

“There were a lot of testers from New York City at the conference (CAST),” Falanga said. “But we realized there wasn’t a great community for all of us yet.”

At one of the first meetups, Falanga, Royzman (and former co-organizer Perze Ababa) asked attendees if they would like to help organize, and that’s how Gutierrez ultimately joined the team.

And that development seems to characterize the overarching theme of NYC Testers: Real interactions with the testing community while building a meaningful, inclusive culture.

While Falanga, Gutierrez and Royzman organize the events, book speakers and secure venues, they are quick to point out that the most important aspect of the meetups is the community.

NYC Testers offers different formats for each monthly event, including workshops, group problem-solving sessions, keynote speakers, lightning talks, and whatever else the group is interested in.

As far as where they see the community going in the coming months and years, they agree that’s not for them to decide.

“Really, we’re looking at our community for where they want to go,” Falanga said. “It’s up to the community to decide that, and it’s our role to support it.”

NYC Testers' next event, the September Testers Meetup, starts at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday in the Simulmedia office in Greenwich Village. The meetup will be keynoted by Mark Tomlinson of the PerfBytes podcast. He'll be talking about his "worst mistakes in performance testing," and if it's anything like the PerfBytes podcast, it promises to be very entertaining.

If you're looking for another great performance-based event in NYC, come to our first meetup in the city Oct. 15 near Madison Square Park. We'll be talking about HTTP/2 and the future of the web performance industry. There will also be free pizza and beer, so you're welcome to come for that, too.

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HTTP/2 and The Future of Web Performance

Our event might even have these sweet balloons (Photo Courtesy of StockSnap.io)

We’ve told you all about our upcoming appearance at Velocity NY. Now we’re adding a post-Velocity event to our social calendar, and you’re invited!

In partnership with the awesome Meetup group Continuous Delivery: NYC, we’re hosting HTTP/2 and the Future of Web Performance Oct. 15.

We’ll provide the free pizza and craft beer — and you can come enjoy a night of networking and intelligent conversation on HTTP/2 and web performance.

The main event of the evening will be Load Impact founder Ragnar Lonn showing off HTTP/2 vs. HTTP/1.1: A Performance Analysis, an innovative application that helps web developers understand how their websites will perform on HTTP/2.

HTTP/2 vs. HTTP/1.1 gives you real insight into your website's performance

As for the event, here’s a quick rundown of the meetup’s agenda:

6:15 pm: Guests Arrive — Pizza and Beer!

6:30 pm: Introduction and The Future of Web Performance with Robin Gustafsson

6:45 pm: HTTP/2 vs. HTTP/1.1: A Performance Analysis with Ragnar Lonn

7:10 pm: Networking, and time to finish the leftover pizza and beer!

The meetup will be hosted by our friends at Betterment, the innovative investment platform built for the connected generation.

Each talk will be followed with a brief Q-and-A, and both presenters will be available after their talks to chat with guests.

If you want to get an earlier look at HTTP/2 vs. HTTP/1.1, check us out at Velocity NY, where Ragnar and HTTP/2 contributor Daniel Stenberg will be unveiling the findings from their study on the new protocol that promises better web performance. Register for Velocity NY with the promo code RAGNAR20 to get 20% off your pass.

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NYC Tech Events: IoT Central

IoT Central has grown to nearly 2,800 members in a little more than a year of existence

— Load Impact is constantly on the hunt for the best meetups and conferences around New York City. In this new blog series, NYC Tech Events, we talk about some of the tech-focused events around the city that feature great speakers and promote the sharing of ideas from professionals and hobbyists of all skill levels.

The Internet of Things has been a rapidly growing sector of the technology scene for quite a while, and it’s not showing any signs of slowing down.

Startups and massive companies alike are embracing IoT technology, and it’s no surprise that many NYC-based companies are innovating and helping create a connected world.

Whenever something begins to pick up steam in New York, a meetup group is sure to follow, and in the middle of 2014, Mitchell Golner founded IoT Central.

Similar to the popularity of IoT, the meetup group has experienced rapid growth in a little more than one year — exploding to nearly 2,800 members in that time.

“IoT Central’s mission is to inspire, engage and connect entrepreneurs, investors and professionals and enthusiasts worldwide,” said Golner.

The group typically meets once a month and has a few different types of programs — ranging from demo nights, to panel discussions, to networking events and anything else the community is interested in.

Golner said one of his favorite parts of the meetups has been the “member announcements” portion near the end of each event. That’s when the floor is open for attendees to make a quick announcement, which Golner says have been a good mix of job openings, quick pitches about a product or service and people announcing they are available for new job opportunities.

That kind of inclusion may be one of the many reasons why IoT Central has not only quickly grown to one of the 10 largest IoT meetups in the world, but it’s also comprised of very loyal members.

In December of 2014, Golner and IoT Central hosted the NYC IoT Fair. The event was a success, and it boasted around 500 attendees with 23 companies presenting. The fair was sponsored by leading tech companies, including Microsoft, Samsung, IBM, Verizon, Flextronics, Atmel, Indiegogo, wot.io and others.

Alongside the big-name sponsors and hundreds of attendees, Golner said there was a special detail leading up to the event that still sticks out to him.

“We needed about 30 volunteers for the Fair, so I asked members of the meetup if they would consider volunteering,” Golner said. “There were more than 100 people who offered to volunteer. I was blown away by the response.”

The fact that so many members of IoT Central are dedicated and passionate about the space has helped Golner pick topics, formats and help organize events.

“It’s a community-organized meetup,” Golner said. “There’s no doubt about that.”

What’s Next for IoT?

While a lot of people might think of connected cars, homes and other consumer uses for IoT, Golner said he’s most excited about the potential for advancements in industries like manufacturing, healthcare, Smart Agriculture and Smart Cities.

“IoT has the potential to impact almost every vertical,” Golner said. “While consumers are aware of connected products such as fitness and activity trackers and Smart Home products, the consumer-facing side is just one area in which IoT will impact our lives.”

As IoT continues to grow — both in the consumer world and the B2B world — IoT Central will definitely be there for New Yorkers (and people visiting the city) to connect with other professionals, hobbyists and people who are just interested in the technology’s seemingly limitless possibilities.

Are you an IoT professional, hobbyist or just someone interested in the technology? You can join IoT Central here.

Planning to load test your IoT device? Check out this article from Load Impact blog contributor, Peter Cannell: Load Testing a REST API on a Low-Power IoT Platform.

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NYC Tech Events: Drone User Group Meetup on Governor's Island

— Load Impact is constantly on the hunt for the best meetups and conferences around New York City. In this new blog series, NYC Tech Events, we talk about some of the tech-focused events around the city that feature great speakers and promote the sharing of ideas from professionals and hobbyists of all skill levels.

Sometimes it’s nice to step away from the office, your computer and your development environment to get a little fresh air and enjoy humanity.

What better way to do that than to fly an awesome drone and take photos, video or collect mapping and weather info?

For drone enthusiasts in the New York/New Jersey area, the DUG Meetup Group is a great place to meet fellow hobbyists and professionals who are interested in these flying robots.

The group’s event Saturday on Governor’s Island is another awesome opportunity for drone hobbyists and pros to show their skills, meet people with similar interests and just have a fun time while enjoying the views of lower Manhattan.

The meetup’s sponsor, the Drone User Group Network, is a national organization that promotes safely and responsibly flying drones while furthering the technology for the benefit of humanity.

Steve Cohen, the president of the Drone User Group Network and the NYC/NJ chapter, referred to the group as a kind of “drone chamber of commerce” because of its promotion of educational opportunities and fairly wide reach.

“[The group] is diverse, and there are a lot of young, tech startup people who understand it’s an emerging market,” Steve said. “There are people on both sides — the hobby side and the commercial side.”

Don’t Fear These Drones

Like many other technological advances over the past century, the onset of drone culture came with major skepticism from mainstream media, politicians and law enforcement.

But Steve says the members of DUG look forward to opportunities like Saturday’s event because they can show off these majestic devices while adhering to local rules and FAA regulations.

“This meetup is a perfect example that we want to get positive media coverage,” Steve said. “People can see we’re doing it smart and we have a code of conduct.”

Never too Late to Jump on the Bandwagon

An accomplished commercial and artistic photographer for more than 30 years, Steve became interested in drones only a few years ago when he started to take advantage of their capabilities for scenic photos and video.

As he worked with drones more and more, Steve understood their massive potential. Before long, he was making what some people may have thought was an unorthodox professional transition.

“I’ve made a pivot in my career, and now I do more with drones than I do with photography,” Steve said. “Now, I’m more of a consultant and teacher — and sometimes pilot-operator.”

A Developer’s Dream

Like most developers, Load Impact is intrigued by the nearly limitless possibilities of drones.

Whether it’s for extensive 3D mapping, live event coverage, precise weather reports, etc., there’s no telling where these machines can take us over the next few months and following years.

Maybe part of our excitement is that no matter what information drones are collecting around the world, if there is a big audience that wants to access it, developers will need to load test their public-facing software and APIs — and we’re always up for that.

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NYC Tech Events: PyGotham

— Load Impact is constantly on the hunt for the best meetups and conferences around New York City. In this new blog series, NYC Tech Events, we talk about some of the developer-focused events around the city that feature great speakers and promote the sharing of ideas from professionals of all skill levels.

The origins of Python date back to 1991, and the language has been widely adopted ever since thanks to passionate developers and people like the team at Big Apple Py.

One of the group’s most successful events is the annual PyGotham, which takes place Aug. 15-16 in New York’s AMA Executive Conference Center.

PyGotham brings the city’s Python community together to share their projects, learn more about the language they love and find potential career opportunities.

Celia La is a board member at Big Apple Py and co-organizer of PyGotham. She says people can accomplish a lot of things at PyGotham and other Python events. It just depends on what people are looking to find.

“A lot of it is helping people have the courage to stand up and talk about what they’re working on in front of a group,” Celia said. “We just want to give Python developers a place to come and connect with like-minded people.”

While a lot of meetups talk about networking and recruiting as a core function, Big Apple Py’s events: PyGotham, NYC Python Meetup and Flask-NYC have shown Celia and the other founders proof their events are connecting people.

That’s because both Celia and co-founder Paul Logston found their current jobs through Python events.

Another benefit the founders have seen is the feeling of inclusion among a diverse group of developers. Celia pointed out the demographic of the events are typically very mixed, and she pointed out having a woman on the organization's board of directors could have something to do with that.

If you’re looking to share, learn or search for a career that will utilize your Python skills, you can register for PyGotham here.

Here are a few talks that stood out to us:

Building Tools for Social Good

Eric Schles is a senior analyst in the human trafficking response unit within the New York County’s district attorney’s office. In this presentation, Eric will talk about the growing use of data science and tool-building that can help save people’s lives.

An Iterative Approach to Inverse Problems Using Python’s Numpy

In this talk by Katya Vasilaky, who has a PhD in economics from Columbia, is about improving past algorithms that focused on inverse problems in math, data science, image processing and tomography.

Docker Containers in the Cloud: Provider DeathMatch

Jeff Uthaichai is here to help developers determine which container provider is ing of the Python world. There’s no doubt containers have been eating the development world the last two years, so you know there are plenty of options out there to choose from. If this presentation is half as fun as its name, it will definitely be worth attending.

Teaching Python in Middle School

People often debate when and how children should learn to code — because it’s hardly a question of “if they should” anymore. Meg Winston Ray, a computer science teacher at Bronx Compass High School, uses this presentation to make the case for middle schoolers to learn Python. And bring your computer, class. Meg expects you to contribute to this collaborative session.


Fun fact: The programming language Python is named after the cult-classic comedy series, “Monty Python.” That’s because Guido van Rossum, Python’s author, was reading original scripts from Monty Python when he developed the programming language.

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