Scenic City Summit 2017 In Review


This was Scenic City Summit’s second conference and I heard so many great things about it last year, that I was super pumped to be accepted to speak here. Looking over the speaker list, I was floored at the quality and topics they had selected. Not only was there some .NET, but there were tons of sessions on best practices, different back-end languages, different front-end languages, career, and soft-skills. For this to be a single day conference, I was impressed that they could fit so much awesome in such a short time period. For every time slot, I had at least three sessions I’d love to have seen. Huge shout-out to Scenic City for the awesome job on speaker selection!

Tame the Front End with Elm by Jeremy Fairbank

In this session, Jeremy introduced us to a functional front-end language called Elm. Elm is a language that compiles down to JavaScript, but it’s power lies its default architecture style “The Elm Architecture”, where by defining a Model, a View,  Messages, and an Update function, you could write sophisticated web applications.

Even thought I’ve used Elm in the past, I still learned a lot about the power of Elm and how by using functional concepts, you can easily reason about complicated

Not only was the content fantastic, but Jeremy’s presentation skills are amazing. His thoughtful choice of words, his examples, and his slides really helped get his points across and made it memorable. This session was amazing because not only did I learn some cool new things about Elm, but I learned how to be a better presenter.

Slides can be found at

Canary Deployments for Continuous Delivery by Chris Keathley

In this session, Chris showed us how his team was able to deliver value faster by leveraging Continuous Delivery practices. For example, leveraging automated tests to make sure that the code your deploying isn’t going to break or for your database scripts, make them additive (i.e. add columns and tables, never delete), so that if you need to roll back, it’s painless. As someone who’s currently helping a team set up their deployment pipeline, I was happy to hear that I was on the right track.

One thing I appreciated about this presentation is that Chris’ style is completely different from Jeremy’s, but no less effective. Whereas Jeremy’s approach is methodical and deliberate, Chris’ is more off-the-cuff and he was easily able to sculpt the talk to fit his audience which really helped to get his ideas across.

Guide for the Reluctant Leader by David Neal

For the closing keynote, David Neal told us his story about he struggled to stay as a developer as he kept being promoted to management. Not only did he tell great stories and his trademark drawings, but he gave us some tips and tricks for how we could survive moving into management. This keynote was hands down one of the best sessions I’ve ever seen. Seriously, if you missed this session, you really missed out!

Slides can be found at

Wrapping Up

This was my first time speaking at Scenic City Summit and I had a blast. I was a bit worried about the shorter sessions (45 minutes), however, the length was great and it allowed to have more sessions which really helped to build up a diverse set of topics. Not only were the sessions great, but I had fantastic conversations with both speakers and attendees that inspired me to continue doing better and to be awesome. I’m already looking forward to next year!

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: