Keynote Speaker

Martin Woodward

Martin is the Principal Group Program Manager for DevOps in Microsoft focussing on VS Team Services and Team Foundation Server. Before that Martin was Executive Director of the .NET Foundation helping drive Microsoft’s move to open source and prior to that he looked after the Java, Linux and Mac tooling in the Developer Division and while there helped introduce Git into Microsoft. He works for the Redmond team remotely, based out of a field in rural Northern Ireland.

The Importance of DevOps – Lessons from the Industrial Revolution


Allan Hunter

Allan is a Senior Test Engineer within the PwC Digital Campus team. He is a context driven tester with over 6 years experience working in fast paced agile environments, delivering enterprise scale software. Allan has focused his career to date on enterprise payment platforms and hosted payment acceptance solutions. Prior to PwC, Allan led the testing effort at Bitnet and was the product expert of the Bitcoin Payment Acceptance Platform. Responsible for the merchant-facing experience, a key contributor working closely with Product to ensure testing of the merchant UX. Most recently at PwC, Allan has led testing and user research activities on a number of proof of concepts including insurance policy placement and insurance claims management as well as in the EdTech space.

User Focused Testing - blending user research and software testing

Allen O'Neill

Allen is a chartered engineer with a background in enterprise systems. He is a Microsoft MVP and writes for CodeProject, C-Sharp Corner and DZone. His core technology interests are Big Data engineering and Machine Learning, in particular using Data Science to create intelligent bots/agents for the web. He is also a ball throwing slave to his family dogs.

Are you missing great engineers because of beer and pizza?

How to build a Robot!

Angie McKeown

Angie has 18 years’ experience in the tech industry and has founded 3 startups. She runs the NI Game Dev Network and is passionate about game development and roomscale VR.

Virtual Reality User Experience Design

Arnaud Roger

A relatively old software developer who worked in many industries - finance, media, security -, with a particular interest in Java, the JVM and performance. He likes to play with byte-code generation and indulges in looking at the ASM generated by hotspot. A former author on the now discontinued site-point java channel.

Getting ready for Java 9

Reduce your boilerplate mapping code with SimpleFlatMapper

Brian Douglas

As CEO of Coding Fury, Brian Douglas regularly delivers IT projects that use Web, Mobile and IoT technologies. Coding Fury also delivers corporate IT training in a range of topics including iOS App Development and Data Analysis.

Visualising IoT Data

Chris Laughlin

JavaScript nerd, master at refreshing the browser, can be found watching npm install installing the internet.

Top 5 Chrome Developer Tools Features

Christopher McAlorum

Manager at Northern Ireland Land & Property Services involved with the development of Ordnance Survey of Northern Ireland digital mapping products and consultancy services. Chartered Geographer (CGeog) with a Geographic Information Systems (GIS) specialism. Advocate for incorporating geographic information and relevant geospatial technologies for business and societal benefits. As an affiliate of the Royal Society of Designers, he promotes best practice in digital product, service, and business design.

Ubiquitous Spatial

Claire Wilgar

Claire Wilgar is a senior frontend engineer who has worked for rehabstudio, the BBC, and Moola. She has a passion for accessibility and UX, and how these disciplines impact web development. Claire is also the Community Manager for Farset Labs, and the organiser of Girl Geeks Belfast.

Accessibility for Everyone

Conall Bennett

Conall is a Test Lead at CME Group Belfast working in a cloud migration team involved in the enterprise adoption of DevOps practises, cloud technologies and architecture. Prior to this Conall has worked in both consulting and in various financial enterprise organisations in a variety of Agile and testing leadership roles. Conall is involved locally in co-organising the NI tester meet up and contributing to various other local tech meet ups. He spends most of his time evangelising on Agile and testing practices and trying to find new ways (or rediscover old ways) of causing trouble via testing, while exploring new technologies.

Exploring serverless architecture and applying a test first approach

Cormac McConaghy

Cormac is the ICT Lead for OpenDataNI.

If you build it they will come – NI dev community & Open Data

Diarmaid McGowan

Diarmaid has over 16 years’ experience in software engineering. Starting out in front end development, Diarmaid is a full stack engineer in Allstate’s agile innovation hub CompoZed Lab. Diarmaid works in a lean cross functional team, where communication and user value are key.

Test Driven Development - Live!

Dominik Picheta

Dominik is entering his final year as a Computer Science student at Queen’s University Belfast. He is a core developer of the Nim programming language and the author of Nim in Action.

An introduction to the Nim programming language

Drew McMInn

Long time ago QUB student, now Principal Software Engineer at Liberty IT Belfast. Previously worked for Intel, Siemens, Kainos, and even spent some happy years in the crazy world of video gaming working for 3dfx. Now deep in Amazon Web Services Security and resilience. Working in the LIT Emerging Technologies Division, to build out the technologies everyone will be using in the next 5 years.

Chaos-as-a-Service for the Cloud

Gareth Fleming

Gareth is a true hero who’s stepped in at very short notice to cover for a speaker who had to drop out. Also:

An old man still coding for love and money. Currently working as a programmer for BDNA in Belfast.

Living in the clouds

Gary Robinson

Gary has spent over 18 years in software development and software security, rising to Senior Application Security Architect at one of the worlds largest banks before starting his own software security business. Gary is also an European Board Member of OWASP, co-author of the OWASP Code Review Guide, and helps run the local OWASP Belfast Meetup.

Gary must be one of the few people around to hold certifications in software (SCJP), testing (certified tester), auditing (certified internal 9001 auditor) and enterprise security (CISSP).

Everything that's wrong with security teams

Geoff Macartney

Developer with long experience in the telecoms and internet sectors, working in Belfast and internationally, writing mainly in C++ and Java. Now working for Cloudsoft Corporation in the Belfast office, developing open source code for the Apache Brooklyn project and Cloudsoft company products.

Devops with Open Source: How to Model, Deploy, and Manage your apps with Apache Brooklyn

James Hughes

I do computer. I do computer bad sometimes but I mostly do computer good. I’ve been doing computer for a really long time.

How to do unnecessary things in long winded ways for no apparent reason other than "I like boardgames and graphs"

Jason Bell

Jason Bell is Data Engineer at Mastodon C, a London based firm of big data and data science specialists. He is also the author of the Wiley book “Machine Learning: Hands on for Developers and Technical Professionals”. He regularly blogs at and is also on Twitter @jasonbelldata.

Large scale data streaming in Limavady

Kelly Moore

Kelly spent her placement year as part of the Research & Development team where she worked with a broad range of technologies. Kelly lead Kainos’ AppCamp in 2015 and 2016 where she trained and mentored students in developing iOS mobile applications for 8 weeks. Currently Kelly is working on a cloud based integrated healthcare product that improves the quality and efficiency of patient care.

Tech choices and assumptions

Kevin Beimers

Kevin Beimers runs Northern Irish indie studio Italic Pig, and is the creator/director of award-nominated quantum physics puzzler platformer Schrödinger’s Cat and the Raiders of the Lost Quark, unofficial winner of Best Title For A Video Game Ever. He also co-created Hector: Badge of Carnage, and he’s not even embarrassed about it.

Italic Pig has a great steaming pile of games in development, most notably Mona Lisa – an art heist and forgery adventure set in the Renaissance. Mona Lisa recently won PocketGamer’s Very Big Indie Pitch, and was nominated for Best Storytelling, Best Quality of Art and Most Creative & Original Concept.

In his past, Kevin’s had an office on the 73rd floor of the Empire State Building, rode a tricycle around Australia, and once attended Oktoberfest with Miss Arkansas (all true). His weapon of choice is the non sequitur, followed closely by a BFG9000 made out of Lego.

Abandonment Issues: Why 99% just isn’t good enough

Kevin Gannon

Kevin is a Solutions Architect within PwC’s Digital Engineering Team. He has more than 12 years of experience working on N-tier applications within the CRM/ECM, Payments and Blockchain sectors, spanning core product development, integrating to partner APIs, and building innovative cloud-based solutions.

Attack the Block(chain)

Kyle Thompson

Kyle is as a Solution Architect at Kainos involved in changing how government delivers digital services that help us all. Over the last 10 years he has evolved from developer to architect and has experienced the good, the bad, and the downright ugly of architecture boards, technical design authorities and architecture approval groups.

Kyle’s daily struggle is balancing the responsibilities of the broader view of the architect with hands on experience of following through on the architectural vision to create happy teams who provide quality functional and non-functional delivery.

Resisting the Ivory Tower

Mark McCaigue

Mark is a Software Engineer at TheAppBuilder, where he helps to build an enterprise mobile app platform. He has a background in machine learning and web applications, and an interest software technology and practices in startups. When not catching up with the latest JavaScript framework, he can often be found exploring a new photography location, and aims to one day complete a trip without getting lost.

A Tale of Two Codebases - Our Journey With Xamarin

Martin McKeaveney

Software engineer at rapid7, Java, JavaScript and all things web apps :)

Slaying UI antipatterns with Elm

Neil McCallion

I’m a full-time senior UI developer for, a financial website startup based in Belfast and London. Prior to this I was the Head of Frontend Development at +rehabstudio, operating out of their Belfast office. I am also a co-organiser of (and occasional speaker at) the local BelfastJS meetup group. I’m a ‘web guy’ and am passionate about building for the Web, performance, user experience and keeping things clean and fast. I’m also an occasional musician and game jammer who wishes it was easier to do both in the browser.

Needs Fewer Pixels: Building A JavaScript Retro Game Engine

Niall Haslam

My background is originally in genetics (DNA sequencing) and I’ve always been interested in the intersection of computers and biology. I’ve held a wide variety of jobs from manufacturing antibiotics to measuring performance in a derivatives exchange. I’ve also worked in a variety of different companies from nomad consultants to large corporate organisations and bring the experience from those to any new project. Most of all though I enjoy tinkering with new tech and learning more about how the world works.

axial3D - patient data made real

Niall McLoughlin

Lead Software Developer at CME Group, previously Liberty IT. Currently enjoying the opportunity to build HoloLens applications at CME Group - where I’ve been applying Unity 3D experience gained in mobile development in the mixed reality space. Co-Leader of Belfast Java User Group.

21 Grams - Could a Microsoft HoloLens replace my ski goggles?

Paddy Carey

Paddy is a Senior Engineer at ShopKeep in Belfast, leading a small team that focusses on meeting the complex reporting needs of merchants on the ShopKeep platform. Paddy is the organiser of a number of local meetups, trying to help increase collaboration and sharing within the local tech community. He can often be found in his shed late at night, trying to debug some ill-advised piece of code with his rubber duck that, honestly, he probably should never have written in the first place.

From Monolith to Microservices and back again. Twice.

Pawel Niemiec

Pawel Niemiec is a senior data engineer in BDNA’s Belfast engineering team. His professional career at companies such as Kainos, Allstate and Verint has covered a broad range of specialisations including security, cloud infrastructure and data sciences. He has an extensive knowledge of database technologies across relational and NoSQL paradigms.

Relationship Trouble

Peter Eakin

Peter is a Specialist Engineer at BT in Belfast. He leads the development teams responsible for all User Interfaces on BT TV’s Set Top Boxes. Peter has been instrumental in introducing agile processes within the wider TV team and accelerating the release cadence from development through to production.

Failure is success in progress

Phil Wilkinson

Phil Wilkinson is BDNA’s Site Lead in Belfast. He has 11 years’ experience in data sciences and specialises in business analytics and data warehousing. His career has been entirely based in Belfast with Citi, Oracle and Bitnet prior to helping BDNA establish their Belfast operation.

Relationship Trouble

Ribu Thomas

Over 18 years of experience in the software industry, successfully delivering strategic, innovative and quality software products to the market. Has experience of all stages of software and product life cycles from requirements gathering, scoping, solutioning, prototyping, designing, development, testing, implementation, maintenance and fine tuning. Currently at Allstate as tech lead and team lead of a team of 10 plus high performing and motivated software engineers spread across India, UK and USA.

Journey towards PaaS and API

Richard McCall

Richard has over 20 years of experience in software engineering in BT. He is currently a testing specialist in BT TV’s Client team. He led the introduction of automated testing to drive improve software quality on BT’s set-top boxes and has continued to extend and refine those automation solutions.

Applied Awesomation

Ritu Bhatt

More than 15 years of software development and support experience worldwide. ITILV3, MSSharePoint certified. Founder/CEO iEngageIT.

I don't want (software) support

Rory Hanratty

Rory is Deputy CTO for Kainos Digital, a software architect, product manager and lapsed developer. Over the years he has worked in almost every role imaginable in IT, from testing to web design. He is regularly wrong and likes to help people learn from this by sharing his experience #sharethefail.

Tech choices and assumptions

Stephen McCullough

Stephen has been a developer for the past seventeen years. Currently leading the eco system team at ShopKeep which provides new features to their merchants.

Stephen is co-organiser and frequent speaker of pybelfast, belfast ruby and belfast elixir.

When not developing Stephen can be found pottering about his back and front garden muttering to himself. He’s not talking to the plants, honest….

Keeping your skills sharp in an ever changing industry

Vicky Potts

I’m a software developer and entrepreneur, who first built websites at the age of 11 and has now founded two technology companies. At the weekend, I enjoy Brazilian jiu-jitsu and watching pro wrestling!

Student to Startup

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