Wasn't that Great!
Code Camp Wellington 2018
was on Saturday, 14th April 2018


As we've done every year,
we're breaking Code Camp into different subject tracks
to help delegates find the most interesting sessions.
For 2018 we've chosen these tracks.

Cool & Fun

If it's tech you think is cool (or fascinating or surprising) then we probably will too.

Hot Technology

What's the latest hot technology that we need to be paying attention to?

Career & Core Skills

What does it take to build a rewarding career in tech?

Software Craft

How to you become great?


Here are our awesome volunteers who contributed their time and skills to speak at Code Camp to make it a success.

On Good Humaning
Championing People to have Organisations Succeed
Opening Keynote

What if an organisation had a real focus on people and was actually interested in what is creates happy people/happy teams/happy code/happy customers. What if people's success was linked to their being their best self at work and that actually increased their effectiveness and the companies' success? This talk is about what I've learnt, and what I've experimented with and what people have trusted me to solve with their people in some pretty cool organisations.

Julie Reddish
Flux Federation

I'm Julie Reddish, Crew Champion at Flux Federation (Powering Powershop). I have done a bunch of weird and unusual things across a few countries. I really like people. I like laughing, organising things and systems for humans, and taking stuff out of their way so they can do their best work.

An Introduction to Serverless
The Ultimate Starting Point For Developers
Hot Technology Breakout Session

Taking you through from whoa to go, with everything you need to know to get your first serverless application up and running in the wild. Perfect for developers and tech folk alike who wish to gain an entry level understanding of what is serverless, and how to architect, develop, and deploy serverless applications, this talk requires no previous knowledge about serverless and is language agnostic.

Vanessa Thornton
Chief Technology Officer at Empathix

As the current CTO of a pioneering, all-female-led tech startup, I bring a wealth of experience from my previous tenure of almost 8 years at a major tech corporation, where I honed my skills in innovation and leadership. I'm a mum, tech-nerd, and engineer passionate about fostering diversity and driving change in the tech industry. I'm here to be the next disrupter, and take our little start up to global success.

Compliance as Code
Transforming Security Practices with DevOps
Software Craft Breakout Session

In a previous role I utilized DevOps practices to lead a major transformation of the security and auditing practices of our team taking them from failure-prone manual repetitive tasks to fully automated unicorn status. This talk will outline the changes we made both technically and culturally to transform not only the security team, but the whole organization into treating security as a design goal rather than an afterthought. You'll leave this talk with a solid grasp of the tools and techniques needed to knock down the silos around your security team and enter a utopian world of security first engineering.

Paul Czarkowski
Dev Advocate, Pivotal Software

Paul Czarkowski is a recovering Systems Administrator who has run infrastructure for longer than he cares to admit. After cutting his teeth in the ISP and Gaming industries Paul changed his focus to using (and contributing to) Open Source Software to improve the Operability of complex distributed systems such as Kubernetes and OpenStack.

The Internet of the 90s
Cool & Fun Breakout Session

It may not have been pretty - but the Internet of the 90s was strangely compelling as hell. It was ultimately a wild terrain for countless ideas to be trialled, that wouldn't quite follow any master plan. Let's look 20-something years back at how things were oddly similar, oddly different, and how it shaped the digital backbone of our lives today.

Gareth Bradley
Javascript developer, Trade Me

I'm Gareth - I've been shipping code, bugs, UI/usability enhancements, performance wins, gnarly refactors and // TODO comments for a shade over a decade. And as time goes on, I'm becoming increasingly interested in the history of tech, and its future. (Maybe partly influenced by missing the Bitcoin gravy-train...)

Start Your Career Right
Career & Core Skills Breakout Session

Starting off your software development career, especially if it's your first career, can be tough. There is so much to learn, more than just syntax of code! This talk, aimed at junior, intermediate or even senior developers(!) covers some of the key tricks to a successful career, such as finding a mentor, working in a team, finding direction, supercharging your learning, getting your performance reviewed and much more.

Sam Jarman
Software Engineering Manager - Cochlear Limited

Hi, I’m Sam! I’ve been a software developer for over 10 years and I am currently a principal engineer and people manager at Cochlear in Sydney, Australia. Over my career I’ve have the pleasure of working at various companies, big and small and I’ve love to share the lessons I’ve learned along the way.


Morning Tea


Deploying a Dockerized .NET Core application with Bitbucket Pipelines and AWS
Hot Technology Breakout Session

There are a lot of steps involved to get an application from your machine to the cloud. Often time and resources can be lacking, that's why I use Bitbucket Pipelines and AWS to speed up the deployment process of my side projects while keeping costs low. I'll show you how I use Bitbucket Pipelines and Docker to build and deploy a .NET Core application into the cloud. I'll focus on ECR and ECS in AWS and show you how easy it is to switch cloud providers too.

Daniel Donbavand
Developer - Xero

I am a .NET Developer working at Xero, I have a keen interest in .NET Core and cloud platforms. In 2016 I transitioned from Software Testing into a Development role. The journey has been action-packed, filled with many ups and downs, but more importantly, it's been a fun and exciting journey. I'm always looking for ways to improve, and people to share with.

Developing Games for the Web with Phaser
Cool & Fun Breakout Session

Phaser is by far the easiest and most enjoyable HTML5 Game Framework around. Phaser 3, which has just been released, allows for seamless integration with tools widely used by the web development community, making it the perfect choice for existing web devs and aspiring developers alike who want to dabble in the realm of game development. This talk will illustrate how easy it is to start pumping out your own games with Phaser, and how easily your game can be extended using popular web development libraries.

Brendan Goodenough
Software Engineer at Vend

I'm Brendan, I've been a web developer for two years, starting off at 8i and more recently moving to Vend. Writing code is my passion. I enjoy the challenge of learning new languages, tools and techniques, and I love being able to share knowledge with the community.

Coding for Conversation
Giving and receiving technical information while being mindful of the recipient.
Software Craft Breakout Session

Coding is not just about writing code. Very frequently, it's a collaborative process that requires communication between individuals and different teams, all of which have a valuable stake within the final project. Communication can be tricky because there are boundaries and knowledge gaps which have to be traversed. Having a greater understanding about what people need can help everyone communicate better while writing collaborative code with global empathy.

Annah Gerletti
Graduate Software Developer

Former Marine Scientist turned developer, originally from Phoenix, Arizona. Attended Code Camp Welly in 2017, which was the propellant to my coding and software journey.

Life as a Manager
Career & Core Skills Breakout Session

One day I was a developer, the next day I was manager. It's taken me a few years to figure out what that really means and I'm still trying to figure out if I'm going about it the right way. I often joke that I spend my day in meetings and that I don't do any proper work, but in reality I find management one of the toughest challenges I've taken on in my career. If you're curious about management or if you're a manager who's curious about someone else's journey into the world of management, this talk is for you.

Sunil Jolly
Developer & People Lead @ Xero

I'm Sunil and I love working in an industry that's constantly adapting and growing - though I admit I'd rather play the drums all day. I was born in London and after studying Graphic Design my career took quite a few twists and turns through Flash, PHP, .Net, Javascript development, UX design and management. A few years ago I landed in Wellington and now I'm working at Xero.

Yak Shaving
Software Craft Breakout Session

My talk will be about the wonderful competitive sport that is Yak Shaving. Horror stories included. How to spot it, avoid it, and how to make the most of it.

Thong Kuah
Tech Lead @ Flux Federation

Software developer, with over ten years of experience. Still on this journey, learning from mistakes all the time. Prefers less magic, more intention in code. Loves to teach and learn all about programming. I live with a fluffy white cat and my family here in Wellington. Purveyor of obscure facts.

Google Cloud Firestore: a better Firebase
Hot Technology Breakout Session

Recently Google released Cloud Firestore which takes the Firebase real time database and adds a load of usability and functionality (read: OMFG this is so much better). Coupled with Cloud Functions you can do a lot without having to run any servers at all, but this requires a change in mindset about how your application's dataflows work. Come and get a high level overview of how you'd build apps in this environment and see me cringe as I use the terms NoSQL, serverless, and the cloud.

James Macfie

I'm James Macfie, development manager at CRS software by day, CTO at Trouble Brewing by night (which is to say, I'm the only developer so I got to choose my job title). I've been a JavaScript developer for as long as I can remember, and trying to get people to write decent CSS for about half as long. But, really, the main thing I do is try and make software that people find value in.

The Apollo Guidance Computer
The computer that put man on the moon
Cool & Fun Breakout Session

50 years ago, the AGC guided Apollo 8 on its voyage around the moon. The AGC was the principal onboard computer for NASA's Apollo missions, including all of the lunar landings. Both the Command Module and the Lunar Module had AGCs, so two AGCs were used on most of the Apollo missions, but with differing software. The talk will cover a brief overview of the moon missions and the Saturn 5 rocket to place the AGC in context and then look at the hardware and software of the AGC and its effect on Apollo 11 and 14.

Rory Braybrook
Microsoft Identity Architect

I've presented at the Code Camp before. I'm a Microsoft MVP interested in the history of computing.

Mitigating Kernel Panic in Non-Silicon Based Workers
Career & Core Skills Breakout Session

Ever felt like you were heading towards an HCF instruction or needed a hard reset? We may be computer programmers but we are not as robust as machines. This talk discusses, through real science factzÔäó and some fun anecdotes, how to avoid your own personal blue screen of death due to running at 100% CPU all of the time or in human speak, im talking about burnout.

Ellie Coyle
Security Engineer/Developer @ Xero

Yo waddup fam, its ya gurl Ellie ur fav overly millennial sparkly developer dork. I really like problem-solving, collaboration and getting that gosh darn last test to pass after that refactor that went horribly wrong cos you got distracted by the efficiencies of LINQ statements vs good ol' fashion loops... aaand that got a bit specific. Anyway, you usually can't shut me up when it comes to live music, ponies of the My Little kind and programming!

Talent Army


Talent Army

Big Burger Data: Computing Flavour
Cool & Fun Breakout Session

Completely reasonable strategies for finding the perfect burger.

Oleg Voronin
Team lead at Xero

I've been working on user experiences for 10 years, still trying to nail it. Never thought about management before my current role. I love learning more about things so I mostly listen to talks, but sometimes I talk talks, too. What's the most awesome thing you've learned last year? Tell me!

Tales from Recruitment Land
Career & Core Skills Breakout Session

A talk about how hiring managers approach recruiting technical employees with lots of 'do's and a few 'dont's. Questions welcome!

Rachel Collingridge
Totara Learning

A classically trained musician, Rachel got into software development by mistake, and has been enjoying it too much to switch back. After sixteen years of shipping code commercially she's spent nearly a decade in technology leadership. Her working style is based on servant leadership, extreme collaboration, making a positive difference and always having a laugh while doing it.

Moving Fast - Without Crashing
Software Craft Breakout Session

Pushpay operates in the payments industry so we are very risk adverse, yet we are able to deploy to production up to a dozen times per day.
This talk will discuss the culture that enables this, and the tools and processes that have been built over time to support our fast pace. We will show how we can maintain a high quality codebase that has minimal technical debt, while simultaneously growing the team significantly in the last 2 years. Finally we will explain how our culture helps support us in those rare instances when something does go wrong.

Marcus Bristol

I am an Engineering Manager at Pushpay and have been developing for longer than I can remember. I also run the Auckland Software Craftsmanship and Auckland .Net user groups, although unfortunately they've been a little quiet since the COVID lockdowns.
I believe that for true growth, you need to be doing things that make you a little uncomfortable, and you need to be willing to make mistakes and learn from them. Toddlers are by far the best at this.

How we architect to scale with video at Wipster
Hot Technology Breakout Session

Wipster is a private video collaboration platform helping companies across the world do more with video. My aim is to briefly persuade listeners that video is eating the world because it is the most effective way to convey a message online. Accepting that, I'll talk through our company's technical history (briefly) and how we run our platform to handle video at scale. The intent is also to leave time for Q&A.

Will Them
CTO @ Wipster

I am from the US and have lived in Wellington nearly 10 years. I've been working in software development in some form for about 16 years. In New Zealand I've spent most of those 10 years working for Trade Me. I joined Wipster as CTO in Jan 2017. I love the arts, and my spare time over the past year or so has been spent teaching myself to play the piano.

Hacking some stuff in the Cloud
Cool & Fun Breakout Session

What happens when some ne'er-do-weller casts their eyes across some vulnerable web application hosted in the cloud, and decides to get up to some shenanigans? In this presentation, we will be primarily baiting the Demo Gods to deliver a cruel fate to the speaker. We will do this via a live-fire hacking scenario with no cards up sleeves.

Nick Breeze
Security Architect @ Xero

Nick is a former penetration tester, who now works as a Security Architect. Or simply, someone who has "turned from being a breaker into a builder". He enjoys practicing pragmatic approaches to security, or "real" security as he calls it.

Point Break + Cars = The Fast and the Furious
Teaching computers to understand movies
Hot Technology Breakout Session

How do computers turn complicated, subjective information into usable data? In this talk I'll explain a technique called Latent Semantic Analysis. Using data from the Internet Movie Database, I'll show how we can transform text data into numeric representations that encode the meaning of text, and then demonstrate how we can use these numeric representations to learn things about the movies. This is a high-level overview that should be accessible for almost anyone, regardless of your background.

Simon Carryer
Data Scientist @ Xero

Simon Carryer is a Data Scientist at Xero, in Wellington, where he works on teaching computers to do accounting. With a background in Social Sciences, he took a slightly circuitous route into data science. Previous to Xero, he worked for Trade Me, where he helped build their property price estimation models.

Why Dev & UX folk should hang out more
Software Craft Breakout Session

As we continue to embrace AI technologies it is now more than ever that UX Research is needed, to inject a dose of humanity into everything we do. This talk will explore Jared Spool's definition that 'design is the rendering of intent' and how this applies to software development, unpacking what it means to do 'intentional development' in an agile environment. This is a UX 101 talk aimed at a developer audience, covering learnings of all things hideous to victorious in building software with 3 reasons why we, developers and UX folk should hang out more.

Jasmin Mayfield
UX Researcher @ BNZ Digital

Jasmin is a UX Researcher at BNZ Digital where she helps development teams build software to delight the socks off their customers. She previously dabbled in the world of corporate management, then briefly as a front end developer. Interested in technology, design and human behaviour, she considers UX Research a (badass) business tool that can calibrate/recalibrate a purposeful path for any project, and believes that a great UX is the heart of a great business. Aside from being a post-it hoarder, she is an avid dog enthusiast, loves cheese scones, cowgirl boots and blowing bubbles with her two kids.

Coding with Feeling
Career & Core Skills Breakout Session

This talk is about how developing your emotional awareness can help you grow into a more powerful programmer and a better teammate. It's an exploration of the way we use our emotions to guide our coding and a guide to how you can consciously work to improve your emotional and interpersonal skills for the good of your code, your self and your team.

Nick Johnstone
Software Developer
@ NEC Smart Cities

I'm passionate about making tools to help people express themselves and better understand the world. I work four days a week at NEC Smart Cities, as a Full Stack Developer and Agile Team Lead. I spent my fifth work day working on Cycle.js, my upcoming downhill skateboarding game, my programming language, or one of my other open source projects. When I'm not doing that, I enjoy riding my bike and skateboards, reading, listening to music, playing games and spending time with my friends.

Microservices Testing
Shedding the monolith mindset
Hot Technology Breakout Session

Microservices are very much in hot trend today with its touted benefits of allowing teams to develop, deploy and scale business systems independently. Yet when it comes to testing (and developing) microservices, the mindset and techniques employed by teams are often still fixated around thinking about them in unison. In this talk, I will reflect on the challenges of implementing microservices and discuss a spectrum of testing thinking to consider.

Hady Osman
Development Manager @ Xero

A developer at heart, Hady is currently a development manager at Xero helping people have more conversations everyday about the things that matter to form great teams who build great product. Prefers code that is optimised for people rather than technology. Strives to be Yoda rather than Superman. And jumps on his Kindle at every fleeting chance.

Abstraction: How Comics Explain Effective Software Design
Software Craft Breakout Session

What's the relationship between a stick figure drawing and a higher-order function? What do graphic novels have to tell us about designing complex software applications? Whether you're just starting to code or have been designing massive software systems for decades, determining ÔÇ£the right level of abstractionÔÇØ is a critical skill that can be difficult to define in practice, so this talk will synthesize lessons from the visual world of comics (along with a dose of cognitive science) to define principles that allow you to evaluate and control it. Somewhere between the detail of the underlying hardware and simple shape of a feature spec, your code can be tuned to encapsulate just the right amount of information to support composable, maintainable software.

Mike McGahan
Principle Web Engineer at Meetup

Dr Mike designs, builds, and maintains the web platform at Meetup, making it faster and easier for engineers to develop high-quality applications. He also leads the company's Web Engineering Guild dedicated to establishing and communicating best practices in the discipline. With an eclectic background in cognitive science and engineering that reflects his deep interest in UX and software architecture, he is constantly in search of the best strategies to create applications that are not just a pleasure to use, but a pleasure to build.

Inclusive Collaboration
How our differences can make the difference
Career & Core Skills Breakout Session

Personality quirks, character traits, mental diversity.
Technology thrives on innovation and creativity, and therefore, our industry relies upon a wide variety of people who think, react, work, communicate, interact, and socialise differently. Most modern workplaces value collaboration, teamwork, interaction, and change, but for many people, some of the ways we work and the working environments that result present unique challenges on top of the day-to-day technical challenges of software development. In some cases, they can stifle the very creativity and innovative thinking we are trying to foster.
In this talk, we'll explore how having a neurodiverse workforce can give you a competitive edge, and how the workplace can respect diverse needs and different requirements for interaction and collaboration to bring out the best in everyone's differences.

Aaron Hodder
Senior Consultant, Assurity Consulting

Aaron isa senior consultant at Assurity Consulting Ltd. He is an advocate for agile and lean ways of working, with software testing being my primary area of expertise. Aaron has a particular interest in mental diversity, and is a contributor and mobiliser in the Inclusive Collaboration Campaign which aims to celebrate and nurture neurodiversity in the workplace. His latest professional interests are in ethics, and the human and societal impact of technology and how teams can be more conscious of ways their products may inadvertently cause harm and distress.

The Talk about Speaking, and how you can start
Career & Core Skills Breakout Session

Often people want to present a talk at a usergroup/conference and have no idea how to get started. Some people are just too intimidated and daunted by the task that is actually much easier than you expect. In this session we will cover: How to choose a topic, How to prepare your talk and most importantly Tips on how to present your talk. I have used all of these techniques myself as well as introducing them to the people I've coached. This will be more than a theoretical talk, I will actively demonstrate everything that I discuss.

Steven McDonald
Developer Leader @ PartsTrader

I've been in software for almost 20 years, and I've gone from "headphones on, leave me alone" to leading teams and facilitation. Since 2020 I've been studying Developmental Coaching and bringing those skills into Engineering teams.

Self care in the age of Don't Care
Closing Locknote

It can be hard as a software developer to work out what's important to stay ahead of the game and stay on top. The pressures that work can exude on us can leave us all behind. Software engineering has some shocking statistics on burn out and depression. Lets see if together we can dissolve some of the myths that lead people to not take self care seriously in this industry.

Owen Evans

Owen has been a manager and leader of people in the Wellington tech scene for a long time (some might say too long). He's been at places like Xero and had a startup called Hoist, he's also dabbled in Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality as director of engineering at 8i. Most recently he's been a consultant to many startups around New Zealand.


Thanks to our awesome sponsors -
without their support since 2016 we wouldn't be able to put together such awesome events.

Major Sponsors

We thank these major sponsors for their support of Code Camp Wellington 2018

Trade Me

Venue Sponsor


Venue Sponsor

Talent Army

Major Sponsor


Other Sponsors

We thank these sponsors for their support of Code Camp Wellington 2018


Our Amazing Team

These are the volunteers responsible for bringing everything together
to make Code Camp Wellington into an event to remember.

Amelia Laundy

Amelia is a rising star in the firmament of Wellington IT. A graduate of the training powerhouse that is Enspiral Dev Academy she has worked with local luminaries such as Owen Evans at Hoist, Dave Williams at Trade Me, and, um, Owen Evans at 8i. Boasting development prowess which rampages across multiple stacks as well as the kind of organisational skills which would give Brunel cause to pause she is a linchpin of the organising committee.

Ben Amor
Returning Organizer

Ben has worked with of the biggest names in Wellington, including alumni of both Xero and Trade Me. To widespread astonishment, including their own, they're all willing to work with him again. He brings a great sense of fun, a quirky sense of humour and a sterling can do attitude to everything he does and we think it's just splendid that he's joined us for another Wellington Code Camp.

Bevan Arps
Founding Organizer

Bevan is the driving force behind Code Camp Wellington, and formerly of the Wellington .NET user group. He's an alumnus speaker of TechEd and Code Camps in Auckland, Wellington, and Christchurch. Over his long and storied development career he's written code you can bank on as well as some that's right on the button. We can only hope he's not going soft as Code Camp moves into another year and we're delighted that he's brought his vision and zeal to the committee for another round.

Dave Williams
Venue Organizer (Trade Me)

Dave bestrides the Trade Me platform like a tech colossus and is the two time runner up in the "nicest person in Wellington IT" awards. A stalwart supporter of tech community events in Wellington he is also in his third year of applying his considerable talents to making Code Camp hum like a beehive in the middle distance and pop like a weasel.

Jean McClymont
Venue Organizer (Xero)

Jean has helped Xero navigate the stormy waters of the surge through the one million user mark with a firm hand on the tiller, an unstoppable energy, weapons-grade technical prowess, and a crunchy zest for developer education. Without her eye for detail and efforts in wrangling volunteers previous codecamps would have fizzled like home fireworks in the rain and the committee are juggling "relieved" and "delighted" that she has agreed to be involved once again.

Jen O'Byrne

Jen brings the freshest perspectives to the organising committee since the invention of mint toothpaste. Her day job is wrangling the Xero graduates to wrangle the Xero stack to wrangle the largest data sets in New Zealand and out of hours she is carving out a name on the tech conference circuit. As a developer she aspires to be a better mentor and as a mentor she aspires to be a better developer. 12/10 would work on her team indefinitely.