What a day!
Code Camp Wellington 2023
was on Saturday, 15th April 2023


As we've done every year,
we're breaking Code Camp into different subject tracks
to help delegates find the most interesting sessions.
For 2023 we've chosen these tracks.

Code On Screen

Show us the code! Tell us why you think it's important, and what we need to know.

Careers & Teams

What does it take to build a rewarding career in tech, and how do we contribute to teams that succeed?

Hot & New

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

Cool & Fun

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


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

Success suits you!
Opening Keynote

In the midst of the second More Than Rubies conference, I raised my hand in response to the question 'Are you afraid of your own success?'. The irony is that I was the conference founder and organiser! Say what?!

Far from being afraid of failure (I thrive on experimentation), I was quietly terrified of being successful. Join me for this interactive session as we unpack some key lessons learned in overcoming this fear and embracing success.

Shiffy Lal

On a constant pursuit for world domination, I believe the best way to take over the world is by empowering others to change it (for the better!). I am a Senior Manager and a Management/Technology Consultant by day. I am also the Founder and Director of M.A.D Skills, the social enterprise which birthed the female empowerment movement known as More Than Rubies and Rubies Girls. Having run several practical and educational events for women and girls including 3 conferences, I know first-hand that personal decisions made at conferences can change lives. Skeptical? Come see for yourself!

A Hacker's View of DoS Attacks
Cool & Fun Breakout Session

This talk will go over the ways a hacker conducts reconnaissance against an organisation to select targets best suited for a DoS attack. Following that, we will provide methods for defending your organisation and web applications. DoS attacks are a topic at the front of a lot of people's minds at the moment. This talk will examine how a hacker selects targets within an organisation with a goal of causing the greatest business disruption. Attackers can find juicy targets in more ways than you would initially think. A range of discovery techniques will be presented. People watching this talk will not be left hanging, as it will finish with how you can protect your assets from DoS attacks (spoiler: a CDN, WAF or DoS scrubbing are not magical cures on their own).

David Robinson

Dave/Karit in his time working in various parts of the IT industry has developed a skillset that encompasses various disciplines in the information security domain. He currently works as a Penetration Tester at ZX Security in Wellington and runs Kākācon. Since joining ZX Security Dave has presented at DefCon, Kiwicon, Aerospace Village @ DefCon, BSidesCBR, ChCon, Unrestcon and at numerous local meetups; along with running training at Kiwicon, Syscan, CrikeyCon, ChCon and TuskCon. He also has a keen interest in aerospace, lock-picking and all things wireless.

AI Trends in Aotearoa
Hot & New Breakout Session

New Zealand is a country full of opportunities, innovations, and technology initiatives. It is not behind the rest of the world in competing with the latest trends that can bring state-of-the-art technology into our work. Join me in a talk about AI trends in Aotearoa. The presentation will cover what AI and machine learning are, along with big data, and explore some of their use cases in NZ. AI is around us in every shape or form and in my talk, I will aim to help share some of the exciting work."

Ambica Dixit

I am an Engineering Manager at BNZ and currently pursuing my Master of Artificial Intelligence from Victoria University of Wellington. As an AI enthusiast, I am passionate about sharing my knowledge with the wider community and enjoy mentoring and coaching others. I am always willing to learn and apply my skills in the real world and so always seek new challenges within my company and around to be creative and innovative. I came to New Zealand with my family in 2011 and was mesmerized by the country's natural beauty. It quickly became my second home and I am grateful for the opportunities and experiences that New Zealand has provided me.

The History of Trade Me
Code On Screen Breakout Session

Join us on a journey as we trace the 15+ year rich history of the ListingService.cs file in Trade Me's repository, and see what we can learn about software rot, or at least find some amusing commit messages. At the end we will hopefully have another way of thinking about software rot and how to keep it out of our own systems.

Patrick Nicholls

As a javascript & C# developer who's worked at Verizon Connect (AKA Telogis) & Trade Me, I have a guilty pleasure for finding and preserving the strange contortions of code that only well aged monoliths seem to have.

Staff Engineering
Careers & Teams Breakout Session

Are you a software engineer who is curious about career growth opportunities but aren't loving the idea of moving into management? The good news is that there is another option - Staff Engineering. In this talk, I'll explore what it means to be a Staff+ Engineer and how it differs from the more traditional Engineering Management roles. Learn how to use the Dreyfus Model to identify where you are on your journey and what you can do to get to the next level. I'll also share my personal experiences with the Engineer/Manager pendulum and how you can chart a course that's right for you.

Annie Vella

Annie is a lifelong computer enthusiast and self-professed nerd, with a particular interest in software development. As a backend software engineer, she's designed and built systems for a variety of industries across four countries. Nowadays, she leads technology teams and champions a culture of curiosity, learning and excellence in engineering.

Younity Recruitment & Consulting

Morning Tea

Younity Recruitment & Consulting

A Brief History Of Wordle(s)
Cool & Fun Lightning Talk

Have you Heardle of the Globle phenomenon, Wordle? Think that creating your own daily puzzle would be too Absurdle? Listen to me Waffle on about the Worldle of Wordle-like games and become a true Wordle Nerdle!

David Thomsen

David is a multidisciplinary volunteer who has previously helped out at tech conferences, literary festivals and street carnivals. They have also attempted a variety of creative pursuits, from writing novels to their current interest in making daily web-based games. They hope you are having a nice day!

Ignore previous instructions
Cool & Fun Lightning Talk

Communication is different in the digital age, and so is love. Join developer Zelle Marcovicci, who met her wife online, for a short, funny talk on utilizing virtual spaces in the name of romance. Instead of carving initials into trees, we'll discuss prompt injection, viruses, secret messages and lots more!

Zelle Marcovicci

Zelle is a programming tutor, game & software developer, and anarchist with a passion for open source, hardware hacking, and digital worlds. She met her wife on a virtual pet website when she was sixteen years old, and, rather naively, believes love will save us all. You may have seen her around Wellington, Neopets.com, Second Life, or giving previous talks at the New Zealand Game Developer Conference and Virtual CC Fest.

DnD and Accessibility
Cool & Fun Lightning Talk

Hullo, adventurer! All of us who work with UI can probably do with levelling up a little in Accessibility. We'll apply Strength, Dexterity, Constitution, Intelligence, Wisdom, and Charisma to the front-end and check out what skills support each stat.

Please note: no existing knowledge of dungeons, dragons, or the combination of the two, is required for this talk.

Steve Barnett
Digital Accessibility Specialist at MSD

Steve is a human-centred front-end developer. He works as a Digital Accessibility Specialist at the Ministry of Social Development. He helps product, design, and development colleagues make things more accessible for more people. He's also a keen Switch and PS5 gamer, especially big, open-world games.

Forging ahead post calamity
Hot & New Breakout Session

A look at a few real-world catastrophic incidents and the following post-mortems.

The tech is often easy to focus on, but what about the team? You've fixed the platform, but have you stabilised the team?

Konstantin Tchernov

Konstantin is a Site Reliability Engineering (SRE) and DevOps consultant with extensive experience leading teams at top companies using a variety of tech stacks. Currently leading an SRE team, automating the Auckland power grid.

Practical Ways of Failing Fast
Code On Screen Breakout Session

The world is rapidly changing and organizations need to adapt to changes just as quickly. How can an organization change faster without compromising reliability and security?

Terry Pan

I have been consulting as a Cloud and DevOps engineer for a few years, for companies of various sizes ranging from start ups to companies in the Fortune 500. I hope I can share some of my experiences.

Career Development Anti-Patterns
Careers & Teams Breakout Session

Great careers don't just happen; they are the product of strategic planning and careful execution over many years. Unfortunately, a number of "anti-patterns" have emerged in career development that feel intuitive – and may even work in the short term – but in the long term will torpedo your career faster than advocating switching to microservices! In this presentation, we'll look at the 4 most common career development anti-patterns, why they don't work, and what you can do instead.

Phoenix Zerin
Staff Engineer

On a mission to help Aotearoa New Zealand close its digital tech skills gap by developing cultures of technical excellence and creating career pathways for new devs. I have been developing and architecting software applications for nearly 2 decades, at companies of all sizes in different parts of the world. I am passionate about the *meta problem*: creating value for value creators, and I thrive wherever I can āwhina others to build, create and grow. My favourite development mahi is working on open-source libraries and frameworks, and I mentor developers of all skill levels in New Zealand. Also, I really like cat emojis. A lot 😸

The Art of Effective Feedback
Careers & Teams Breakout Session

Giving feedback is an essential part of our roles, whether you’re coaching someone in a 1-1, reviewing a PR, or giving life advice to your manager. But how do we do this in an encouraging that motivates them for success?
Conversely, how do you process constructive feedback? Are you able to reflect on it and improve, or does it simply add to the underlying anxiety that we all have?
This session will explore some techniques and strategies to help ensure you get the best results when providing and receiving feedback.

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.

Build Confidence with Tests
Code On Screen Breakout Session

Tests are not magic. Smart review of the best practices for writing high-quality tests with examples in frontend testing (ReactJS). All the main ideas are collected from multiple resources with all the references to tech industry leaders as well as practical experience.

Helen Kyryliuk
Front end developer at Timely

I am passionate about frontend. I am currently a frontend developer working with ReactJS at Timely Business Management Software. I have a growth mindset and a habit of constantly practising new technologies and applying gained skills.

The Trade Me modernisation journey
Cool & Fun Breakout Session

Trade Me is Aotearoa's largest marketplace and classifieds site with more than five million active members and seven million live listings. Every day over 650,000 Kiwi come to Trade Me to create the life they want.
From a technology perspective, Trade Me is built as a monolithic web application (and mobile apps) that has served the business for well over 20 years.
With increasing needs to deliver more value to our customers and to be able to make changes faster, its monolithic nature has become a limitation. Over 20 years the platform has accumulated some technical debt that also needs to be addressed to enable a modern, easy and exciting platform that delivers value to Kiwi.
In this talk, I'd like to tell you how we plan to modernise our monolith, move from a monolithic architecture to a monolith + microservices architecture, and the architectural approach we've taken.

Paolo Ragone

Paolo Ragone is the Chief Technology Officer (CTO) at Trade Me. Prior to joining Trade Me in May 2020, Paolo worked on product & innovation at Ebay, held the position of CTO at Gumtree Australia, and most recently was CTO, General Manager at Air New Zealand. Paolo has over 18 years of experience across a variety of industries but the world of classifieds is close to his heart.

My Secret Career Superpower
Careers & Teams Lightning Talk

I have a secret. One that I tell only my closest friends - and that includes you, right? This is the story of my superpower, the superpower that drives my career. It's a superpower you can have too.

Bevan Arps

Bevan's been writing code for a long time. He started coding, for fun, in 1982, on a Sinclair ZX81. He hasn't really ever stopped.

IT influencers in the wild
Careers & Teams Lightning Talk

When you think about who has influenced you and your organisation the most, what do they look like? A behind the scenes look at what authors influence our thinking and whether they represent the diverse, inclusive and equitable workplaces that we hope to become. What is the impact if the world view of the people writing the rules of the ways that we work, and the stories they use to make their arguments for change, don't represent you.

Tracy Morris

Tracy has been in the IT industry since 1994. She recently doubled down on her purpose to increase the representation of women wherever decisions are being made; to lead towards a world where women's voices, stories and lived experiences shape our future. Tracy loves to ski and mountain bike, and enjoys a local craft beer.

The Power of the Community
Careers & Teams Lightning Talk

How can you establish yourself in tech & build your career? How can the community help? What IS the community? Join this session for a discussion with tips & tricks for establishing yourself within the tech community.

Anna Loughnan

Anna is an independent Salesforce consultant with 15 years experience. She's a Salesforce MVP and leads the popular SFWelly user community group. She's a networker, connector, mentor & international speaker.

Younity Recruitment & Consulting


Younity Recruitment & Consulting

Good vs Great Developers
Careers & Teams Lightning Talk

This lightning talk speaks to how vital the human connection is to current and future technology spaces, and particularly to the work of Software Developers.

Carolyn works at Dev Academy Aotearoa New Zealand. Part of the mission at Dev Academy Aotearoa is cultural change in the tech sector.

Dev Academy wants to be part of a more diverse, empathetic, and high trust workforce.

We hope from this kōrero, you walk away with a new appreciation for your human skills and how they can benefit your career and the wider ecosystem.

Carolyn Stott

Pronouns: she/her/ia
Iwi: Muaūpoko / Taranaki / Te Ati Awa
Carolyn is the Teaching Practice Lead at Dev Academy Aotearoa, working within a wider leadership team to look after the Level 6 Certificate in Applied Software Development programme, and is based in Tāmaki Makaurau / Auckland.' Carolyn has been facilitating and leading the Human Skills team within Dev Academy for nearly 4 years, also managing the pastoral care and support for students across all campuses including Auckland, Wellington and Online. Carolyn is on a mission to encourage more Māori women into the tech sector in Aotearoa New Zealand.

Code Crash Investigations
Code On Screen Lightning Talk

A lighthearted yet practical approach to building quality and resiliency into your Software Engineering Practice by borrowing a few ideas from the forensic teams that investigate aviation accidents.

Jason Vella

Jason is a dedicated software enthusiast with a long career building large scale back end systems both as a contributor and as a leader. He has had ample opportunity to reflect upon the rapidly changing face of software engineering and how our engineering practice evolves with it. He loves the dynamic and deeply technical nature of software and gets the biggest kicks from making the complex simple.

Drones: Lifting STEM to New Heights
Cool & Fun Lightning Talk

I am going to show you how these educational drones are taking student engagement to a whole new level! Students are learning how drones fly, using physics(not tech magic) and how to code them using DroneBlocks, JavaScript and Python. My mind blown moment was thinking: 'We are turning data, into flight'. How cool is that?!

Clinton Evans

I bring a contagious passion and excitement into tech. Spent the last 14 years in IT in Wellington Education Sector then transitioned to STEM workshops and Professional Development. I've been building Drone based STEM coding courses for the since 2021 and CAN NOT WAIT to show these to you!!

Top Tech Talent
Careers & Teams Breakout Session

Summer of Tech has been connecting students and graduates with their first tech jobs in Aotearoa since 2006. We'll bring together a panel to talk about challenges and opportunities for growing, being & finding fresh tech talent for empowering careers.
Takeaways for hiring managers: an understanding of the ROI of juniors, including practical tips for finding, hiring and growing local tech talent, and insights into candidate experience.
Takeaways for tech career newbies: an understanding of what it takes to kick start your tech career in Aotearoa, and practical tips for getting your dream job.

Introduction to WebAssembly
Code On Screen Breakout Session

Faster, safer, more portable: with WebAssembly, you can run code from *any* language in the browser. But that's just the beginning. Find out how to write WebAssembly, how it works, the crazy things people are doing with it, and why it just might be the next wave of cloud computing.

Ivan Towlson
Co-founder, Fermyon

Ivan has been knocking around the software scene since the days of Turbo Basic, and has lately found himself focusing on cloud native tools as part of Microsoft's Deis Labs group. He is now back in the startup world, helping to found Fermyon and using Rust and WebAssembly to build the next wave of cloud computing.

Building a culture of experimentation
Careers & Teams Breakout Session

Building a culture & practice of experimentation sounds cool on paper - but what does it actually look like to put it into practice?

I'll walk you through a few years worth of improving the search experience at Trade Me.

It's a tricky area - The path forward isn't always set out for us, and the investment cost of some ideas can be high. We've been able to use experimentation practices to break down work to smaller investments, dream up new ideas, build better analysis loops - and quantify the business outcomes of the work we've done.

Most importantly - it's been fun, rewarding & purposeful for teams, and nice to watch the ripples across the company.

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...)

Architecting for sustainability
Hot & New Breakout Session

IT professionals today need to build solutions with sustainability in mind. This session will discuss design principles and operational best practices to reduce energy and carbon impact when running applications in Cloud. Learn how to architect for using the right resources, in the right amount, at the right time to deliver on your needs.

Chris Kumar
Senior Solutions Architect - AWS

I'm a builder and love working with large systems. As an AWS architect and resiliency specialist, I work with enterprise financial services organisations to design highly secure and reliable solutions in cloud.

Machine Learning for Developers
Hot & New Breakout Session

Are you a developer who wants to break into machine learning and data science?

In this talk, I cover the most important aspects of Machine Learning that don't involve code:
- What is data wrangling, and why is it important?
- Why are data transformations so important?
- What are the most commonly used ML algorithms, and why should I use one and not another?
- Why overfitting is bad and how to avoid it

Machine learning is not about the language or tool you use to create the models: R, Python, SAS, Knime; they're all just tools. It's how you use those tools that matters.

Carolyn Rohm

Carolyn has a deep passion for helping analysts and analytical teams engage with the wider business and stakeholders to deliver solutions that provide value and bottom-line benefits. Her style can best be described as rational, logical, and precise, whilst also being adventurous, imaginative and innovative, leveraging the facts to see the possible futures ahead. Having held various analytical and leadership roles in the academic and corporate world, across multiple industries and geographies, Carolyn's initial focus was to deliver quality and robust analytics. Over time, she realised that meaningful change required more than just great technical skills. Carolyn has over 20 years of experience in retail consumer credit risk analytics and machine learning. Through her training, coaching and mentoring programs, Carolyn is passionate about galvanising analysts and technical leads to be more impactful in their journeys and endeavours. Carolyn's first book, It's a Risky Business, was published in November 2022.

Exploiting XSS
Code On Screen Breakout Session

This talk covers the broader concepts of web application security surrounding the issue of JavaScript injection attacks; from developing the code and infrastructure necessary for exploiting it during penetration testing, understanding browser security, HTTP security headers, to exploring successful remediation methods and secure development processes.

Dave Reeves

As a penetration tester, Dave Reeves' approach towards software development comes from an unconventional mindset. His journey into infosec started while living abroad in China, with experiences such as mastering Mandarin Chinese, engaging Russian hackers online and pursuing a job at Google unpinning the non-linear approach to understanding the unexpected when it comes to security in software.

Early Career Roadblocks
Careers & Teams Breakout Session

Starting a career in tech is a daunting prospect, even for those with considerable study under their belts. The journey from junior to intermediate and beyond is fraught with roadblocks and no two stories are the same. Join staff from Dev Academy Aotearoa as they tell the story of the challenges faced by their web development students from pre-application to approaching the job market. Through a QnA format, they will highlight the supports they put in place for their students/graduates to maintain a steady stream of work-ready developers entering the market. Also, what can YOU do as a mentor/colleague, to create the perfect environment for junior developers to grow in your organisations?

Supercharge Your Career Development
Careers & Teams Breakout Session

It can be hard knowing how to progress your career, what to focus on, or how to get that big promotion you're shooting for. This session will help you discover what's most important to your career, explore the skills you need to thrive, and build a framework to ensure that every decision helps you get one step closer to your dream job!

Josh Isaac

Josh is a developer of people and culture, and has been involved in people leadership for over a decade. He's passionate about making good things great, seeing people grow and thrive, and ensuring teams go further together.

From scribble to screen
Cool & Fun Breakout Session

Bringing your ideas to life at speed in XR A creative session about idea generation, narrative considerations and rapid prototyping for storytelling in XR.

Maddy King

Maddy runs the Immersive Media Major in the Bachelor of Screen Arts at Massey University. With a background in XR and web development, she teaches how to harness technology for creative expression - and to change the world.

Indie Game Production 101
Cool & Fun Breakout Session

Jevon has learned a lot in her first year as an indie game developer for an upcoming base-building/survival game, Adaptory. In this short talk she will rapidly cover some of the basics of getting started with indie game development, moving from market validation and pre-production through to release, building a community, working with contractors, and watching your game idea come to life.

Jevon Wright

Jevon Wright (she/her) is a software engineer, community volunteer, musician, and an avid game designer based in Te Whanganui-a-Tara, Aotearoa. She has been making computer video games in her spare time since she was 12, and received her PhD in Computer Science in 2011. Jevon has worked professionally with the software development industry for over two decades as an engineer, team leader, and most recently as a Solutions Architect for Xero.

An Occult History of Computing
Cool & Fun Breakout Session

Is computing magic? Are there connections with the occult in the history of computing? What does it mean when we talk about computers as magic or programmers as wizards?

George Pollard

Neither an occultist nor a historian, I've worked as a software engineer entirely remotely for over nine years. This is enough time to develop many Alone Thoughts, which I hope to share with you. My interests run the gamut of software development. My work history is in building and running software services at scale, although I have recently moved into breaking them (offensive research). I'm deeply interested in the humanistic aspects of software and attempting to empower rather than disempower users.

Closing Locknote

Belonging. Its a core, ancient need and it can be seen everywhere, such as in The Mandalorian, how we induct new staff and in the various elements and rituals that make for high performing teams. We'll explore this together

Ben Chartrand

I'm the CTO at Spotlight Reporting. I've worked in a variety of orgs such as Wipster, BNZ, Timely and more - in both hands on and leadership roles.


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 2023

Trade Me

Venue Sponsor


Venue Sponsor

Younity Recruitment & Consulting

Major Sponsor


Other Sponsors

We thank these sponsors for their support of Code Camp Wellington 2023

Spotlight Reporting
ZX Security

Our Amazing Team

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

Ben Amor
Returning Organiser

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.

Ben Chartrand

Ben has attended most (if not all?) of the previous Code Camp Wellington events. He also had a chance to speak at one in 2020, and was our keynote speaker in 2023. He's keen to help with organizing this year's event. Ben is the CTO of Spotlight Reporting.

Bevan Arps
Founding Organiser

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 Dustin
Venue Organiser (Xero)

Bio yet to be written.

Gareth Bradley
Venue Organiser (Trade Me)

Gareth is a passionate speaker & organiser, with past involvement in communities covering software development (methodologies, Javascript/Angular, .NET), user experience, Toastmasters and internal corporate. He's here to help our speakers succeed - from those with a tentative idea, those new/new-ish to public speaking, to any range of past presentation experience.

Mike Talks

Mike Talks's fascination with coding started when he recieved his very first computer, a ZX Spectrum.
'Back then we made our own games, we had 16k to work with, and were grateful to have that.'
Obviously ever since, life's been trying to keep up with technology changes, and why he loves events like Code Camp. Mike works as the Product Owner of all things to do with testing at TAB.

Oleg Voronin

A solutions architect by day, Oleg tries to balance leaning into his 15 odd years of software design and development with remaining curious and open to new ideas. He enjoys listening to someone passionate and knowledgeable speak on almost any subject, making him an avid audiobooks and podcasts consumer, catch up coffee drinker, and Code Camp lightning talk enthusiast.
Oleg can be seen around Wellington opining about user experience and technical trade offs, collecting AWS badges, and (while getting to stay on the tools in his current role) pleading with the debugger or persevering with git on a Friday afternoon. He welcomes your connections on LinkedIn mentioning you're from CCW!
❤️ Archie, Ella, Marisa

Morgan Armitage

Morgan is new to the tech industry, having graduated with a Bachelors of IT in 2021. This is her first year being involved with CodeCamp Wellington. She currently works as a full stack developer at Adminis (under the guidance of the delightful Ben Amor).