Speaker Lineup


Our lineup of conference speakers and breakout session leaders are bringing their deep knowledge of software engineering, machine learning, cryptocurrency, cloud computing and more to Northwest Arkansas. 

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Jonas Meyer, Technical Program Manager

Understanding Cryptocurrencies

Jonas Meyer works as a Technical Program Manager at Google, helping to coordinate security and management for several hundred thousand desktops, laptops, phones, and tablets. Jonas fancies himself an amateur futurist, focused on the intersection of new technologies, microeconomics, and humanity. He became interested in cryptocurrency in late 2010, and has been a close observer of the space since 2012.


Chris Moon, Systems Administrator

Administrating Unanticipated Service Proliferation

Chris Moon is a Systems Administrator at Google. His primary focus revolves around specialized fleet management tooling and security for Chrome OS and Android. Over the last three years he has helped build and define Google’s internal Mobile Platforms team which oversees Google’s internal Chrome OS, Android and iOS fleet. He graduated from the University of Arkansas Walton College of Business in 2011 with a degree in Information Systems.


Dr. Michael Gashler, Professor

Using Neural Networks to Solve Non-Traditional Challenges

Dr. Gashler earned his Ph.D. in machine learning with a focus in non-linear dimensionality reduction from Brigham Young University in 2012. Prior to his graduate studies, he worked for Microsoft where he helped to develop the security system underlying the Common Language Runtime. He is the architect of several open source projects, including "Waffles", a toolkit of machine learning and data mining algorithms. He now hopes to inspire students to build technology that science has not yet given to us. In particular, his lab intents to narrow the gap between the cognitive capabilities of humans and machines.

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Sabeen Ali, Founder and CEO

How Holistic Hacking Leads to Developer Happiness  

Sabeen Ali is Founder and CEO of AngelHack, female-owned and majority female-operated company that organizes hackathons and accelerates early-stage startups from around the world. 

Prior to AngelHack, Sabeen founded and sold her own leadership training and organizational development company; Team Building ROI, which provided leadership and organizational development training to companies such as Google, IBM, Blackberry, NetApp, Cisco, and others. She holds an M.S. in Organization Development from the University of San Francisco and is an expert in change management. 


Stephen Ashmore, Software Engineer

Deep Learning with Artistic Style (Workshop)

Stephen Ashmore is a full-stack engineer focusing on data and machine learning. He studied Machine Learning at the University of Arkansas where he received a Master's Degree in 2015. His research interests include generalized artificial intelligence, robotics, and applications. Stephen has worked on a myriad of different projects, from analytics applications to neural network powered robotics. His other interests include creating his own video games, dabbling in electronic music creation, and writing novels.


Luke Godfrey, Software Engineer

Deep Learning with Artistic Style (Workshop)

Luke B. Godfrey is a Ph.D. candidate in the department of Computer Science and Computer Engineering at the University of Arkansas and a software engineer at SupplyPike. His research focus is on aggregating and parameterizing activation functions to improve deep learning in neural networks, recurrent neural networks, and time-series analysis and forecasting.


TJ Sangam, Director 

NWA Tech Panel

TJ Sangam is the Chief Technology Officer at SupplyPike, where he develops and executes the company’s strategic technical direction, and oversees the engineering, design, and product teams. Under TJ’s leadership, SupplyPike retains the largest software engineering team in Fayetteville, AR. 

TJ starting programming at age nine on a Commodore Amiga. He is still active in the technology community and works on numerous projects spanning across web scalability, computational mathematics, and data science. Previously, TJ worked with companies like Axiom, J.B. Hunt, and Mercy Hospitals, and helped numerous startups. TJ holds a Bachelors in Computer Engineering and a Masters in Computer Science from the U of A.

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Wil Stuckey, Staff Software Engineer

Kafka in Practice (Workshop)

Wil is a digital nomad traveling the US with his family, dog and goldfish in an Airstream. For work he’s a Staff Software Engineer at MailChimp where he helps build search products using ElasticSearch and Kafka. Not so long ago he worked at Etsy where he wore many hats, including building out their first production Kafka cluster for clickstream data analysis.


Jeff Parker, Enterprise Technical Expert

Operating Services in a Hostile Environment

Jeff Parker is an Enterprise Technical Expert at Walmart, where he focuses on research and development for a wide range of areas, focusing on solving business problems with cloud technology. Jeff possesses over 20 number of years of experience in Service Development, Cloud architecture and Analytic systems working for retail giants Walmart and Amazon. He holds a BS degree in Computer Science from the University of Arkansas.


Pam Fisher, Senior Manager

Operating Services in a Hostile Environment

Pam Fisher is a Senior Manager in the Customer Technology sector at Walmart. She has 18  years experience in Retail Technology, with approximately 5 in leadership. She’s currently responsible for all Release Management for Store Technology and Customer Technology as well as Release Automation efforts.


David Morales, Sr. Director of Software Engineering

NWA Tech Panel

David Morales is a technologist with over 18 years of experience as Software Engineer. He is passionate about solving business problems with the right technology. He believes in empowering the people he works with while enabling them to innovate. David has been with Walmart for almost 8 years, and since then he has helped deliver technology solutions for developers, engineers and business partners. As the Sr. Director of Store Systems – Associate Experience, he has responsibility for software solutions (web, desktop, mobile) that help the Walmart Associates at the store provide better service to the customers. David enjoys developing people and leading high performance teams towards conceiving and implementing innovative solutions in high-growth environments. In his leisure time, he enjoys spending time with his family and going outdoors. You will find David riding his bike, camping, off-roading or doing any other outdoor activities during the weekend.


Greg Tatum, Browser Software Engineer

Sculpting and Drawing with Algorithms using WebGL

Although typically thought of as opposites, there is an odd space between the technical and the creative. With a non-technical degree in contemporary sculpture, and a zeal for picking up programming and math skills, Greg Tatum loves exploring this middle ground. He has been writing visualizations and creative coding experiments for many years. These visualizations range from aquarium interactive exhibits on schooling behavior, to real-time WebGL visualizations that will make your laptop's fan spin very, very loudly. He's a big believer in open source software and has contributed creative coding documentation to three.js, MDN, and his own YouTube channel.

For paid work, he is a Browser Software Engineer for Mozilla, working on DevTools that help make Firefox and the open web faster. He enjoys finding areas where art and design ideas can help break down complicated technical details into data visualizations, or powerful and intuitive user interfaces.


David Max, Senior Software Engineer

A Tale of Two Systems

David Max is a Senior Software Engineer at LinkedIn in New York City where he helps build software systems to connect the world’s professionals and create economic opportunity for every member of the global workforce. He earned his undergraduate degree in Computer Science from the California Institute of Technology, and has a Masters degree in Computer Science from New York University. He has previously worked at Google and in the financial technology field.

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Gaven Smith, VP of Engineering & Technology

NWA Tech Panel

Gaven is a Vice President of Engineering & Technology for J.B. Hunt Transport.  He has 20 years of industry experience, with approximately 15 in leadership.  He’s done tours of duty with Wal-Mart, Acxiom Corporation & J.B. Hunt. He’s currently responsible for all operations & mobile related software for JB Hunt. He owns a BS in Computer Systems Engineering from the University of Arkansas.


Mark Brandon, CEO and Co-Founder

NWA Tech Panel

Mark Brandon is CEO and Co-Founder of Qbox, a provider of hosted databases, and the creator of the Supergiant container orchestration platform. Born in Fayetteville, Qbox employs software developers that create developer tools around the open source platforms, Elasticsearch and Kubernetes. Along with Qbox, Mark participated in Fayetteville’s Ark Challenge and the Bay Area’s Alchemist Accelerator, raising a total of $2.7 million from West Coast venture investors.  

Prior to Qbox, Mark worked in enterprise technology sales with Oracle, Dell, and Apple.  He holds an MS in Technology Commercialization from the McCombs School of Business at the University of Texas


Shawn McDermott, Manager of Software Engineering

NWA Tech Panel 

Shawn McDermott is a Manager of Software Engineering at Collective Bias, an Inmar Influencer Marketing company.  With 25 years of software engineering experience, he has worked across many industries including Telecom, Oil and Gas, Data Networking, and Marketing.  He started his career in the U.S. Army and found his passion for software while stationed in Germany. While in the Army, working as satellite communications technician, he created a remote management system for monitoring the health of satellite systems that was adopted throughout the Army.  

Having written software for many different platforms, he has found a passion for developing web applications.  First in Objective-C, then Java, and for the past 8 years has been writing primarily in Ruby. 

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Conference MC: Allison Wise 

Allison Wise is an Evening/Weekend Anchor and Reporter for 40/29 News.  

More speaker announcements coming soon! 

We're slowly revealing our speaker line-up to make things more interesting. Be the first to know by singing up for our newsletter below. 

*Speaker lineup is subject to change.