PDX Tech Talks Monthly #1 - Ignite TAO

To kick-off my monthly series on Portland tech events, here’s a recap of the inspiring “Ignite TAO v4” event I attended last Thursday with 300 of my PDX techie peers.

The Event – Ignite TAO


This was my second time seeing an Ignite TAO, which is hosted in the Alberta Rose Theatre. At Ignite events, 20 speakers give 5-minute presentations. Each presentation consists of 20 slides. That’s 15 seconds per slide, so they go by super fast, leading to lightning-quick and often hilarious high-level talks. I’m always impressed with the speakers’ ability to jam all their info into that small time-frame, and I definitely learned a lot.

I've been to several Ignite Portland events, which attract huge crowds to the Bagdad Theatre and cover a broad range of topics. I really appreciate the tech-focused nature of Ignite TAO, though. It’s organized by the Technology Association of Oregon and provides a good venue for folks in the PDX tech biz to socialize their ideas. 

Who I Met

I bumped into fellow Willamette grad Reno Brown, who recently co-founded the startup Fluentry with two other Monsoon alumni. Apparently the Monsoon-to-startup transition is catching on! I also met smart folks from iSite Design, local start-up graphAlchemist, the pdx Selenium Users Group organizers, and many more. Being able to chat with the presenters about their ideas at the after-party was awesome.

What I Learned

Compelling (and opposing) arguments were put forth by Adam Light that “scrum is smart” and by Frank D'Andrea that “scrum is dumb”. I agree! I learned that large, multi-national corporations like ADP are working on automating their software deployment process, much the same way we are at Kryptiq. My favorite was Santos Cash’s presentation about the “iCloset”, where I learned that the “Internet of Things” trend inevitably leads to my closet tweeting me an alert that my co-worker will be wearing the same shirt as me to work today. Hilarious, but true.

Videos of all the presentations are posted up here.

Wrap Up

I highly recommend checking out Ignite TAO v5. It’ll be in the fall and the theme will be health care tech. I’ll try to convince one of the extroverts in Kryptiq’s marketing team to present something :)

Next Month

The PDX Selenium and Test Automation User Group is meeting June 20th to discuss “How Jive does Selenium based in browser performance testing.” Sounds interesting, I'm in. See you there?