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Why attend the Northern Ireland Developer Conference?

Previous NIDCs have been, if we say so ourselves, a roaring success. NIDC 2020 will be somewhat different, being our first (and hopefully only!) fully online event, but we're planning another inspiring event with talks across the development spectrum, showcasing the great work that local developers are doing and the technologies they're using for their creations, plus other cool and exciting stuff from the great wide world of software.

We aim to leave everyone with their horizons widened and appetite whetted, whether they're still a student or cut their teeth on Algol 68.

Most importantly, we're aiming to keep the spirit of what makes NIDC so unique even in the virtual world!

Gold Sponsors


Alper Buğra Keles

Alper Keleş is a Project Leader in Saha BT A.S., Istanbul, Turkey. He manages and leads several test-automation projects for numerous clients in Turkey and across Europe. Prior to working in Saha, he worked for two years in the US as a software engineer. His areas of expertise include: test automation, TDD and BDD. He received a BSc in Computer Engineering from İstanbul University, Turkey, in 2011.

Next level of test automation with model-based testing

Andrew Bolster

Bolster is a Technologist, founder of multiple technology-based groups and organisations, an award winning researcher, community leader, and an occasional public speaker.

Currently Data Science Lead at WhiteHat Security, using advanced data mining and machine learning to analyse potential hacking and malware attacks on cloud infrastructure.

Founding Director of Farset Labs, Northern Ireland’s Hackerspace, located in Weavers Court Business Park, Belfast. Farset Labs now provides the technical and entrepreneurial community with a place to share resources, knowledge and experience in a relaxed atmosphere, laying the foundation for the next wave of Northern Irish industry-leading technologists and business leaders.

A Stranger in a Strange Land: Data Science Onboarding In Practice

Andrew Gough

Andrew Gough is a Co-Founder and the Managing Director of GCD, a custom software development company based in Northern Ireland. Having started the business in 1999 while studying at Queen’s University, GCD has grown though the Dotcom bubble, Web 2.0 and the mobile revolution.

Andrew is a keen technologist and developer with an interest in UX and how things like 3D printing, IoT & ML/AI are changing our relationship with technology. Most of his time is now spent on business development and working with clients shaping their ideas, but he still takes every opportunity he can to write some code.

Slack Integrations - the Pros and Cons of Building a Product on Top of a 3rd Party API

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.

Mental models for the win

Chris Laughlin

Javascript developer based in Belfast N.Ireland. Has been making and breaking the web for years. When I’m not writing setTimeouts I can be found behind the lens of a camera taking nature pictures.

Micro Frontends, are they the future of web application development?

Ciaran Conliffe

Ciaran is a technologist at Liberty IT, where he’s worked on everything from automated application security to online customer service portals. Currently he is working in software development for identity management and doing his best to bring user-centric thinking to the world of information security.

Ciaran is also a writer with a regular history column at (currently on hiatus(, and has found that studying history helps to drive the cynicism about human nature that you need for working in IT security. It was through this column that he was persuaded to give a talk about the history of Phoenix Park, which improbably led to him speaking at technical conferences from Boston to London over the last three years (well, up until six months ago). In his very occasional spare time he enjoys sleep and looking at pictures of cats.

Creating Your Own Domain Specific Language For Fun And Profit

Claire Houston

Claire is a Senior AI engineer and a core member of the AI practice at Kainos. She works with a wide range of ML tools and techniques, including NLP, computer vision and model deployment. She aims to best leverage AI to improve customer and user experience in production services.

Build vs Buy- AI in production

Claire Wilgar

Claire Wilgar is a senior frontend developer with a passion for accessibility, currently working for Qarik in Belfast.

She is an avid speaker at conferences & meetups, and organises local events and groups such as Women Techmakers Belfast, Women in Tech Lean In Belfast, Global Game Jam and BelfastJS.

Developing for Developers

Connor Henry

Connor is a software development engineer in test at ESO, an Austin based software company whose goal is to improve community health and safety through the power of data. As a recent hire of the newly based Belfast office, Connor is involved in building the companies testing infrastructure using the latest CI/CD technologies. He has worked in from manual mainframe testing to building micro-service testing frameworks and pipelines. Connor hopes to share his journey from fully manual to automated testing and how others can make the leap.

Transitioning to an SDET (during a pandemic)

Daniel Porter Wilgar

I am an experienced backend web developer and tooling engineer primarily working in Python. My side projects include games console modding, DJing, and live-streaming integrations.

Coding for a Live-streaming platform

Darren Broderick

Hello, I’m a Senior Software Engineer and have been a professional engineer for 7 years, working at Liberty Information Technology (LIT) which is a IT software company for Liberty Mutual Insurance.

I’ve grown a real passion for Machine Learning in the last year thanks to AWS DeepRacer and using what I’ve learnt to become more practical in AL/AI tech.

Keras with TensorFlow

Eamon Scullion

Web developer specialising in JVM, Docker, Kubernetes and AWS.

Buildpacks - The future of containers?

Emma Mulholland

Emma is Principal Product Manager at Instil.

Previously she worked at ShopKeep where she owned the mobile reporting app, CompoZed labs, an XP (extreme programming) set up which uses Lean techniques and Design Thinking to solve business problems, Marks & Spencer, and

Outside work Emma is a co-founder and organiser of ProductTank Belfast, Product Camp Belfast and LeanCoffee Belfast and loves being outdoors, running, cycling and hiking.

Empathy as a Super Power

Garth Gilmour

Garth Gilmour is the Head of Learning at Instil, a software company in Belfast that specialises in Kotlin. Starting back in 1999 he first taught C++ to C coders, then Java to C++ coders, then C# to Java coders and now teaches everything to everybody, but prefers to work in Kotlin. He speaks frequently at meetups, presents at conferences and co-organises the Belfast BASH series of developer events. When not at the whiteboard he coaches Krav Maga, lifts heavy weights and fights nerf wars with his kids.

Not Your Mothers TDD - Type Driven Development in TypeScript

Gavin Fenton

Software Engineer specialising in application security, currently working as a full-stack Java/React dev at Contrast Security.

Previous work includes Uleska, ieDigital & Queen’s University.

Continuous Application Security

Heather McNamee

Heather McNamee, Open Strategy Partners, is a professional in technical communications and marketing with an MSc in Learning and Technology. She uses marketing skills for good, enabling the right audiences to find, learn, and get the most out of the products they love. She’s developed hundreds of hours of learning and certification materials to facilitate open-source technology and product adoption.

Product of Theseus: Where are you going?

James Glennan

Graduate and Former of the University of Wollongong, Australia, James spent his years developing data pipelines and automated processes for social mobility in admissions. After spending a couple of years in the Canadian wilderness, James moved to Belfast where he’s now a DevOps engineer, tinkering with CI/CD pipelines and configuring workload orchestration for Whitehat Security.

Changing Airplanes Mid-Air - The Cloud-Native Way

James Leech

James Leech is an early career researcher, focussing mostly on autonomous systems and the application of artificial intelligence.

My Summer with Igor: How to become a physicist in just four traumatic weeks

Jon Glass

Having worked for many years on trading systems for investment banks in London, Jon left with a colleague to form a data analytics startup in 2011 before moving to Northern Ireland in 2018 to spend more time with family and outdoors, cycling, rowing and hiking. Working now for ESO Solutions, Jon enjoys finding creative solutions to tough engineering challenges, as well as running and growing a team of talented people in support of ESO’s mission.

Cache-Driven Testing

Jonathan McDowell

Jonathan is a software architect who knows just enough about electronics to annoy hardware engineers. He has an interest in building systems that respect the freedom of their users, and has been an active member of the Debian project for many years. He believes privacy and security should be considered from the outset of any project, and that not doing so does a disservice to users. Jonathan currently lives in Belfast running the local site for a Californian storage startup, but has spent time living in England and California working for various multinationals.

A Year on the Go

Jordan Colgan

I enjoy crafting good software

Simple, Hard, Effective

Jordan McDonald

Jordan is an experienced Machine Learning Engineer currently working for Allstate, tasked with leading the development of ML centered solutions that derive business value for the organization. Jordan has an experience set that spans Computer Vision, NLP & traditional tabular use cases which he has used to deliver highly innovative ML projects to the UK government and the private sector. He has been fascinated by the subject of AI for several years now, observing its rapid evolution and impact on our society (Flipping between moments of joy and horror!). Outside of his working life, Jordan helps organize the AI:NI Meetup group and strives to get lost in nature (and a good book!) as much as possible.

Why Your AI Teams Should Resist the Lure of Skills Specialism

Josh Beatty

Placement Software Developer at ESO Solutions and studying Computer Science at Queen’s. I’m an aspiring Software Engineer with a passion for tech events and sharing what I learn!

Intro to Azure Functions and Demystifying REST APIs

Kathleen Mallon

I am a Computing Science student at Ulster University. Have previously worked as an intern at Liberty IT and most recently as an intern within Flax and Teal LTD. I helped setup the Computing Society at Ulster University Jordanstown and was selected to be a Nigma Community Ambassador in August 2019. I thoroughly enjoy getting involved with the tech community here in NI.

Women in Tech: What More Can Be Done To Bridge The Gap?

Lauren Taylor

Computer Science Graduate @ Queen’s University Belfast Immersive Engineer @ Yellow Design Founder of Corgi Undergraduate Women in Tech

Developer’s Intro to AR: Build your First App in 1 Week!

Lucas Juliano

Lucas Juliano is a senior software engineer at Sensata Technologies. He has worked with embedded systems for 6 years in a number of different projects for the telecommunication industry and automotive industry. From bare metal design to embedded Linux application development. He has a degree in Electronics Engineering and has been with Sensata Technologies since August 2018 when he was relocated from Brazil where he is originally from.

Virtualization on embedded systems

Lucy Martin

Lucy is a Data Analyst working in the Solutions Development Team at Sensata Technologies. She is studying part time MSc in Data Science.

Outside work she loves spending time with her two dogs, a beagle and basset hound. She is also passionate about swimming. Current personal best is 73 lengths in 45 minutes with a goal to reach 90 lengths in 45 minutes!

Keeping trucks on the road through data analysis

Mark Cunningham

Physics student at Queens University Belfast and Qiskit Advocate at IBM Quantum.

Quantum Computing 101 with Qiskit

Mark McKavanagh

Graduated from Queen’s University Belfast in 2019 with a degree in Computer Science. Has been working at Signifyd as a Graduate Software Engineer for a year.

Whale, whale, whale. What do we have here?

Martin McKeaveney

Full stack web developer, open source contributor and general JS nerd passionate about SaaS and cloud native development.

DynamoDB for the Rest of Us

Matt Coulter

AWS Community Builder passionate about #Serverless so I created @cdkpatterns /

Building and marketing an open source serverless product from scratch with 0 budget

Minu Beena Sisupal

Minu is an enthusiastic, energetic and experienced IT professional, who worked in one of prominent global IT solution providers in India. She graduated recently in Data Analytics MSc at Queens University. She is currently working as Senior Data Scientist with Qarik Group. She likes to participate in Hackathons and likes to do presentations on topics in Data Science, MS Excel and Software Testing. She is an excellent motivator and always motivated her team to learn new things. She believes in the tag line : Never Too Late To Study.

Gone are the days of exact matches (SQL joins)

Neil McCallion

Neil McCallion is a senior engineer and team lead at ShopKeep, and occasional community organiser/speaker. A long-time and dedicated ‘web person’, Neil likes to promote the more creative and experimental side of the Web, from game dev to audiovisual art and beyond, while also pushing for better performance, accessibility and inclusion on the platform. Will ‘do things’ for cake.

I Play JavaScript: Making a Web Audio Synthesizer

Niall McMahon

Niall is an OCP certified Java developer currently working for Unosquare, Belfast. His specialties including building and deploying Java Web APIs, working directly in client-facing dev teams, and talking too much about startups.

Helm: Making Kubernetes Easy

Nikki Graham

Nikki Graham is the Operations Manager of GCD Technologies in Lurgan. Her role involves managing finances, personnel, and facilities; and to ensure operational efficiency. Nikki, however, has never strayed very far from her undergraduate degree in Sports Studies. She has a keen interest in health and wellbeing and their link with the occupational setting. Nikki is a mum of two young children, and is a keen runner having completed two marathons in 2019.

A Blueprint for Debugging Poor Mental Health in the Tech Industry

Paul McBride

I’m a software educator, developer and tech enthusiast. I love making things with code and helping others do the same.

Infinitely better JavaScript with Finite State Machines and State Charts

Phil Wilkinson

Phil Wilkinson is Senior Director of Engineering at Flexera, leading the High Quality Asset Data business segment.

Having graduated from QUB with a MEng in Mechanical and Manufacturing Engineering in 2006, Phil’s career started at Citi before moving to Oracle, then Bitnet, before joining Flexera where he established their Belfast operation in 2016.

Phil is married to Diane, a teacher, and they have a son, Elliot, who is 8 years old. They live in Dollingstown, Co Armagh, although they are both natives of the North Coast. Phil plays bass guitar and drums and enjoys keeping up to speed on data technologies and is currently studying Data Analytics with Python.

A Journey into Engineering Leadership

Ralph McTeggart

Like most devs I’m a geek through and through. My background is mostly backend web services although I can sometimes be found writing frontend code or creating practical examples of machine learning. I don’t hold any prejudice around tools/frameworks languages as long as the problem is solved, ideally in a simple but interesting way. With that said: Vim is life.

Becoming senior

Ramya Mohankumar

I’m working as a freelance data scientist. Previously I worked as a data analyst in Northern Ireland Water Belfast. I also worked as a technical support representative in IBM India Pvt Ltd.

Gone are the days of exact matches (SQL joins)

Richard Gibson

Richard has over 14 years experience as a developer and consultant. Most of this time has been spent building back-end, distributed systems in Erlang, Scala and Kotlin. His passion is for Pure Functional Programming, which he is eager to share with anyone who will listen. He regularly presents on FP at conferences and meetups and is an active contributor to Open Source projects. Richard started his teaching career with Instil three years ago, delivering advanced workshops in Kotlin and Scala. In his spare time he likes running, especially over the odd mountain when he gets a chance.

Not Your Mothers TDD - Type Driven Development in TypeScript

Ritu Bhatt

IENGAGEIT, 15+years of experience working with in software development as a hands-on team member

Kubera- Ai core new gen Rpa platform

Russell Beggs

Russell Beggs recently kickstarted ESO’s software engineering capability in Belfast as Site Lead. On a mission to deliver on ESO’s vision of better safety and better health for communities, he has a 15+ year background in technology, software engineering, leadership and delivery spanning Europe, North America and Asia Pacific in a variety of industries. Russell has previously spoken internationally at numerous Microsoft events and developer conferences early in his career and is dusting his speaking cap for NI Dev Conf 2020.

Non-technical tips on being a better engineer

Ruth G. Lennon

Ruth is an enterprise application developer, researcher and lecturer. She is interested in DevOps, Web Services and Big Data. Ruth has worked on many research projects, panels, workshops and committees.

Standardising Change: IEEE P2675 DevOps Standard

Sarah Byrne

Product Manager at Flax & Teal with a background in academic history and education.

OurRagingPlanet: cultural learning through natural disaster simulation

Simon Hewitt

Simon thanks you for your time and interest and hopes that you will enjoy his talk. His degree is in Electrical Engineering and not Computer Science so please set your expections accordingly.

Efteling in One Day

Soltanagha Huseynov

ERP Software developer for more than 5 years.

OurRagingPlanet: cultural learning through natural disaster simulation


Stuart Cave

Stuart is a career tester, having spent the last 14 years promoting quality software solutions across various industries, with a strong focus on automation. He is currently working as a Senior Development Engineer in Test at ESO, and enjoying working in a cross functional team who share the responsibly of quality in their products.

Web UI Testing with Cypress

Vahid Garousi

Vahid Garousi is Senior Software Testing Consultant, based in Belfast, UK. He provides consultancy and corporate training services in several countries in the areas of software testing and quality assurance. Vahid has given 40+ talks in regional and international software testing conferences since 2005, for example, in the Netherlands’ Test Automation Day 2018, Tesena Test conference in Prague 2018, Ankara Testing Days 2017, TestIstanbul 2013, and Toronto TesTrek Symposium 2010. During his career so far, Vahid has served as the principal investigator (PI) for several applied research grants and has been active in initiating a number of major R&D software engineering projects with software companies in several countries including Canada and Turkey. Vahid received his PhD in Software Engineering at Carleton University, Canada, in 2006. Further details can be found in:

Next level of test automation with model-based testing

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