This year the Wharton Web Conference has three distinct tracks covering a wide variety of topics: Development, Design, and Culture.


Session 1

DevOps – Transforming the Way You Think About IT

Nathen Harvey

IT has transformed from a back office support function to a primary driver of customer experience. Taking lessons from lean manufacturing, software development, and other disiplines, IT operations is quickly maturing.

DevOps” is a growing movement and set of practices intent on tearing down silos, improving productivity, and delivering value to customers. This session will explore the DevOps movement, survey some of the tools and practices being implemented, and transform the way you think about IT.

Accessibility as a Design Tool

Derek Featherstone

Designing for extreme use cases—outliers—results in a design process that leads to greater success in developing products that are more easily used by everyone. By systematically factoring these extremes into our designs we spark creativity and behaviours that encourage divergent thinking and help to ensure that what we create can be used by everyone, including people with disabilities.

In this session, we’ll look at design considerations for the extremes, how they impact our work, and what we can do to make sure that our products—web sites, applications, native smartphone applications and more—are accessible to everyone, regardless of their abilities.

The Human Dimension of Big Data

Matt LeMay

We all know that big data is big. Really big. Petabytes upon petabytes, millions of football fields piled high with filing cabinets big. But the true transformative power of big data does not come from its sheer volume, but rather in the intimacy of the information it represents.

The tremendous amount of data we are collecting every day represents an unprecedented archive of human interests and interactions. It stands to tell us incredible new things about our own lives and our shared experiences. But human data begs for human analysis. This session seeks to demystify some of the jargon around cutting-edge information storage and processing tools, and get to the big heart of big data.

Session 2

Doing Things With Data: Building apps with real-time, real-world information

Robert Carlsen

It’s now the reality that not only can apps present data to users but they can also collect data from their users. The first wave was location, easily capturable from a smartphone, and now there are myriad devices on the market, and more appearing rapidly, that collect a wealth of other information from the user: movement and acceleration, energy expenditures, and even sleep cycles.

This session will explore the front-line in the “Quantified Self” movement, why these data matter, and the technical feats necessary to build apps that make people fitter, healthier, and happier.

Couch To Magazine: Micropublishing from the ground up

Maura Johnston & David Jacobs

In this session, David Jacobs of 29th Street Publishing and Maura Johnston of the Maura Magazine outline their process behind Maura Magazine, which launched in January.

We’ll answer two questions: How can publishers and programmers team up to work on projects that are good for culture? What are the alternatives to pageview-based business models for publishers and readers? We’ll also discuss 29th Street Publishing’s process for finding creators and artists, how to ship, the editorial process behind building truly “mobile native” content, and how to market these magazines. Find out “what we’ve learned” from our first seven (!) months and thirty issues, and of course, have the opportunity to ask
us anything.

How Things Go Viral

Jonah Berger

Why do certain products and ideas catch on and become popular while others fail? This talk based Jonah Berger’s new book, Contagious: Why Things Catch On, reveals the secret science behind word-of-mouth and social transmission. Discover how six basic principles drive all sorts of things to become popular. If you’ve ever wondered why certain stories get shared, brands get more word of mouth, or videos go viral, this talk explains why, and shows how to leverage these ideas to craft contagious content.

Session 3

Selecting a Web Framework

Pam Selle

Blank slates and green fields are all well and good, but the question of choosing a framework can be a critical leadership decision. How do you go about choosing what’s best for your team, for your problem, at this point in time? In this session, Pam Selle, a polyglot developer who’s built on her share of platforms, will talk about priorities to consider to help you make the best decision. We’ll also leave time for discussion where we’ll share experiences and lessons learned. Be prepared to take some notes!

It’s 2013. Why Does Your Site Look Terrible On My Phone?

Catherine Farman

It’s 2013 and mobile has won. Mobile visitors outnumber desktop on the web’s biggest sites like Facebook and Twitter, and will be a majority everywhere else by 2015. Yet you still don’t have a mobile strategy! Your website needs to target web-enabled devices from smartphones to tablets to televisions, but where to start? Learn about responsive design techniques like mobile first design, media queries, grid frameworks and more. Leave with the knowledge to build future-friendly websites and the code you need to get started.

What the Web Can Learn from Cities

Anil Dash

The social web has been part of society for more than a decade now, but in all that time it’s learned very little from architecture, urbanism, or city planning. We’ll look at the evolution of social networks and social media, and then find some useful analogies between how we plan for physical space and virtual space, in hopes of improving both online and offline communities.

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