YOW! Connected 2017

Thursday, 21st - Friday, 22nd September in Melbourne

27 experts spoke.

YOW! Connected is a two day Conference exploring the world of Mobile development and the Internet of Things (IoT).

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Designing for a unknown future

As the future approaches us more and more rapidly, we feel the impact of the choices we make today sooner and with more force. This talk offers practical advice on how to drive and deliver value to a business continuously by building systems that scale to the needs of a business working towards an unknown future.

Cameron Barrie

Founder & CEO
Bilue Pty Ltd

Devops For Dishwashers - Bringing Grown-Up Practices to the Internet of Things

The Internet of Things is undeniably here. In the last year we have heard tell of of security cameras, dishwashers and even ovens roaming the internet unsupervised.

As a consultant and writer about the Internet of Things, I have worked to bring my experience from 20 years in manufacturing and internet security to the IoT world. This presentation will cover the tools and techniques I use to build secure, reliable and rapidly updatable IoT devices.

The techniques covered are applicable to both the simplest embedded devices with no general-purpose OS, and more powerful devices running Linux or Windows.

Christopher Biggs

Accelerando Consulting

Make that first leap into voice interfaces and AI

An ever growing ecosystem of connected devices needs newer methods of interaction and UX. While mobile applications are common for interfacing with the IoT, more and more devices make managing a growing number of apps infeasible. Rather than opening up separate apps for each intended action, voice interfaces are starting to become more powerful and commonplace with the Amazon Echo, Google Home and more bringing an expectation of voice commands to the IoT.

With voice interfaces emerging comes another expectation — intelligent responses from these voice interfaces! This is where early artificial intelligence and chatbot creation will come in handy. While these areas sound like they'd be complex to get started with, there are platforms and technologies out there today that can enable you to do a whole lot out of the box which you can build upon.

In this talk, PatCat will give you a crash course in voice interfaces and AI — looking at how you can get started with existing services and APIs, and how you can take all of this and apply it to your own idea or connected device.

Patrick Catanzariti

Dev Diner


#JewelbotsBuild is a hands-on event for kids and adults ages 8 and up to dig in, learn and code in C++ via the Jewelbots API. The goal of the event is to introduce adults and kids alike to the fun and magic of coding while learning about connected hardware and making new friends!


Sara Chipps

Sara Chipps, is a JavaScript developer based in NYC who has been coding since the adolescence of the web. As user number 4150, she's been avid member of the Stack Overflow community since it was in Beta. As an engineering manager there her focus is on inspiring developers to build features that appeal to developers from all backgrounds.

Building for the Best of Us – Design and Development with Kids in Mind

Building an API easy enough for kids to understand (in C++) is a challenge. Every design decision, from the circuit board to the plastic can effect the results. We’ll talk about product design, manufacturing, firmware, software, and Arduino AP as we cover the Jewelbots timeline from Kickstarter to shipping to distribution.

Sara Chipps

Sara Chipps, is a JavaScript developer based in NYC who has been coding since the adolescence of the web. As user number 4150, she's been avid member of the Stack Overflow community since it was in Beta. As an engineering manager there her focus is on inspiring developers to build features that appeal to developers from all backgrounds.

Robots and Testing

How can you use robots to help you test?

Meet Tappy McTapFace, Tappy is a robot that was built during a 2 day hackathon to help demonstrate how robots could be used to automate testing on mobile apps. It's made out of 3D printable parts, based on Taptser 2.0 open source designs and can be programmed in javascript.

You could also use a robotics challenge to engage your team around testing ideas. Sam will give her insights from running multiple testing challenges that engaged over 100 software engineers. From a lunch time robotics challenge to a company wide bug bash. Sam has run many events that help raise a companies testing culture.

Samantha Connelly

Lead Bug Hunter
Insight Timer

Creating Inclusive Apps with React Native

Creating inclusive and accessible apps is easy using React Native! Javascript developers can have a working app on their phone in less than an hour. Join me to see a working demo of how to plan, develop, and test for accessibility in the mobile space.

I will also be talking about resources and guidelines you can use and share with your organisation to develop apps for everyone - including what the bare minimum looks like to help you prioritise your requirements!

Larene Le Gassick

Inclusion Engineer

Decoding Design: Because You Are Not "Just Like Your User"

At this very moment, there are over 5 billion people tapping and swiping on their mobile phones in every corner of our planet. There are people in Sri Lanka tapping and swiping, South-Africa, Ecuador and Tanzania. The Albanias and Swedes, also busy tapping and swiping.

As a technologist, your aim in life is to capture as many of these tappers and swipers as you can. Given that there are only about 22 million developers in the world, it is likely that the tappers and swipers will not at all be just like you. Building a product for people like you, therefore, greatly limits the size of your total addressable market - which in short, is really bad business.

We know that startups co-founded by designers are far more likely to succeed. But why is this? What exactly do these mysterious Design Creatures do, and more importantly, what can you learn from them to help your product win the tapping and swiping game?

Join Anna for an entertaining, practical and example packed presentation that will absolutely change the way you view the role of design in the making of your next product.

Anna Harrison

Director of UX
Ephox + TinyMCE

They're Good Dogs: A Gentle Introduction to Machine Learning with CoreML and Vision

At WWDC this year, Apple announced their CoreML and Vision frameworks. These allow you do easily implement machine learning models inside your app, running on the GPU on an iPhone. Suddenly a world of machine learning is possible in ways that it wasn't before.

In this talk, you'll see a real world example written in just hours which implements a freely available object classification model to find out who is a good dog. Silly as this sounds, it shows the power now at our disposal.

We’ll look at what you need to do to build a simple app, and then dig into some of the innards of machine learning to see what we need to do to create something really useful.

Andrew Harvey

CTO in Residence

How IoT Helped Seek Solve Load and Scale Issues (But not Quite the Issues you Think!)

With a building bursting at the seams and a move to a new location some years away one of our Hackathon teams came up with an idea to improve the “facilities” for the building staff. Initially what started as a bit of a joke soon grew into a fully-fledged idea of building a comprehensive IoT solution that can constantly keep check of the usage state of the showers and toilets at Seek. Not just for morbid curiosity, but to help maintain better cleaning and hygiene of the facilities and also help people use them more effectively. The solution was met with great success and is in the process of becoming a permanent solution in the building.

We will cover:

  • What IoT devices we found effective
  • How you can leverage the capabilities of AWS to rapidly stand up complex solutions without investments in Infrastructure
  • Which “areas” of Seek are more popular than others!

Andrew Hatch

Head of Platform Engineering

Unit Test all the Things!

The importance of good software testing in the larger software development world is taken as a given, yet in many IoT projects, software testing is done in an ad-hoc manner if it is done at all.

In this talk I will show how there are multiple techniques for software testing your IoT projects, when each of these techniques is appropriate, and hands on examples of how to use them. I will show how Test Driven Development can be used to improve the reliability, reproducibility and speed of development of your IoT projects.

Charles Haynes

Charles Haynes

Google Searching and Linking into Your iOS App with Universal Links

A lot of us work in an environment where we support an iPhone app, a mobile website, and a desktop site. But why do we only support Google searching for our web facing platforms? Shouldn’t we really allow Google to search and link us straight into the relevant area of our iPhone apps too?

Well in this presentation that is exactly what we are going to learn how to do. We’ll first explore why it’s so important to build an app that supports app indexing. We’ll look at some apps that do it well and see the enhanced user experience this produces, and discuss what would be potentially lost if Universal Links hadn’t been used to provide this user experience.

We’ll then dive head first into the technical side of what’s powering the experience, and what needs to be setup before Universal Linking will work for you and your iPhone apps. This will include tips, tricks and traps drawn from real-world experience.

Chaise Hocking

Software Consultant
Shine Solutions

You Can Do Better With Kotlin

The Kotlin programming language is gaining popularity amongst the Java developer community. It’s a modern language that gives more power in everyday routines.

Kotlin code generally looks cleaner and nicer, and it’s much easier to work with when you have less verbosity or code duplication. But what’s even more important, is that Kotlin is 100% compatible with all existing Java frameworks, and has good tooling (it’s from JetBrains after all).

In this talk, we’ll discuss the concepts of the language that provide the desired expressiveness, as well as new important features introduced in the latest Kotlin release.

Svetlana Isakova

Developer Advocate

Kotlin for Java Developers

The Kotlin programming language is developed by JetBrains and is now an officially-supported language for Android Development. This full-day workshop aims to share with you the power and the beauty of the language so that you can effectively and confidently use Kotlin in your every-day work.


Svetlana Isakova

Developer Advocate

The Yackandandah Folk Festival App - A Story About Stuffing Up Until You Succeed!

Want to hear a tale of last minute rejections, expeditions and pulling through by the tips of our folking beards? Do you want to see a couple of backend devs blunder around until they have something that's good enough for both the iOS and Android app stores? Or do you just want to see some goats, fiddles and bunting?

Good news! Folk fan or not, come along for a wholesome dose of community spirit, overcoming the impediment of a life spent with Ruby on Rails and triumphing against adversity!

Chris Jewell

Software Development Manager

Building an Android Instant App for realestate.com.au

Recently realestate.com.au worked with Google to launch an Android Instant App that provides users a native experience for viewing property details without the need to explicitly install an app.

In this talk we'll explain our product goals, some UX best practices and what was required technically to build our Instant App. Finally we'll summarise our learnings from the initiative and some thoughts around the future of Instant Apps technology.

Antony Kuzmicich

Technical Product Manager
REA Group

Android DataBinding: This is the DSL You're Looking For!

The Android Data Binding Library is great for reducing the amount of boiler plate you need to build the view layer in your android apps.

But going beyond the basics will give you an even bigger payback.

In this talk I'll cover some of the more advanced users of Data Binding including:

  • 2-way Data Binding
  • custom attributes
  • complex widgets
  • integrating 3rd party libraries

As a bonus, examples will come from an app in development for several year, in Google Play with thousands of users that has been refactored recently to use Data Binding.

For those that have seen the Google IO talk "Advanced Data Binding" this talk will serve as a good followup, providing more real-world examples of how to use Data Binding in your app and covering areas like 3rd party libraries that were not covered in the IO talk and are not well documented outside of blog posts and SO answers.

Maksim Lin

Freelance Android Developer
Manichord Pty Ltd

Internationalisation 101

Did you know that less than 30% of the internet population speaks English? And this percentage is slowly decreasing as cheaper smartphones become ubiquitous and new users from Brazil, Russia, India and China come online everyday. If you want to reach this global market, it is important to translate your mobile apps into your user's native language. This is why Canva decided to build a localised app from the get go.

In this talk, we will present a quick introduction to internationalisation and the key things to consider when localising your mobile app. You will learn about the various tools available to enable translations at scale and how those integrate with your app. You will also get some hands-on, practical information about the unique development challenges presented by languages that have different pluralisation rules to English and languages that are written from right-to-left. We will show some examples of our internationalisation approach in our iOS app. Lastly, we will wrap up with how this fits into our Feature development and Release process. Expect lots of practical advice that will help you get started on localising your own mobile app.

Shipra Mahindra

Product Manager

Immersive Computing & how we get there

"Immersive" is the key defining factor of the next wave of computing. With each computing revolution the distance between the user and the computing experience has shrunk - with today's modern mobile devices making computing Pervasive. This next step is truly user-centered and puts you right at the heart of a deeply Immersive Experience. The key question that faces us now is "How do we get there from here?". Our near future seems to inevitably involve hyper-connected wearable and then embed-able computer displays. But how will we all migrate from today's mobile devices to this amazing new nerdvana?

This session takes a detailed look at what makes "Immersive-ness" so important. What standards and market forces are driving this evolution. And how you can navigate your way through all the technological change this will bring.

Rob Manson

CEO & Co-Founder

How to become an IoT developer (and have fun!)

I started off my life as a developer writing machine code and C and working on some low level hardware projects. Then this thing called the internet come along and I moved into the web application space for a couple of decades. More recently I've moved back into commercial IoT development and not unexpectedly a lot has changed over that time.

In this talk I'll cover what it's like developing IoT projects. I'll go over the tools you need and protocols you need to be familiar with. I'll look at how the C language has evolved to what it is today and and how to write code that works well on memory constrained devices. I'll go over producing prototypes, rapid development, debugging and testing embedded applications and what and how much electronics you should learn.

In short everything you need to know in becoming an IoT developer and have fun doing it.

Justin Mclean

Class Software / IoT Sydney

Easy IoT with MicroPython on ESP SoCs

Implementing IoT projects doesn't have to be difficult, time consuming and expensive.

MicroPython brings Python 3 to embedded platforms, and since Python is one of the easiest languages to learn, and there are WiFi SoCs available around $5, this is a great way to get started in IoT! We'll look at:

  • What is a System-on-a-Chip (SoC) with some specific examples based on the ESP8266 and ESP32 WiFi SoCs
  • Why Python? A quick look at C and IoT vulnerabilities
  • How to install MicroPython and communicate with the ESP SoC to write programs
  • What it is capable of and what things are being developed for it
  • How to contribute to the MicroPython project

Nick Moore

Software Consultant

Scalable IOT with Apache Cassandra

IOT and Event Based systems can process huge volumes of data. Which typically needs to be stored and read in near real time for event processing, in addition to being read in bulk to feed data hungry learning systems. Apache Cassandra provides a high performance, scalable, and fault tolerant database platform with excellent support for time series data models typically seen in IOT systems. It's millisecond (or better) latency can support systems that react to events in real time, while scalable bulk reads via batch processing systems such as Apache Hadoop and Apache Spark can support learning applications. These features, and more, make Cassandra an ideal persistence platform for modern data intensive, event driven, systems.

In this talk Aaron Morton, CEO at The Last Pickle, will discuss lessons learned using Cassandra for IOT systems. He will explain how Cassandra fits into the modern technology landscape and dive into data modelling for common IOT use cases, capacity planning for huge data loads, tuning for high performance, and integration with other data driven systems. Whether starting a new project, or deep into the weeds on an existing system, attendees will leave will leave with an understanding of how Apache Cassandra can help build robust infrastructure for IOT systems.

Aaron Morton

Aaron Morton is the Co Founder & Principal Consultant at The Last Pickle. A professional services company that works with clients to deliver and improve Apache Cassandra based solutions. He's based in New Zealand, is an Apache Cassandra Committer and a DataStax MVP for Apache Cassandra.

ThinkerShield - Designing Hardware to Enable Creators

The ThinkerShield for Arduino makes it easy for anyone to get started with programming and controlling things with their computer in minutes! No need for any wiring or soldering or program knowledge. Even if you have never seen a computer program before, with the ThinkerShield you will be making things flash, buzz, beep and respond in no time! It has been designed over a 4 year period with multiple prototypes and is now going to be used in the NSW premier's code challenge and 1000's of units are in schools across every Australian state.

This talk will share the challenges of getting this to product form and why people should care about ThinkerShield.

James Oliver

Digital Learning Manager
Museum of Applied Arts and Sciences

Xinja - Building Australia's First Mobile-First Bank

This talk is an Experience Report sharing the highs, and the lows, from the first few months of building Xinja - Australia's first digital bank, designed entirely for mobile. A talk from two perspectives; both Business (Van Le - Customer Innovation Director, Xinja) and Technology (Phil Parker - Partner, Equal Experts) will share the journey we are going on… warts and all!

We will share how we manage priorities when developing with our customers (shout out to our founding Xinjas!), how developing a startup does not mean being technology lightweights (or cowboys) and how we manage to be effective with a highly distributed, global team.

Phil Parker

Equal Experts

Using the Elm Architecture in Swift

Elm, for a long time the flag bearer of Functional Reactive Programming on the web, recently switched to a simpler pure functional architecture, citing 'ease of use'. Those of us that have worked on complex RxSwift/ReactiveCocoa apps can sympathise with this - using FRP injudiciously in your app can make the code difficult to understand and near impossible for new developers to pick up.

So are we able to apply some of the techniques and patterns from Elm into Swift iOS apps? It turns out the Elm architecture is a really great fit for Swift - it allows us to:

  • reserve our FRP hammer for the use cases that make the most sense
  • separate out a simple, consistent, and highly testable pure functional core, and
  • provide a flexible, yet easily understood & applied set of architectural building blocks.

This session will cover the basics of implementing and using an Elm-style architecture in a Swift app, will include lessons learnt in a real-world implementation, pitfalls/benefits, and implementation considerations should you adopt the approach in your own app.

Sam Ritchie

Chief Codesplicer

Flying Solo: Lifehack Your Way to a Pants-Optional Workplace

Many developers harbour the dream of throwing off the shackles of corporate serfdom and experiencing the glorious freedom of self-employment. So is the grass really greener on the other side? As a developer who took the plunge a few years ago, I can offer some honest feedback and practical advice on things like:

  • what to consider when assessing whether self-employment is right for you.
  • the different software development business models, the pros & cons of each.
  • setting up a business/company - which structure is best.
  • knowing when to quit your job.
  • pricing yourself correctly.
  • sales & marketing - critical activity or soul destroying waste of effort?
  • why on earth can’t people just pay you on time.
  • what to say to friends and relatives who think you don’t do anything all day.

And generally everything else that I know now, that I wish I knew then.

Sam Ritchie

Chief Codesplicer

Making Petrol Stations Talk: Challenges when Implementing an End-to-End IoT Solution

Petrol stations are dangerous places. Constant monitoring and analysis is crucial to ensure operation is safe and efficient on a daily basis. But the devices that monitor the stations are old and dumb where information needs to be pulled to be analysed.

Well, we inverted that - and found interesting challenges to solve.

From design and development of new hardware to the implementation of a new system providing real-time information about their petrol stations, I will tell you what it's like to be involved in a project with so many variables.

Tarcio Saraiva

Software Developer

Building React Web and React-Native Apps with Shared Code

Diving into the feasibility of using a single code base for generating multiple front-end applications.

We'll discuss using React and React-Native for building apps that provide a consistent experience across native, mobile and desktop web.

Using React and React-Native as the UI layer upon a shared JavaScript core codebase can greatly improve your organisation's delivery of new features to customers.

We'll talk about our migration strategy for the new apps replacing our existing apps, piece by piece. Not slowing down our continuous release of features to customers while replace the apps.

Tim Sawtell

Engineering Lead

Build Better Android Apps with Vector Assets

There are many advantages to using vector-based assets in your Android apps — smaller binary size, faster loading, easier support for all pixel densities, dynamic drawing, and more ways to animate. Despite the upsides, SVGs and VectorDrawable assets are more complex to author and use.

Luke and Marc explore everything needed to create, export, and implement SVGs and VectorDrawables on Android, including common issues and their remedies.

Luke Sleeman

Sr. Android Developer
Itty Bitty Apps

Getting started with Smart Speakers and Voice Interfaces

Conversational voice interfaces have the potential to be the most significant new user interaction mechanism since the rise of mobile touch devices. Prominent examples of these interfaces in action are smart speakers like Google Home and Amazon Echo.

In this talk we’ll explore and compare how you develop for each of these voice platforms. We'll start by looking at how to build an application for Google Home followed by the Amazon Echo. Finally, we'll sum up with some thoughts on the future of conversational voice interfaces and smart speakers, especially as more players enter the market.

Ben Teese

Sr. Software Engineer
Shine Solutions

Other Years