Happy to present our second keynote – Anjana Vakil!


We are very happy to present the talented Anjana Vakil as our second keynote!

Anjana suffers from a debilitating case of curiosity, which led her from philosophy to English teaching to computational linguistics to software development. She currently codes from her home base in Berlin; that is, when she’s not speaking at events around the world, trying to share the joy of programming and promote a diverse and inclusive tech community. Talk to her about functional programming, language design, or speech technology, and ask her about Mozilla, Outreachy, and the Recurse Center!

For her keynote Anjana chose to talk about Embracing constraints!

In a time and culture where instant, near-unlimited access to unprecedented technological resources has become as mundane as carrying a phone in your pocket, the idea of “constraint” takes on a negative spin. We constantly set our sights on more, bigger, faster! When we do encounter an unavoidable limitation, we view it as an enemy, something to begrudgingly endure until our budget and/or Moore’s law enable us to defeat it.

But what if that constraint was actually a friend, something to respect and embrace as an ally in our quest for innovation and progress?

This talk will explore the relationship between the problems we try to solve, the constraints we encounter, and the solutions those constraints not only allow, but enable us to find. From architecture to accessibility, from computational linguistics to cartography, examples abound: limitations on time, data, and other resources can have an undeniably positive impact on our creativity and problem-solving abilities. We’ll investigate how we can recognize, value, and comply with the restrictions that can help us, yet reject those that are holding us back. When our time-limited session is up, we’ll get back to work on our respective projects – hopefully with a newfound appreciation for their constraints, which we can stop battling and start benefiting from.

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