How Coming to the US Taught Me to Embrace Worry – Kevin Obbayi

From Kevin –

Growing up in a developing country, I tended to worry about my future. I had this idea in my head that if I joined college in the US, that not only will my dreams come true but life would be easy and worry free. Coming to the US taught me that regardless where you live in the world, stress and worry can be part of normal life and a great motivator to accomplish your dreams.

About Kevin

Kevin Obbayi in his own words:

I am a business analyst working for a Seattle based digital agency. I love working in web and mobile development industry. I enjoy good espresso and meaningful music. And when its not raining I longboard… oh, and I love to travel whenever I get the chance.

Lessons From Building the Universal Translator – Tanvi Surti

From Tanvi:

With the speech translation tech in Skype Translator, people can now have real-time automatically translated conversations in English, Spanish, Italian and Chinese.

But speech translation tech is far from a perfect science. This talk is about what we learn from watching first-time users experience Skype Translator for the first time, and what are the biggest (and rather unexpected) problems we face while bringing Star Trek’s Universal Translator to life.

About Tanvi
Tania Surti in her own words:

I am a Program Manager at Microsoft Research where I work on translation tech that lets people have automatically translated voice conversations over Skype.

I also like writing code, playing the piano, launching into feminist rants and taking long naps.

Tone-Deaf Diplomacy – Matthew Lee Johnston

Video game industry veteran talks about the time he tried to make video games not fun on purpose, and ended up accidentally irritating all of Japan in the process.

About Matthew

Matthew Lee Johnston is a game industry veteran, entrepreneur, inventor, musician, and skatepark advocate. He also occasionally succeeds at parenting.

Why You Should Run Away from Home – Philip Cook

From Phil:

A comparison between who you are and who you want to be. Then again, who are we really but people always chasing a better version of ourselves? Perhaps in a different place, you can be someone different. Someone better.

About Phillip

Phillip Cook in his own words:

30 year old boring CPA doing his best to remove the “boring”.

Sun Crack: Hacking Seattle’s Winter – Julia Heitz

A new Seattleite found an unusual way to survive the dreary Seattle winter with vitamin D supplements.

About Julia
In Julia’s own words:

My cousin once told a friend of hers that “I’ve had some interesting life experiences” after I thoroughly confused her friend by making a comment on chainsawing. I’m doing my best to make sure these experiences continue.

Draw a comic, save the world – Jeremy Kayes

Drawing comics and saving the world are two activities that may seem inaccessible but are really quite simple. Jer will walk us through these seemingly unrelated pursuits and hopefully inspire everyone to give one or both a try!

About Jeremy
Jeremy Kayes (Jer) is a comic artist and self-publishing advocate. His graphic novel “The Indies” is an inspirational adventure for anyone who’s ever had to weigh their big artistic dreams against the cold logistics of the real world. His club SICAGA is dedicated to actively enabling artists to both begin and complete their creative projects.

Jer pays his bills by writing software. When he’s not drawing or coding, he enjoys getting lost in the mountains with his impressively camping-savvy kitty, Zilla.

How To Get Your Teenager To Talk To You – Linda Breneman

From Linda:

Sometimes teenagers don’t want to talk to their parents. As a mom, I got worried when my kid didn’t keep me informed. So I tried a few experiments to improve our relationship. The thing that worked the best was playing video games together. I started playing video games to connect with my teenager, and then I started to love them for their own sake.

About Linda
Linda Breneman is a writer, a reader, a movie fan, and a gamer. She co-founded Seattle’s literary center, Richard Hugo House in 1996 and now she’s the publisher of She loves Jane Austen, mysteries, everything sci-fi, and cockapoo dogs.

Naked in Public – Peter Toms

Curious about the history of the Fremont Solstice Parade? We were fortunate to have Peter Toms, one of the parade’s creators on the Ignite stage to give his first hand account of how the parade got started and how it has evolved over the years. The Fremont Solstice Parade is this Saturday, June 20th at 3pm and the festival runs all weekend (June 19th through the 21st).

(NOTE: if you are offended by out-of-focus, far-away nudity, this talk might not be for you.)

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Photographing The Unseeable – Adam Philipp

From Adam-

Too often we think there is no way to capture the beauty that is around us; especially at night. Or we limit ourselves to what can be captured in the visible spectrum. Adam presents how the unseeable can be captured and shares some of his experiences of sharing back these moments to the people he has photographed.

About Adam Phillip
By day Adam is the managing partner of ÆON Law, a high tech intellectual property law firm. By night Adam seeks out vibrant people and interesting settings to photograph. You can find Adam’s daytime Twitter persona @mypatents

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How To Shake Hands – Tarah Wheeler Van Vlack

I’ve developed a great handshake, I teach it to my mentees and trainees, and I’ll use my 5 minutes to show how to angle your hand, clasp firmly without crushing the other person, keep a hand cruncher from breaking your bones, and make a great impression during interviews and meetings!

About Tarah
Tarah Wheeler Van Vlack is co-founder and CEO of Fizzmint, an end-to-end employee management company. She has led projects at Microsoft Game Studios (Halo and Lips), architected systems at Silent Circle, and holds two agile development certifications through the Scrum Alliance. She founded Red Queen Technologies, LLC, and co-founded and is co-chair of Hack The People, a mentorship project focused on underprivileged people in technology. She acquired her startup funds by cleaning out poker rooms in the Northwest and Las Vegas. Reach her at @tarah.

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