Ron Burk on The Psychology of Incompetence

Here’s a great talk from the last Ignite to warm you up for tonight’s Ignite 7 event.

Why does software suck so bad? Is it possible that a lot of us really smart computer programmers are, in fact… incompetent? Ron Burk, with his wry style, asks the hard questions about hiring, firing and working with incompetence in the software industry in this talk that went viral on YouTube.

About Ron Burk

Ron Burk - Ignite Seattle 6Ron is the former editor of Windows Developer’s Journal and author of the upcoming book “The Pop Psychology of Programming.” You can find Ron Burk on his blog.

The Coolness of Telemedicine – Chris DiBona

We grew up watching medical droids, tricorders and stasis chambers as mainstays in futuristic medicine but it wasn’t that long ago that bionics, the hypospray and telemedicine were also merely science fiction. While there aren’t many open APIs or much rapid product development, the IT revolution hasn’t left the medical industry behind completely.

Chris DiBona takes us on a tour of the near future with his visit to the annual American Telemedicine Association Exposition and talks about the state of IT in the latest medical gear.

About Chris DiBona

Chris DiBona - Ignite Seattle 6Chris DiBona is the Open Source Programs Manager for Google, which includes running the Summer of Code, releasing open source software on Google’s Code website and contributing to several og Google’s blogs. He also helps plan the annual Sci Foo Camp with Tim O’Reilly and Nature’s Timo Hannay.

You can find Chris writing on his personal blog, Egofood or on Twitter @Cdibona in his spare time (spare time?).

The Sanity Hacks of a Stay At Home Mom – Jen Zug

Drawing from her real life as a stay at home mom, Jen Zug shares her parenting hacks to staying sane when the majority of her day is spent discussing the merits of Optimus Prime over Buzz Light Year.

Parenting may not be for everyone. Staying home may not be for every parent. But everyone makes choices they’re willing to sacrifice for, and we all find ways to cope when it’s no longer glamorous.

About Jen Zug

Jen Zug - Seattle 2.0 AwardsJen Zug is a writer and a stay at home mom.

You can find Jen Zug at @jenzug on Twitter or her blog, This Pile. She is the boss of Ruthie and Thomas (and often Bryan) no matter what they tell you.

Intangible Method (a digital fairy tale) – Scotto Moore

Scotto Moore takes us into a digital fairy tale about a young woman who realizes that first person video footage from her own life is being posted to YouTube – before the events actually occur in real life.

Surreal fantasy or could it really happen? You’ll not want to miss this gem from one of Ignite Seattle’s recurring cast of characters.

About Scotto Moore

You can find Scotto Moore on his Web site at scotto.org.

Humblefacturing a Sustainable Electronic Future – Dominic Muren

We geeks love our personal tech. iPhones, Kindles, and netbooks – these are the things we are quick to buy, and quick to trade up to stay on the bleeding edge. But in our wake we leave mountains of discarded, useless, and toxic ex-electronics. We have accepted this cycle of perpetual desire, momentary fulfillment, and discarding to chase new desires as the inevitable cost of technological life. But must this necessarily be the case?

Humblefacture is a movement to better understand how the way we make things affects our society and the environment. Using this understanding, practitioners of Humblefacture aim to make things more safe, useful, and accessible to more people.

Dominic Muren shows us how modular design, biologically-inspired construction, and user fabricated components can be used to create consumer electronics which go beyond “green materials” to create truly sustainable manufacturing.

About Dominic Muren

Dominic MurenDominic Muren is a full time lecturer in Design Studies in the Department of Design in the School of Art at the University of Washington. He has written extensively on design and how it relates to society, both online as a writer for Treehugger.com, and on the weblog IDFuel.com.

You can find Dominic at @dmuren on Twitter, his Web site, dmuren.com, or on the bookshelves with “Green’s Not Black & White: The Balanced Guide to Making Eco Decisions,” published in May 2009.

The Invention of the Wheel – Mike Tyka

It seems Nature has beaten man to almost every “invention” : Helicopters, Submarines, Electricity, Video Cameras, Supercomputers, etc. For the longest time Mike Tyka thought the one notable exception was the wheel. Recent discoveries in biochemistry proved this to be false as well.

Nature has invented a full blown, reversible, proton driven turbine engine, many tens of thousands of which churn away in every one of the billions of cells in a human body. Join Mike Tyka as he takes you on a journey of discovery inside your body and the wheels that make you tick.

About Mike Tyka

Dr. Michael Tyka is a senior fellow at The Baker Laboratory at the University of Washington’s Biochemistry department.

Decoding Sticks and Waves – Ken Beegle

Yesterday’s breakthrough solutions are today’s historical curiosities. Such is the case of stick charts, which were once used to navigate the Marshall Islands.

By observing the waves, wind and stars, select Marshall Islanders were able to find their way across the water. In 1898, Captain Winkler of the German Navy began decoding the stick charts, allowing us to understand how and why the charts worked.

Using his experiences as a lens, Ken Beegle asks us to look at what we’re building today and ask what type of historical curiosities they will become.

About Ken Beegle

Ken Beegle - Ignite Seattle 6You can find Ken on Twitter at @kbeegle, at his Web site, and the slides from this presentation at Slideshare.