Living the OG Lifestyle – (Original Geek, that is) – Sarah Novotny @sarahnovotny

geeks have lead the most recent evolution of our society and some do it better than others. i’ve been incredibly curious about how geek praxis outside of a professional setting has contributed to geek success and would like to share a few ways i’ve found that geeks harness their obesssions and obsessive natures for fun and profit.

As a young geek i know said “feel free to make fun of me now, i’ll forgive you and maybe even hire you when we’re adults”.

About Sarah Novotny

Sarah is constantly seeking ways to promote Seattle as a technology mecca. She is a founder of and evangelist in open source databases for Blue Gecko. She is additionally a Program Chair for OSCON and the Chair of the IOUG’s MySQL Council. For Twittery things, check out @sarahnovotny and to connect with her on LinkedIn wander over to

Life lessons from a [recovering] Alpha Male – Nathalie Molina Niño @globalmisfit

Since launching her first internet dot com at 21, Nathalie’s been neck deep in high-tech, masculine, start up juice. She recently left Seattle, her dream home and a $100M business she helped found in order to chill out, meditate and continue her path as a recovering Alpha Male in relaxing New York City. During her first return to her beloved Seattle as a special guest at SIFF 2011′s opening GALA, hear Nathalie as she comes out publicly about her personal experience as a global business misfit and how it took nearly killing someone for her to realize she needed to rethink how businesses work.

About Nathalie Molina

Nathalie Molina Niño - Ignite Seattle 14Nathalie is the Senior Director of Strategic Development in Media & Ads at Lionbridge, explores the perilous new world of translation since the advent of global crowdsourcing, search and social media. You can find her online at her personal site, and on Twitter, @globalmisfit.

How to Go to Kindergarten – Scott Ruthfield @scottru

When I was a kid, you started Kindergarten down the street, or maybe the Catholic school a few blocks away. Today, though, Seattle parents have an incredibly complex system of both public and private schools – and parents don’t know how to navigate it (or that there’s even anything to navigate).

If you might have a kid entering Kindergarten someday, and you’re the kind of person who builds a 10-column spreadsheet to pick the next flat screen TV, you might want to know how this process works – and how to optimize for your own family.

About Scott Ruthfield

Scott Ruthfield - Ignite Seattle 14Scott is the CEO & Founder of Rooster Park , a technology consulting and staffing firm. Before that, he led software engineering organizations at various small and large companies around Seattle. He and his wife obsessed over the kindergarten process for their older daughter (who had a great year!), and he used this talk to pass his burden on to the rest of you. You can find Scott on Twitter @scottru.

How To Shoot Better Food Porn – Geoff Smith @lookatlao

Why: With the advent of food-focused social media and celebrity chef bloggers—not to mention understaffed magazines—food photography is everywhere. Everybody is taking photos of what they eat and very few are doing it right.

What: I would like to identify the four major enemies of good food porn and offer simple solutions on how to avoid them. The presentation will show real-world examples of failed attempts at shooting good food porn and the necessary steps and equipment needed—both purchased and improvised—to make your food porn better.

About Geoffrey Smith

Geoff Smith - Ignite Seattle 14Geoffrey runs LookatLao Studio in Seattle. LookatLao is a smallish design and photography studio with a tendency to work with people who love food, wine and cocktails. When not working, Geoff can be found found exploring the back alleys of Bangkok or riding his bike around Lake Washington. You can find him on Twitter @lookatlao.

Sociopathic Boardgaming: Fun for Everyone – Mehal Shah

You like board gaming, but lately the fun has gone out for you. Maybe you have a closet full of board games that never get played anymore. Maybe you have an hyper-competitive jackass attending your board game nights, who you feel ruins the fun for everyone. Maybe you just hate following a bunch of silly rules in your games and the fun goes away after half an hour. Let’s re-examine what makes board gaming great and see how we can modify existing games to make them fun again, and how turning up the hostility is often the best way to turn up the fun.

About Mehal Shah

Mehal Shah - Ignite Seattle 14By day, Mehal works as a software developer at By night, Mehal is still probably working. But when he has time, he’ll geek out on bouldering problems, cryptic crosswords, and board games. Two years ago, in an attempt to conquer his fear of public speaking and to impress a girl, he volunteered to speak at Ignite. This year, he returned to answer his critics from his first speech.

You can find Mehal on Twitter @mehals

The Art of Subvertising on Facebook – Teresa Valdez Klein

All of us have been conditioned from birth by our families, our friends, and marketers to want (or not want) certain things. And while I’m a big fan of Facebook, I have this theory that it reinforces social conditioning in some pretty insidious ways.

In this talk, I’ll explain how I used Facebook’s self-serve advertising platform to combat the social pressure cooker.

About Teresa Valdez Klein

Teresa Valdez Klein - Ignite Seattle 14Teresa runs her business, sings to her cat, picks herself up when she fails, and tries to enjoy the journey. She gets really mad when marketers tell her that her life isn’t shiny enough so she’ll spend money on things that won’t make her happy. She describes her relationship with social computing and consumer technology as “complicated but loving” – which she thinks is the only kind of relationship worth having. You can find her on Twitter @TeteSagehen and on her Web site,