University of Minnesota
Software Engineering Center

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CodeFreeze 2016 Breakout Sessions

Johnson Great Room

Bridget Kromhout: The Promise of a Cloud Native Platform


Continuous Delivery, Microservices, and DevOps are three labels that describe aspects of the same phenomena; the principles and practices of high performing organizations that deliver highly available software, rapidly, at scale.

Continuous delivery has gone from an aspirational nice-to-have to a must-have capability for staying competitive at the edge of innovation. Nearly every automation project sets out to provide self-service deployments for developers with visibility and reliability for operations. Whether using configuration management or embracing containers to package workloads, we need a long list of capabilities to fill gaps in the automation. How do you provision infrastructure? Who can provision? How much? How do you deploy? Who can do deployments? What can even get deployed? What about canary deploys? Rolling deployments? Monitoring? Metrics? Fault detection? Fault remediation? The operational needs of a continuously delivered microservice architecture bring with them new considerations and constraints: let’s talk about them.

This presentation catalogs the capabilities that allow organizations to move quickly, reliably, and economically in an end-to-end infrastructure-to-application platform: the Cloud Native advantage outlined as contracts and promises. What promises can your platform keep?

Bridget Kromhout is a Principal Technologist for Cloud Foundry at Pivotal. Her CS degree emphasis was in theory, but she now deals with the concrete (if ‘cloud’ can be considered tangible). After years in site reliability operations (most recently at DramaFever), she traded in oncall for more travel. A frequent speaker at tech conferences, she helps organize the AWS and devops meetups at home in Minneapolis, serves on the program committee for Velocity, and acts as a global core organizer for devopsdays. She podcasts at Arrested DevOps, occasionally blogs at, and is active in a Twitterverse near you.

Bridget's Presentation Materials are available HERE.

Memorial Hall

11:35 AM Session: Meredith DeZutter and Rose Anderson. Fighting the Gravitational Pull: Design in Health Care

Abstract: The health care system is complex and currently does not fully meet the needs of people. This industry is ripe for innovation. Ironically, while there is a great need for change, the current system reinforces the types of behaviors, services, products, and experiences that contribute to a sub-optimal system. At the Center for Innovation we have developed design mindsets, methodologies, and system principles to fight the gravitational pull of the sub-optimal system. In this session we will share examples of our work that break through the existing system and aim to transform the experience and delivery of health care.

Rose Anderson is a Service Designer at the Mayo Clinic Center for Innovation where she uses human-centered design and systems thinking to understand and improve health care experiences. In 2010, she began work on “Triple Aim” approaches to primary care with clinic and community partners. Serving as a design strategy consultant for the Mayo Clinic Office of Population Health, she has contributed to Optimized Care Teams, Patient-Centered Care Planning, and Community-led Wellness projects. Her current work focuses on the representation of human need in health care data and the influence of information design within the system.

Meredith DeZutter is a is a Service Designer at the Mayo Clinic Center for Innovation whose work focuses on design methodologies and tools to integrate the individuality of people into the complexity of health and health care systems. Much of her work has focused on designs to improve the communication between care providers and people, whether through new health and care models, redefining where and when care occurs, or by providing a better overall experience. Additionally, much of this work has aligned with trends in health and health care, disruptive technology and social drivers, and sensitivities to a changing competitive landscape with increased financial sensitivity.

1:30 PM Session: Michael McAlpine: 3-D printed Bionic Nanomaterials

Abstract: The development of methods for interfacing high performance functional devices with biology could impact regenerative medicine, smart prosthetics, medical robotics, and human-machine interfaces. Indeed, the ability to three-dimensionally interweave biological and functional materials could enable the creation of bionic devices possessing unique geometries, properties, and functionalities. Yet, most high quality functional materials are two dimensional, hard and brittle, and require high crystallization temperatures for maximally efficient performance. These properties render the corresponding devices incompatible with biology, which is three-dimensional, soft, stretchable, and temperature sensitive. Via custom-designed 3D printing approaches, we solve these dichotomies by: 1) using 3D printing and scanning for customized, hierarchical, and interwoven device architectures; 2) employing nanotechnology as an enabling route for overcoming mechanical discrepancies while retaining high performance; and 3) 3D printing a range of soft and nanoscale materials to enable the integration of a diverse palette of high quality functional nanomaterials with biology. 3D printing is a multi-scale platform, allowing for the incorporation of functional nanoscale inks, the printing of microscale features, and ultimately the creation of macroscale devices. This blending of 3D printing, novel nanomaterial properties, and ‘living’ platforms may enable next-generation 3D printed bionic nanodevices.

Michael McAlpine's research is focused on 3D printed bionic nanomaterials, which is the three-dimensional interweaving of biological and electronic nanomaterials using 3D printing. 3D printing is a multi-scale platform, allowing for the incorporation of functional nanoscale inks, the printing of microscale features, and ultimately the creation of macroscale devices. 3D scanning allows for the ability to achieve anatomical accuracy, which is useful for biomedical applications with our collaborators in the medical programs at UMN. This blending of 3D printing, novel nanomaterials, and ‘living’ platforms may enable next-generation 3D printed bionic nanodevices.

Mike's presentation slides are available HERE

Heritage Gallery

Dan Callahan: Why Rust Should be Your Next Systems Programming Language

Abstract: Rust is a systems programming language that runs blazingly fast, prevents almost all crashes, and eliminates data races. It accomplishes this through strong, compile-time guarantees about memory safety, without garbage collection or managed memory. Best of all, Rust seamlessly interoperates with C, making it trivial to call between Rust and languages like C, Python, or Node.js.

Rust hit 1.0 in early 2015 and is already being used in production workloads: At Skylight (, Yehuda Katz is wrapping Rust inside a Ruby gem for Rails profiling with "low enough overhead that you can leave it always-on in production." At Mozilla Research, the Servo project is using Rust to "develop a new Web browser engine [...] that takes advantage of parallelism at many levels while eliminating common sources of bugs and security vulnerabilities associated with incorrect memory management and data races."

This workshop will focus on exploring and surmounting Rust's major conceptual hurdles, with an emphasis on Rust's memory model and borrow checker. You'll leave with a better understanding of how Rust works, and how you can integrate it within larger projects written in other languages

Dan Callahan is a Staff Software Engineer in Mozilla's Developer Relations team, where he focuses on the Firefox Developer Tools. Dan previously worked on the Mozilla Persona project, an attempt at replacing passwords with user friendly public key cryptography built on open web standards. Dan tweets as @callahad and swears he has every intention to blog at

Dan's slides and code samples are available HERE.

Ski-U-Mah Room

Justin Grammens: The Internet of Things: Where It Is, Where It's Headed and and Its Applications.

The Internet of Things (IoT, sometimes Internet of Everything) is the network of physical objects or "things" embedded with electronics, software, sensors and connectivity to enable it to achieve greater value and service by exchanging data with the manufacturer, operator and/or other connected devices. Come learn about what the IoT is, where it's going in the future and some of the applications being built by local startup companies.

Justin Grammens lives at the intersection of education, startups and leading communities on the Internet of Things. He is currently a professor at the University of Saint Thomas teaching a graduate level course on the Internet of Things, a co-founder of Recursive Awesome and IoTFuse a 501(c)(3) non-profit to advance the Internet of Things. He is the publisher of the Internet of Things Weekly News, has founded the user group focused on building products using open hardware and the Arduino platform, launched the first Internet of Things Hack Day in Minnesota (#IoTHackday) and the first conference in the midwest on the Internet of Things (#IotFuse).

Justin mentors students and is both an investor and advisor to a number of local companies using mobile, cloud and open source hardware technology to build new and innovative products.

Justin's presentation slides are available HERE

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