by acls us

CUSEC 2011 13-15 January 2011. Montreal, Canada


CUSEC 2011 CUSEC 2011 13-15 January 2011. Montreal, Canada

This was my second year attending CUSEC. I was so impressed with the content and quality of the presentations last year, that I decided to attend again this year.

Full details are available at

I don't think I could identrify a particular theme for this year's presentations that would cover the full event. There did seem to be one sub-plot about the Geek in Society and the trouble this can cause and how to deal with it. Montreal seemed a little different this year, I was stopped more times in the street by beggers and I saw a couple of peole just shoulding at things. Maybe it was the cold, which got worse towards the end of the week. This can be seen by the queue of only about 10 people waiting for the Apple store to open.

Apple Store Queue

It can be difficult being a Brit in Canada, some thing are very difficult to get used to and some just seem natural (maybe the European influense on the country). During CUSEC I think the word "Awesome" does get over used and there was far too much whooping from the crowd. This might have more to do with Students rather than the general Canadian population.

And Montreal, whats this about? Don't get me wrong, I liked it, but what's it about? This was near to my hotel and I walked pased it each day;


My two favourite presenations were Drew Conway (former US Intelligence Services Analyst) on the fusion of Copmpter Science and Political Science used to treack the connections between terrorist groups, and Micheal Lopp (former Apple exec) about the world of Nerds, Geeks and Dorks (if you are one, you know you are, give a copy of "The Geek Handbook" to your better half, they might understand you and why we build "Caves", when they have a manual). And here's my "Cave";


Thursday, Jan 13, 2011

Michael Lopp - (ex Apple, now Rands) A great explanation of why we Geeks have the trouble we do and some ways to manage ourselves and others.Bob

Paul Kry - (McGill Univerity) Ways of approximating the real world in annimation, an interesting presentaion particularly when the man looks like Side-Show-Bob (see picture ->).

Moataz Adbellateef - (Direct Energy) How they were re-inventing their systems using modern techniques. I had a bit of a problem with Moataz's presentation, it worried me that the "Business" people in his organisation did not seem to understand their own business. I did have the opportunity to discuss this with Moataz later.

Drew Conway - (NYC Phd student) An excellent presentation on the use of Network Analysis to track terrorist groups and drug users. I do worry for his safty though.

Friday, Jan 14, 2011

Derek Ruths - (McGill University) An excellent presenation that grew from the simple idea of analysing the content of Tweets expressing what people wanted for Christmas (Justin Bieber apparently) and the complexity discovered.

Guy Barette - (freelance Solutions Architect) Sorry Guy but this was a bit limp. Implementing your applications in the Cloud, very last year.

Marc-Antoine Ruel - (Google) An interesting presentaion about silent (undiscovered) data corruption and how to design systems to expect failure.

Mark Jorgensen - (Morgan Stanley) Using Agile methodology in large scale projects. More about the experience than the theory. Odd thing is I've always worked "Agile" even before I knew what it was.

Mike Shaver - (Mozilla) Interesting presentation really aimed at career starters and how to cope with work rather than anything else.

Saturday, Jan 15, 2011

Eric Diep - (co-founder the thinking ape) A very good presentaion on games and the behaviour of game players and how to exploit it.

Julie Steele - (O'Reilly Media) Peter Forde told me this would be great, sorry it wasn't. She told us to turn off our laptops, so no notes!

Jennifer Collins - (IBM Extreme Blue Manager) What, IBM still runs the world, really???

Yehuda Katz - (framework architect at Strobe) A very interesting talk about debunking received wisdom in the world of Software Engineering, don't always beleive what they tell you!

Overall 4.9 out of 5 (got to have somewhere to go from here)

It was good to get to talk to a few people and meet people I had talked to last year, but I didnt get a enough time to do this. Better time management next year! Oh and I found a couple of photos someone took of me at the evening event on the Friday. Pity the second one looks like I'm at some far Right-Wing political event. "Come see the man from London that came two years running, wave at us Richard". I'm NOT FROM LONDON! it's the East Riding of Yorkshire.

Me sitting

Me standing

All things being well, I will be attending next year too. Maybe some fool there will ask me to do some side show presentation, rambling on about some old tosh that I find interesting/amusing.

A final thought, where was Microsoft? Once again, there is a whole generation of Software Engineers growing up without Microsoft in any way other than running their laptops.

The Full schedule for the event

Thursday, Jan 13, 2011
8am 8:30a – 9:30a
9am 9:30a – 10:00a
Intro to CUSEC 2011
10am 10:00a – 11:00a
Keynote: Michael Lopp (Rands)
11am 11:15a – 12:00p
Academic: Paul Kry
11:15a – 12:00p
Academic: Sha Xin Wei
12pm 12:15p – 1:45p
2pm 2:00p – 3:00p
Career Fair
3pm 3:15p – 4:00p
Corporate: Moataz Abdellateef (Direct Energy)
3:15p – 4:00p
Corporate: Martin Drapeau (Planbox)
4pm 4:15p – 5:15p
Keynote: Drew Conway
7pm 7:00p – 8:30p
8pm 8:45p – 11:00p
Startup Drinks

Friday, Jan 14, 2011
9am 9:00a – 9:45a
Academic: Derek Ruths
10am 10:00a – 10:45a
Tutorial: Guy Barette
10:00a – 10:45a
Tutorial: Edward Ocampo-Gooding and Daniel Beauchamp
11am 11:00a – 12:00a
Keynote: Marc-Antoine Ruel
12am 12:15a – 1:45a
2pm 2:00p – 3:00p
Career Fair
3pm 3:15p – 4:00p
Corporate: Mark Jorgensen (Morgan Stanley)
4pm 4:15p – 5:15p
Keynote: Mike Shaver
6pm 6:30p – 9:30p
CUSEC 10th Anniversary Gala
10pm 10:00p – 2:00a
Shopify CUSEC 2011 Party

Saturday, Jan 15, 2011
10am 10:00a – 10:45a
Tutorial: Eric Diep
10:00a – 10:45a
Tutorial: James Duncan
11am 11:00a – 12:00a
Keynote: Julie Steele
12pm 12:15p – 1:30p
2pm 1:45p – 2:45p
IBM Case Study Presentations
3pm 3:00p – 4:00p
Keynote: Yehuda Katz
4pm 4:00p
Closing Remarks and Prize Giveaway
5pm 4:30p
Group Photo