The Mint Blog
We have an Easter treat for you today - a piping hot edition of our BACON speaker series, fresh from the griddle. (And what goes with eggs better than bacon...?)
Today's Q&A is with the scarily-talented Joel Scotkin, who will be geeking us out with his terrific-sounding talk on computer-controlled rockets. Joel's current projects include: "designing the landing approach for the next major Mars mission". We like this guy.
Joel Scotkin | http://www.masten.aero
Joel started his career in financial technology. As JP Morgan's first webmaster he helped launch the very first online presence for a major financial firm with their RiskMetrics offering in 1994. In 1995 Joel founded Random Walk Computing, which drove the acceptance of Java into the financial domain and grew to become Wall Street's leading capital markets technology consultancy. After selling Random Walk to Accenture in 2006, Joel decided to pursue his dream of building rockets, and joined Masten Space Systems as lead investor and eventually CEO. Masten won the NASA Centennial Lunar Lander Challenge X-Prize in 2009 and has pioneered fully autonomous hovering rocket vehicles via dramatic advances in on-board computation. Current projects include work with the Jet Propulsion Laboratory designing the landing approach for the next major Mars mission, angel investing in a variety of startups, and pondering the next big thing.
Our BACON speaker series has been going down so well that we've decided to make it a double helping each week, starting with this bonus Tuesday edition. Twice the tastiness, no extra calories. Yum!
Next up is Vanessa Hurst, who believes that Developers Are Superheroes. We're on board with that. Her BACON talk is all about how great power comes with great responsibility, exploring software projects with a mission to save the world.
Vanessa is a data fiend turned social entrepreneur, currently building CodeMontage to help developers improve their skills while improving the world. She believes coding is one of the most efficient and effective ways to improve the human experience. Vanessa also founded and runs Developers for Good, a network of technologists and organizations who build technology to achieve social missions. Previously, she led data and analytics at Paperless Post and co-founded Girl Develop It to provide low-cost, judgement-free environments to learn about software development.
It's Friday, so it must be time for another instalment in the BACON speaker Q&A series. The perfect way to ease yourself into a weekend of bacon-based brunches and messing around on the internet. Or whatever else you have planned...
Each week we're throwing the spotlight on a different BACON speaker, with a quick-fire Q&A designed to offer a little taster of what we can expect from them at this year's conference (and how they like their bacon).
Next up is Seattle-based Aaron Patterson, whose Curing the Feedback Loop talk promises to help you improve your processes in both your code and your "day-to-day meat curing applications". Our kinda guy.
Aaron was born and raised on the mean streets of Salt Lake City. His only hope for survival was to join the local gang of undercover street ballet performers known as the Tender Tights. As a Tender Tights member, Aaron learned to perfect the technique of self-defense pirouettes so that nobody, not even the Parkour Posse could catch him. Between vicious street dance-offs, Aaron taught himself to program. He learned to combine the art of street ballet with the craft of software engineering. Using these unique skills, he was able to leave his life on the streets and become a professional software engineer. He is currently Pirouetting through Processes, and Couruing through code for AT&T. Sometimes he thinks back fondly on his life in the Tender Tights, but then he remembers that it is better to have Tender Loved and Lost than to never have Tender Taught at all.
Feeling hungry for some BACON?
In the run-up to this year's conference, we're going to be whetting your appetites every Friday with a quick-fire Q&A from one of our amazing speakers. We'll be grilling them on everything from their text editor of choice, to the way they like their bacon. It's going to be tasty...
Vicent Martí used to make videogames, but he sold out because he likes to wear expensive clothes. Or any clothes at all. He now works full time as a systems engineer at GitHub, focusing on security and performance issues on the backend. He's also the maintainer of libgit2, the Git library that powers GitHub's backend and native clients. He takes long showers because he enjoys smelling nice.
This year I participated in the MIDEM Music Hackday. It was a great experience!
This is the third year the event has been run, but the first time I've participated in a hackday. I attended MIDEM last year and thoroughly enjoyed myself, but as an introverted hacker at heart, I was happy to spend a chunk of my time this year out of the way of synergies, ARPUs and (most of) the biz-dev stuff, focusing instead on hacking away at an idea I've been toying with on and off for the last year or so.
That idea materialised at the hackday in the form of "Mouzu". It's a pretty simple idea. In it's essence, Mouzu sets out to answer the question "what kind of music do you listen to?" - a question I like to ask people when I meet them, and one that more often than not yields the wholly unsatisfactory response "a little bit of everything". Really? Everything? Swedish Death Metal, Trad Jazz and Nosia? I think not.