HalfStack Online includes at least 19 sessions plus Q&A, interludes, and interactive fun. Sessions focus on things that use the JS and web platform to express creativity, e.g. music, art, VR, thought computing, robots, games, poetry, comedy, etc. HalfStack Online will have JS-related music interludes, brief live chats with some of the speakers, and more fun throughout the day.

HalfStack Online spans many time zones so everyone in the world can attend live for some portion of the event, and then watch the rest after the event. We expect most people will not attend the entire event live, but everyone can attend at least part of the event live and be part of the community. It's a new idea we're trying. It might be a great idea, or it might be a terrible idea. We'll soon find out! Preliminary speaker information is listed below. More details available every day.

Approximate start and end times by location:

  • London: 12:00 - 04:00 (ends on 23rd of May)
  • Vienna: 13:00 - 05:00 (ends on 23rd of May)
  • Helsinki, Tel Aviv: 14:00 - 06:00 (ends on 23rd of May)
  • Mumbai: 16:30 - 08:30 (ends on 23rd of May)
  • Hong Kong: 19:00 - 11:00 (ends on 23rd of May)
  • Tokyo: 20:00 - 12:00 (ends on 23rd of May)
  • Sydney: 21:00 - 13:00 (ends on 23rd of May)
  • Auckland: 23:00 - 15:00 (ends on 23rd of May)
  • New York: 7am - 11pm
  • Chicago: 6am - 10pm
  • Phoenix, San Francisco: 4am - 8pm
  • Honolulu: 1am - 5pm

PoseDance: Build a TikTok Trainer

Jen Looper (@jenlooper) Microsoft

Do you scroll through TikTok, amazed at the goofy, yet complicated dance moves featuring today's youths? Those kids are popping off while you're sitting around, coding SQL queries. Fortunately, we are technologists, and there's no problem we can't solve, including getting better at TikTok dancing. In this talk, Jen will show you how she perfected her moves by building PoseDance, your friendly TikTok trainer. We'll discuss how Jen leveraged PoseNet, which allows you to pinpoint body motion and draw a 'skeleton' on a video. Combined with a webcam mapping your own dance skeleton, a bit of math to compare the matching points, Azure functions to authenticate a user, and PlayFab as a game-friendly backend to keep scores and create a leaderboard, you've got the perfect quarantine pastime, making a perfect fool of yourself in front of a webcam. Come dance with Jen!

Let's build a point of sale system, with a Vue or two!

Ramon Huidobro (@hola_soy_milk) Freelancer

"Can you have it show order data across multiple monitors by tomorrow?"

This is the story of that one time Ramon was contracted to build a point of sale system in 3 weeks, using Vue.js, a Raspberry Pi, and a thermal printer. It was a chaotic but educational journey, with valuable takeaways!

Live Coding: Humanizing Technology and Algorithms Through Artistic Expression

Mynah Marie (@EarthAbigail) Earth To Abigail

Creating music or visuals on the fly using code is fun. But is it more than that? Can we find deeper implications in the practice of live coding than pure entertainment? Is it possible to express “human emotions” using algorithms? In this talk, Mynah Marie will give an overview of the particularities of the creative process when using a programming language as a medium of expression. She’ll also give an overview of various creative approaches and the motivations for choosing one over another. Finally, she’ll take a closer look at concrete benefits that the practice of live coding can bring, on an individual scale as well as on a community level and open up the discussion about potentials and possibilities for the future.

Games Games Games

Joe Hart (@joehart) Monzo

Digital Funny Man Joe Hart shows off a couple of new interactive video games and parody games while imploring you to join him on his ridiculous journey of building small niche games for people and groups you love.

FashionTech for all Futures

Chelsea Klukas (@chelscore) Oculus

The Future Looks Fabulous! Chelsea Klukas has been working at the intersection of Fashion and Technology for over 8 years. Her in fashion work includes projection mapping, sensors, and new hardware development for augmenting human expression through wearables. Learn how MakeFashion and Lumen Couture have developed, and the journey of working with artists, rapid prototyping, and bringing far-out concepts to market.

Freqi: musical tuning systems with JavaScript

Richard Bultitude (@rbultitudezone)

How do you tune an oscillator or pitch an audio file up? How do I make an octave with more than 12 notes in it? What are the mathematics behind instrument tuning anyway? If you've ever asked yourself these questions or you just want find out why I asked them, join me for a brief tour of music theory and code.

Building motion-controlled web applications

Charlie Gerard (@devdevcharlie) Netlify

Navigating a website mostly involves typing on a keyboard and swiping on a trackpad or touchscreen. However, a few recent tools developed around motion tracking are unlocking the ability to interact with web interfaces using gestures and computer vision.

Previously being mainly developed in Python, this technology is now being actively made available to web developers with frameworks like Tensorflow.js. In this talk, we’ll look into different tools, applications and challenges of this technology, and how to get started experimenting with it in JavaScript.

R&B GraphQL

Rahat Chowdhury (@Rahatcodes) American Express

In this talk we will live code a small application built off of one of my own pre-built API's, a list of our favorite R&B songs from the 90's. We will be combining run-time GraphQL using Apollo and build time GraphQL using Gatsby to create R&B GraphQL a truly dynamic PWA.

Rahat is a fullstack developer and rapper and will also give a music performance.

8 Million Reasons to Fail

Amie DD (@amiedoubled)

Amie's background is in Game Programming and Simulation and she started her career at Marvel Studios, working on Captain America and X-Men Destiny. She's a full time software developer and active in the maker, LEGO, hacker and cosplay communities, and continues to obsess over new technologies. The details of her session will get revealed shortly.

Multiplayer gaming architecture and design

Srushtika Neelakantam (@Srushtika) Ably Realtime

“Do you play games?”.... Duh! “Ever thought of building one yourself?”...Yes, but, umm...

The innate nature of games, in general, is to seem difficult to build. With lots of moving pieces involved (quite literally), game development seems like it’s restricted to devs who’ve dipped their feet deep into the holy waters of networking, mathematics, graphics, and the like. However, with the web evolving ever so rapidly and with all the new protocols and libraries that have spanned in the recent years, it’s now super simple to get started with building browser-based multiplayer games.

In this talk, we’ll understand the architecture, system design, networking protocols, and caveats to keep in mind if you’d like to get started with building multiplayer browser-based games, all while playing a multiplayer version of a classic retro.

Locomotion: Going places in VR

Ada Rose Cannon (@Lady_Ada_King) Samsung Internet

In VR, with an advanced headset, one can explore a scene by walking in the real world. We’re often limited to the size of the room we’re in but the VR world can go on forever!

When you add a virtual method for moving around the scene, it lets users explore your VR scene even if their headset or their environment doesn’t allow them to walk around. This is sometimes called locomotion or teleportation. In this session we'll explore locomotion with WebXR by building a scene using VR controllers to explore the virtual environment.

All tooled up and nowhere to go?

Christian Heilmann (@codepo8) Microsoft

Not being able to go out and use the normal distractions might be a good time to take stock and look at what we have. You could re-arrange your cupboards and wardrobes or order all those USB cables you collected over the years. Or you could take a look at what tools and tool options are available to us as developers these days. In this quick talk Chris Heilmann will take you on a tour of the Chromium developer tools universe and point out some things that are useful but may have slipped under the radar in our quest to always find the next new thing.

Data Visualizations, Internationalization, and COVID-19

Naomi Meyer (@nae_ohmi) Adobe

Building custom data visualizations with full international support is not always easy.

This past year, Naomi has worked to add new data visualizations features and modify legacy visualizations, for an international audience - on her team at Adobe. It’s been a learning process to correctly format strings, numbers, dates, times, currencies, calendars, x/y axis, and more!

In this talk, Naomi will share some of the useful techniques she's learned about customizing data visualizations for a global audience. With a focus on JavaScript and high level ideas to keep in mind when designing, coding, testing, internationalizing, and localizing data visualizations for the world including some COVID-19 visualizations.

Responsive design in 2020: It's not just screen sizes anymore

Kilian Valkhof (@kilianvalkhof) Polypane

After a decade of responsive design, responsive no longer just means adapts to your screen size. Nowadays, websites can adapt to many different user preferences, device capabilities and even situational changes. They do this with media queries, feature policies and even through CSS variables. Kilian explains what that means for your development workflow and how you can use these capabilities to provide a better experience for your users and truly respond to their preferences.

Geppetto's Guide to Living Puppets

Michael Jolley (@baldbeardbuild) Vonage

It all started with a colon and parenthesis. That simple smiley face brought us emojis and then animojis. What if we could bring those digital representations of our tone & sentiment to life in the real world? Join us as we learn from Geppetto's Guide to Living Puppets and build an animatronic puppet that mimics our movements using the Vonage Video API, Azure Functions, Particle IoT devices and yes, an animatronic puppet.

Programatically Performant

Jonathan Fielding (@jonthanfielding) Uswitch

Many talks about performance focus on how you can improve your websites speed. This is really helpful if you know you have a performance problem however it will not help you identify whether there is a problem in the first place. This talk is slightly different, it focuses on how you can gather data yourself, helping you understand if you have a problem and what impact it is having on your users.

Hacking programmer patterns into Age of Empires

Alex Blom (@AlexBlom) Isle of Code

Before Minecraft there was Age of Empires - and the scenario editor. The editor allowed players to create custom maps for single and multi player use. What was originally a simple system for map design was wildly extended by players - to include flying dragons, health and management systems, RPG style games and even rudimentary source protection. The engine supported none of this.

As JavaScript developers we’re used to extending tools beyond their intended use. This talk will be a fun reflection on the lengths early mapping communities went to create crazy workarounds - such as while loops - in tools never designed to support such complex logic.

Building an over-engineered weather station

Guy Wilson (@GuyLWilson)

Guy will demonstrate a weather station built using an Arduino and Raspberry Pi, with a web front-end deployed on the cloud. The software is written in C, C++ and JavaScript with Node.js

Full 3D worlds in plain old CSS & JavaScript

Pantelis Kalogiros (@pkalogiros)

Can we build full 3D worlds using only CSS? Do we need to wait for widespread WebGL2 and webGPU adoption before we start building our next project?

We will delve deep into the inner workings of CSS and 3D transformations, and explore how to build complex and fast web experiences with common place APIs. We could have been doing it all this time! We will also explore how the browser's rendering pipeline works and how we can structure our JS code for achieving realtime performance.

An Introduction To IoT (Internet of Toilets 🚽); Or How I Built an IoT Kitty Litter Box Using JavaScript

Joe Karlsson (@joekarlsson1) MongoDB

Joe's favorite things in life are cats 🐈, computers 🖥 and crappy ideas 💩, so he decided to combine all three and make an IoT (Internet of Things) litter box using a Raspberry Pi and JavaScript! If you have ever wanted to get build your own IoT project, but didn’t know how to start, then this is the talk for you.

Together, we will go through how Joe setup my IoT Litter Box from start to finish. Including how to setup Node.js on a Raspberry Pi and how to connect sensors to a Raspberry Pi and how to read the sensor inputs with Node.js.

Beats in the Browser

Ken Wheeler (@ken_wheeler)

Ken does ridiculous and fun things with web technology. The details of Ken's participation will be announced closer to the date of the event.

Live JS Music

Dylan Beattie (@dylanbeattie) Ursatile

Dylan writes songs about code, writes code about songs, and he's been called 'software's answer to Weird Al'. Join Dylan Beattie for a unique live musical performance. Classic rock hits from the Beatles to Bon Jovi, lovingly refactored, packed with nerdy jokes, and performed live - with lyrics on screen so you can all sing along. You'll laugh, you'll cry, you might even dance.

Live Q&A

Tony Edwards (@tonyedwardspz) Software Cornwall

Tony has many talents and is known for his Beats, Rhymes, and Unit Tests, combining speech recognition and live rapping for hilarity and fun. Tony will be part of the HalfStack Online team interviewing our incredible speakers.

Live Coding: Music performance with Sonic Pi

Mynah Marie (@EarthAbigail) Earth To Abigail

Enjoy an incredible live coding + music performance with Mynah Marie!

Live Coding Music Ensemble


Experience this incredible live coding music ensemble featuring David Ogborn (Dundas, Canada, @_dktr0), Eldad Tsabary (Montreal, Canada, @eldadtsabary), Abhinay Khoparzi (Allahabad, India, @khoparzi), Shelly Knotts (Newcastle Upon Tyne, UK, @shelly_knotts), Chiho Oka (Tokyo, Japan, @chihooka, Jessica Rodriguez (Hamilton, Canada, @Jessica31249273, Melandri Laubscher (Cape Town, South Africa), Celeste Betancur (Medellín, Colombia), and Mynah Marie (@EarthAbigail)!

Live Q&A

Jo Franchetti (@thisisjofrank)

Jo creates fun wearables like her LED wedding dress and a Christmas jumper that responds to ambient Chrismas carols. Jo will be part of the HalfStack Online team interviewing our incredible speakers.

JS Danger

JS Party (@JSPartyFM)

JS Party’s don’t-call-it-jeopardy game show where 3 contestants put their web dev knowledge to the test. Can you out-wit our “expert” panel? Play along to find out!

Deep Thoughts with Dylan Schiemann

Dylan Schiemann (@dylans) HalfStack

Dylan is the organizer of HalfStack and co-creator of Dojo. Dylan will introduce the speakers, keep the fun going, and through various interludes will share Thought Computing examples and methods to counteract developer-asana.