Thunder Plains

Developer Conference

November 3-4th 2016Oklahoma City

Thunder Plains Developer Conference

Thunder Plains is a web and mobile developer conference organized byTechlahoma. The conference focuses on JavaScript and related technologies that make the web interesting.

Tickets - SOLD OUT!

ThunderPlains 2016 is SOLD OUT! Thanks for all your support! If you missed your chance to purchase tickets - don't worry - the videos will be posted online shortly after the conference ends.

Where it’s at

Located at theDevon Boathouse in downtown Oklahoma City

We ♥ Our Sponsors



Interested in Sponsoring Thunder Plains? Check out theSponsorship Prospectus.

Interested in Volunteering at Thunder Plains? Check out theVolunteer Signup Form.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact us viaemailor@ThunderPlainson twitter.


Click on any schedule item to see details about the talk.

Day 1Day 2


Opening Announcements

Example Speaker

Women in Tech Panel

Carmen Long, Ofi Ochoa, Susan Simkins, and Others TBA

Description coming soon

Speakers Bio coming soon

Example Speaker

Civic Coding

Catherine Lippert and Others TBA

Description coming soon

Speakers Bio coming soon

Frank Evans

Intro to Machine Learning

Frank D. Evans

At the intersection of computer science and statistics lies machine learning, using applied statistics as a framework to let your application teach itself how to recognize patterns. This talk covers everything from simple regression analysis to natural language processing to deep neural network learning. Learn how to take advantage of one of the most powerful tools in the tech landscape.

Frank D. Evans is a Data Scientist with Exaptive. He primarily works with machine learning and feature engineering using big data systems, specializing in unstructured and semi-structured data. His interests span natural language processing, political analysis, and building semi-supervised machine learning applications. Frank has a BS in Quantitative Social Science from St. Gregory’s University and a Master’s Specialization in Data Science from Johns Hopkins University. He is a co-founder and organizer of the Oklahoma City Big Data User Group.

James Simpson

Horizontally Scaling Node.js and WebSockets

James Simpson

Underneath every breakout website or app is a horizontally scaling back-end, but how do we get from a single process Node.js server to a highly-available, auto-scaling system? In this talk, we’ll take a high level look at a full production stack before getting our hands dirty with the secret sauce: Node.js, WebSockets and Redis. Through a live coding demo, you’ll learn how to take a single-server app and scale it infinitely. Walk away with a better conceptual understanding of high-scale web systems and practical tools to start implementing these techniques in your own projects today.

James Simpson has spent the greater part of his life pushing the web forward by challenging what is possible in a browser. As founder of GoldFire Studios, he has focussed on real-time gaming, high scalability/performance and one of the largest HTML5 canvas games ever built. He is also passionate about open-source as the author of several projects, including the popular howler.js audio library.

Lunch Break

Luke Crouch

Scary JavaScript that knows if you've been bad or good

Luke Crouch

There are over 5,000 online trackers that use cookies, fingerprinting, and probablistic device matching to follow you across the web. Some methods are actively used for fraud, malware, and intrusive user tracking. Some are commonly used for legit purposes. We'll talk about how sites are able to follow users, tracking methods both fair and foul, and how Mozilla protects users from tracking.

I write web code at Mozilla. I organize some local tech communities:

  • Tulsa Web Devs' mission is to make Tulsa on of the greatest cities in the world for web developers.
  • Code for Tulsa is our Code for America Brigade.
  • Techlahoma is a sate-wide foundation to support grassroots technology communities.
I owe all my best experiences to the open-source community and try to give back. I sometimes work on an open-source side project start-up: I sometimes brew my own beer.

Steve Kinney

Actually Understanding Asynchronous JavaScript

Steve Kinney

Reasoning about asynchronous code can be hard if you don’t understand the mechanics. It often trips up programmers with deep experience in other languages when they try their hand at client or server-side JavaScript. But, asynchronous JavaScript isn’t as hard as it seems once you learn a few simple rules about how it works. In this talk, we’ll dive into the mechanics of concepts that you might have had a chance to full grok. Let’s dispel this confusion once and for all. We’ll explore some metaphors that illustrate the difference between how synchronous and asynchronous code execute. We’ll dive into essential concepts like the call stack and the event loop to build a solid conceptual understanding of how the asynchronous model is implemented. Finally, we’ll take a good hard look at a number of common patterns for writing asynchronous code in JavaScript. We’ll start with the listening for events on XMLHttpRequest and build callback and promise APIs on top on it.

Steve is the director of the front-end engineering program at the Turing School for Software and Design. Prior to Turing, he was a New York City public school teacher for seven years, where he taught special education, science, and—eventually—JavaScript to students in high-need schools in Manhattan, Brooklyn, and Queens. He's currently writing Electron in Action for Manning Publications.

Rob Carr

Testing the Web for Accessibility: Free Tools and Techniques that Won't Break the (Resource) Bank

Rob Carr

Making the web accessible to people with disabilities is fundamental to the web itself. An accessible web extends opportunities for learning, teaching, working and participating to a larger audience that traditionally faces barriers to access at every turn. You may be good with accessibility already. Some headings here, some alt attributes there. A good start. But how does that work on accessibility actually change things for people with disabilities? Part of the answer lies in testing sites and applications to identify barriers to access. Developing accessible applications is a lot easier if you can work some testing into your development workflow without adding loads of time or money to the process. This session will teach you how you can use a few tools and techniques to diagnose lots of barriers to access that your users with disabilities encounter. As you learn about some of the tools, you will also learn more about what makes the web more accessible.

Rob Carr is the Accessibility Coordinator for Oklahoma ABLE Tech, Oklahoma's Assistive Technology Act Program, housed at Oklahoma State University. Rob helps organizations to embrace inclusion through technology and to stop digital discrimination. He trains and guides state agencies, higher education institutions and the occasional private sector partner to make accessibility efforts into sustainable programs. From high-level topics like accessibility in procurement and building accessibility initiatives to the nuts and bolts of PDF and web accessibility, Rob makes accessibility something that organizations can fit into their existing operations. Rob also speaks at local and national conferences on various accessibility-related topics and spearheads ABLE Tech's web and technology accessibility efforts.

Adam Baldwin

Continous Security

Adam Baldwin

This talk will discuss how to shift culture to give application security the attention that it needs and how to adopt a continuous security process for your team, one that isn't obstructive and annoying but enabling so you can write better, more secure software.

Adam Baldwin is the Chief Security Officer at &yet and the Team Lead at ^lift security where he helps developers secure all the web things! He is the Founder of the Node Security Project & talks about node security non-stop. In his free time Adam enjoys doing basically the exact same stuff he does for work, also raising chickens, and spending as much time as possible with his wife and 2 children.


Ben Ilegbodu

React + = ♥

Ben Ilegbodu

JavaScript is evolving quickly. The ES6 specification was released in 2015 and is quickly being implemented by modern browsers. New versions of ECMAScript will now be released on a yearly basis. We can leverage ES6 and functionality slated for future versions right now to write even clearer and more concise React code.

Experience with React will help you get the most out of this session, but you don’t have to have a JavaScript black belt to leave feeling confident in using with React. Learn how to write cleaner code using the new spread operator, classes, modules, destructuring, and other tasty syntactic sugar features being introduced into ECMAScript. Oh, and don’t worry if you don’t understand all of those terms — you soon will after this session!

Ben is a Christian, a husband and a father with over 10 years of experience developing for the Web. He currently is a Senior UI Engineer on Eventbrite’s Frontend Platform team. On the side, Ben also enjoys playing basketball, watching movies, and blogging ( / tweeting (@benmvp) about his experiences with new web development technologies.

Christina Keelan

When life hands your open source project lemons... 🍋 (A RethinkDB case study in community crisis)

Christina Keelan

When life hands your open source project lemons... 🍋 (A RethinkDB case study in community crisis)

Most of us have experienced unexpected crisis at some point in our lives. The way we handle crisis has a direct impact on the lasting effects the event can have, but with proper tools and preparedness, your community can not only make it through the rough patch.. it can actually thrive!

In this talk, I'll share best practices to support your open source community during times of crisis. I'll also use my experiences from RethinkDB and Horizon during our recent shut down and show you how you can (try to!) smoothly transition from a traditional business model to community-driven development.

I'll also deep-dive into OSMI (Open Sourcing Mental Illness) and share how you can utilize this resource, and other's like it, to keep your personal sanity, as well as the health of your community.

Times of crisis don't have to have a long-lasting negative effect on your project. With these tools, I hope to show you how you can make lemonade! 🍋

Christina is currently a frontend engineering student at The Iron Yard in Nashville. She is the previous community manager at RethinkDB, an open-source database that makes easier to build realtime apps, and at Horizon, an open-source realtime backend for JavaScript apps. She is currently volunteering to transition both projects to community-driven development. She studied Fashion Design and Psychology, but loves her new role exploring tech and learning JavaScript. She loves kitties, Mother Earth, space, cooking, and "the art of slow living" :D

Go send her cute memes on Twitter @christinakeelan.

Lon Ingram

JavaScript in the Ivory Tower

Lon Ingram

For many years, the JavaScript community and academia regarded each other with a mixture of disinterest and disdain, but as JavaScript became fast and ubiquitous and the JS community tackled more ambitious projects and grappled with harder problems, this changed. This talk will survey the current landscape of academic research related to JavaScript: everything from automatically verifying the correctness of web applications to remotely triggering hardware faults in DRAM via JS. Along the way we'll learn where to find interesting academic papers about the web and how to read them.

Lon is a Principal UI Engineer at RetailMeNot. He is fascinated with applying ideas from systems research to the challenge of building cool complicated things on the web.

Example Speaker

Javascript in weird places: RPG Maker, Hardware, Education, and why it all matters

Kassandra Perch

Talk Description

Speaker Bio


Speaker Dinner

After Party


Check out some videos from last yearThunder Plains 2015

Code of Conduct

Before attending the conference,please review the Thunder Plains Code of Conduct. The CoC applies to all attendees, speakers, volunteers, and vendors at official and unofficial events byTechlahomaand any location where attendees may be congregating.Contact usif you have questions.

Scholarship Program

This year we gave away 10 free tickets to attend ThunderPlains as part of our scholorship program.