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The DIY Summit

Environments for Humans by, Inc.

Thursday, September 17, 2009 from 9:00 AM to 6:00 PM (CDT)

The DIY Summit

Ticket Information

Ticket Type Sales End Price Fee Quantity
The DIY Summit—Individual Ticket   more info Ended $179.00 $5.47
The DIY Summit—Meeting Room Ticket   more info Ended $479.00 $12.97
DIY/jQuery Summit Combo—Individual Ticket   more info Ended $278.00 $7.94
DIY/jQuery Summit Combo—Meeting Room   more info Ended $878.00 $19.95

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Event Details

Register Now for an Unbeatable Combo!

Don’t miss your chance to get both the DIY Summit and the jQuery Summit for one low price. This is a great way to register for the highly-anticipated DIY Summit and reserve your spot in the upcoming jQuery Summit. Combining these two online conferences means you get 17 speakers, 16 hours of great content, and no travel or hotel expenses. Hurry! Combo Ticket Sales End September 16, 2009.

About The DIY Summit

The Summit Series lets you build your skill set without having to leave your computer. Each Summit is a virtual conference—all you need is a computer and internet connection to attend. A new presentation begins at the top of every hour, and attendees can chat with each other and ask questions of the presenters throughout the day.

Our next Summit is for those who “go it alone,” designing and managing entire websites by themselves, either by choice or by chance. Whether they are freelancers or in-house webmasters in a larger company or university, our goal for the DIY Summit is to streamline the workflow for those who don't have a team to fall back on.

Register now for the DIY Summit to discover design solutions for the one-person web team (all times CT):

  • 9:00 a.m. — Using WordPress for Content Management with Matt Harris
  • 10:00 a.m. — Introduction to Ruby on Rails with Kevin Lawver
  • 11:00 a.m. — Getting UnStuck: Finding the FLOW in workFLOW with Kelly Goto
  • 12:00 p.m. — Conducting Effective User Research with Mark Trammell and Juliette Melton
  • 1:00 p.m. — Lunch Hour
  • 2:00 p.m. — Mastering the Details in Interface Design with Dan Rubin
  • 3:00 p.m. — Incorporating Subversion into Your Workflow with Ryan Irelan
  • 4:00 p.m. — The Art of Self-Branding with Lea Alcantara
  • 5:00 p.m. — Design and Development for the iPhone with Brian Fling

More info is available at, or look for us on tumblrtwitterfacebookflickr, Upcoming, and LinkedIn. Contact us at with questions!

A portion of the proceeds from every Summit goes to charity. We are pleased to announce that for The DIY Summit, this donation will go to, empowering entrepreneurs all over the world to lift themselves out of poverty with “loans that change lives.”

Technical Specifications

Supported Platforms: to attend The Summit, you will need a modern web browser (Firefox 1.5, IE 6 & Safari 2 or newer, for example.)

Update Flash: Adobe Flash Player Version 10 is also required. (Most browsers already have Flash installed.) Click on this link to install Flash if you need it.

Try It Out:  test your system to ensure it works with the software.

About Our Speakers

Lea Alcantara

Lea Alcantara is  lover, fighter, and designer. As the Creative Principal / Chief Hired Gun for Lealea Design, a design and branding consultancy based in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, she's often dispatched to kill bad design with her weapon of choice, ExpressionEngine. Also an enthusiastic speaker, she’s been on stage at conferences like Future of Web Design and SXSW to discuss self-branding. When offline, she can be found in the kitchen or randomly bursting into song, sometimes at the same time.

Online: lealea.nettwitter | facebook | flickr

Brian Fling

Brian is a recognized leader in both the web and mobile communities. Over the past ten years he has worked with a variety of Fortune 500 companies to build cool websites, web applications and mobile sites. In 1999 Brian got his first job working for a mobile company and has been active in the community ever since. He is a frequent author and speaker on the issues on strategy, mobile design, the mobile web and mobile user experience.

In 2005 Brian co-founded the Seattle-based interactive agency Blue Flavor, where he worked for three years helping companies of all types and sizes. While at Blue Flavor he co-created a series of iPhone web applications called Leaflets to showcase the concepts of Mobile 2.0 just two weeks after the iPhone launched. Brian's new book, Mobile Design and Development, will be published by O'Reilly this fall, and he also co-authored the dotMobi Mobile Web Developers Guide, the first free publication to cover mobile web design and development from start to finish. He runs one of the largest online communities focused on mobile design.

Online: | twitter | facebook | flickr

Kelly Goto

As an evangelist for "design ethnography", Kelly Goto is dedicated to understanding how real people integrate products and services into their daily lives. Goto is principal of gotomedia, LLC, a global leader in research-driven, people-friendly interface design for web, mobile and product solutions for clients including Seiko Epson Japan, Adobe, NetIQ, WebEx and CNET. Her book, Web Redesign: Workflow that Works , is a standard for user-centered design principles. Goto is also the editor of, a leading online publication on mobile user experience and was the former President of the AIGA Center for Brand Experience.


Matt Harris

As a web developer, Matt spends his time linking up parts of the Internet to make tools and utilities, or wrangling PHP, Python, CSS and HTML to make websites for people and schools. He also consults for Educational establishments helping them develop their school IT infrastructure and web systems. An adopter of web standards, Matt promotes new technologies and standards based design for the learning and teaching of the schools he works with.

Outside of work he shares his time between England and the USA and can be found at Barcamps,Geek Nights and at professional web conferences like Web Directions North and dConstruct . A self confessed gadget guy he can often be found teaching his Aibo how to talk and dance, or be seen cooking a great Beef Wellington.

Online: | twitter | facebook | flickr

Ryan Irelan

A Senior Developer for Happy Cog, Ryan Irelan builds and extends content management systems for both small and large websites. He has created software to power product marketing websites and digital book publishing and to enable social networking. Ryan is also a noted expert on the ExpressionEngine content management system, having authored a wildly popular set of training videos for ExpressionEngine developers.

Also involved in the technology publishing field, Ryan co-authored The Business Podcasting Book (2007, Focal Press), is the Production Director of A List Apart Magazine, and is currently writing a book on developing websites with ExpressionEngine.

Online: | twitter | flickr

Kevin Lawver

Kevin Lawver is a man among people of every gender. Kevin used to work for a larger internet company, but now works for a small music technology company telling people what to do and building killer web sites for independent artists.

He loves working on the web, taking pictures, writing code that works, and making a fool of himself. He's very very good at the last one.

He invented a holiday to celebrate "awesomeness", helped write a book about standards based development, won awards for building cool web stuff, and looks forward to having his face put on a commemorative plate. Kevin blogs with his wife over at and launches web stuff over at

Online: | twitter | facebook | flickr

Juliette Melton

Juliette Melton is a user experience researcher from San Francisco, CA, where she spends her days at a brain-training game startup called Lumos Labs. She studies and advocates balanced approaches to building products based on understanding user preferences and organizational realities.

Julie has been building sites since 1997 and has been a web professional since 2000. She has worked on web projects in higher education, public health, and publishing, but is now really enjoying playing games every day.

Online: | twitter | facebook | flickr

Dan Rubin

A highly accomplished designer, Dan Rubin has over ten years of experience as a leader in the fields of user interface design and web standards, specifically focusing on the use of (X)HTML and CSS to streamline development and improve accessibility. His passion for all things creative and artistic isn’t a solely selfish endeavor either—you’ll frequently find him waxing educational about a cappella jazz and barbershop harmony, philosophy, web standards, typography, psychology, and design in general.

In addition to his contributions to sites including Blogger, the CSS Zen Garden, Yahoo! Small Business and Microsoft's portal, Dan is a contributing author of Cascading Style Sheets: Separating Content from Presentation (2nd Edition, friends of ED, 2003), technical reviewer for Beginning CSS Web Development (Apress, 2006), The Art & Science of CSS (SitePoint, 2007) and Sexy Web Design (SitePoint, 2009), coauthor of Pro CSS Techniques (Apress, 2006), and Web Standards Creativity (friends of ED, 2007), writes about web standards, design and life in general on his blog,, and spends his professional time on a variety of online and offline projects for Sidebar Creative, Webgraph and Black Seagull, consulting on design, user interaction and online publishing for Garcia Media, and speaking and teaching at events, conferences and workshops around the world.

Online: | twitter | facebook | flickr

Christopher Schmitt (your emcee)

The founder of Heat Vision, a small new media publishing and design firm, Christopher is an award-winning Web designer who has been working with the Web since 1993. As a sought-after speaker and trainer, Christopher regularly demonstrates the use and benefits of practical standards-based designs. He is Co-Lead of the Adobe Task Force for the Web Standards Project (WaSP) in addition to being a contributing member of its Education Task Force

Author of numerous Web design and digital imaging books, including Adapting to Web Standards: CSS and Ajax for Big Sites and CSS Cookbook, Christopher has also written for New Architect Magazine, A List Apart, Digital Web, and Web Reference.

Online: | twitter | facebook | flickr

Mark Trammell

Mark Trammell is User Experience Architect at Digg in San Francisco. His work on the Web spans more than a decade including coauthoring two books on Web standards and tenures with the United States Navy, the University of Florida, the Web Standards Project Educational Task Force, and PayPal. While leading a standards-based rebuilding of the University of Florida Web presence, he started an extensive user research program including tests throughout Florida and taught user-centered design. Mark now leads user research at Digg.

Online: | twitter | facebook | flickr

About The Sessions

9:00 a.m. — Using WordPress for Content Management with Matt Harris

Wordpress is among the most popular blogging platforms available today, but it is more than just a blogging tool. If used as a Content Management System (CMS) it can support a large range of websites such as a portfolio, small business intranet and educational websites.

Matt Harris will share techniques he has used when managing content using Wordpress and the plugins that can help you. Together you’ll explore the admin interface and the structure of themes, and even pick up a few bits of helpful code along the way.

10:00 a.m. — Introduction to Ruby on Rails with Kevin Lawver

Are you afraid of the "backend"? Are you intimidated by if statements, while loops and the mysterious MVC? You don't need to be! Ruby on Rails takes the WTF out of MVC and replaces it with enthusiastic shouts of "OMFG!" By the time this presentation is over, you'll learn what Ruby on Rails is, how to start a new project, create models, controllers and views and get from idea (we might build a blog, for example) to something that works faster than you've ever done it before. There's nothing to be afraid of. It's just a little code, some magic and the option of least surprise.

11:00 a.m. — Getting UnStuck: Finding the FLOW in workFLOW with Kelly Goto

Update your web design toolkit—and your mindset—as web expert Kelly Goto helps you and your team embrace an agile and user-centered approach to the web. You'll gain a better understanding of the appropriate platforms and processes needed to take your (and your clients') outdated web presence to the next level and truly incorporate a new attitude and workflow into your daily routine.

12:00 p.m. — Conducting Effective User Research with Mark Trammell and Juliette Melton

You can dramatically improve your Web sites when you pay attention to how they are being used. Just as important is understanding why people are using it the way they are. Understanding user behavior can be challenging, but there lots of ways to get started.

In the User Research Workshop, Juliette Melton of Lumos Labs and Mark Trammell of Digg will discuss:

  • The benefits of user research;
  • Easy ways to get started;
  • Traffic and task analysis basics;
  • How to write surveys that work;
  • Sharing what you've learned.

1:00 p.m. — Lunch Hour

Take a break and grab a bite to eat before the afternoon sessions begin!

2:00 p.m. — Mastering the Details in Interface Design with Dan Rubin

Typography, grids, colors, borders, textures, gradients, and drop shadows: using these basic elements of visual design properly — and knowing when not to use them — can challenge even seasoned interface designers. Yet these foundations upon which we craft our designs are often ignored — or worse, they're cast about the canvas with reckless abandon.

Attention to these details can help make a design beautiful — and make an interface more usable and enjoyable. This session combines the science of CSS and markup with the art of layout, typography, and graphics. Learn how to pay attention to the details that matter, and watch as Dan shows examples of how the little things can make a big difference in the quality of a design.

3:00 p.m. — Incorporating Subversion into Your Workflow with Ryan Irelan

Let's face it. Zipping up folders and dating them isn't a good way to archive or manage important project files. There's a better way.

Based on his experience building the technology infrastructure of Happy Cog West and introducing SVN to a small team of designers and developers, Ryan will show you how SVN version control can help you improve your project workflow, protect vital project files and assist in occasional collaboration with other designers or developers.

In this session you will learn the basics behind Subversion, how to get started using it, SVN hosting and the best tools to use to manage your repository. You will leave will the information and basic concepts you need to get started building a more reliable and productive project workflow with Subversion.

4:00 p.m. — The Art of Self-Branding with Lea Alcantara

Who are you? Who cares? With proper self-branding, not only will you find out who you are, you will make the right people care, opening up a slew of the right opportunities specifically tailored for you. We define what brand is, and go through the top 5 most important aspects of a brand and see how that can apply to you. Maximize your potential and get the type of work and respect you deserve.

5:00 p.m. — Design and Development for the iPhone with Brian Fling

In the last year we've learned something that we suspected, but never really knew about mobile, great mobile design sells. But great mobile design doesn't start in Photoshop, it starts by understanding the users, the business goals, the intended devices and a million other tiny variables. Who better to solve these problems than the designer?

Right now, there is no better platform to create compelling mobile experiences than the iPhone, so that is where we will start this discussion. Led by Brian Fling, author of O'Reilly's Mobile Design and Development, we will define first what goes into designing an excellent mobile experience quickly followed by how to build it for the iPhone (and maybe a few other mobile devices while we are at it).

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