Converge SE Schedule
The quality of an event is defined by the quality of the speakers and we believe that some of the best speakers in the world are yet to be discovered. ConvergeSE speakers are a mix of well known industry leaders and emerging talents.
Ethan Marcotte

Ethan Marcotte

Responsive Web Design

Ethan Marcotte is an independent designer/developer who is passionate about beautiful design, elegant code, and the intersection of the two. Over the years his clientele has included New York Magazine, the Sundance Film Festival, the Boston Globe, and the W3C.

Ethan coined the term “responsive web design” to describe a new way of designing for the ever-changing Web and, if given the chance, will natter on excitedly about it—he even went so far as to write a book on the topic. A popular and experienced speaker, he is also the coauthor of Jeffrey Zeldman’s Designing With Web Standards (3rd Edition), and a contributing writer to Dan Cederholm’s Handcrafted CSS.

Ethan lives in Cambridge, Massachusetts, and would like to be an unstoppable robot ninja when he grows up. Beep.


Responsive Design: Beyond Our Devices

Responsive designers now focus on patterns: reusable design modules we stitch together into larger layouts. But how should those patterns adapt, and when? And how do we design with them? We’ll look at answers to those questions, and start moving our design practices beyond the screens in front of us.


Responsive Design: From Pages To Pattern Libraries (1/2 Day)

You figured out this whole “responsive design” thing, but now you’re hearing talk of “design systems” and “pattern libraries.” Before you throw your “laptop” out a “window,” come to this mini-workshop! We’ll look at strategies for translating your designs into reusable patterns, and see how different teams put those patterns to work for them. We’ll also talk about different software options for building pattern libraries, and figure out strategies for choosing the best one for you.

Jared Ponchot

Jared Ponchot


Jared is the Creative Director at Lullabot where he helps lead a talented, fully distributed team of strategists, designers and developers. Over the years they've designed and built sites for well-known brands and institutions like NBC, This Old House, Syfy, Intel, Harvard, MIT and more. Lullabot’s focus on projects with large editorial teams managing complex content models has helped Jared and his team build unique expertise when it comes to creating design systems that work at scale. Jared loves helping organizations use design thinking to simplify complexity, find focus, build alignment and make great experiences for the audiences they serve.

Ensuring Value in Our Work

We live in a world increasingly shaped by big data and a desire to “mathify” all of our decisions, especially design decisions. Never-the-less, as designers we often struggle to both sell and ensure the value of the work we do. In this session we’ll take a look at the ROI of design as well as some practical ways to shape our projects and processes to ensure value in our work.

Rob Harr

Rob Harr


As Vice President of Sparkbox Rob is responsible for the operations and financials of the company. With a background in software development, Rob is always ready to challenge the development process. On any given day Rob meets with prospective clients, works with employees, and continues to evolve the business of Sparkbox.

Running Awesome Discovery Projects

The largest risk in any digital project is building the wrong thing. Yet you’re expected to define a project scope and provide an estimate after just a few conversations. Then you have to manage to that budget for the life of the project regardless of what else you learn. This is nuts. One of your most important constraints–budget–is defined when you know the least about the project, the beginning. Running digital projects is hard. When expectations are mismanaged (or forced too early) during initial client conversations, running digital projects is nearly impossible. A few conversations and a quick estimate do not provide what you need to build the right thing.

During this talk, we will discuss how you can implement Awesome Discovery Projects to dive into a project with confidence while removing some of the largest risks. You’ll be armed with a thoughtful, scoped roadmap to provide more accurate estimates and be able to correctly set client expectations for the rest of the engagement.

Kasey Bonifacio

Kasey Bonifacio

Sparkbox - Developer

Kasey has been building the web for the past 7 years. Starting out as a web/print designer, Kasey quickly discovered she loves to build things with code. Since joining Sparkbox in 2015, her career has focused on accessible, frontend development and building usable design systems. Passion projects include creating, later reorganizing the curriculum for a wider audience via a Library Workshop. In her free time, Kasey likes to spend time with her family, cook, and renovate her old house. Read what Kasey has to say on the Sparkbox Foundry and see what she has to share on CodePen.


Making Design Systems Work

Navigating the challenges of building and maintaining a robust design system.

Nathan Rambeck

Nathan Rambeck

Sparkbox - Developer

Nathan is a developer at Sparkbox with more than 10 years in the web industry. That experience includes contracting with large newspaper and magazine publishers to implement CMS solutions, execute massive data migrations, and conduct performance audits. He has also served as a consultant in architecting frontend responsive designs, especially for complex eCommerce sites. At Sparkbox, Nathan leads development teams in complex projects with an eye to teach others and push innovation.


Making Design Systems Work

Navigating the challenges of building and maintaining a robust design system.

Bermon Painter

Bermon Painter

EY Digital

A rootbeer drinking, cupcake eating, Spanish speaking, piano playing, handlebar mustache wearing designer/developer hybrid living in the glorious city of Charlotte, NC.

Bermon is the organizer of various community groups for user experience designers and front-end developers, and the organizer of Blend Conference, a 3-day multi-track event for user experience strategists, designers and developers. He also leads the user experience team for EY Digital where he consults with large enterprise clients on interesting problems across user experience, design and front-end development.

In his free time he contributes to and is the father of the Sass logo

Rapid Prototyping with Vue.js

Catherine Meade

Catherine Meade


Catherine builds responsive websites up and down the stack with Sparkbox, focusing recently on a single enterprise level design system. Catherine has a strong passion for education; she spends her free time volunteering as a chapter leader of Girl Develop It Dayton and teaching code classes. Her other hobbies include reading, video and tabletop games, and making cat jokes.

GitHub Pull Requests for Everyone

Reviewing a pull request can feel like a chore. If done poorly, PR reviews can mean a few hours of attempting to understand both the problem and the solution, then checking that the result matches the design. Sure, many of us have the luxury of walking to our coworker’s desk and getting a walk through. But what if the other dev isn’t free? What if they live in another time zone? What if you need a project manager or designer to look at your work, and they don’t have a local setup or much dev experience?

In this session, we’ll go over some tips and technologies to make your pull request process a bit smoother. We’ll discuss:

  • Writing clear issues/stories to build a good foundation
  • Tools you can use for reviewing work with remote coworkers
  • Keeping design reviews from turning into blockers
  • Adding testing instructions to your PR description
  • Leaving positive feedback so no one goes home grumpy
Tera Simon

Tera Simon


Fondly known as a Southern Belle with Yankee flair, Tera Simon works with PointSource, a Globant Company as their Delivery Director. She has over a decade of Project Management experience. Her attention to detail and grasp of usability empower her to see projects evolve on schedule and within scope, while achieving the high level of quality that she is recognized for delivering. Tera has the ability to combine traditional graphic design awareness and new media technologies with classic sensibilities, and apply this not just to her clients' projects, but also to her team.

When she’s not sprinting from meeting to meeting, you can find her supporting local breweries, travelling, and educating anyone that will listen on why football is the greatest sport around.

Generational Misfits - Designing for the next Generation.

Objective: Move over Xennials and Millennials, the Plurals are here. Gen Z, the post-millennials, and they are the largest and most diverse cohort in U.S. History. Their normal is the old unconventional and we have to adapt how we design to truly engage this tech-savvy bunch.

I remember the first time an AOL CD-ROM appeared in my parent’s mailbox. It promised me thousands of minutes to connect with others through our computer. A computer, that up until that moment, had been used primarily for solitaire.

I patiently waited for the program to load. Nothing happened. Where was my Internet? I didn’t realize I needed a phone line to connect. I “borrowed” a phone cord from my parents room and figured out how to connect the computer’s modem to the phone jack. For the first time, I heard the strange sound of dial up, and the word “Connected!” appeared. I was online.

Learning to use the web has changed slightly since then. While everything in the past had to be self-taught, we can now get degrees or go to bootcamps to learn all kinds of Internet technology. Indeed, staying abreast of the latest techniques is a must for designers and developers to do their jobs. As part of that education, we need to stay focused on trends within new Generations. GenZ is the first generation who are truly digital natives. They make up 25% of the population, representing how future technology users will navigate the web and expect applications and interfaces to work. By paying attention to how GenZ uses technology, we can both improve the quality of our own work and make future technology more accessible and useful going forward.

What you'll learn:
Understanding what's a Generational Misfit
Who is Gen Z
How does Gen Z use technology
How to design for Gen Z
What to market to Gen Z
What does the future have in store

Tim Smith

Tim Smith


Tim Smith is a designer and frontend developer from Saint Paul, MN. He’s worked on the web for a decade, working with different companies and clients. Tim writes The Bold Report, a blog about design, development, technology, and most importantly, Star Wars. When away from his desk, he spends time with his amazing wife Kelly, eating brunch, watching movies, walking the mall, and other sappy-sounding couple stuff.

Let’s Learn CSS Grid

CSS Grid Layout is gaining more browser support everyday! But what is it? How does it work? Why should you use it? And what are some practical ways you can incorporate it into your project? I’ll show you how CSS Grid solves layout problems we’ve had for years, and how it’s a great compliment to the other layout tools we have.

Ron Edelen

Ron Edelen


Ron is a cofounder of Myjive, a digital agency based out of Charlotte, N.C. He started his career working for motion design studios in Los Angeles, Calif., where he began blending his passion for film, pop culture, fine arts and emerging technology.

The UX of Interactive Virtual & Augmented Reality - Category: UX&Design

- A "start small" and "rapid prototyping" approach to VR and AR
- 5 best-practices for designing interactivity within an infinite canvas
- We'll show 2 epic failures... so you can walk a different path
- Attendees will get hands-on Oculas Rift demos; trigger open discussion - Are you ready, player one?

Dean Schuster

Dean Schuster


Founder and partner of truematter, an interactive usability consultancy, Dean has championed online simplicity and clarity since the early days of the Web. He oversees truematter's user experience practice leading strategic engagements for innovative regional firms as well as the Fortune 100

The Chips and Pickle Story

This is a talk about the importance of even the smallest UI decision. This can help people who make commodity sites, in house UX people, or people who do larger projects. Imagine examples including The Hawaii Missile UI, 3 Mile Island UI, and a host of others. More on this here.

Sara Kennedy

Sara Kennedy

User Experience - Unum Group

A native of Columbia, SC, Sara is a previous art museum employee turned web developer. Following an eight year career in nonprofit administration and event planning, she attended a coding school and graduated in 2014 from the Front End Engineering program. Sara currently works on a User Experience Team developing standards, frameworks and websites. In her free time, she works with groups focused on encouraging STEM education for kids and improving diversity in her local tech scene. She also enjoys spending time with her three big dogs, traveling and trying new restaurants.

Conventional SCSS

When writing SCSS, it’s easy to neglect maintainability and modularity. In this talk I will explore an architecture for organizing projects and writing predictable, maintainable selectors that favor convention over preference and opinion.

Jason Craig

Jason Craig


Jason Craig is an Illustrator and Senior Graphic Designer living in Augusta Georgia. Over his 20 year career Jason has worked with clients such as Disney, DC Comics and Electrolux. Jason also runs a cooperative analog print studio called Pink Slips where he screen prints gig posters, art prints and hosts a monthly art night event. Jason is currently the Senior Graphic Design for Westobou, an art and music festival held in Augusta, GA each fall.

Origins of Expert

In my talk, Origins of Expert, I discuss the 20 year journey of a working designer. This talked is geared towards younger designers and students, especially those who have been in the business 5 years or less, but also provides inspiration to more seasoned designers as well. Our industry has been romanticized over recent years and some expectations have been misplaced. I believe that if you work hard, good things will happen for you but you have to also recognize those opportunities when they come. There will be speed bumps, detours and dead ends, but you can't let those stop you, you have to learn from them and grow. I present my message through personal stories and experiences, some good some not so great. But all real and far from romantic.

Bob Visser

Bob Visser

CoffeeCup Software

Passionate about technology and value creation, Bob is often described as a ‘pragmatic tennis-playing geek’. His accent will quickly give away that he’s a Dutchman, who has been soaking up American culture since 2007.

Currently he is the COO of CoffeeCup Software, creators of the 1st HTML Editor at the dawn of the Web in 1996. Using a crazy pizza combination of skills and technologies, he and his team launched a series of visual design apps that do NOT generate bloated code. These apps are used by thousands of designers, business owners and large companies such as PayPal, Mens Warehouse and Opentable to create responsive sites and (email) newsletters. His current endeavor is to develop an intuitive theme and site design app for…Wordpress!

Before CoffeeCup he did a lot if interesting stuff that he does not want to bore you with.

Designing for Dynamic Wordpress Content with CSS Grid

Joshua Mauldin

Joshua Mauldin

Product Designer

Joshua Mauldin is a product designer who cares about typography, dad jokes, and making prototypes with as much humanity and curiosity as he can muster. Likes to pet dogs.

Conflict resolution for people who hate conflict

Have you ever needed to have a tough conversation with a teammate who drastically overstepped or a client who didn't respect your decisions? Or maybe you've wanted to bring up a problem at work and don't know how to approach it? If the thought of having those conversations stresses you out, this talk is for you: I want to help you see that conflict is healthy and share how I approach it.

Here, I’ll provide practical techniques and a framework that will help you overcome your aversion to conflict and ensure you get to effective resolutions. I’ve used it myself and successfully coached others through conflict. We’ll go over several examples of the types of conflict people in our industry face and how to best deal with them.

At the end of the talk, you’ll walk away with tools you can use immediately. They’ll help you get your message across clearly without the conversation (or you) going to pieces. Takeaways

  • Learn a tactical framework to prepare for and have tough conversations
  • Know how to make it safe to both sides to keep talking even if it goes sideways
  • Understand how to get to the heart of the issue by asking the right questions
  • Gain an understanding of when it’s not worth it to continue and how to proceed after that