Jon Dahl

Jonathan is co-founder of Zencoder, a Y Combinator-backed startup that provides awesome video encoding as a service in the cloud. Before Zencoder, ran a Ruby on Rails development shop, blogged at, wrote a Master's thesis on philosophy and theology, and tried (unsuccessfully) to become a Lisp hacker.

Programming and minimalism: Lessons from Orwell & The Clash


Advanced API design: how an awesome API can attract friends, make you rich, and change the world

Track: Smart phone, friday 11:10 - 12:00

APIs are becoming ubiquitous, but they are really hard to design well. In this talk, we'll discuss how to design and implement an API that isn't just functional, but makes people stand up and cheer. We'll also cover tips for integrating with other people's APIs. But an awesome API isn't just a feature. APIs are currently transforming the world, just like open source software has changed the world for the last decade. We'll talk about how this transformation impacts developers and changes the rules.

Programming and minimalism: Lessons from Orwell & The Clash

Track: Excellence, thursday 11:10 - 12:00

Programming is writing. A programmer's job is to express abstract ideas in a specific language - just like the poet, the essayist, and the composer. But while writers and composers spend years improving their style, many programmers think style stops with "two-space indentation". This needs to change. This presentation will discuss style in music, writing, and software. We'll look at such diverse sources as George Orwell, Mozart, and punk music, and will find that much of art revolves around complexity and minimalism - just like software. Finally, we'll look at specific patterns and tools for writing software that is not just effective and efficient, but stylistically beautiful.