Our Software Development Conference aims to inspire students of all backgrounds to become proactive leaders in STEM through workshops, panels & keynote presentations. Our conference will feature experienced speakers who teach and build onto the expanding world of software development. Attendees of all experiences are welcome!

January 9th 12:45-3:45PM PT

January 10th 12-3PM PT

Ticket Price:  FREE


Michiel van de Panne


Michiel van de Panne is a Professor in the Department of Computer Science at UBC, with research interests that span reinforcement learning, robotics, motor learning, and physics-based animation. His group models robot, human, and animal movements and the motor skills that underly their movement. His research has been applied to robotics, games, and visual effects for film, and has been featured in the MIT Technology Review, Engadget, and elsewhere.  His former students and postdocs have gone on to cofound startups (Element AI, Anomotion, VGC); have assumed key leadership related to AI, including at Tesla (Director of AI) and DeepMotion (Chief Scientist); and hold faculty positions at universities including ETH Zurich, Simon Fraser University, Leeds, and York University. 

Elisa Baniassad


Elisa Baniassad is an Associate Professor of Teaching in the Computer Science Department of UBC.  She earned her PhD, working under the supervision of Dr. Gail Murphy at UBC, then went on to hold an NSERC Post Doctoral fellowship at Trinity College Dublin. In 2003, she began life as a faculty member, first at the Chinese University of Hong Kong, then at the Australian National University, and now back at UBC, where her research and practice have shifted to focusing on Software Engineering pedagogy.  She was awarded the Killam Prize for teaching in 2019. Elisa has, throughout her career, held a strong commitment to diversity and inclusion within computing. She was a founding member of the diversity committee (then called the focus on women in CS committee) in the CPSC department of UBC, served on the anti-sexual harassment committee at Chinese University, was on the board of the Gender Institute at the Australian National University, and is currently the chair of the Status of Women Committee for the Faculty Association, among other diversity-centric activities. Her research looks at inclusion and belonging within student teams. 


Career development speaker

Founder and CEO, Monkey Group

Erle Dardick is CEO of Monkey Group, which comprises Off-Premise Insights, The Catering Institute, and MonkeyMedia Software: producers of MONKEY™, the #1 cloud-based platform for takeout, delivery and catering. An entrepreneur, author, restaurant veteran, and off-premise thought leader, Erle created The 5 Pillars of Successful Takeout, Delivery & Catering in 1997 based on his success in turning around a struggling Vancouver deli and developing it into a flourishing restaurant and off-premise operation. The 5 Pillars has since evolved to become the leading strategic framework for the restaurant and foodservice industry. Erle sold his group of companies to ezCater in Boston in March of 2019 and is now focused on mentoring and coaching young technology entrepreneurs.

Sarah Bornais

Workshop Director

Sarah Bornais is a computer engineering major at the University of British Columbia. She has a background building web tools and mobile apps, and she particularly enjoys using her programming skills to solve problems in the sustainability and health fields. In her free time, Sarah can be found reading, hiking, or annoying her two cats.

Workshop Descriptions

Learn how software developers make computers cooperate to bring all our favourite apps and websites to life. In this workshop, we will leverage the powers of the Internet to build a simple weather app.


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