• May 30-31, 2014
  • ·
  • COBO Center, 1 Washington Blvd, Detroit

What's this all about?

Self.conference combines killer tech presentations with insightful soft talks to give you a Detroit-based conference worth your while. We're packing two days at the end of May with mobile, web, hardware, software, process, and team talks to help you expand your knowledge, meet other technically-minded folk, and immerse yourself in Detroit's tech renaissance. You can take a deep dive into Objective-C with Jeff Kelley, learn about visualizing big data using D3.JS with Matt Shwery, hone your people skills with Angela Harms, and even learn about the Allegory of the Cave from Leon Gersing. It's all happening at this year's self.conference!

Resources from our Presenters

Looking for slides and links from your favorite presentations? Check them out here:

InfoQ also recorded several of our sessions – we'll post links when they are available!


Careful with those People Skills: You'll Poke Somebody's Eye Out!

"People skills" are offered up as a way to get along with people better, to get them to do what you want, and to generally make your life easier. But often, a simple technique can backfire and produce the opposite response. How do you know you're doing it right? Why do people get mad when you give your feedback exactly like the book says to do it?

Lao Tzu said "The world is won by those who let it go." Giving up the steps and practices -- focusing instead on the underlying ideas and values -- can guide you to better relationships and better collaboration. Dig deep and learn how empathetic listening, authentic connection, and embodying compassion can fit naturally into your life and your work.

Angela Harms

Angela Harms is an agile developer, coach, facilitator, and instigator. She loves beautiful code that emerges from collaboration, and learning new ways to make it work. When she’s not pairing on tests and the code they inspire, you can find her at conferences speaking about what she’s learned (so far), facilitating kick-ass retrospectives, or discussing the intersection of software and love in open space.


Cobo Center

Cobo Center is one of the largest convention centers in the nation. Built by the City of Detroit, it was originally opened in 1960 and named Cobo Hall in honor of former Detroit Mayor Albert E. Cobo (1950-1957).

Nearby Hotels

Looking for a place to stay? There are several hotels near Cobo Center. Here are a few:



Media Partners


Amber Conville

Amber Conville is a mobile developer at Detroit Labs, and has been a software developer for 6 years. She loves code in lots of languages, tdd, craftsmanship, and the software community, and can be found helping out with user groups, conferences, and nerd gatherings whenever possible.

Want to email Amber? Do it: Or say hi on twitter: @crebma

Erika Carlson

Erika Carlson was studying clinical psychology in 2011, when she wrote her first line of Python code. She fell in love with programming, decided to change paths, and is now a software developer at Detroit Labs. She is deeply passionate about creating a community of female peers and mentors for women exploring the field of technology for the first time.

Erika teaches web development and gives introductory programming presentations at elementary and middle schools. She is passionate about the potential of technology to create positive change in the world, and is working to create more opportunities for technology education in Detroit.

Want to email Erika? Do it: Or say hi on twitter: @eacarlson