Meet a Speaker: Damian Brady
Not long now until DDD Sydney 2018 and in the lead up we wanted to make sure you get to know our speakers. Today we wanted to introduce you to our Keynote Speaker, Damian Brady.
Us: You’re keynoting DDD Sydney this year, excited or scared?
Damian: I get excited by speaking to people about things I’m excited about. There are always some nerves, no matter how often you speak, and maybe a few more this time given Machine Learning isn’t really my area of expertise. Of course in this case, that’s part of the point! I always thought it was an area that would require years of research to understand, but that’s not the case. I’m looking forward to demystifying that for a few people.
Us: You’ve been involved in DDD Brisbane in the past, how did you come to get involved?
Damian: I started DDD Brisbane after attending a few Sydney and Melbourne events. I loved the format and the fact that it’s completely by the community and for the community. After waiting a couple of years for someone to start a Brisbane one, I figured why not me? I ran it for a few years, but moving overseas and then to NSW meant taking a break. Thankfully there’s a great team who have taken the reigns.
Us: How did you get into speaking?
Damian: I don’t remember the details, but I do remember being really excited by something I’d learned at work, then tentatively putting my hand up to present it at the Brisbane User Group. It was nerve-wracking, but I was hooked from the start. I just loved sharing that excitement with other people.
Us: What should people expect in your talk?
Damian: More than anything, I’d like people to walk out feeling like Machine Learning and AI is accessible to them, no matter what level they were at when they walked in. Sure, there’s some hardcore maths behind the scenes, but you really don’t need to have a PhD to get started creating your own predictive models. We’re entering an age of accessible AI, and it’s really exciting.
Us: What talks, other than your own, are you looking forward to seeing?
Damian: There are a lot (and some difficult decisions in some timeslots!)
- Liz Gilleran has a session in the morning about ML meeting design which looks really interesting, and Hailey Martin’s “DevOps is Everyone’s Job” in the same timeslot also looks fantastic.
- I’m looking forward to Ben Cull’s talk on his startup journey. I’ve kept in contact with him over the time he’s been doing this and it will be great to see the lessons he’s managed to distill.
- Michael Ridland is also showing one of the coolest Azure Cognitive Services features at 3:10pm. That’s definitely worth going to.
Us: Anything else you want to say to people thinking of coming to DDD Sydney?
Damian: DDD events are amazing because of the quality and the price. It’s easy to pay well into the thousands for an event like this, so it’s absolutely worth the money and time. When you’re there, get involved and ask questions. This is a community-driven event and everyone has something to contribute.
Catch Damian’s talk, Intro to Machine Learning, at DDD Sydney 2018.