Conference Keynote: Melissa Sariffodeen, CEO of Ladies Learning Code


We are excited to announce one of the keynotes for this year’s conference. CEO of Ladies Learning Code, Melissa Sariffodeen (@melsariffodeen).

Melissa is a social entrepreneur, leader and big thinker. As Co-Founder and CEO of Ladies Learning Code and Canada Learning Code, Melissa has established a reputation as a fierce advocate for women and youth. She is dedicated to ensuring that they have the critical skills, confidence, and opportunities that they need to become passionate builders — not just consumers — of technology and to thrive in our increasingly digital world.

Since 2011, Ladies Learning Code has championed digital literacy for Canadians, working nation-wide and across all sectors to equip women and youth with technical skills. To date, the organization has taught over 60,000 Canadians code through their programs, which are offered in over 30 cities across the country. The organization runs programming for adult women, a thriving girls’ program called Girls Learning Code, a co-ed youth program called Kids Learning Code. The organization’s latest initiative is a program for educators: Teachers Learning Code.

In 2016, Melissa and her team launched their most ambitious initiative to date: Canada Learning Code – a ground breaking cross-sector coalition to create 10 million technology learning experiences for Canadians over the next ten years.

Her efforts to promote digital literacy in Canada have garnered attention from national media outlets like CTV, CBC, and the Globe & Mail — and landed her a spot on Elle Canada’s list of 9 Canadian Women Making a Difference. She’s spoken on the TEDx stage as well as at notable conference such as Canada2020, GoNorth and Canadian Association for Business Economic Forum. Melissa also recently hosted Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to participate in a coding workshop!

Conference Keynote: Sean McGurk, Former Director, DHS National Cybersecurity and Communications Integration Center


We are excited to announce our second keynote for this year’s conference. Former Director, DHS National Cybersecurity and Communications Integration Center (NCCIC) and Director for Physical Security for Amazon Web Services Global Data Center Operations, Sean McGurk.

Prior to joining Amazon Mr. McGurk was the Global Managing Principal for Verizon with extensive experience in Industrial Control System (ICS) Cybersecurity, Critical Infrastructure and Key Resource Sector Protection (CIKR) and National Security Operations Center management. He has over 36 years of experience in advanced systems operation and information systems security. Mr. McGurk served over 28 years in the United States Navy. For several years he worked as an arms control inspector for the Department of Defense where he conducted numerous inspections throughout the Soviet Union and subsequent Commonwealth of Independent States in accordance with the Intermediate Nuclear Forces (INF), the Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (START) and the Conventional Armed Forces in Europe Treaties. Since leaving the Navy, Mr. McGurk has managed many significant system development and IT security programs in the private sector supporting the Department of Defense and the Intelligence Community.

Conference Keynote: Patrick Gray, Former Special Agent with the FBI


We are excited to announce one of the keynotes for this year’s conference. Former Supervisory Special Agent with the Federal Bureau of Investigation and frequent speaker, Patrick Gray. Patrick will be providing a state of the union on cyber crime today in his presentation, “Data Security Challenges in the All Too Public and Not So Private Sectors”.

Patrick Gray is an IT Security Consultant, a member of the Center for Internet Security and the former Principal Security Strategist at Cisco Systems of San Jose, California and Director of X-Force Operations, Office of the Chief Technology Officer, Internet Security Systems, Inc. (ISS). Gray also spent 20 years as a Special Agent within the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Upon his retirement from the FBI, he joined Internet Security Systems and was one of the creators of the X–Force Internet Threat Intelligence Center and thereafter was Director of the Penetration Testing and Emergency Response Teams until his promotion to the X–Force R & D Team. As a result of his service with the FBI, and the Internet Threat Intelligence Center, he has first–hand knowledge of the hacking community, its aims and methodologies as they attack government, businesses, energy and financial entities relentlessly.

Welcoming Gold Sponsor: Nehemiah Security

We are pleased to announce that Nehemiah Security will be a gold sponsor for this year’s conference.

Nehemiah Security helps companies to KNOW their security posture, MANAGE their attack surface, and PROTECT their endpoints from threats. By continuously quantifying risk, automatically enforcing policies and best practices, and instantly detecting and remediating exploits, Nehemiah puts security operators in control of their priorities and focus.

Please take the time to visit their website –

Welcoming Silver Sponsor: No Starch Press

We are pleased to announce that publisher No Starch Press will be a silver sponsor for this year’s conference.

No Starch Press publishes the finest in geek entertainment — bestsellers like Python for Kids, How Linux Works, Hacking: The Art of Exploitation, Practical Packet Analysis, and The Manga Guides. We focus on open source/Linux, security, hacking, programming, alternative operating systems, and science and math. Our titles have personality and attitude, our authors are passionate about their subjects, and we read and edit every book that bears our name. Our goal is to make computing accessible to technophile and novice alike, and our readers appreciate our straightforward presentation and fearless approach to the complex world of technology. No Starch Press titles have been included in the prestigious Communication Arts Design Annual and STEP inside 100 competition, and have won the Independent Publisher Book Award (the “IPPYs”) from Independent Publisher magazine.

San Francisco-based No Starch Press was founded in 1994 by William Pollock, who brings more than 20 years of publishing industry experience to the company. Prior to launching No Starch Press, Pollock worked in professional reference, scientific, college and trade publishing, and was a co-founder of computer book publisher Apress. Pollock remains an active editor and works closely with most of our authors.

Please take the time to visit their website –

Welcoming Silver Sponsor: Sandhill Consultants

We are pleased to announce that Sandhill Consulting will be a silver sponsor for this year’s conference.

Sandhill Consultants Ltd is a worldwide organization providing industry-acclaimed expertise in Enterprise Modeling and is a partner of the CMMI Institute. With the ever-increasing mass of data collected and distributed within and without an organization, Sandhill Consultants believes that understanding the form and substance of the data is critical. We assist clients in achieving this understanding with a concurrent forward/reverse approach of identifying and classifying the data structure and qualifying the data content. Once the data landscape is founded, it can be linked with processes and reacted applications to provide for a complete systems audit capability.

Sandhill Consultants provides a range knowledge bases, modeling solutions, education and technologies to support governance, risk management and compliance by refining an organization’s data and process capabilities..

Please take the time to visit their website –