Presentation at QCon SF 2015 – Creating a rainstorm using infrared and C#

Update 28/03/2016 – This talk is now publicly available here!


This year I was invited by Phil Haack to present at QCon in San Francisco as part of the .NET stream for “The amazing potential of .NET open source”, regarding my work on project: Rainscape. The project involved using a Kinect for Xbox 360 to detect motion within a shipping contain and alter a projected rainstorm depending on the way users interacted with it.

Presenting my first conference talk at QCon! – Photo by Amy Palamountain


At the time of publishing this post, the presentation video was only accessible for attendees of the 2015 San Francisco QCon.
So hopefully this works for you. If not, you’ll just have to wait sorry 🙂

Other talks of the .NET track included:

Lessons in Extreme .NET performance – by Ben Watson
Ben went over several ways to improve performance and areas that tripped most people up. He mentioned a garbage collection issue that I had actually encountered during development of Rainscape!

Space, time, and state – by Amy Palamountain
Amy gave a Star Trek Enterprise themed talk around applying reactive extensions and demonstrated how the use of too much state, meant that The Enterprise could potentially not be in a state to initiate their warp drive and escape the Borg ship.

NET machine Learning: F# and Accord.NET – by Alena Hall
Alena gave a super high level talk around machine learning and visualising the patterns from various problems. One of her slides showed a very complex equation. She started explaining it, but then showed how she could simplify it down, implying that it’s not actually that hard!

Designing C# 7 – by Lucian Wischik
Lucian is helping write the next version of C# (7). He went over some of the new language features that could potentially be available. It was obvious he was incredibly enthusiastic about programming languages! It was inspiring to hear from someone that excited about a programming language. Someone raised the question “at what point will C# just become a functional programming language?”, as a lot of the new features shown were derived from other functional languages. To which Lucian said he wasn’t sure where the line would be drawn. But it will certainly be interesting to see how much further the language grows!

It was great to be a part of a conference that wasn’t purely Microsoft focused for a change. Most of my development career has been around the MS stack, so it was really interesting and inspiring to hear how some companies are building large scale (and easily scalable) platforms. The likes of Netflix and Uber for example.

And of course, because I’m not from San Francisco, it was an excellent excuse to be a tourist for a few days!

On pier 7 looking back towards the CBD


Water droplet photography at Exploratorium in SF


PDP-1 at the Computer History Museum in Mountain View. I was even able to play Spacewar on it!


Ridiculous colour changing sensorium at Exploratorium

The Rainscape project started out as a fun, side, arts project with friends. But from it, I’ve learned so much. Aside from the code, I’ve had a taste into the high demands of the arts world and now have a better understanding of infrared, DMX protocols and SignalR. Things I may have never thought I would ever use together until this project came along.

Make art to inspire others.
Make things to challenge yourself.
But most of all, be creative.

Then share it with the world.

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