HOW Conf

September 14, 2013

Platte River State Park, Nebraska

It's over!

What is HOW Conf?

HOW Conf is a one-day tech conference chock full of hands-on workshops. We want you to learn something new, and get involved in the action while learning.

Spend a day with hands-on activities. Learn from community members passionate about their subjects. And have fun at a gorgeous Nebraska park all the while.


Mallet Lodge at Platte River State Park in Louisville, Nebraska. The park is is located halfway between Omaha and Lincoln. The venue is spacious, air conditioned, and has WiFi.

A Nebraska Games & Parks permit is required to enter the park. Daily passes are $5 and can be paid when you arrive at the park.

Platte River State Park is a beautiful facility, so feel free to stick around after HOW Conf and hike the trails, play tennis, or anything else you'd like to do!


Nick Nisi

Game Programming in JavaScript

Workshop Materials

Learn the fundamentals of game programming. Tanks will be involved.

John Hobbs

Security and Software Exploitation

Workshop Materials

Learn common software vulnerabilities by breaking them. You will be given time to break purposely flawed software, then we will discuss the vulnerabilities and mitigation as a group. The player who progresses the furthest will receive a prize (TBD)

Jonathan Rice

Hardware Hacking with Arduino

Workshop Materials

An introduction to Arduino where you'll use basic components to create a non-trivial device. I'll cover various types of inputs, sneaky uses of LEDs, poor-man's object detection, serial debugging and control, and connecting to the Internet without a shield.

Lightning Talks

Rob Hruska

Information Radiators with Node.js, Raspberry PI, Socket.IO

In this session we will:

  • Dig into the Node.js server and code at the heart of the project.
  • Demonstrate how to add data sources and displays to the app to make your own awesome dashboards.
  • Talk about the nuances and setup of the Raspberry Pi clients that connect to and drive the projector.

John Miller

Robot Operating System (ROS)

We'll demo what what ROS can do (youtube montage), simulating custom robot, and integrating with real robot using an Arduino.

Zach Leatherman


It probably involves JavaScript.

Rebecca Stavick

Open Nebraska (with Nate Benes)

Open Nebraska is a civic hacking organization. We're talking about how we can promote coding education for all ages, influencing legislation to support open data, and creating original tools using local data, but also adapting existing Code for America projects for NE. We're brand new - but growing.

What should I bring?

  1. A laptop. A few of the workshops will use them, but you can find someone to pair up with if you need to.
  2. A GitHub account is required for the Game Programming session
  3. An SSH client is required for the Software Vulnerabilities session. Windows users, check out PuTTY.
  4. If you'd like, bring a phone and tweet at us with the #howconf hashtag.

Arduino Workshop

  1. An Arduino. If you're like us, you bought one a while back, and then threw it in a closet. Now's the time to break it out!
  2. A USB cable to hook up your Arduino
  3. A breadboard
  4. Some jumper wires
  5. Potentiometer. 5k, 10k, any kind will do
  6. Optionally, you can pick up a buzzer
  7. Software on your laptop:

You can pick up everything at Radio Shack (Arduino, breadboard + wires, potentiometer, buzzer). We'll provide everything else!

If you don't want to buy an Arduino, don't panic! We'll have a few extra. You can also pair up with someone.


What's included

Contact Us

Send us an email at

Find us on Twitter at @howconf.


Thanks for attending!