David Ruttka

Engineering | Gaming | Improv | Storytelling | Music


In addition to a variety of internal “Lunch and Learn” sessions, I’ve been happy to speak on a variety of topics at conferences, international training events, and on podcasts.

The Improv Roleplayer’s Handbook – Volumes I, II, and III

I grew up on Whose Line Is It Anyway. I loved Walt Disney World’s Pleasure Island for their improvised comedy workshops. I’ve played my fair share of D&D. So, it was a true joy to sit on a PAX West panel for three years with other performers far above my level.

In this session, we shared how improv skills can improve both the storytelling and player experience in your tabletop roleplaying campaigns. (And in my opinion, they’re pretty valuable at work, too.) Playing live improv games while taking prompts from the audience was like a dream come true, and I’ll always be thankful that I got the opportunity.

OpenHack Keynotes – IoT and Streaming Data, Modern Data Warehousing, and Data DevOps

I had the pleasure of leading the creation and technical delivery of multiple Microsoft OpenHack events at Microsoft Ready and around the world. In addition to leading coach preparation workshops, I kicked off the three-day format with an introduction to the relevant technology and concepts, while also setting expectations around how teams should navigate our gamified training challenges.

Instant Apps with Microsoft Azure and Azure DevOps

I gave this talk at devLink in 2014, I think? I forgot to update this page until 2021 =) In it I recapped how I went from File > New Project to a complete running solution in one night over “a drink and a half” by leveraging Azure Storage, Azure App Services, ADO pipelines, and a ruthlessly lean approach to minimum viable functionality.

A Whole New World of JavaScript Testing with Jasmine

I gave this talk at devLink in 2013 and again over lunch with my team.


I gave this talk twice. The first time was for HUNTUG while it was still in Beta. The next time was for TechMixer University.

Committed to Good Commits

I’ve done this one several times. Internally, for HUNTUG, and at CodeStock. I love the topic, but it’s pretty dry as a talk.

Continous Integration From Scratch – Zero to Hero in 60min

I only did this one once, but it was one of my favorites. Agile Birmingham had me drop in and cover the concepts of CI from the beginning, while simultaneously equipping a new VM with git, TeamCity, and a continuous deployment pipeline. The idea was to remove “It’s too hard or too costly” from the list of common excuses not to get started, and I feel it landed well.

Mind the Gap (An Introduction to PhoneGap)

This was at CodeStock. A gentle introduction to PhoneGap, including a demo of a sliding puzzle game application. I used this as a driver to dive into PhoneGap myself, and that set a firm foundation for my later work on Halo Channel.

Enterprise Agility

I did this one internally for my team to help us discover where we could apply an agile mindset and iterative approach within a very process heavy, very waterfall enterprise.

Developing Field Applications Using ArcGIS Mobile

ESRI had me on in the summer of ‘08 to talk about how 3-GIS was using their new Mobile SDK to drive a better experience for field crews. The MP3 is probably floating around somewhere, but I’d rather not hear myself.

Moving Forward with Service Oriented and Mobile Architecture Paradigms

This was my first talk, and the title is to this day one of my (not so) secret shames. I did it at GITA to describe the work we are doing at 3-GIS to enable field crews to accomplish digital transformation despite working in disconnected and occassionally connected environments.