NERD Summit 2023!

March 17, 18 & 19 at UMass Amherst NERD Summit is an inclusive, community building tech event in New England.
Session proposal submissions closed on January 16.
But feel free to submit a proposal anyways as a backup session
(especially trainings for Sunday).

Jen talks about NERD Summit

Thanks Talking Drupal for the audio.

Keynote Speakers

Char Stiles & Dan Gorelick

Keynote #1 - Friday

Char Stiles and Dan Gorelick will show us what livecoding is all about in The Art Of Livecoding! Join us for this innovative mix of technology, music, and art!

Learn more about this

Scott Bowman

Keynote #2 - Saturday

Creativity Under Constraint, presented by Scott Bowman. Scott will show us the challenge and fun of being creative while working under constraint, using LEGO as a demonstration vehicle!

Learn more about this

2023 Program

As in past years, Friday and Saturday will be devoted to sessions, and Sunday devoted to training. Some shorter trainings, half-day or less, may be scheduled for Friday and Saturday.

Sessions will include talks, panels and group discussions on a wide variety of topics.

One area we're excited about is an increased focus on group discussions, which enrich the conference by providing an arena for sharing perspectives and problem-solving, commiserating with each other over similar challenges, and learning in an interactive and conversational way.

NERD Summit has been an incredible success thanks to excellent presenters, generous sponsors, and an enthusiastic community. Sponsor packages are designed to help your organization with brand awareness, talent recruitment, and networking with potential partners and customers!


The mission of NERD (New England Regional Developers) is to collaborate with the regional community to ensure that the annual Summit and events throughout the year offer everyone, regardless of background or finances, a diverse curriculum for relevant skill building and valuable networking opportunities. This supports our vision of creating positive and supportive learning opportunities for people who work or want to work in web and related technology. Too many smart, passionate people have been traditionally excluded from tech careers, and we're changing that.

Contact Us


This session schedule is subject to change.
Very unlikely that the day a session is scheduled will change, but the room and time may change.

See Sunday Schedule below Friday and Saturday.

FRIDAY March 17


NERD Summit 2023: Training continues on Sunday!

10:00AM - 5:00PM Room 145

Free Code Camp: A Guided Training For Beginners and Experts Alike

Looking to explore a new career in tech? Maybe you're in school and want to taste professional software development or get a certification? Have a career and looking to expand your skillset? We will have a professional software engineer available for the duration of Nerd Summit to help you get started and guide you if you get stuck. By taking advantage of's multiple learning tracks and certification programs that start at the beginning of Web Development, include machine learning and information security as well as modern frameworks like React, Redux, and Express, all the way through advanced coding challenges for job interviews, we can provide learning opportunities and certifications for everyone. Start where you're at, pick your path, pick your project, and continue when you get home -- there are no time limits, no cost, and you could end up with a new portfolio item or certification to put on your resume.

10:00AM - 5:00PM Room 325

Sumobot Tournament

Learn to build a robot to compete in a Sumobot tournament. Sumobots are small robots that compete to push each other out of the ring. In the first part of this session, you will learn how to build a robot, add sensors to detect the edge of the ring, and program it not to fall out. Develop your own strategy - defensive or offensive - add more sensors, code, and personality to your robot and have fun in our friendly competition.

These tournaments are open to people of all ages and levels of experience.

LEGO Sumobot Tournament

3 hours on Sunday [exact time TBA]

We will build robots with LEGO EV3 kits. No experience necessary. We will provide parts, motors, sensors, instructions and everything you need to get in the ring with your sumobot.

If you have your own LEGO parts, you're welcome to build your own robot to bring to the tournament. Just let us know in the registration form. [more info coming on this later] We encourage you to come to the building portion of the session also. You may be able to help other people who are learning to build their robots, or maybe you'll get some new ideas for your own robot.

MINI Sumobot Tournament

3 hours on Sunday [exact time TBA]

We will build robots with Arduino-based kits. No experience is necessary. You will learn to program the Arduino microcontroller to control the motors and use IR sensors to keep from falling out of the ring.

To participate, you can order your kit through our registration page [more info coming on this later] or elsewhere on the internet. You can also design and build your own robot as long as it meets the requirements specified in our Sumobot tournament rules.

1:00PM - 4:00PM Room TBA

Threat Modeling Workshop

with Robert Hurlbut

Threat Modeling is a way of thinking about what could go wrong and how to prevent it. Instinctively, we all think this way in regards to our own personal security and safety. When it comes to building software, some teams either skip the important step of Threat Modeling in secure software design or, they have tried Threat Modeling before but haven't quite figured out how to connect the threat models to real world software development and its priorities.


NERDS Summit is held in the Integrated Sciences Building
at UMass Amherst in Amherst, Massachusetts.

Drive times: Logan (BOS) Airport: 2 hours, Bradley (BDL) Airport: 1 hour, New Haven: 1.5 hour, NYC: 3.5-4 hours.

UMass campus map

Download full size map

The most convenient parking is the Campus Center Parking Garage at a cost of $1.75/hr.
We will have passes at the registration table that cap that at $6.50 per day.

There is free parking on the weekends, see lots 43 and 63 on the map above [full UMass parking map].

There are many hotels in the area close by to UMass.

NOTE: At this time the Hotel UMass is saying they are sold out.
We are working on securing a set of hotel rooms for the conference. Stand by, more on that later.

2023 Summit Sponsors







Cross-promotion and non-monetary contribution partners.


  • Supporters

    Rick Hood
    (Common Media)

    Jen Wahlund
    (Carnegie Mellon University)


    New England Regional Developers

    NERD Summit is a product of New England Regional Developers (NERD).
    NERD creates positive and supportive learning opportunities for people who work, or want to work in web and related technologies in the New England area.
    Read more at:

    Code of Conduct

    Attendees are encouraged to read the NERD Summit 2023 Code of Conduct.

    The NERD Summit 2023 team


    • Kelly Albrecht
    • Rick Hood


    • Stephen Cross
    • Chad Furman
    • Leslie Glynn
    • Barbara Hebert
    • Joan Joly
    • Aubrey Sambor
    • Heidi Stanclift
    • Molly Taaffe
    • Jen Wahlund


    To volunteer, email Rick Hood at [email protected].

    To stay up to date on NERD and NERD Summit, subscribe to our newsletter.

    COVID / Masks Policy: We strongly recommend, but do not require masks.
    See UMass Policy for more.
    We will have masks and hand sanitizer available.