Michael Dowden


Michael Dowden is the Co-Founder of startup incubator Andromeda, Product Architect for FlexePark, and President of M2D2 Enterprises. Since 1992 he has provided a full range of full-stack technology and consulting services to more than 60 companies ranging from startups to the Fortune 100.

As a software developer and architect Michael focuses on the K.I.S.S. principle, keeping systems as simple as possible (but no simpler). Michael is passionate about lightweight frameworks in both Java and JavaScript ecosystems, often pointing out that Java is to JavaScript as Car is to Carrot. As an MBA he focuses on solutions that provide true business value and always works to improve collaboration and communication between teams.

Since 1997 Michael has been active in helping other developers grow in their career, as a teaching assistant, user group organizer, and instructor for both Eleven Fifty Academy and Propel Up. His book Programming Languages ABC++ has sold more than 20,000 copies and has made its way into elementary schools across Indiana. Michael also speaks at tech conferences including Code PaLOUsa, Indiana IT Symposium, Indy.Code(), Music City Code, KCDC, and Dev Up.


Stop Keeping the Lights On

Often developers are paid to merely “keep the lights on” when they could instead be forces of innovation. This type of work is typically less rewarding than more creative, challenging endeavors and can lead to increased turnover, increased apathy, and decreased software quality. This session explores various anti-patterns and obstacles within organizations that make it hard for developers to do their best work. Solutions will be proposed to both the developer and the manager to move past the roadblocks and empower innovation.