Tim Laurence will spread some of his enthusiasm about home automation and ESPHome, which allows you to specify firmware using YAML files.
Cris Waurechen will discuss his attempts to create a bootable USB Linux distro with persistence. He writes:
This presentation will cover my attempt to make a persistent linux install on a USB drive. Attempts were made with both Manjaro and Mint, but Mint was unsuccessful so far. The presentation will focus on Manjaro but will touch on the problems while attempting to make a persistent Mint USB drive. I will include some warnings and observations from this experiment, a walk through of how to create your own persistent USB drive and stream a demonstration of a PC booting from persistent USB storage.