RSVP for the Geek Train to .NET Fringe

Cascadian Flag

Cascadian Flag

The .NET Fringe Conference guests coming from northern Cascadia (north of Portland) will have the excellent benefit of taking the Geek Train to the conference. It’s also only $10 friggin’ bucks!

RSVP link here | RSVP link here | RSVP link here | RSVP link here | RSVP link here

Departure

We’ll depart Saturday, April 11th at 2pm, with an ETA into Portland at 5:50pm.

Itinerary

  • 1:40pm Arrive at train station in Seattle to join group for boarding. **
  • 2:00pm Departing Seattle King Street Station (i.e. you better be on the train)
  • 2:10pm We’ll be seated and get setup for…
  • 2:15pm We’ll break into teams of ~4 or so people (or however many of us there are we’ll break out to a reasonable size groups).
  • 2:17pm I’ll announce hacking goals and ideas for the teams and we’ll launch into coding. More information will be announced soon, but suffice it to say we’ll be planning a hack around geo and logistics based solutions! The solutions hacking begins!
  • – – – much hacking and enjoying of the trip occurs here! :) – – –
  • 5:00pm We announce who’s completed what and we’ll demo and discuss the app awesomeness of what we’ve managed to come up with.
  • 5:50pm or before we arrive in Portland and the fringe fun shall begin.

I’ll have more information posted here along with some other ideas about what the hackfest will include, so stay tuned and also be sure to follow @dotnetfringe, and check out all the speakers to start figuring out your plans!

Geek Train from Seattle to Portland

April 12th-14th is the epic .NET Fringe Conference. For those coming from Seattle for the conference, there’s going to be a geek train, there however one major decision that needs to be made. What departure should we board to get to Portland. This is where I’ll need your help to decide. There will be a mini-hack, wifi, food, and likely we’ll actually get the entire car to ourselves with enough of a crew. So sign up, vote, vote often and frequently for your preferred departure time! I’ll see you on the train!

Along with the departure, the trip, events for the trip and more information will be posted on the .NET Fringe site soon, along with additional ideas here.

Portland-Startup-Week

Update 3 – Portland Startup Week – Docker, Fig, Women in Tech, Wearables & A Hackfest

Here’s some great events coming up the first week of February for Portland Startup Week! Are you planning on attending any of these or others during the week? Let me know of other good events related to Portland Startup Week and I’ll get those posted too.

Sailing Away From Dependency Hell with Docker & Fig
Tuesday Feb 3: 12-1 PST

Deconstructing Women in Technology: What’s the Data Really Telling Us
Tuesday Feb 3: 5-6 PST

Portland Startup Week Where are your Wearables Hackfest with Quick Left & Name.com
Wednesday Feb 4: Hackfest: 6:00-10

I’ll be attending the hackfest and hope to team up with anyone that has been hacking IoT or other hardware and wearables to try to put together something new – or even to discuss what we might build in the future. Either way, it should be a great time and I look forward to teaming up with people to build some awesome.

Cheers!

I’ve Officially Sent This Email Over 100 Times to Recruiters Looking for .NET Developers

Job Description

Here’s the letter, it’s kind of LOLz! I know it’s tough to find .NET Developers (or replace .NET with Java Developers or X Enterprise Language), so CIOs, CTOs and others take note. Here’s what I experience and what I see all the time, embodied in a letter. I will put effort into hooking people up with good jobs, that fit the person, and persons that fit the job, but lately I’ve seen companies that do .NET work in the Portland, Seattle and especially San Francisco areas become exceedingly desperate for .NET Developers. This is what my general response looks like.

“Hello Recruiter Looking for .NET Developer(s), thanks for reaching out to me, however I regret to inform you that I don’t know a single .NET Developer in Portland Oregon looking for work. It seems all the .NET Developers have either A: gone to work for Microsoft on Node.js Technologies, B: switched from being a .NET Developer to a Software Developer or otherwise C: left the field and don’t want to see any software ever again (which always makes me sad when people burn out, but alas, hopefully they find something they love). It’s a funny world we live in.

Even though I’m fairly well connected in Portland, Seattle, Vancouver (BC) and even San Francisco it is rare for me to meet someone who wants to do pure .NET Development. If there is I’ll connect them with you. However if you know a company that is porting away from .NET, building greenfield applications in Node.js, Ruby on Rails or other open source stacks I have a few software developers that might be interested.

Cheers”

Even though this letter is geared toward recruiters looking for coders, there is another letter that I’d like to write to a lot of other companies, that goes something like this,

“Dear Sir or Madam At X Corp Enterprise,

Please realize that lumping a person into the position you’re requesting (.NET Developer) is a career limiting maneuver for many in the occupation of software developers. We software developers are people who solve problems, it happens that we do this with code written on computers. The computers execute that code for us thus resolving the problems that you face. This helps X Corp Enterprise do business better! It’s a great relationship in many ways, but please don’t limit our future careers by mislabeling us.

Also, we’re not resources. That’s just a scummy thing for a human to call another human. Thanks for reading this letter, have a great day at X Corp Enterprise!”

I’d be happy to refer .NETters (or Javaers or COBOLers or RPGers or whatever), but seriously, it seems to be a lost cause out there, even more so for mid-level or beginning developers. Barely a soul is looking for a job as a .NET Developer, but I know a few that look for jobs as software developers every couple of weeks.

Speaking of which, if you are looking for work and you want a filtered list of the cool companies and related information of who to work for in Seattle, Portland or elsewhere in Cascadia reach out to me and let me know who you are. I’m more than happy to help you filter through the mine field of companies and job listings. Cheers!

Addendum:

Docker Portland, Docker Hack Day & Portland Docker Logo -> Represent!

I threw together a Portland Docker logo user group banner today.

Why did I create a Portland docker logo? Because tomorrow is the Portland docker user group meet up. RSVP the group and check it out. I won’t be able to make this meet up but I will be attending and participating regularly. It’s at New Relic, so easy to find, great views and epic tech to discuss. Let me know how it goes.

On December 3rd, which I hope to be able to attend, it’s Docker Global Hack Day! Check out more by following the @dockerhackday and log into IRC and join #docker. Happy hacking, cheers!

PIE’s Third Class, You Better Keep an Eye on These Companies…

There are a number of new startups that have joined the third PIE Class. However there are a few that have stood out to me.

The first startup has to do with the IoT. IoT stands for Internet of Things. I’m a MASSIVE fan of what is being done with IoT. Personally I think it should be the space to watch in regard to the next big moves and big shifts in technology. From a market perspective, there’s some legitimate reasons to watch the IoT space from that view too.

Smart Mocha

With that, Smart Mocha caught my eye immediately. The description reads “Connects monitoring/measurement devices to the Internet of Things, enabling greater and more efficient access to critical data.” Their first product is Sense Simple, which is an “out of box” sensor network. This is interesting, being that existing systems that do what their Sense Simple offering does, are:

  • Dramatically more expensive, easily 10x or more.
  • Complexity in existing systems introduces vastly more points of failure, maintenance issues and other concerns.
  • Often not as capable for integration into other systems, Sense Simple already has “cloud control” – which is a control and device diagnostic tool to provide remote views of the sensor network.
  • All this, via a cellular gateway preconfigured and ready for logging data , multiple sensors, around temperature, humidity, barometric pressure, vibration, sound and more.

As I mentioned above, integration with existing industry standard sensors and the ability of the company to expand this product in the future already exceeds most of the existing offerings in the space. An example, just based on the cell gateway and cloud based control, provides a prime avenue to expand into the API space to provide even more ways to track, report and log data.

Orchestrate.io

The tag line says it all, “Add Features, Not Databases”. Orchestrate.io have designed a simple API, idiomatic client drivers as their site states. All of which enables you to get started trying tout Orchestrate.io rapidly. The goal of Orchestrate.io is to remove the need to manage a disparate array of databases and to instead focus on the data, what you want to do with the data and to develop solutions against that data. Being that it is offered as a Service akin to PaaS, IaaS and other styles of offerings, it provides the ability for you to pay for only what you use.

In today’s marketplace this is extremely ideal for a number of companies and becoming even more ideal for existing companies, legacy data and more. Got data? Check out Orchestrate.io and see if it works for you.

Summary

IoT:  As I was writing above, IoT is definitely shaping up to be a huge deal in the near future. Many industries are moving back to make progress in the physical realm akin to the migrations from ‘foot travel’ to ‘horse travel’ to ‘rail travel’ to ‘air travel’. We’re going to see some huge leaps here, maybe something along the lines of ‘human vision’ to ‘augmented vision’ to ‘perceptual planes vision’. Do you even know what ‘perceptual planes vision’ is? If not, get ready for the future, things might get bumpy! Smart Mocha looks to be positioned in a good place for impact.

Big Data, Data and more data: I’m under the impression I don’t need to elaborate on the notions of big data, but I will. Data has become a major differentiator, more so than even 5-10 years ago. Data has also become an even greater pain while becoming this major advantage. From genomic research to full tracked telemetry data to high volume high scale high quality printing, our new world of big data is here to stay. Orchestrate.io can help you wrap this realm up.

Disclosure: I don’t work for either of these companies, nor am I paid by the city of Portland, but they’re on my radar as I watch Portland’s startup scene and culture. I also live and breath the culture here, I am a Portlandian. Stay tuned for more in the coming weeks as other incubators and startups keep rocking and rolling here in the city of Portland, OR.

Resources:

Indirect Resources:

For good coverage of Portland’s artistic side, video quality and some of our current startups and companies, give this Techtown Portland video a watch.

Tech Town Portland from Uncage the Soul Productions on Vimeo.

OS Bridge Day 1… Coffee, Missing Angular JS, Distributed Systems, Lego, Hardware, Terraformer…

OS Bridge Day 1 kicked off. I had more than a few goals to achieve for the day.

  1. Give my presentation “Data and Applications Across the Void :: Distributing Systems“, the first with this layout, of key topics and concepts around distributed systems.
  2. Meet Jason Denizac @_jden for coffee at Public Domain and catch up.
  3. Attend Beer Um’ Tuesday Too (i.e. B.U.T.T.) the almost unknown yet known beer meetup from the mind of genius Jerry Sievert @jerrysievert and march over with a contingent from OS Bridge.
  4. Attend the following: Kicking Impostor Syndrome in the Head, Test Driven Development with Angular JS and Terraformer.
  5. Plot next steps involving Bosh, Cloud Foundry, Riak and OpenShift.

Upon arriving I checked in and got the super sweet water bottle that the OS Bridge team got for speaker gifts. Gotta say good job, something a bit different, something that’s quality and something worth keeping! I dig it. I immediately washed it out and carried it around for thirst quenching the rest of the day.

Kicking Impostor Syndrome in the Head

This talk tackled the ideas of how to be more inclusive, allow people to actually gain buy in and confidence in the work they’re doing. This is a hugely important set of ideas that most of the large corporate world has no clue about. Thus the dramatically lower productivity, individual leadership, pride and happiness that people have working in large corporate enterprises & especially Government. This is a space that should be an extremely high priority for those businesses to study.

Mistakes...

Mistakes…

Denise Paolucci did a great job engaging the crowd and relaying the ideas of how to improve work environments to really bring out the best in people. Simply, it occurred to me this could be summarized as, “Don’t be a dick, how to kick ass, and build the whole team to do just that!

The talk included ideas such as making it safe to fail, don’t scapegoat someone around an idea that doesn’t work, but try a new path and move toward succeeding. Don’t setup people to fail, because that drags everybody down. Document things even when everybody supposedly knows those things. The list goes on, but that’s a good base for the ideas.

Check out Dreamwith Studios for more of Denise’s work.

Test Driven Development with Angular JS

This session was presented by Joe Eames @josepheames. I really wanted to go check this out, as I’ve been keen on AngularJS the last couple months but have not been able to work with it as much as I’d like to. So any exposure is good exposure in my book. This is when the bad news kicked in, I had to run off and take care of some minor priorities. Errands, ugh.

For those like me, that either weren’t at OS Bridge or missed this session, this one will be put up live at some point so keep an eye out for the videos being posted. For an immediate fix, Joe has a podcast at JavaScript Jabber. He’s also got a site related to doing TDD & JavaScript at Test Driven JS.

The standard mode of arrival at OS Bridge.

The standard mode of arrival at OS Bridge.

DIY Electric Vehicles

My friend, beverage connoisseur and JavaScripting genius Jerry Sievert @jerrysievert strolled by and mentioned DIY Electric Vehicles, DIY Electric Cars, DIY Electric Bikes and DIY DIY DIY DIY Stuffs. So I packed and headed to this workshop without any original plan to attend anything at this time.

This was a solid session with an introduction to electric vehicles, what they look like, how they work, what types of batteries are good for this use and coverage of Benjamin Kero’s @bkero DIY Electric Bike. Really cool stuff, and something that I really want to expand on and connect even more tech, similar to this plus something like Helios Bars.

Next up…

Terraformer

Terraformer is a project kicked off by Jerry Sievert @jerrysievert that provides some pretty solid mapping toolkit. For more information on this project, check out these links:

Jerry showing off other cool Terraformer features.

Jerry showing off other cool Terraformer features.

Hacker Lounge

During and after all the sessions OS Bridge is fairly well known for its awesome Hacker Lounge. Before many arrived, early in the morning just before the first keynote I snapped a wide angle of the Hacker Lounge…

Hacker Lounge, unoccupied.

Hacker Lounge, unoccupied.

…and here’s a few shots of the Hacker Lounge in full effect.

A wide angle of activity ala the Hacker Lounge. Click for full size image.

A wide angle of activity ala the Hacker Lounge. Click for full size image.

…the Lego table for solutions…

Lego table!

Lego table!

…and hardware hacking.

Hardware hacking, a little soldering brings together different worlds.

Hardware hacking, a little soldering brings together different worlds.

That’s it for day one. Happy hacking.