Every week, dedicated individuals and organizations in around the Tampa Bay do more than just their “day jobs”. They get involved in events where they share their knowledge, make connections and friends, and gather together to build strong tech, entrepreneur, and nerd communities. That’s why I do this every week: I put together a list of tech, entrepreneur, and nerd events to make sure that they can be found and you can attend them!

Here’s what’s happening in Tampa Bay this week!

This weekly list is posted as a voluntary service to the Tampa tech community. With the notable exceptions of Tampa iOS Meetup and Coders, Creatives and Craft Beer — both of which I run — most of this information comes from Meetup.com, EventBrite, and other local event announcement sites. I can’t guarantee the accuracy of the dates and times listed here; if you want to be absolutely sure that the event you’re interested in is actually taking place, please contact the organizers!

Monday, January 27

Looking to talk about the craft of developing software over a nice drink? Monday’s Lean Beer for Software Craftspeople in Dunedin might be just what you’re looking for! Following the “Lean Coffee” structure but with beer, this gathering is a great way to meet your fellow local coders, share ideas about software development, and perhaps learn something new.

Tuesday, January 28

The Java Junkies meetup combines with Tential Tuesday for a session featuring Elastic’s Nathan Reese, who’ll talk about Elastic Maps, which combines traditional search with geoquerying to create a singularly powerful information retrieval experience. He’ll also also dive into how to deliver findings and metrics through maps and dashboards using the Kibana visualization platform.

Wednesday, January 29

Thursday, January 30

In the Tampa Bay UX Group meetup of the year, Anitra Pavka (author of O’Reilly’s HTML5 Cookbook’s “Accessibility” chapter) and Joey deVilla (mobile developer at Lilypad, organizer of Tampa iOS Meetup, and author at raywenderlich.com) will present What’s new in iPhone accessibility. This will be more than just a tour of iOS 13’s new accessibility features, but also an introduction to creating more accessible apps using Apple’s SwiftUI framework!

Friday, January 31

It’s time for another Demo Day at Suncoast Developers Guild! Demo Day is when the current cohort present their capstone project applications to an audience of local tech companies, engineers, and supporters of the tech community. This is your chance to see first-hand demonstrations of the applications and get to know their developers/graduates.

Saturday, February 1

After five years of fun and games, Grand Arena of Mind Expansion is closing its doors and selling off their goods on Saturday. While this is a sad event, it’s also an opportunity to buy just about anything in this games club: games, consoles, tables, chairs. shelves, TVs, projectors, and more — it’s all got to go! They’re asking for 50% MSRP on items sold.

Sunday, February 2

There weren’t any tech, entrepreneur, or nerd events listed at the time scheduled for Sunday at the time of writing.

 

Do you have an upcoming event that you’d like to see on this list?

If you know of an upcoming event that you think should appear on this list, please let me know!

Join the mailing list!

If you’d like to get this list in your email inbox every week, enter your email address below. You’ll only be emailed once a week, and the email will contain this list, plus links to any interesting news, upcoming events, and tech articles.

Join the Tampa Bay Tech Events list and always be informed of what’s coming up in Tampa Bay!


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Since 2013, the Tampa Bay UX Group has been hosting the ride-or-die meetup for all things related to user experience and usability. Their first meetup of 2020 happens next Thursday, and it will feature Anitra and me talking about what’s new with iPhone accessibility!

Join us on Thursday, January 30th at 6:00 p.m. at Kforce for this talk, where we’ll not only show you these new features, but also how to write apps in order to make the best use of them.

iOS has always been the gold standard in mobile accessibility, and the latest version — iOS 13 — has a lot of accessibility features, some of which are new, and some of which have been enhanced:

The biggest new feature is Voice Control, a brand-new assistive technology that makes it so much easier to control Apple devices using your voice. Rather than describe it, here’s Apple’s video showing it in action:

VoiceOver is Apple’s screen reading/gesture technology for low/no-vision users, and it’s been improved in iOS 13. Here’s a tour of its new features:

In our presentation, we’ll not only give you an overview of accessibility features in iOS 13 — we’ll also cover the basics of developing iOS 13 apps for improved accessibility using SwiftUI! That’s the new paradigm for building interfaces for Apple platforms:

In fact, you can think of the presentation as having a bonus tutorial on the basics of writing your own iOS apps:

Join us at the Tampa Bay UX Group’s meetup on Thursday, January 30th at 6:00 p.m. at Kforce! Register to attend here.

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Photo by Edwin Torres. Tap to see at full size.

Last Wednesday evening, I attended the first-ever Share your mobile app with others! meetup. I’m always happy to help out a Tampa Bay tech event, especially when it’s getting started, and doubly so when it’s about something that’s right up my alley, namely mobile development.

Organized by Edwin Torres, Share your mobile app with others! is going to be a regular gathering of people who:

  • Design mobile apps or aspire to design mobile apps,
  • program mobile apps or aspire to program mobile apps, or
  • want to learn more about mobile app development

From the meetup’s “About” page:

This group is made for anyone who would like to display their mobile app to others or anyone interested in seeing local app creations. Unfinished apps are extremely welcomed!

YOU DO NOT HAVE TO BE A DEVELOPER TO ATTEND THIS EVENT!

Network with other inspired entrepreneurs/developers/app lovers about experiences whether it’s:

  1. App ideas,
  2. hiring developers,
  3. learning to code,
  4. app marketing/advertising,
  5. comparing journeys, or
  6. creating a team.

I am personally not a developer but have an IT background and have hired app developers of my own and would love to share my experience with others.

Photo by Edwin Torres. Tap to see at full size.

The discussion bounced across a number of topics including:

  • What everyone was up to, which included starting a mobile app business, working in tech recruiting, recently graduating from LaunchCode’s all-women cohort, and in my case, writing mobile apps for a living.
  • Outsourcing development: Edwin’s experience with contract developers was excellent, but I think his is a rare case.
  • Native vs. “Hybrid” app development. I was asked about what I preferred, and I gave my usual general advice: The more your app is like a straightforward line-of-business application, the stronger the argument is for “Hybrid” development. If you app is a game or leans heavily on a specific hardware or operating system feature, the stronger the argument is for Native development.
  • Tampa’s developer shortage. Great news for developers, but a challenge for local tech companies.

I showed off a number of apps including some demo apps from my raywenderlich.com AR course, the “googly eyes” app from my raywenderlich.com article, Wine Crush, Lilypad CRM, my “Frogger” game, and a goofy little “Magic 8-Ball” style app for the Apple Watch, whose code appears in the photo below:

Photo by Edwin Torres. Tap to see at full size.

The next Share your mobile app with others! meetup takes place next Wednesday, January 29th at 7:00 p.m. at Fuzzy’s Taco Shop at Fuzzy’s Taco Shop in Temple Terrace. Come out and support this new meetup!

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Photo by Alex Kelly. Tap to see it at full size.

On Tuesday night, Anitra and I hosted the first Coders, Creatives, and Craft Beer meetup of the year at our usual place: The 7venth Sun Brewery in Seminole Heights. It drew a good crowd, as you can see from the group photo above.


This meetup’s theme was named in honor of the upcoming Chinese New Year (which happens this Saturday, January 25th): The Year of the Rat. In Chinese mythology, the rat is associated with nimble cleverness, a quality that members of Coders, Creatives, and Craft Beer have in abundance.

We’d like to thank the people who came to the meetup, since they faced a couple of environmental challenges…

Photo by Bay News 9.

The smoky haze that hung over the area from the late afternoon and through the early evening. Depending on how close you were to the source — a “prescribed burn” at the Goethe State Forest in Levy County — it may have been hard to drive or breathe.

The “Low Outside Temperature” alarm on my car’s dashboard, indicating a temperature of 2°C (36°F). Photo by Joey deVilla.

Cold (for Tampa, anyway) temperatures. Temperatures dropped to just above freezing. In my old home town of Toronto, this is slightly warmer than for this time of year, but here in my new-ish home town of Tampa (I’ll have been here 6 years as of March), this is “Jack Nicholson at the end of The Shining” cold.

Here are some snapshots I took of the event about a half-hour after it started:

Photo by Joey deVilla. Tap to see it at full size.

Photo by Joey deVilla. Tap to see it at full size.

Photo by Joey deVilla. Tap to see it at full size.

Photo by Joey deVilla. Tap to see it at full size.

We were also treated to three original numbers by Dan Crowley, scrum master and agile coach by day, rockin’ guitarist by night. His musical sobriquet is Tribal Knowledge, and like his name, his songs poke fun at corporate culture and cringe.

The first number he played was Kickoff — and yes, that’s about project kickoffs. He’s still working on the lyrics, but the music perfectly captures the enthusiastic feel of a kickoff meeting:

He had his lyrics sheets handy:

Photo by Joey deVilla. Tap to see it at full size.

He followed Kickoff with a song whose title you’ve probably heard in a meeting or report: 95% Complete. You know how it is:

  • The first 95% of a project takes up 95% of the allotted time, and
  • The final 5% of the project takes up the other 95% of the allotted time.

Here are the lyrics:

Photo by Joey deVilla. Tap to see it at full size.

Dan’s final number was White Dude in a Suit, a combination tribute and middle finger to, well, you know…

…and here are the lyrics:

Photo by Joey deVilla. Tap to see it at full size.

Coders, Creatives, and Craft Beer is takes place about once a month, and it’s all about socializing. Whether you’re creative through programming, project management, pixels, paint, poetry, or prose, you’re welcome to join us! You can find out more about the group on our Meetup page.

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LinkedInLocal Tampa: This Thursday at Computer Coach

by Joey deVilla on January 20, 2020

LinkedInLocal Tampa is happening this Thursday, January 23rd, from 5:30 to 8:00 p.m. at Computer Coach Training Center! At this gathering, you’ll get a chance to catch up with your Tampa Bay LinkedIn contacts in real life.

From the event page:

The purpose is to unite people from all walks of life, in facilitated events hosted around the world, to genuinely get to know the humans behind the LinkedIn profiles, and connect beyond the job titles, business cards and company names that are so common at most networking events.

#LinkedinLocal Tampa is about community, and community starts with building human to human relationships first, and then acting as one to give back to those in the community who need it the most.

Our facilitated events offer the opportunity to meet your local LinkedIn connections, from behind the pfoiles, and to build a true lasting relationship.

We have a no wallflower, and no clique policy at our events. You will be immediately welcomed and introduced to other business professionals immediately after arriving.

There is a fee to attend LinkedInLocal Tampa — $15 for general admission, with a $5 discount for early birds — and once the costs of holding the event have been covered, the rest of the money goes to a charity. For this event, that charity is The Center for Cyber Safety and Education.

Please note: Tickets will not be available at the door. To attend this event, you have to register in advance!

Here’s the event itinerary:

  • 5:30 – 6:00 Registration & Refreshments
  • 6:00 – 6:10 Welcome & Introductions
  • 6:10 – 7:00 Event Program & Charity Presentation
  • 7:00 – 8:00 Facilitated, Deep Networking

LinkedInLocal Tampa is organized by the following people. If you attend tech events in the Tampa Bay area, chances are you’ll know some of them:

In a nutshell

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Every week, dedicated individuals and organizations in around the Tampa Bay do more than just their “day jobs”. They get involved in events where they share their knowledge, make connections and friends, and gather together to build strong tech, entrepreneur, and nerd communities. That’s why I do this every week: I put together a list of tech, entrepreneur, and nerd events to make sure that they can be found and you can attend them!

Here’s what’s happening in Tampa Bay this week!

This weekly list is posted as a voluntary service to the Tampa tech community. With the notable exceptions of Tampa iOS Meetup and Coders, Creatives and Craft Beer — both of which I run — most of this information comes from Meetup.com, EventBrite, and other local event announcement sites. I can’t guarantee the accuracy of the dates and times listed here; if you want to be absolutely sure that the event you’re interested in is actually taking place, please contact the organizers!

Monday, January 20

Global Game Jam 2020 takes place from January 31 to February 2, and in preparation, Tampa Games Developer Guild is hosting a session where ANYONE interested in participating in a game jam can come and learn more about what it’s about and how best to prepare. [ Find out more here ]

Tuesday, January 21

The Coders, Creatives, and Craft Beer meetup is celebrating Chinese New Year (a.k.a. Lunar New Year, which happens on Saturday, January 25) on Tuesday! Join us at 7venth Sun Brewery at 6:30 p.m. for conversation, collaboration, conspiring, and craft beer. [ Find out more here ]

Wednesday, January 22

Heart of Agile is an approach that boosts agile culture by distilling it into just four imperatives: Collaborate. Deliver. Reflect. Improve. Wednesday’s Heart of Agile meetup is all about “Deliver” — and celebrating Chinese New Year!Find out more here ]

Thursday, January 23

There are a couple of security meetups on Thursday: Tampa – Cybersecurity Defenders Meetup Group’s happy hourLearn Cybersecurity Tampa’s beginner-level “capture the flag”, and Click Here.exe’s session on SQL injections.

Friday, January 24

CritAid is a full weekend of board gaming (Jan. 24 through 26) at Critical Hit Games for a cause: All proceeds from the event will go towards purchasing card and board games for underserved children getting check-ups at a Tampa USF pediatric clinic. Game for the entire time knowing that you’re promoting health and helping spread your hobby to the next generation of gamers. [ Find out more here ]

Saturday, January 25

Sunday, January 26

Do you have an upcoming event that you’d like to see on this list?

If you know of an upcoming event that you think should appear on this list, please let me know!

Join the mailing list!

If you’d like to get this list in your email inbox every week, enter your email address below. You’ll only be emailed once a week, and the email will contain this list, plus links to any interesting news, upcoming events, and tech articles.

Join the Tampa Bay Tech Events list and always be informed of what’s coming up in Tampa Bay!


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Screenshot from the game. Tap to see it at full size.

Pictured above is Dale Mabry, a “cross the road”-style videogame in the style of Frogger, or its later cousin, Crossy Road. It gets its name from Dale Mabry Highway, a busy north-south six-lane “stroad” in Tampa. I wrote it back in 2016 as part of learning iOS game programming in Swift and SpriteKit.

Here’s a sample of the gameplay:

I lifted the code for moving the player character from the raywenderlich.com book 2D Apple Games by Tutorials. It’s from the Zombie Conga game, pictured below:

I then wrote code to move the cars and handle the gameplay.

After getting the basic gameplay working, I got busy with other projects and forgot about the game for a couple of years. I recently pulled it out of mothballs just before Wednesday’s “Share Your Mobile App” with Others meetup, because organizer Edwin Torres asked attendees to show off any apps they’d worked on.

I wrote it back in 2016, when Swift was at version 3. It took me about a half hours’ worth of work to get it up and running in the current versions of Swift and SpriteKit, which was considerably less time than I thought it would take. I compiled it, put it on my iPad, and showed it to the group at the meetup.

Now that it’s out of mothballs, my plan is to polish it and put it in the App Store later this year. and it’s going to be one of my 20 Projects in 2020.

Want to see the code for the game? You can! It’s posted on my Github.

 

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