Like many people around this time of year, you might be thinking about new years’ resolutions, and if you’re a particularly involved member of the Sun Coast, Central Florida, or “Orlampa” tech communities, you may be asking yourself “What can we do to make our little corner of the world better for tech and techies?”

If this sounds like you, you should read this lengthy, but information-rich article, Create more value than you capture: An oral history of Toronto product developmentIt’s a history of the Toronto tech scene, which grew from a place that you left if you wanted to make your mark in tech into the place to be.

How did Toronto’s tech scene grow from moribund in 2005 to massive in 2017? A good chunk of the answer is pictured above: it was the people who made up Toronto’s tech community. They got organized, started holding gatherings where they could meet and exchange ideas, and that led to them getting together professionally, forming companies, making things, getting involved with city hall, and doing all the little things that make a place a great one for tech.

I lived in Toronto until 2014, and was part of a group of community builders that helped build up the scene. I was merely the scene’s court jester; the true credit goes to David Crow, who is Toronto’s greatest tech evangelist. He deserves a lot of credit for why Toronto’s tech scene is bustling today.

One of our big achievements was DemoCamp, a “show and tell” for local techies where you could present the project you were working on, personal or commercial, to an audience of your peers. There were only a couple of simple rules:

  1. There’s a time limit (originally 15 minutes, but eventually cut down to 5).
  2. No slides allowed! The only thing you were allowed to project on the big screen was your software in action.
  3. You had to take 5 minutes of questions afterward.

The first DemoCamp was attended by a dozen or so people in a startup boardroom in a converted warehouse. Only a couple of years later, DemoCamp grew so much that it was held in theatres and lecture halls that could hold hundreds.

Byte Club, a local YouTube channel at the time, did a piece on DemoCamp which captures what Toronto’s tech scene was like during those days:

We can borrow Toronto’s (and other places’) tricks

The PoweredUP Technology Festival, which took place in St. Pete in May.

Go read Create more value than you capture, and then think about how we can apply the Toronto tech scene’s experience to Tampa Bay and Orlando. We’ve got some of the elements in place already:

We also have challenges, not the least of which is that we’re three cities separated by a bay. The local low cost of living is both a blessing and a curse — it keeps expenses down, but it also keeps salaries — especially the kind that keep bright tech talent — down as well. Part of what keeps Toronto’s tech scene cohesive is its transit system, and Tampa’s, to put it kindly, needs work. None of these is insurmountable.

During my time as a tech evangelist with OpenCola, Tucows, Microsoft, Shopify, and GSG from 2000 through 2014, I’ve seen and helped a number of tech scenes cities in Canada and the U.S. take form. Now that I live in Tampa, I’d like to help do the same here. Watch for me in 2018: I’ll be doing my part in the Tampa Bay-and-beyond tech scenes, helping out, spreading the word, and lending my experience wherever I can. I hope that you’ll do the same.

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Every week, I compile a list of events for developers, technologists, nerds, and tech entrepreneurs in and around the Tampa Bay area. We’ve got a lot of events going on this week, and here they are!

Do you have an tech or entrepreneurial event in or around the Tampa Bay area that you’d like to see listed here? Drop me a line about it at joey@globalnerdy.com!

Monday, December 11

Tuesday, December 12

Wednesday, December 13

Thursday, December 14

Friday, December 15

Saturday, December 16

Sunday, December 17

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Every week, I compile a list of events for developers, technologists, nerds, and tech entrepreneurs in and around the Tampa Bay area. We’ve got a lot of events going on this week, and here they are!

Do you have an tech or entrepreneurial event in or around the Tampa Bay area that you’d like to see listed here? Drop me a line about it at joey@globalnerdy.com!

Monday, December 4

Tuesday, December 5

Wednesday, December 6

Thursday, December 7

Friday, December 8

Saturday, December 9

Sunday, December 10

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Tampa Bay Tech Events — Week of Monday Nov. 27 through Sunday, Dec. 3, 2017 — Photo of Amelie Arena with lightning in the sky

Every week, I compile a list of events for developers, technologists, nerds, and tech entrepreneurs in and around the Tampa Bay area. We’ve got a lot of events going on this week, and here they are!

Do you have an tech or entrepreneurial event in or around the Tampa Bay area that you’d like to see listed here? Drop me a line about it at joey@globalnerdy.com!

Monday, November 27

Tuesday, November 28

Wednesday, November 29

Thursday, November 30

Friday, December 1

Saturday, December 2

Sunday, December 3

 

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Every week, I compile a list of events for developers, technologists, nerds, and tech entrepreneurs in and around the Tampa Bay area. We’ve got a lot of events going on this week, and here they are!

Do you have an tech or entrepreneurial event in or around the Tampa Bay area that you’d like to see listed here? Drop me a line about it at joey@globalnerdy.com!

Monday

 

 

Tuesday

 

 

Wednesday

 

Thursday

Thursday is Thanksgiving, so take these listings, which appear on Meetup.com with a grain of salt. I recommend that you check with either the meetup organizer or the venue to see if they’re actually taking place that day.

Friday

As far as I can tell, there aren’t any public tech, nerd, or entrepreneurial gatherings on Black Friday that i’m aware of. Have a great day off, and if you’re hitting the stores, stay safe!

Saturday

Sunday

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If you’re interested in iOS development and are looking for a conference to attend next year, I highly recommend RWDevCon, the all-tutorial, mostly-iOS conference run by the fine people at the tutorial site RayWenderlich.com!

It takes place during April 5 through 7, 2018 in Alexandria, Virginia, and will feature…

…four in-depth workshops…

  1. Swift algorithms: build your own collection type, and while doing so, dive into the semantics, performance, and expectations of each Swift collection protocol. Then you’ll explore ways to write your code that takes advantage of this new knowledge.
  2. Machine learning: A hands-on workshop where you’ll harness CoreML and Vision framework and find out what machine learning is, train a model, and then integrate it into an app.
  3. Practical instruments: Finally learn how to use Xcode’s instruments to see how you apps works, find out where the bottlenecks are, and boost your app’s performance.
  4. And finally, the workshop I’m giving: ARKit — where you’ll learn about the features of Apple’s ARKit augmented reality framework, harness data from the camera and your users’ motions, present information and draw images over real-world scenes, and make the world your View Controller!

…and all these presentations…

  • Living Style Guides
  • Swift 4 Serialization
  • Architecting Modules
  • Cloning Netflix: Surely it Can’t be That Hard
  • Auto Layout Best Practices
  • Clean Architecture on iOS
  • The Game of Life
  • Android for iOS Developers
  • The Art of the Chart
  • Spring Cleaning Your App
  • Improving App Quality with Test Driven Development
  • Advanced WKWebView
  • Clean Architecture on Android
  • Getting Started with ARKit (that’s the one I’m giving!)
  • Custom Views
  • App Development Workflow
  • Integrating Metal Shaders with SceneKit
  • Xcode Tips & Tricks
  • Advanced Unidirectional Architecture
  • Embracing the Different
  • Lessons from the App Store

…and a party every night…

…all in a great venue:

Want to find out more? Visit RWDevCon.com!

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Just after giving my presentation at DevFest Florida 2017, I sat down with the Brian Hinton and Fred Weiss from the Gulf Coast-based tech podcast Thunder Nerds to talk about my presentation, making the transition to showing up at an office after eight years of remote work from the home office, how I got into tech, and of course, how I work the accordion into my job.

It’s a fun 26-minute conversation with two great hosts:

My thanks to Brian and Fred for a great time, and to DevFest Florida for inviting them!

And remember, if you’re looking for new listening material, go check out Thunder Nerds! Here’s a sampling of their podcasts that I’ve enjoyed:

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