February 2020

Hello, and welcome to another installment of the weekly What’s happening in the Tampa Bay tech/entrepreneur/nerd scene list! I’ve been putting together this list since 2017, and my goal was to give the Tampa Bay technology community a useful, convenient resource for finding tech, entrepreneur, and nerd events. Just as regular get-togethers of techies helped grow the scenes in my former homes of Toronto and Silicon Valley, I believe that bringing together the bright lights of Tampa Bay will help bring about the “Silicon Suncoast”.

Here are the coming week’s events…

Monday, March 2

If you’ve got Monday free and can make the drive to Orlando, you might want to check out Women in Data Science — a UCF gathering whose goals are to inspire and educate data scientists worldwide, regardless of gender, and support women in the field. It’s an annual one-day technical conference covering the latest data science-related research and applications. There’s no risk of a “manel” here — all the speakers are female. All genders are invited to participate in the conference.

Tuesday, March 3

If you hear the phrase “board game” and think of tripe like Monopoly or Sorry, you’ve been away from them too long. We now live in the golden age of board games, a era where they’ve gone well beyond the old “be the first person to make it to the finish line” paradigm and reached levels of sophistication normally reserved for computer games. If you’re looking for something different to do on Tuesday night, you might want to check out the board game nights in Brandon and St. Pete.

Wednesday, March 4

The topic at Wednesday’s Tampa Android Developers Group meetup is Android Google Maps. It’ll be a walkthrough of the Advanced Android in Kotlin 04.1: Android Google Maps codelab produced by Google. It’s in Kotlin — which you should learn if you want to do native Android programming (if you have a grasp of Java or any other object-oriented programming language, you’ll understand Kotlin). Bring a laptop with Android Studio 3.5 or higher!

Thursday, March 5

WITI’s (Women in Technology International) Geek Glam will be a great night out for a great cause! It’ll have a fashion show featuring models you’ll recognize from our local tech scene, a pop-up market, door prizes, and a silent auction whose proceeds will go towards scholarships for women in tech. It happens on Thursday at 5:30 p.m. at the Tampa River Center.

Friday, March 6

If you haven’t yet been to Café con Tampa, you’re missing out on the best weekly community event in the area. Every week, they bring a compelling speaker to talk about an interesting (and often important) topic at the Commerce Club in Oxford Exchange. For $12, you get a breakfast buffet featuring Tampa Bay’s best breakfast sandwiches, a great presentation, and the change to meet with some of the area’s movers and shakers.

This Friday’s Café con Tampa should be a great one — the guest speaker is Roberto Torres, founder of the Blind Tiger Café, who just opened a branch at Embarc Collective. He’ll talk about a pet topic of mine: Tampa Bay as a place in which to live, work, and play. I’ll be there, and I’d love to see you there as well, representing the Tampa tech community!

Saturday, March 7

Sunday, March 8

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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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!

Marc Maron is (sort of) right about Tampa, and that’s okay

Marc Maron, one of the stars of the Netflix series GLOW, a comedian and big-time podcaster (he’s estimated to get a quarter-million downloads per episode) was in Tampa last Saturday for his performance at the Straz. He faced some “Florida” weirdness — a couple in the front row got into a fight in the middle of his show and he had to talk them down — and had this to say about the area:

“Downtown Tampa, again, I don’t want to judge, but it looks like it halfway happened,” he said. “It looked like there was attempt at some point in time to kind of make it hip, to do something with downtown, and it might’ve happened for a month or two, or maybe a year, but it’s definitely on the other side of that.”

He was much harsher with Orlando, which he left as quickly as he could because “It’s only an hour-and-a-half to Tampa, but there was no [expletive deleted] way—no reason—to hang around Orlando.”

As for our own neck of the woods, I would correct one thing. Downtown Tampa isn’t halfway happened, but halfway happening. There’s a difference, and it’s a crucial one.

Maron saw a small slice of downtown Tampa for a small slice of time. He probably saw Tampa U from a distance, and he probably never saw places like Ybor, the various “Heights” neighborhoods, and all of St. Pete and Clearwater. What he saw was a static picture that doesn’t show what’s been happening over the past few years: the growth of the Riverwalk, the changes in Channelside, the revitalization of St. Pete, and more. His short visit wouldn’t have made him aware of Tampa’s rising food scene, its well-established beer scene, the new places that are popping up all the time, the numbers of people moving here, and the energy that these changes bring to the area. This isn’t “happened”, this is “happening”.

Keep that in mind as you read about other metros and their booming tech scenes. Things are happening here as well — not just on the big scale with Synapse Summit, Embarc Collective, and the Suncoast Developers Guild, but even on the smaller scale. Just look at my first “What’s happening in the Tampa Bay tech scene” post from a mere three years ago versus the list below to see how we’ve grown and changed.

In the end, the difference between “happened” and “happening” is up to us. So far, we’re doing well — let’s keep it up!

Monday, February 24

Tuesday, February 25

Wednesday, February 26

Thursday, February 27

Friday, February 28

Saturday, February 29

Sunday, March 1

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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What comments are for

by Joey deVilla on February 21, 2020

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In case you were wondering how long you could keep on using macOS 10.14 “Mojave” as a developer targeting any Apple OS, the answer is “not too much longer.” I was presented with the dialog box above when trying to run the beta for Xcode 11.4 on my MacBook running Mojave.

I was doing all this as part of updating The iOS Apprentice, 8th Edition, a great book for people who want to get started building iOS apps. It’s available in both electronic and dead-tree formats, and when you buy an edition, you get updates of that edition for free!

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Technology bias

by Joey deVilla on February 17, 2020

While reading What to Do When Machines Do Everything during lunch, I ran into the paragraph above, which proposes a technological solution to American students’ low academic scores compared to those of students from other advanced nations. I think it’s rather telling about the authors’ technology bias that they go straight to a tech solution rather than suggesting that it might be a good idea to borrow some ideas from the educators and school systems in those other countries.

Hey, I like tech as much as the next techie, but there are many times and places where lower-tech solutions are far more cost-effective.

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Me, looking at the code written by the previous developer

by Joey deVilla on February 16, 2020

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It’s going to be a busy week in Tampa Bay, with the Synapse Summit taking place at the start of the week. Even if it weren’t happening, there’d still be lots to do — the scene here is growing in leaps and bounds. Make sure you get out there, catch an event that interests you, learn something, and make connections and friends!

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!

News: Imagining possibilities

Synapse Summit 2020

Synapse Summit 2020 has come and gone, and the third iteration of the annual conference can be judged a success. With a reported 7,000 registrations, a great keynote appearance by Sara Blakely, and gathering the bright lights of the Tampa Bay tech and entrepreneur scenes in one place at the same time, I think it’s safe to say that it’s now a well-established regular ritual, and that’s a great thing.

In case you missed some of the local reports on Synapse Summit 2020, I’ve gathered a few below:

In all those conversations, I argued that It is true that the Summit is Tampa Bay’s tech scene collectively tooting its own horn. There’s nothing wrong with that. While it doesn’t directly solve some serious problems in Tampa Bay, it is a necessary piece of their solutions. Showcase events like Synapse Summit are necessary, because they show us, the region, the country, and the world, that great tech things are happening in Tampa Bay. They help us recognize the strides we’ve already made in the area, and encourage us to continue. They bring together our local tech scene, and create the connections and collaborations necessary for innovation. They make people beyond the Bay think “Hey, maybe I should make my way down to the Suncoast.”

Simply put, events like Synapse Summit lead us to do one of the most important questions in science, technology, and community: to imagine possibilities.

Tampa Bay Metro: The post that struck a nerve

Last week, I posted a map of a hypothetical Tampa Bay Metro system on my personal blog. Such a thing — five major rapid transit lines spanning Tampa Bay, Old Tampa Bay, and surrounding areas — will likely never see the light of day, but wow, did it get a lot of attention and response! With thousands of views on both my LinkedIn account and the blog, it seems to have struck a nerve.

I think it’s another data point for my Synapse Summit argument — sometimes, you need something inspirational, even if it doesn’t immediately solve any problems. I like the idea that the map is inspiring people to think about the possibilities.

View the post (and see a link where you can buy the map as a poster) here.

Ignite Tampa Bay 2020: Speak or sponsor; this is your chance!

If you have an idea — especially one that exists only in the world of ideas right now, but could be a reality in the future if we decide that we want to make it real — your chance to share that idea and inspire people to make it real is coming soon! Ignite Tampa Bay, which I like to refer to as “Tapas-sized TED talks”, is happening on Thursday, April 16th in St. Pete. If you’d like to speak or sponsor the event, go to the Ignite Tampa Bay site and sign up!

This week’s events

Monday, February 17

On Monday, OK! Transmit, the art and technology meetup in St. Pete, is holding the first of their Luminous Art Meetups, where you can learn how to build your own LED (light-emitting diode) circuits to create beautiful animated light art. You’ll need to bring stuff — an Arduino Uno, a laptop to program your LEDs, and a USB A/B cable — but the results will be worth it.

Tuesday, February 18

Suncoast Credit Union and the Tampa Bay Tech4Good MeetUp will team up on Tuesday to host a Tech Security Fair. The fair will feature 4 topics/tables include:

  1. Business Continuity and Disaster Recovery – this will provide plans to ensure your business/nonprofit survives in the case of a disaster, security breach, etc.
  2. End Point Security – volunteers will help you understand what malware and anti-virus mean, and give recommendations on what tools you should look into to protect yourself from digital threats.
  3. Password Management – you’ll learn best practices to ensure you have a password that will prevent being hacked, and learn about multi-authentication.
  4. Information Security – learn everything you need to protect your key information and platforms, such as your Data, Websites, Internet, Wifi, etc.

Wednesday, February 19

If your schedule doesn’t allow for after-work gatherings, how about a before-work one, such as the UX Coffee Talk on Wednesday morning? Meet the people at Tampa Bay UX Group and discuss usability, user interface, and user experience topics in the “lean coffee” format!

Thursday, February 20

High Tech Connect’s next get-together happens on Thursday at the Microsoft office. On the agenda are High Tech Connect’s new job board, along with presentations by Microsoft, MiSource (staffing), Atmos Effect (a . startup), and the Children’s Cancer Center.

Friday, February 21

Friday’s Tampa Bay Kanban meetup is about dispelling the myth that Kanban is only good for [ insert domain here ]. It’s actually applicable in all sorts of fields, and you’ll learn that it’s good for anyone who is overburdened and have lack of transparency for the work they need to do.

Saturday, February 22

Sunday, February 23

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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