If you’re taking advantage of the stay-at-home order to boost your development skills, I have something for you: a FREE tutorial that shows you how to build augmented reality apps for the iPhone and iPad using Apple’s ARKit. This tutorial has a full set of materials: a 97-minute video of the tutorial, a written step-by-step guide for the tutorial, as well as starter and finished code for both tutorial projects.

In the tutorial, you’ll build two apps:

Happy AR Painter: A Bob Ross-themed AR painting app that lets the you use your iPhone or iPad to “paint” in 3D space using geometric shapes that can be animated. Think of it as a much less expensive version of Google’s Tilt Brush!

Raykea: IKEA Place was one of the hottest apps when ARKit first came out. It lets you see what IKEA furniture would look like in your home! Raykea is a similar app that you can build, and you’d be surprised how easy it is to put together (probably easier than putting IKEA furniture together).

Here’s the tutorial video, which was shot at RWDevCon 2018:

And here are the tutorial materials:

Give the tutorial a try, and if you have any questions, feel from to put the in the comments or contact me directly at joey@joeydevilla.com!


Hello, Tampa Bay techies, entrepreneurs, and nerds — welcome to another week’s list of area events with your expertise and interests in mind! I hope things for you are going as well as possible given our current situation. As recommended by public health experts and mandated by the mayor and governor, I’m listing only online events for the time being. I’m looking forward to the day when we’ll all be able to meet up in person, but in the meantime, go online and #MakeItTampaBay!

Monday, April 6

Tuesday, April 7

Wednesday, April 8

Thursday, April 9

Friday, April 10

Saturday, April 11

Sunday, April 12

No local online events are listed. This might be a good time to check out Pluralsight’s courses, which are free for the month of April.

Do you have any events or announcements that you’d like to see on this list?

Let me know at joey@joeydevilla.com!

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!


Pluralsight is making its 7,000+ video courses completely free for the month of April! If this is the first time you’ve heard this news, you still have 27-ish days to take advantage of this opportunity.

One of the nicest things about this deal is that you don’t have to provide a credit card number to sign up. They could’ve easily asked for it and counted on you to forget to cancel your account, allowing them to charge you on May 1st. Instead, they’re just letting you create an account with very little info and are hoping that you’ll like your course so much, you’ll choose to become a subscriber in May:

In case you’re curious, here’s a sampling of the Pluralsight courses I’m interested in:

Between the day job at Lilypad and finishing the next version of iOS Apprentice, there’s no way I’m going to be able to do all the courses I want over the month. I’m pretty sure that I’ll play sessions from the conferences in the background while working, and perhaps see what their Unity courses are like.

Be sure to sign up and see if there are any courses that you’d like to take for free!


The Essentials of Modern Software Engineering is an apt title for a book that helps you move from programming (writing code) to software development (the larger process, which includes requirements, design, testing, delivery, maintenance, and so on) to software engineering (bringing the discipline of engineering to software development, which involves repeatable, consistent processes, and a move to relying more on science than on craft). Better still, it’s a $60 book that’s now available for free right up to June 30th, 2020!

ACM logo

Who’s giving away this book?

The book is part of the digital library of the ACM — Association for Computing Machinery — one of the world’s first and largest professional groups devoted to computing. Founded in 1947, the ACM pre-dates the first time a thing we would consider to be a program was run on a thing we would consider to be a digital computer by a year! The ACM’s mission is to promote computing as an academic interest, science, and profession.

On Monday, March 30th, the ACM announced that they have opened their normally paywalled digital library to the public for the next three months as a way of supporting the computing community during the COVID-19 crisis. From now until June 30th, 2020, it will cost nothing to access the library or to download any number of electronic books from it. You can visit the library right now without having to log in.

Here’s the thing: the ACM is an organization run by academics, and you’ll see that as soon as you visit the library. Their books are more like university textbooks and less like “For loops for Dummies”. Still, there are a few books in the library that you’ll find useful even if you aren’t looking for works to cite for your Ph.D. dissertation. The Essentials of Modern Software Engineering is one of these books.

Why should you get this book?

Most books on development these days focus on what I call the mechanics of building software: the vocabulary and syntax of programming languages, how-tos from programming tools, frameworks, and libraries, and the technologies and techniques for getting a specific kind of functionality into the applications you’re writing.

Fewer books and even fewer courses cover the larger process of building software, such as design, development,  testing, evaluation, and maintenance. Software engineering is not programming: It’s the application of techniques borrowed from engineering to craft complete solutions, of which software is a part.

The Essentials of Modern Software Engineering provides a good introduction — or for those of us who took the course long ago, a good refresher — to the topic.

Who should read this book?

  • If you’re a computer science major: Software engineering is a key course in just about every university’s computer science degree program. This is because it’s part of a recommended standard computer science curriculum developed by the ACM and IEEE (Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers). The Essentials of Modern Software Engineering is one of the most up-to-date textbooks on the topic.
  • If you’re self-learning or in a code camp: Software engineering is one of those topics that gets missed in the code schools and courses, where the emphasis is on a specific programming language and technologies and not the larger topic of the software development process. The Essentials of Modern Software Engineering is essential supplementary ready for you.
  • If you’re a junior developer: Are you on your first job, or perhaps the first couple of years in your software development career? Think of The Essentials of Modern Software Engineering as a way of gauging prospective workplaces or the place where you’re working, as well as a guide for what you should be learning.
  • If you’re a senior developer: What a senior developer anyway? Well, if the number of developers doubles every five years as it has been since the ’90s, it stands to reason that half the developers out there have less than five years’ experience. If you have 5+ years’ experience as a developer, you’re a senior, and you should treat The Essentials of Modern Software Engineering as a checklist!
  • If you’re a non-technical manager of a development team or project: The Essentials of Modern Software Engineering is pretty layperson-friendly and quite readable. You should at least skim the book for an overview of what’s considered better ways to build and maintain software.
  • If you’re in hiring or recruiting: You should skim The Essentials of Modern Software Engineering to get a better feel for the software development process. You might also get some insight into the sort of skills and aptitudes that developers, especially senior ones, should have.

Get the book now while it’s free!

In case you were wondering, The Essentials of Modern Software Engineering currently has a five-star rating on Amazon. Yes, it’s from 7 reviewers, but 7 high-quality reviewers.


Photo: A very still river on a sunny day, with the water reflecting the oak and willow trees on its banks. Text: Tampa Bay tech, entrepreneur, and nerd events / Monday, March 30 — Sunday April 5, 2020.

Hello, fellow Suncoast techies, entrepreneurs, and nerds! I hope you’re staying safe and sane while spending most of your time at home. Here’s this week’s list of online-only events for techies, entrepreneurs, and nerds based in an around the Tampa Bay area. I’m restricting this list to online-only events until public health officials have stated that it’s safe for public gatherings again.

(In case you were wondering about the photo above, that’s the Hillsborough River as seen from the park on Patterson Street in Seminole Heights.)

Some words of wisdom from the Tenth Doctor

David Tennant giving his “It’s going to be okay” speech on the BBC TV show “The Last Leg”, January 2017.

It’s always a good time for some words of reassurance, so are some from a trusted geek icon: David Tennant, a.k.a. The Tenth Doctor, giving his “It’s going to be okay” speech from January 2017 on the BBC TV show The Last Leg. It was for a different issue from a different time, but it’s still applicable right now:

It’s all gonna be okay. Trust me, I’m a Doctor. But it’s up to us to make it okay. It’s time to be positively rebellious, and rebelliously positive. As long as we stand up for what we believe in. Don’t give in to anger or violence. Look out for the little guy. Keep an eye on the big guys. Refuse to keep our mouths shut. And just generally, try not to be dicks. Every little thing is gonna be alright.

News Items and other links

This week’s events

Monday, March 30

Tuesday, March 31

Wednesday, April 1

Thursday, April 2

Friday, April 3

Saturday, April 4

Sunday, April 5

Do you have any events or announcements that you’d like to see on this list?

Let me know at joey@joeydevilla.com!

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!


Programmers — Before, during, and after COVID-19

by Joey deVilla on March 26, 2020

It is nice work if you can get it.

Thanks to Kristan Uccello for the find!


Next Tuesday is Tential Tuesday!

by Joey deVilla on March 26, 2020

Banner: “Digital Transformation — The Driving Need” / Speaker Siddarth Rao, CIO of Axogen / 5:15 p.m.

Tential have been good to the Tampa tech community and me personally (during my own personal job crisis last year, which I’ll write about later), and they continue to be good, even when we’re all staying at home, and hopefully working remotely. Their goodness continues with the upcoming Tential Tuesday, which takes place online next Tuesday, March 31st, at 5:15 p.m.!

The topic will be Digital Transformation — The Driving Need, and the speaker will be Siddarth Rao, CIO, Head of IT and Digital Transformation of Axogen, a company focused specifically on the science, development and commercialization of technologies for peripheral nerve regeneration and repair. I assume that “Axogen” gets its name from axon (a nerve fiber) and regeneration.

Sign up for the online event; they’ll post the Zoom link soon.

I’ll see you there! In the meantime, here’s the Tential Tuesday jingle, which I performed at BarCamp Tampa Bay: