Categories
Current Events Tampa Bay

What’s happening in the Tampa Bay tech/entrepreneur/nerd scene (Week of Monday, August 2, 2021)

Here’s your weekly list of tech, entrepreneur, and nerd events — plus a little area tech news — for Tampa Bay and surrounding areas for the week of Monday, August 2 through Sunday, August 8, 2021.

This is a weekly service from Tampa Bay’s tech blog, Global Nerdy! For the past four years, I’ve been compiling a list of tech, entrepreneur, and nerd events happening in Tampa Bay and surrounding areas. There’s a lot going on in our scene here in “The Other Bay Area, on the Other West Coast”!

This list includes events that would be of interest to techies, nerds, and entrepreneurs. It includes (but isn’t limited to) events that fall under the category of:

  • Programming, DevOps, systems administration, and testing
  • Tech project management / agile processes
  • Video, board, and role-playing games
  • Book, philosophy, and discussion clubs
  • Tech, business, and entrepreneur networking events
  • Toastmasters (because nerds really need to up their presentation game)
  • Sci-fi, fantasy, and other genre fandoms
  • Anything I deem geeky

I’m moving this list to Fridays so that you’ve got more time to plan for the upcoming week. Let me know if this change works for you (or if it doesn’t)!

By “Tampa Bay and surrounding areas”, this list covers events that originate or are aimed at the area within 100 miles of the Port of Tampa. At the very least, that includes the cities of Tampa, St. Petersburg, and Clearwater, but as far north as Ocala, as far south as Fort Myers, and includes Orlando and its surrounding cities.

This week’s events

Monday, August 2

Tuesday, August 3

Wednesday, August 4

Thursday, August 5

Friday, August 6

Saturday, August 7

Sunday, August 8

Tampa Bay area news roundup

CBRE report: Tampa Bay’s tech workforce sees massive millennial growth

CBRE Group is the world’s largest commercial real estate services company, and as such, they follow the people who spend lots of money on office space. Remote work notwithstanding, a lot of high-value office space is used by tech, which is why they produce an annual “Scoring Tech Talent” report. The 2021 edition of this report came out on July 12th, and you can download it here.

Tampa Bay Business Journal’s summary of the report includes these observations:

  • Out of the 50 largest tech talent markets in the U.S. and Canada, Tampa Bay ranked at the number 10 spot.
  • Millennials — and remember, the oldest in that cohort are now in their early 40s — are seen as fueling the growth of tech talent, and Tampa Bay has seen a 14.5% increase in their number since 2014, which accounts for over 84,000 people.
  • In the report, Tampa Bay’s position dropped to 33 (out of 50 metros) from the previous year’s standing, 29th.

Tampa’s Washlava brings in new capital, CEO

Washlava, the Tampa-based “smart laundromat” company whose service makes it possible to reserve and pay for laundromat washers and dryers from a mobile app, closed $9 million in recapitalization and equity financing from Tampa’s David A. Straz Jr. Foundation and Jacksonville’s Monterey Private Capital. The press release for this funding also includes news that they’re taking on Tommy Hart as interim CEO as founder/CEO Todd Belveal is leaving the company.

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!

Categories
Hardware

Buying a used laptop for software development on Facebook

My new computer: A 2020-edition Acer Nitro 5 (i5 version). Tap to view at full size.

I have a new computer, or least one that’s new to me: An i5-powered 15″ 2020 edition of Acer’s “Nitro 5” budget gaming laptop, which I loaded up with 32GB of RAM. The grand total of my spending: US$600. I plan to use this machine (which is probably the most “dudebro” computer I have ever owned) mostly for CPU- and memory-thirsty developer stuff — Android, Flutter, Unity, Pygame, and machine learning — and mmmmmaybe just a little gaming here and there.

There have been times when either I or the scrappy startup where I was working was short on cash but needed one or more computers in short order. This problem was often solved with the judicious purchase of one or more used desktop or laptop computers. Secondhand machines offer lots of bang for the buck, but can be a dicey proposition if you’re not careful.

In this article, I’ll show you how to shop for a gently used machine that’s suitable for software development, will serve you for years to come, and will cost both you and the environment significantly less than buying a new one.

Why buy used?

The obvious reason is saving money, but it’s even more applicable these days because of the global chip shortage, which is a big enough deal to merit its own Wikipedia entry. As a result, inventories for any product with a chip in it have been drying up and prices have been climbing, especially where laptop computers are concerned. Here’s a quick sampling of some current news stories on the topic:

A McLaren P1 on 17 Mile Drive in Monterey, which is probably more car than most of us need. Creative Commons photo by “Axion23” and Tony Patt; tap to view the source.

Yes, the newest machines are quite often the fastest, most powerful, and have the latest features, but you have to ask yourself “How much of that do I actually need?” A computer with decent specs that was made sometime in the last few years can be a decent developer machine, or upgraded into one.

A secondhand computer is also a computer that’s not taking up space in our rapidly-growing junk piles. Let’s not contribute to our already huge e-waste problem — and when it’s time to really retire a machine, bring it to a place that recycles electronics!

(Hey, Tampa Bay techies: Your go-to place for electronic recycling is Urban E Recycling, who don’t charge for their service, and will even arrange to pick up your old gear.)

Why buy used and local?

Buying a used computer from someone in town has one major advantage: It gives you a chance to try it out before you buy it. Whether you’re buying from a store on an individual, you can look at it up close to check for wear and tear, confirm that all the keys and controls work properly, check to see that the ports are operational, and make sure that you’re about to buy a working unit.

There’s also a bigger-picture view: If you’re buying a used computer from someone local, you’re putting money back into the community, and more importantly, in the pocket of someone who needs it. If we really want to make Tampa Bay a tech hub and keep seeing stories about how techies are moving here and how we’re attracting technology workers in droves, we have to make the area a nice place in which to live. That means supporting the community — not just with lip service, but with what really helps: Your money.

Why buy used, local, and on Facebook Marketplace?

People have been buying used machines locally through Craigslist for nearly three decades, but these days, I’d rather buy stuff through Facebook Marketplace. It has a major advantage over Craigslist, and here’s what that advantage is:

Unlike Craigslist users, Facebook users have profiles. You can get a feel for the person you’re buying from or selling to, all before you even ask them a single question. You can see if they’re blank slates or people with an online history in words and pictures. You can even see what their friends are like. If they’ve sold on Facebook Marketplace before, they have a rating.

Facebook Marketplace also makes it quite easy to attach multiple photos for an item being sold, and provides you with a map of the general area where the seller is based. It also has the benefit of having a seller base that dwarfs Craigslist or any other platform.

While a Facebook profile isn’t a foolproof way for figuring out what kind of person is selling a used computer, it provides considerably more information than you’ll get from Craigslist before making contact.

Safety

I grew up in the era when teaching “stranger danger” was standard, so I was pretty amused when this joke started making the rounds:

In an age where it’s not unusual to get a ride or place to crash from a stranger, where the term “gig economy” is part of everyday parlance and everyone seems to have a side hustle, the idea of buying a used computer from a stranger doesn’t seem so weird anymore.

Still, as with Uber and Airbnb, you should take some safety precautions. Here are some recommendations from Yours Truly, who’s been buying stuff from local online people for twenty years:

  • Meet in a well-lit public place with power outlets and wifi that can by used by customers. It’s just safer, if maybe a little inconvenient, to meet someplace where other people are rather than at their place or yours.

    You’ll want to take the computer for a test run, which is why the meeting place must have power outlets and wifi that you can use. If you’re based in the U.S., consider using Starbucks or McDonalds for your meeting place; I’ll explain why these are good places to meet in a moment. If you’re fortunate enough to live in an area with a friendly independent “third place” (cafe, restaurant, or other business where people meet up) that has power and wifi handy — especially one where the staff know you — choose to meet there.
  • If you can, bring a friend along for the purchase. It’s a “safety in numbers” thing, and it’s even better when the friend has some expertise in the thing you’re buying. I’ve been “the friend” for these sort of purchases about a dozen times.
  • See what kind on “data trail” the seller has. As I said beofre, one of the reasons I like Facebook Marketplace is that you can check the seller’s Facebook profile. Check other sources too — Twitter, and LinkedIn, and see if they participate in local Meetups. Get a feel for them, and trust your gut.
  • See if you can pay using a payment app. Apps like Venmo, Cash App, and Zelle are relatively easy to set up, and it means that you’re not walking around with a big wad of cash.
  • If you have to pay with cash, don’t break it out until it’s time to pay. Waving around the kind of money needed to buy a computer can attract the wrong kind of attention, so don’t break out the cash until it’s time to pay.

The computer that I’m replacing

I’ve had “Stinkpad”, my personal/side-hustle Wintel machine, for the past eight years. It’s a trusty ThinkPad T430, the most popular computer in the ThinkPad line, which which was first released in 2012, and which I got brand new in 2013. I’ve since replaced its dying hard drive and upgraded its RAM to the maximum 16 GB four years ago. Despite its age, it’s still a decent office computer (which you can still buy new from Walmart for $300).

Over the years, it has performed yeoman service as Windows/Linux development system, playing a key role in all my jobs based in the U.S., from a brief gig teaching Verizon developers how to program in C#, all the way up to teaching Python and JavaScript on behalf of Computer Coach during the pandemic and my current role as a Senior Developer Advocate at Auth0. In fact, I wrote much of the technical exercise project of the Auth0 job interview process on that computer (you can read all about it in How I landed my job at Auth0).

It’s still quite usable for putting together documents, surfing the web, watching streaming video, and even doing some basic web development, but as Android Studio, Unity, and other tools have grown, they’ve been demanding more processor power. I’m going to wipe ol’ Stinkpad clean and set it up for my in-laws, who are due for a new computer anyway.

I’d been keeping an eye on a specific marketplace (namely, Facebook Marketplace) for a specific kind of computer that appears every couple of months, almost like clockwork (namely, sub-$1000 gaming computers that are no more than a year or two old). They often come with the original packaging, were used very little, and are typically the object of buyer’s remorse. If you live in or near a reasonably large-ish metro area, don’t need a computer right away, and are willing to do a little legwork, you can find a good deal.

Research

Windows 11 compatibility

If you’re looking for a used Windows machine, you should keep compatibility with the upcoming Windows 11 in mind. Its installer will do a compatibility check prior to putting Windows 11 on your system, and if it doesn’t meet the operating system’s new, stricter standards, it will refuse to install.

It would take an entire article to cover what makes a computer Windows 11 compatible, so I’ll just give you the broad-stroke requirements and point you to a few articles that go deeper into the details.

Judging from the list of processors supported by Windows 11 (here are the lists of compatible AMD, Intel, and Qualcomm processors), a good general guide is that any computer manufactured in 2018 or later should be compatible. If you’re looking at Intel-based systems, 8th-generation or later chips will run Windows 11.

Microsoft provides these general Windows 11 hardware requirements:

The computers I considered

Although I could get more power by choosing from desktops, portability is very important in my line of work, where I’m often doing presentations at different venues. That why I limited my search to laptops. I used to ignore gaming laptops, but the new-ish category of “budget gaming laptop” is turning into a great place to look for portable Windows-based developer machines.

Here are some computers that I considered buying:

Laptop candidate 1.

This one is an HP Pavilion 16″ gaming laptop with a 10th-gen i5 CPU and NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1660 Ti GPU that the seller wanted $1000 for. It sells for $1000 brand new at Best Buy, but the seller upgraded the drive from 512 GB to 1TB, and the RAM from 8 GB to 16 GB. The seller has since reduced the asking price to $950.

It’s nice, but I decided to look around for a better deal.

Laptop candidate 2.

If you’re in the Tampa area, are just getting started on your coding career, and need a good development machine, you might want to check out this deal on an MSI GP72 Leopard Pro gaming laptop, for which the seller is asking $400. It has great specs for that price: 7th-gen i7 CPU, NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050 GPU, and 16GB RAM. This machine will move easily from React Native to Android Studio to GTA V, but the 7th-gen CPU rules out Windows 11 compatibility. It’s still decent a decent machine, especially for the price, but I wanted to see what I could get if I spent a little more.

The computer I went with

The winning candidate

I did a double-take when I saw that someone a short drive away was selling a 2020 Acer Nitro 5 laptop. It appears on a number of “Best inexpensive gaming laptops” articles: PCMag’s, Laptop Magazine’s, Cnet, and TechRadar.

Like Loki, this laptop has many variants. Luckily for me, the seller was pretty good about posting the exact model number of the computer: AN515-55-55SD, which made it easy to look up its specs.

Here are the specs I cared about the most:

  • Processor: Intel Core i5 10300H (10th generation) running at 2.5 GHz with 4 cores and 8 threads.
  • Graphics: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1650 with 4GB RAM.
  • Memory: 8 GB DD4 RAM running at 2933 MHz, occupying one of two available slots. My plan was to replace it immediately.
  • Storage: 512 GB Western Digital SN530 solid-state drive. I might replace this at some later date. The laptop also has an empty space for an additional 2.5″ drive.

Video reviews

I consulted a lot of reviews, including the following video reviews.

The most helpful and thorough video review was one by “Meanpooh”, who did a fantastic job covering a lot of details about the machine:

Also helpful: Hardware Canucks’ review:

Bonus: Filipino reviews!

If you understand Tagalog (Filipino) — or more accurately, “Taglish” (Tagalog peppered with a lot of English), you might find the video below helpful.

This first one is titled Ok ba ang presyo?, means “Is the price OK?”. He’s not so impressed by the Nitro 5, but keep in mind that he’s thinking of it primarily as a gaming machine, while I’m thinking of it as primarily for coding. He’s also keeping in mind that it sells for 50,000 Philippine pesos (about $1000 U.S.) when the average salary there is 860,000 pesos (about $17,200 U.S.) — or for the average Filipino, 6% of their salary.

Here’s one by Laptop Factory’s Dustin Kwan, who’s a little more impressed, as I am:

Pricing

The seller was asking $600 for their Acer Nitro 5. A quick look around showed that I’d be saving at least a third by buying from him rather than retail:

Inspection and purchase

The coffee trick (or: Why I recommend doing the inspection and purchase at McDonald’s, Starbucks, or your local cafe)

You’ll want time to properly inspect the computer, which means you’ll need to “buy some patience” from the seller. The reason I tend to hold the inspection and purchase session at places like McDonald’s, Starbucks, or a local cafe is so that I can buy the seller a coffee or snack. This will keep them occupied while you conduct a thorough inspection of the computer.

You want to spend at least 15 minutes with the computer running. This is enough time to get the computer up to its regular operating temperature and catch any sign that something is wrong with its hardware, such as the cursor turning into the “hourglass” or “beach ball” too often, or sudden restarts and freezes.

The inspection process

The process of inspecting a used computer could take up its own article, and perhaps I’ll write it up in more detail later.

I brought the following to help me with my inspection:

  • Wired mouse
  • USB-C-to-A adapter
  • Wired earbuds
  • HDMI cable

I’ll explain how I used each of these below.

Here’s a quick run-down of my inspection:

Visual inspection of the chassis for scratches, dents, and other damage. I looked at the top, bottom, and sides for signs that the laptop had been dropped, or for excessive wear and tear around the ports.

Visual inspection of screen for damage, scratches or dead pixels. With the laptop off, I checked for scratches on the screen using my phone’s flashlight. I checked for dead pixels by quickly entering the following into Notepad, saving it as test.html and opening the file in a browser in full-screen mode:

<html>
<body style="background-color:yellow">
</html>

Opening and closing the screen hinge. I opened and closed the screen a couple of times, checking to see that the motion was smooth and noiseless. This is a laptop’s biggest moving part, and it contains the connections between the main board and the screen, webcam, and often the microphone. You want to be sure that this hasn’t been damaged.

Getting system information about the computer. On macOS, About This Mac is your friend. On Windows, System Information and Device Manager applications are your friends. They let you know what the computer thinks its specs are, and can point out any parts that might not be working or have missing drivers.

Use these utilities to check the processor in the computer as well as the installed RAM.

Check the OS version. This is less important, as you should completely install a fresh copy of the OS if you buy the computer. For macOS, you should be concerned if the computer is running anything older than “Mojave” (macOS 10.14, released in September 2018). With Windows, be concerned if the computer is running anything pre-Windows 10.

Check the system monitor. On Windows, you’ll want to open the Task Manager and open the Performance tab. On macOS, you’ll want to open the Activity Monitor app. In either case, you want to look at the CPU utlization when nothing other than a browser is running. If it’s significantly higher than 10%, something’s wrong — the CPU is laboring for reasons that can include malware.

Keyboard. I opened Notepad and pressed on every key to confirm that they were all working. I checked the travel on every key to ensure that it was smooth. Sticky keys or “bouncy” ones (that’s where you press on a key once, but the character gets entered twice or more) are a sign that someone spilled liquid on the keyboard. I also confirmed that the metakeys (alt, ctrl, and shift) worked. They keys hadn’t been used much.

Trackpad. I tested the trackpad for reponsiveness to regular “mouse” motions, as well as responses to swipes and clicks.

Wifi. I connected to wifi and ran a speed test.

USB ports. I brought a wired mouse to confirm that the USB ports were working. People may get concerned if you try and plug in a USB drive, but nobody objects to a mouse. I plugged the mouse into all the USB-A ports, and used a USB-A-to-C adapter to test the USB-C port. The fit in all these ports was tight, meaning that they hadn’t been used much.

HDMI port. I brought an HDMI cable just to plug it into the port to confirm that it wasn’t damaged or obstructed. I should’ve borrowed my wife’s tablet-sized HDMI monitor, which fits easily into a laptop bag.

Battery. I have such a low opinion of Windows battery management that I didn’t even bother to check the battery. When I use a laptop on a plane (and hopefully, that will happen again), I use a Mac. That being said. I should have opened up PowerShell and run the command powercfg /batteryreport. That runs Windows’ built-in battery reporting utility, which generates a report in web page form and saves it to your user directory. I ran the utility while writing this article, and here’s a screen capture of it:

As you can see from the report, the battery hasn’t been cycled very much — it can still charge up to 98.8% of its design capacity.

If you want to see battery info about a used Mac or iOS device, I recommend using the Coconut Battery app.

Speakers. I simply opened a browser and pointed it a YouTube to confirm that the speakers were in working order.

Headphone port. I brought a pair of wired earbuds with me. It turned out that the headphone port wasn’t working, but a quick look at Device Manager told me what I suspected: A driver was missing. One quick driver installation later, it worked.

Run some apps. Run whatever applications are on the computer and look for unexpected slowdowns or other unusual behavior.

Use your ears. Listen to the sounds that the computer makes. Do you hear a mechanical hard drive whirring? Be careful — these are slower, and being phased out. A mechanical hard drive can be used as a point for negotiating for a lower price. Listen for clicks or a grinding sound; both are indicators of a mechanical hard drive on its last legs.

Listen to the fans. Are they always spinning at top speed, or do they speed up or slow down as you start and stop using applications? Note that gamer laptops typically provide applications that let you control their fans, as their CPUs and GPUs tend to generate a lot of heat.

The only “hiccup” in my tests was the non-working headphone port, and that was resolved pretty quickly.

On the issue of money

💰 Ask for proof or purchase for the machine. If they can’t provide it, you’re going to have to make a judgement call on whether you still want to buy it or not. To be fair, I myself would be hard-pressed to find the receipt for the MacBook Pro I bought at the end of 2015, and the flea market guy who sold me my newest accordion didn’t give out receipts. But try to get that receipt.

💰 If you’re paying in cash, which I did in this case, count it out in front of them. Don’t rely on the seller to count it. There are all manner of sleight-of-hand tricks where a con artist can count bills and claim that you gave them less than you actually did.

Making it mine

A fresh copy of Windows

I was lucky that the seller had all the drivers for the laptop gathered into a directory. I backed up that directory onto a cloud drive, and then “paved over” the hard drive with a fresh copy of Windows 10 from a disc image.

Once I’d installed Windows 10 and confirmed that it was running, I reinstalled the drivers.

Ordering and installing RAM

It even has that new RAM smell! Tap to view at full size.

Tampa Bay isn’t like my old stomping grounds of Toronto, which seems to have plenty of little computer shops with all kinds of RAM on hand. On the other hand, it’s pretty close to an Amazon fulfillment center, who could deliver a 32 GB gaming RAM kit that afternoon. I had enough gift card points to get it for “free”.

I placed the order at about 10:00 a.m., and the RAM arrived at my front door by 3:00 p.m.. I wasted no time in pulling out a precision Phillips screwdriver, a spudger, and an anti-static wrist strap and got to work.

The dark underbelly of my laptop. Tap to view at full size.

I removed the screws from the bottom of the laptop pretty easily. The spudger came in handy for removing the bottom panel, as its fit is pretty tight.

The Nitro 5 has some pretty serious fans, as you can see. They’re controlled by Acer’s Nitrosense application:

The guts. Tap to view at full size.

Here’s the RAM I ordered: 2 16GB SODIMMs, which bring the laptop up to its maximum supported 32 GB of volatile memory:

The new RAM. Tap to view at full size.

I removed the original 8GB SODIMM and replaced it with the 2 16 GB ones. This was the simplest part of the process:

Installed and ready to boot. Tap to view at full size.

With the new RAM installed, it was time to fire up the computer, open the System application and confirm that the computer could access it. The operation was a success:

And now, it’s my primary Android / Flutter / Unity development machine!

Categories
Current Events Tampa Bay

What’s happening in the Tampa Bay tech/entrepreneur/nerd scene (Week of Monday, July 26, 2021)

Here’s your weekly list of tech, entrepreneur, and nerd events — plus a little area tech news — for Tampa Bay and surrounding areas for the week of Monday, July 26 through Sunday, August 1, 2021.

This is a weekly service from Tampa Bay’s tech blog, Global Nerdy! For the past four years, I’ve been compiling a list of tech, entrepreneur, and nerd events happening in Tampa Bay and surrounding areas. There’s a lot going on in our scene here in “The Other Bay Area, on the Other West Coast”!

I’m moving this list to Fridays so that you’ve got more time to plan for the upcoming week. Let me know if this change works for you (or if it doesn’t)!

By “Tampa Bay and surrounding areas”, this list covers events that originate or are aimed at the area within 100 miles of the Port of Tampa. At the very least, that includes the cities of Tampa, St. Petersburg, and Clearwater, but as far north as Ocala, as far south as Fort Myers, and includes Orlando and its surrounding cities.

This week’s events

Monday, July 26

Tuesday, July 27

Wednesday, July 28

Thursday, July 29

Friday, July 30

Saturday, July 31

Sunday, August 1

Tampa Bay area news roundup

Tech job boom in Tampa Bay continues as companies relocate to Sunshine State

“Hundreds of jobs are up for grabs in the Tampa Bay area, but one of the hottest markets right now is the technology industry. New companies keep moving to Tampa and that adds to the idea of Tampa as a major tech hub.”

ConnectWise signs big deal to move HQ from Westshore to downtown Tampa

“Tampa software company ConnectWise has signed a big office lease in downtown Tampa and plans to move its headquarters from Westshore to the urban core.”

San Francisco real estate tech firm opens regional hub in Tampa

“San Francisco-based real estate tech firm HomeLight has opened a regional hub in Tampa, marking a critical step in its expansion plans for the state.”

With defense industry businesses flocking to Tampa Bay, St. Pete Innovation District proposes new hub to city

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!

Categories
Current Events Tampa Bay What I’m Up To

Hanging out at Sparkman Wharf tonight!

Want to meet up tonight? Anitra and I will be joining friends from the Masterminds Tampa group tonight at 7:30 p.m. at Sparkman Wharf’s Fermented Reality Biergarten to catch up.

This is just a friendly gathering in the fresh air to see old friends and make new ones. I may be bringing the accordion, but the business cards are staying at the home office.

Categories
Career

Join my team at Auth0!

Now Hiring | Phillip Patterson Painting in Louisville

You might know that I hold the position of Senior Developer Advocate at Auth0 (see my article about out how I landed the job). What you might not know is that there’s an opening for a similar position on my team, and you might be my newest teammate!

Joey deVilla • #StopAsianHate • #BlackLivesMatter (@AccordionGuy) | Twitter
Yours Truly, captured during a Zoom call with the rest of the Developer Relations team.

What’s the job?

The official job title is Senior Developer Advocate. This job has two main areas of focus, namely:

  1. Developer education. This involves educating developers about identity in general and Auth0’s identity-as-a-service platform in particular. You’ll do this by:
    • Speaking at events
    • Creating live and pre-recorded video content
    • Writing articles, how-tos, and other instructional material
    • Editing other authors’ articles, how-tos, and other instructional material
    • Appearing on podcasts (or hey, even creating one!)
    • Working in any other creative medium to communicate about Auth0 and identity
  2. Community outreach. This involves serving the larger developer community by answering questions, listening to feedback, and being Auth0’s technical ambassador on various online venues, including discussion forums, chat applications, GitHub, social media. You’ll also relay feedback to other teams at Auth0 with the goal of improving the developer experience.

The job also involves working with related teams and programs, including:

  • Auth0’s Apollo Program, which encourages the developer community outside Auth0 to share their expertise by writing articles for the Auth0 blog. I myself have worked with a number of guest authors by editing their work and helping bring it to the Auth0 Blog’s sizable audience. And yes, writers get paid (and alsop get cool swag) for their effort!
  • Auth0’s Ambassador Program, which empowers developers all over the work to learn about identity and the Auth0 platform and then share that knowledge with their communities. Auth0 Ambassadors have access to travel support, exclusive swag, perks, technical skill development, and the Auth0 developer relations team.
  • Avocado Labs, our online show where we present topics of interest to developers or have guest speakers share their deep tech knowledge.

What qualifications are we looking for?

What qualifications will a successful candidate have? The job page has a bulleted list, and I’ve taken those bullets and turned them into the handy table below:

General skill Details
Software development 3+ years experience as a developer. It can be front-end or back-end (or hey, both!) in a programming language that’s either in wide general use (JavaScript, for example) or up-and-coming (say, Go and Rust).
Education You should be an educator at heart who loves teaching developers how to build amazing things. You must be comfortable taking complex topics and making them accessible to developers of different experience levels.
People skills You must enjoy serving the community and helping fellow developers get better at their jobs. The job will involve speaking in front of groups of developers at conferences and meetups, or online.
Content creation We need strong independent contributors, who also enjoy collaborating with teammates and multi-functional teams. Writing and research are important for this job — you’ll be the first to try new APIs and products, write code snippets and sample applications, and articulate ways they can be improved to make all developers’ lives easier.
Work skills You are comfortable learning multiple skills simultaneously and managing multiple projects at once, while working remotely at an organization that’s undergoing some big changes.

This is a community-facing job, which means that there’ll be travel involved once it’s safe to do so. It may take up to 30% of your time.

Candidates from underrepresented backgrounds often don’t apply unless they meet all the job criteria. Let me make it clear right now: We’re not using a checklist and considering only those people who can check every last box — instead, we’re looking for lifelong learners and people who can make us better with their unique experiences. If you think you’d be a great fit, apply!

Is this a remote/work-from-home job?

One of my offices.

Yes, it is! Better still, Auth0 has a home office expense and reimbursement policy that allows you to expense items for your home office so that you can do your job effectively. Simply put, Auth0 paid for my Autonomous adjustable desk and ergonomic office chair, pictured below:

What’s it like working at Auth0?

I often get asked “How are things going at Auth0?”, and my answer is always the same: They’re going very, very well. But don’t take my word for it — take it from the Forbes/Great Place to Work survey, which put us in the 100 Best Small and Medium Workplaces for Millennials.

According to the results of our most recent survey (in which I participated), the general feeling at Auth0 is that it’s a great place to work. 99% of Auziros (our own inside term for “Auth0 employee”) say so, which is well above the U.S.-based company average of 59%.

Here are some other stats on what Auziros said in the survey:

  • “I’m proud to tell others I work here.”: 100%
  • “When you join the company, you are made to feel welcome.”: 100%
  • “People here are given a lot of responsibility.”: 99%
  • “People here are willing to give extra to get the job done.”: 99%
  • “People care about each other here.”: 99%

How to apply for the job

Go to the Senior Developer Advocate job page, read the job description to make sure it’s the job you want to apply for, and then fill out the form on that page.

Super secret helpful hints: Everything you need to know to land the job, if you’re really up for it, is in my article How I landed my job at Auth0.

Want some insights on the job from actual Auth0 Developer Advocates? Check out these interviews on the Thunder Nerds podcast with these team members:

Are there other job openings at Auth0?

Yes — lots of them. Check out our Careers page to see them all.

Do you have any questions about the job or working at Auth0?

Feel free to ask in the comments, and I’ll happily answer!

Categories
Conferences Security

Okta/Auth0’s developer day: “Auth for All” – Tuesday, Aug. 24!

Tired of writing the login part of your application? Would you rather work what your API actually does rather than work on securing it? Want to know what identity, authorization, and authentication are, and how you can use them to create applications that give your users great, secure experiences?

Then you’ll want to attend Okta’s and Auth0’s virtual developer day, Auth for All, which happens on Tuesday, August 24! The theme will be “Build the future of identity with us,” and it’ll be a day of celebrating developers around the world while learning how identity empowers builders of all kinds to innovate.

And in case you were wondering…

The agenda

WhenSession
1:00 p.m. EDT /
10:00 a.m. PDT
Platform + Chat Room Opens
1:30 p.m. EDT to
2:15 p.m. EDT / 10:30 a.m. PDT to
11:15 a.m. PDT
Opening Keynote: Build the Future of Identity with Us

In today’s keynote, we’ll kick off Developer Day by celebrating developers like you building for the web, mobile, cloud infrastructure, and everywhere else code runs around the world. Then, lifelong hacker and security expert Alyssa Miller will share updates from the world of cyber security that will help you build your apps and infrastructure with
2:30 a.m. EDT to
3:00 p.m. EDT / 11:30 p.m. PDT to
12:00 p.m. PDT
Traveling Through a Secure API in Python

In this talk, we will see how you can use Python and Auth0 together to build your very own “Where Have I Been” map! I will walk you through all the steps we will need starting from scratch. From building the first API endpoints, protecting the endpoints that create new markers, all the data manipulation, and even deployment!
2:30 a.m. EDT to
3:00 p.m. EDT / 11:30 p.m. PDT to
12:00 p.m. PDT
Auth for IOT: Securing Your Smart Home

Have you moved into a new house and want to automate all the things? Sounds pretty cool, right? Just one tiny concern: how secure is it to use “smart home” devices? Should you create your own software to control your blinds? What about hacking your cameras? The world of IoT (Internet of Things) has so many options to choose from but very little guidance about how secure they are, and how you as a developer can prevent unauthorized access. In this session, we will go over what you can do with existing platforms like Alexa and roll your own DIY projects to lock down who can use them – YOU.
2:30 a.m. EDT to
3:00 p.m. EDT / 11:30 p.m. PDT to
12:00 p.m. PDT
OAuth: Past, Present, and Future

OAuth is the foundation of most of modern online security, used everywhere from signing in to mobile apps to protecting your bank accounts. Despite its ubiquity, there are still many misconceptions about OAuth and OpenID Connect in the wild.

In this session you’ll learn about the background and original motivations that drove the creation of OAuth, how OAuth and OpenID Connect are used today to provide secure online experiences, as well as the latest developments and future work within the OAuth and OpenID Connect communities.

This session will cover the many new RFCs that have been published since the original draft of OAuth 2.0, which both add and remove functionality from the core spec. These include OAuth 2.0 for Native Apps, Proof Key for Code Exchange, OAuth 2.0 Security Best Current Practice, as well as some in-progress and experimental drafts such as JWT Access Tokens, Rich Authorization Requests, and various Proof of Possession techniques. This session will cover the current status of this ongoing work and what you need to know to be prepared for the future.
3:15 p.m. 3:15 p.m. EDT to
3:45 p.m. EDT / 12:15 p.m. PDT to
12:45 p.m. PDT
Authenticating Your Next(js) Jamstack App
3:15 p.m. EDT to
3:45 p.m. EDT / 12:15 p.m. PDT to
12:45 p.m. PDT
Inclusive Digital Identity and Web Monetization for Earning Online

Digital IDs controlled by the users enables users to seamlessly onboard to any web app or platform. With Web Monetization, users can earn freely and spend freely from their digital Identity connected wallets. This talk with highlight two open standards, the Verifiable Credential Standard and the Web Monetization Standard and show how developers can build with them today.
3:15 p.m. EDT to
3:45 p.m. EDT / 12:15 p.m. PDT to
12:45 p.m. PDT
Seamlessly Integrate Identity Into Your APIs with Okta and Kong

Learn how to implement powerful new authentication and authorization scenarios with Kong and Okta. In this demo-heavy session, we will show you how to do sophisticated API access and API management flows with OIDC and OAuth – including how to plug in Identity into your CI/CD pipelines.
4:00 p.m. EDT to
4:30 p.m. EDT / 1:00 p.m. PDT to
1:30 p.m. PDT
Shift-Left DevOps for Your APIs with Okta and JFrog

With Okta and JFrog, strengthen your shift-left DevSecOps strategy by validating the security of your application’s REST API endpoints before you release to production and to your customers. Learn how you can use Okta and JFrog to automate the validation of your authentication and authorization policies for your REST APIs.
4:00 p.m. EDT to
4:30 p.m. EDT / 1:00 p.m. PDT to
1:30 p.m. PDT
OAuth for Game and XR Developers

Gaming and XR technology represent a wild west for identity security. The industry itself is one of the most highly targeted and breach prone in all of tech, yet security is commonly prioritized last. Often user experience is emphasised over security and best practice standards are not always a perfect fit for some target platforms such as consoles or headsets. With constantly increasing demand for interconnected experiences in gaming, growing reliance on cloud based backend solutions, and the increased collection of player data occurring as players become the product, security has become paramount for game developers. In this talk, we will deep dive into how game and XR developers can balance experience and security using the security best practice standard OAuth. We will discuss the basics of OAuth, designing experiences for different target platforms, and using a player’s authorization to interact with other cloud based backend solutions. This session is intended for game/XR developers, or developers who are interested in game/XR development, and assumes a basic level of development knowledge with related engines and tech. Existing experience with identity security best practices and OAuth are not required.
4:00 p.m. EDT to
4:30 p.m. EDT / 1:00 p.m. PDT to
1:30 p.m. PDT
Securing Authorization In Your Web Apps
4:45 p.m. EDT to
5:15 p.m. EDT / 1:45 p.m. PDT to
2:15 p.m. PDT
Closing Keynote with Cassidy Williams
7:00 p.m. EDT / 4:00 p.m. PDTChat Room Closes

Once again, I remind you…

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is auth-for-all-600x143.png

Register now!

Categories
Current Events Tampa Bay

What’s happening in the Tampa Bay tech/entrepreneur/nerd scene (Week of Monday, July 19, 2021)

Here’s your weekly list of tech, entrepreneur, and nerd events — plus a little area tech news — for Tampa Bay and surrounding areas for the week of Monday, July 19 through Sunday, July 25, 2021.

This is a weekly service from Tampa Bay’s tech blog, Global Nerdy! For the past four years, I’ve been compiling a list of tech, entrepreneur, and nerd events happening in Tampa Bay and surrounding areas. There’s a lot going on in our scene here in “The Other Bay Area, on the Other West Coast”!

I’m moving this list to Fridays so that you’ve got more time to plan for the upcoming week. Let me know if this change works for you (or if it doesn’t)!

By “Tampa Bay and surrounding areas”, this list covers events that originate or are aimed at the area within 100 miles of the Port of Tampa. At the very least, that includes the cities of Tampa, St. Petersburg, and Clearwater, but as far north as Ocala, as far south as Fort Myers, and includes Orlando and its surrounding cities.

This week’s events

Monday, July 19

Tuesday, July 20

Wednesday, July 21

Thursday, July 22

Friday, July 23

Saturday, July 24

Sunday, July 25

Tampa Bay area news roundup

The boomerang-worker boom

“Boomerang workers” — those who’ve returned to their hometowns to do remote work — rose with the pandemic, but the phenomenon shows signs of sticking around beyond it. For example, a large number of Tampa Bay natives have returned to the area after stints in bigger cities, bringing their contact lists and industry expertise with them.

Tampa emerges as a growing tech hub, but what does that really mean?

Over the last decade, the Tampa Bay Area has transitioned into a place that helps technology startup companies succeed, making it possible for them to show up on the national radar. Capital sources across the country have begun referring to Tampa as a top emerging market. 

Tampa serial entrepreneurs unveil latest startup with focus on real estate tech

iApartments was founded in 2019 and born out of the three co-founders’ experience working in the industry. Fiske is a founding partner of Unikey Technologies, which operated in the smart home industry. He also an entrepreneur-in-residence at the Tampa Bay Wave, a local startup incubator. iApartments CEO Dave Magrisso is the founder of Valet Waste, which is now known as Valet Living. Rounding out the team is Mohammed Syed, the company’s co-founder, CTO and former technology partner at AutoWeb.

Meet Spectrio, a 2021 Fast 50 honoree

Spectrio is an Oldsmar-based provider of customer engagement technology and a 2021 Fast 50 honoree.

St. Pete cybersecurity startup launches, raises $5M Series A

A St. Petersburg-based cybersecurity company has spent the last three years testing its technology and is now ready to unveil its platform — along with a solid funding announcement.

“We have spent the last three years to come out like a lion,” Code-X founder and CEO Darren LaCroix said.

The company offers a software as a service platform, which protects sensitive information across multiple environments concurrently. The platform includes video, email and chat functions that can work simultaneously without the threat of being hacked.

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!