Categories
Tampa Bay

Join me and the “State of the Tampa Tech Scene” panel on Oct. 1!

On Friday, October 1 at 10:00 a.m., join me and a panel of people from Tampa Bay’s most active tech groups in an online discussion of our growing local tech scene, where technology and Tampa Bay are going, and how you can get involved and grow your network!

The State of the Tampa Tech Scene panel is presented by Computer Coach, a Tampa based Tech school that’s been helping build the Tampa Tech ecosystem by training today’s talent and growing tomorrow’s tech pipeline.

The panel will feature:

  • HireUP Florida, who partner with local companies to host virtual hiring events in the Tech space, eliminating the resume from the hiring process and bringing Talent Acquisition professionals and job seekers together, face-to-face.
  • High Tech Connect, run by Daniella Diaz and Zach Duffy, is a local meetup founded in 2018, whose mission is to bridge the technology community by connecting organizations big and small with those working in the industry. They do this by hosting monthly events, allowing for the community to be nurtured in a casual and comfortable space of like-minded individuals.
  • Tampa Bay Tech Career Advice Forum, a local meetup for anyone interested in improving their Tech Career or starting a Tech Career. This group was founded to support IT professionals dedicated to enhancing their careers through continued training and development of both their hard skills and soft skills. Join their meetup by clicking here!
  • Tech4Good Tampa, a local meetup that brings together nonprofits in need of technology guidance, education, and/or troubleshooting AND technology folks interested in helping nonprofits pro bono with their technology questions/needs. Join their meetup by clicking here!
  • Pinellas Tech Network, a local meetup that provides monthly networking events where they feature tech industry leaders from around the Tampa Bay area, and internal Geographic Solutions subject matter experts. Join their meetup by clicking here!

The event will be online and free to attend — you can register here.

Categories
Uncategorized

What’s happening in the Tampa Bay tech/entrepreneur/nerd scene (Week of Monday, September 6, 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, September 6 through Sunday, September 12, 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”!

As far as event types go, this list casts a rather wide net. It 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

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

This list contains only events that are outdoors or online for the time being

Here are the COVID case graphs for the morning for Friday, September 3 for the area counties — Hillsborough, Pasco, and Pinellas:

Needless to say, these are all-time highs. With that in mind, I’ve chosen to limit the events listed to outdoor or online events. Be safe, be responsible, get your shots, and we can get back to those better numbers that we had in the spring and early summer!

Monday, September 6

Note that this is Labor Day, and that some of the listed events for this day may have been scheduled on “autopilot”. Double-check with the organizers to make sure it’s actually happening!

Tuesday, September 7

Wednesday, September 8

Thursday, September 9

Friday, September 10

Saturday, September 11

Sunday, September 12

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
Entrepreneur Florida What I’m Up To

Videos from StartupBus Florida 2019

I recently found the video above, which features an ABC Action News story that covered the “Welcome” party held for StartupBus Florida participants on the evening before our three-day bus trip across the southeastern U.S.. It’s been two years since that extended long weekend in late July 2019, and while COVID-19 ended any possibility of safely holding then event in 2020 and 2021, I hold out hope for a StartupBus return in 2022.

The 2019 edition was the 10th annual Startup Bus North America competition, which might be describes as “Shark Tank goes on a road trip”. It’s a competition that takes place on a bus ride where contestants (better known as “buspreneurs”) form teams, ideate, and come up with an innovative technology startup, then build a working application — all in the space of three days. While on a bus.

I could go on about what the team and I did, but I’ll let these videos tell the story instead…

Meet Team Hyve!

Here’s our first team video, which we recorded at the end of Day One of the bus trip at NC State in Raleigh:

Pitching Hyve to a stranger

One of our assigned tasks — on top of building a startup and the application that powered it — was to pitch our idea to a stranger in one of the towns where we stopped. We pitched the Hyve concept to the Lyft driver who took us from NC State to our hotel. Here’s how it went…

Practicing our pitch

In addition to building the business and the app on the bus, each team on the bus practiced their pitches at regular intervals by presenting to their fellow buspreneurs. Here’s Tracy Ingram from Team Hyve delivering our pitch as the bus raced towards New Orleans:

The qualifying round

The qualifying rounds took place on Saturday, July 27th at New Orleans’ Propeller Incubator, where all the teams from all the buses — the Advancing Black Entrepreneurs, Florida, Mexico, New York, Ohio, Silicon Valley, and Washington DC teams — made their pitches.

Every member of every team had to be ready to pitch, because in the qualifying round, the judges chose two people from each team to make their pitch, one at a time. They tend to choose the least confident-looking team members, and a couple of them already knew me. We did well, though, with Rina doing the “set ’em up” pitch and Tracy doing the “finish ’em off” one:

The finals

We’d have to wait until the next day to find out who made it to the semifinals, but we were among them! Even better, we made it to the finals. We re-worked our pitch for the finals judges with the help of the Florida Bus Conductors — Akira Mitchell, Nick Price, and Shane Needham — and here’s the result:

The winners

Once all the finalists made their pitches, the judges sequestered themselves, and shortly afterwards, they made their announcements, which included Hyve!

Just the bit about Hyve

Just because I love that bit about walking the line between good and evil, here’s just the part about Hyve:

Categories
Conferences Games Programming

Learn Godot Game Engine along with game designer Terry Cavanaugh!

Who’s Terry Cavanaugh?

Terry Cavanaugh poses with a Nintendo Switch.
Terry Cavanaugh.

Terry Cavanaugh is an indie game developer based in Monaghan, Ireland. His portfolio includes the commercial games  Dicey Dungeons

Super Hexagon (which is super-hard)…

…and VVVVVV (which is frustrating and maddening in the best possible way):

He’s also behind some freeware gems, including At a DistanceDon’t Look Back, and Tiny Heist.

What’s Godot Game Engine?

Godot Game Engine logo

Godot Game Engine is an free-as-in-beer, free-as-in-speech game engine for developing 2D and 3D games for desktop, web, mobile, and XR platforms.

2D game being designed in the Godot  IDE.
Tap to view at full size.

(In case you’re wondering, it’s pronounced “Go-DOH”, and the name comes from the Samuel Beckett’s absurdist play Waiting for Godot.)

3D game being designed in the Godot IDE.
Tap to view at full size.

You code Godot games in C, C++, C#, and their own Python-like language, GDScript.

Here’s the list of Godot Game Engine’s “pros” from gamedesigning.org:

  • Platform integration: you can easily upload creations to different platforms. If you want to get your project out easily and quickly, this is an option for you.
  • Constantly updated: The developers are hard at work updating Godot. Since it’s free, this is a pretty cool aspect, so I recommend throwing a few donations dollars their way!
  • It’s free: It’s completely free! No packages! No subscription models! No memberships!
  • Great User Interface: The UI is easy to use and read, leading to better and more comprehensive game development
  • Scripting: The ease of use for scripting is actually a lot easier than many different engines. They use their own invented script, titled GDScript. It’s easier to pick up and translates beautifully into finished projects and assets
  • Community and online resources: As I said before, the community for Godot is supportive and has a huge presence online. I got lost in a YouTube rabbit hole looking at some Godot tutorials videos alone. Again, I recommend the subreddit for engaging with the community and checking out the actual Godot site for some demos and tutorials for beginners.
  • Seamless Downloads: You can download it right from the browser and get going immediately with the self-contained program. Have at it!

How can you learn Godot Game Engine with Terry Cavanaugh?

Screen shot of Terry Cavanaugh’s “Stop Waiting for Godot” page.

“Let’s all learn Godot, next weekend!” wrote Terry Cavanaugh on this page. “Sometimes the word ‘game jam’ means competition, but that’s not really the vibe I’m going for here. There’s no judging, and nobody is going to win. Or, if you prefer, as they say over at Ludum Dare, your game is your prize.”

That’s the plan — he’s going to learn Godot by building a game, and he’s inviting people to come along for the ride. You can even build one as he builds one.

I think I’ll check it out. It sounds like fun, and might be a interesting way to put my recently-acquired gaming laptop through some new paces.

The details

Categories
Uncategorized

Tampa #1 on Forbes’ list of emerging tech cities (and other Tampa tech news)

Tampa is the #1 city on Forbes’ list of emerging tech cites in the U.S.

“Tampa is quickly turning into Florida’s tech capital,” says the August 24th article in Forbes titled Emerging Tech Cities In The U.S.. “It has been exploding in the tech industry for several years now. There are over 50 software and IT companies in Tampa.”

In order, the cities in Forbes’ list of emerging tech cities are:

  1. Tampa (“Tampa is responsible for over 25% of Florida’s tech jobs, and there has been a massive surge in tech jobs in recent years.”)
  2. Miami (“In 2020, two of tech’s biggest names (and wallets) relocated to Miami to make it their permanent home. Founders Fund partner Keith Rabois and Blumberg Capital founder David Blumberg moved to Miami.”)
  3. New York City (“It’s not entirely a shocker considering how New York City is one of the centers for everything. Even that underplays the truly momentous amount of technological innovation that’s come out of that city in recent years.”)
  4. Austin (“It’s another city that’s been blowing up for the past few years as a result of an influx of tech talent.”)
  5. San Francisco (“You simply cannot comment on the current tech scene without considering its most famous, iconic setting.”)

12 Things You May Be Doing Wrong in Your Job Search (Tuesday @ 10:00 a.m., online)

When a job search starts to get frustrating, it may be that you’re making a few missteps. Find out if that’s the case at this Computer Coach workshop, 12 Things You May Be Doing Wrong in Your Job Search. Their workshops are always free, and Computer Coach are always helpful! (They’ve even helped me out.)

Tampa veterans use technology, connections to help Afghans evacuate

Quiet Professionals (whose name is derived from the sobriquet for the Green Berets) is a defense contractor based in Tampa’s Rocky Point, and they’re doing their part in Afghanistan with their OSINT (open source intelligence) dashboard to help people in Afghanistan find help and escape. You can find more in these stories:

You can also find out more on the Project Afghan Relief Fund site, and even directly help with a donation. I did, and you can too.

Tampa Bay coffee shops put tech to work to compete with national chains

Here’s a Tampa Bay Business Journals story on how three of our own local coffee chains — Blind Tiger, Buddy Brew, and Kahwa, all of whose brews I enjoy regularly — are competing against the megacoffeecorps with technology.

Give them some business! You won’t just be getting great coffee; you’ll also be investing in a local business, and helping the local area more interesting and less sterile.

Do you have mobile dev skills? These local companies are hiring.

A little while back, I posted an article titled So many Tampa Bay mobile dev job openings, so few applicants. The situation hasn’t changed much — there are still lots of local places who are looking for mobile developers:

Want to learn Android development or sharpen you Android dev skills? Join the GDG Suncoast Meetup and keep an eye open for their Android Study Jams, which happens every Wednesday.

I’m also looking at rebooting my Programmers of Portables meetup soon — watch this space!

Categories
Current Events Tampa Bay

What’s happening in the Tampa Bay tech/entrepreneur/nerd scene (Week of Monday, August 30, 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 30 through Sunday, September 5, 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”!

As far as event types go, this list casts a rather wide net. It 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

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.

With headlines like these…

…I’m limiting this list to online events only. In the age of broadband, Zoom, GitHub, and so many other ways to work collaboratively at a distance, it’s not that hard to meet online and do our part to help bring the pandemic under control.

This week’s events

Monday, August 30

Tuesday, August 31

Wednesday, September 1

Thursday, September 2

Friday, September 3

Saturday, September 4

Sunday, September 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!

Categories
Hardware Humor

A helpful hint if you’re selling your old gear

An actual item seen in Facebook Marketplace for Tampa. Even shrunk down, you can see that “like new” is a stretch. Tap to view at full size.

If you say that the (purportedly) little-used thing you’re selling is “like new”, you might want to give it a little cleaning before taking its picture.