Colorado Tech Weekly #287: Space, Games, Payments, Public Safety, Tech and Holiday Parties

Colorado Tech Weekly brings you the top 10  technology stories of the past week and the best upcoming local tech events every Monday morning!

The startup I work for (I keep wanting to say “My company” but I don’t want people to think I’m in charge) has hired a Front-End Engineer and he will be the first employee we hire with less experience than I have which is pretty exciting. We are still hiring for a full stack .NET engineer and a software implementation engineer. Infinicept is a very small company so we don’t have a single person to do recruiting and hiring, we just have us and it’s made me appreciate what work is done by a good “people person”. It’s also a great place to work (although I’m admittedly biased)!!

This week I am struck by the biases I show in the articles I share each week. Some of that bias is explicit. This series is called “Colorado Tech Weekly” so it is obviously going to only share news and events that have to do with Colorado and technology, but my other biases are not explicit so here are my biases I am showing this week:

  • If your news or event is about space or gaming I’m more likely to share those articles for no other reason than I think space is cool and gaming is fun.
  • I spent 12 years as a 911 dispatcher, so I will always be drawn more towards tech companies that try to make public safety easier.
  • I work at Infinicept where we make it easier for our clients to help their clients accept credit cards so I will be drawn towards payments-related tech articles.
  • “Tech” is a HUGE space to cover. Since I am a software developer, I will naturally share more software articles than other Colorado tech subjects. Also few things make me feel more programmer-y than making software for other people to make software.

I think it’s important to be aware and comfortable with biases when sharing information and I’m pretty comfortable with mine. This week’s events mostly have to do with holiday parties which is not one of my biases but still sound like fun.

Have a great week!

Top Colorado Technology News

  • Denver’s Rhodium Incident Management is changing how emergency managers plan for natural disasters [DBJ]
  • Denver-based Xero launches open banking API to bring financial data to businesses [ProgrammableWeb]
  • Littleton-made NASA spacecraft arrives at ancient asteroid its first visitor [DenverPost]
  • Women in tech to know: 6 more local leaders shaping growth at their companies [BuiltinColorado]
  • Marketer Iterable joins Colorado tech rush with new office in Denver [DenverPost]
  • Boulder-based Tendril receives investment from Rubicon Technology Partners to accelerate growth [InnovatioNews]
  • Denver’s Ping Identity previews new product for app developers [InnovatioNews]
  • Denver-based Slalom reimagines how companies build software and technology with launch of Slalom Build [DigitalColorado]
  • Boulder sports tech company TeamSnap sees big upside with payments [DBJ]
  • Denver’s Greystone Gives Back: Volunteering with The Denver Rescue Mission [GreystoneTechnology]

Top Upcoming Events

Thank you for reading!

If you know of any other good news stories or sources about tech in Colorado or if you have any news stories or opinions of your own about Colorado tech, email me at COTechWeekly@Gmail.com.

You can subscribe to all my posts by email.
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Colorado Tech Weekly #286: Space is Still Cool. Hiring is Still Happening

Colorado Tech Weekly brings you the top 10  technology stories of the past week and the best upcoming local tech events every Monday morning!

The startup I work for (I keep wanting to say “My company” but I don’t want people to think I’m in charge) has hired a Front-End Engineer and he will be the first employee we hire with less experience than I have which is pretty exciting. We are still hiring for a full stack .NET engineer and a software implementation engineer. Infinicept is a very small company so we don’t have a single person to do recruiting and hiring, we just have us and it’s made me appreciate what work is done by a good “people person”. It’s also a great place to work (although I’m admittedly biased)!!

Speaking of hiring, I had the person behind the Randori Security Twitter account reach out to say that they are hiring engineers. Check them out at www.randori.com. Maybe I should consider adding a “Hiring” or “Job Postings” section?

Last week, Insight landed on Mars after being built in Colorado. That’s just awesome. I will always be excited by stories and tech that have to do with space. It just feels cooler when cool things are doing cool things outside our atmosphere. Now we have companies working on a moon program?! That’s so cool!!

Speaking of cool, Tuesday is my one year anniversary at Infinicept! My software career will be able to be measured by years now!

Have a great week!

Top Colorado Technology News

  • Colorado-built Lockheed Martin spacecraft succeeds in NASA Mars landing [InnovatioNews]
  • National Cybersecurity Center in Colorado Springs expanding role in cyber competitions [CSGazette]
  • Douglas County’s Dish Network taps Colorado’s CIO as its next chief digital officer [DBJ]
  • How Denver cybersecurity company CyberGRX is spending its $30 million raise [DBJ]
  • Slack’s arrival is ‘huge stamp of approval’ for Denver as next big tech hub [DBJ]
  • Durango-based GitPrime scales up business to double its employees by 2019 [SCAPE]
  • Making spirits bright: How 5 Colorado tech companies give back during the holidays [BuiltinColorado]
  • 2 Iranian hackers indicted for ransomware attack on CDOT other agencies [9News]
  • California has Silicon Valley. Could Colorado become home to Aerospace Alley? [DenverPost]
  • NASA picks two Colorado companies for new $2.6B moon program [DBJ]

Top Upcoming Events

Thank you for reading!

If you know of any other good news stories or sources about tech in Colorado or if you have any news stories or opinions of your own about Colorado tech, email me at COTechWeekly@Gmail.com.

You can subscribe to all my posts by email.
Feel free to ‘like’ Colorado Tech Weekly on Facebook!
Visit directly at ColoradoTechWeekly.com

Denver Startup Week 2018 Review

Want to write easy content for your blog? Take one subject and write 4 blog posts about that one subject. Want to squeeze one more blog out of that onion of an idea? Take that idea and those 4 blog posts and put them all into one post to make it easier for people to find all the posts related to that one idea.

In this case, that one idea is the 2018 Denver Startup Week which was my first startup week. It was fun and felt like a good use of my time. Want to know more about my 2018 Denver Startup Week experience? Check out the posts here:

Colorado Tech Weekly #285: Code Schools, Open Source and Growth

Colorado Tech Weekly brings you the top 10  technology stories of the past week and the best upcoming local tech events every Monday morning!

As I look at my headline for this week, I think that could be one really great subject. I wonder how many code school students were able to have an easier time jumping into an open source project and how much growth that allowed for both the students and the projects. As a computer science student myself, I’ve always found the process of contributing to open source projects intimidating which is why I should probably participate in more things like Hacktober. But this isn’t what this post is about!

This week we have a cornucopia of news about the Colorado tech community despite the holiday that causes us to use words like “cornucopia”. We have 2 new entries into the code school space with one in Greeley and one in Denver. The growth of the Denver and greater Colorado tech community continues at a rocketing pace. And we have not one, but two open source meetups coming up on the front range! 

I hope you had a great Thanksgiving. Have a great week!

Top Colorado Technology News

  • Douglas County-based DISH Names Atilla Tinic Chief Information Officer [DISH]
  • Denver gov-tech firm Granicus not done buying companies after 4th acquisition in past year [DBJ]
  • Construction starts on future Madwire HQ redevelopment project in Fort Collins [BizWest]
  • 9 Colorado companies make Deloitte’s list of fastest-growing tech companies [DBJ]
  • INterview with Magued Eldaief Prescient CEO [InnovatioNews]
  • The Software Guild partners with the University of Northern Colorado to bring new coding bootcamp to Greeley [DigitalColorado]
  • Alpine SG acquires Loveland software company E-Courier [BizWest]
  • Boulder CAD software firm Frustum CEO on why he sold company for $70 million [DBJ]
  • WeWork-backed Flatiron School coding bootcamp opening in Denver [DBJ]
  • Tech firm Xactly moves into new downtown Denver office [DBJ]

Top Upcoming Events

Thank you for reading!

If you know of any other good news stories or sources about tech in Colorado or if you have any news stories or opinions of your own about Colorado tech, email me at COTechWeekly@Gmail.com.

You can subscribe to all my posts by email.
Feel free to ‘like’ Colorado Tech Weekly on Facebook!
Visit directly at ColoradoTechWeekly.com

A Guideline for Unit Testing After Development: Only Test Your Code

Not a real book

In a perfect world, specifications are clear and concise. Developers take those clear and concise specifications to write unit tests before writing the code that does the work. Then it’s red -> green -> refactor -> Bob’s your uncle you have good code!

In the real world, you could end up writing tests after the code has been written for whatever reason. After doing this poorly recently, I’ve come up with some of my own guidelines for unit testing:

  • If you’re doing too much setup, you’re testing the wrong thing: The first sign of too much setup is that you’re hooking your test code up to outside services. Do not test outside services in unit tests. Someone else already unit tested that service. You don’t have to do it.
  • Find the code that does the work, put it in its own method if needed and test that method: You’re testing code that likely was not written with testing in mind. Code that uses another library or service may be intertwined in the logic of the code you’re writing. Separate the unique logic that you (or the original developer) wrote into its own method then you only have to worry about testing that method.
  • If the method you’re testing must use an outside resource, abstract the outside resource into an interface: Let’s say the code your testing reads from a file or connects to an API or listens for an event. It’s impossible to test this code without that outside resource, but it’s also unwise to assume that the outside resource will always be available when the test is run. Abstract that outside resource into an interface. Then your implementation of that interface for your tests can point to a local resource that will always be there! Now your tests can run anywhere and your working code can still do its thing!

It all boils down to 2 main points. Make sure you are only testing your unique code and make sure the resources you need for testing will be always available no matter where your tests are running.

What are your tips for writing (or refactoring) code to make it easy and consistent to test?




Colorado Tech Weekly #284: Amazon Finally Makes a Decision and It’s Not Colorado

Colorado Tech Weekly Binary FlagColorado Tech Weekly brings you the top 10  technology stories of the past week and the best upcoming local tech events every Monday morning!

The startup I work for (I keep wanting to say “My company” but I don’t want people to think I’m in charge) is hiring for a front-end engineer/designer, a full stack .NET engineer and a software implementation engineer. Infinicept is a very small company so we don’t have a single person to do recruiting and hiring, we just have us and it’s made me appreciate what work is done by a good “people person”. It’s also a great place to work (although I’m admittedly biased)!!

After months of speculation, hot-takes and wild-ass guesses, the Amazon HQ2 search is finally over. I could not be happier that it’s over. I don’t even care about the decision made by Amazon.

Colorado was one of the many reported options not chosen by Amazon and I don’t have much of a reaction to the news. I’m not sure that having a big Amazon tech office here would make much of a difference. We are not hurting for smart, innovative people who want to do new and amazing things with technology. We will just continue to grow our tech community with our patented inclusion and I’m very happy with that.

It’s getting close to the holidays so events are going to be sparse. If you have a tech event or a meetup group you want to promote, now is the time! Have a great week!

Top Colorado Technology News

  • Centennial health tech startup MDValuate files for bankruptcy [BizWest]
  • Homegrown wunderkind also a savvy entrepreneur[GJSentinel.com]
  • It’s official: Amazon passes on Denver splits HQ2 between Northern Virginia New York City [DBJ]
  • Boulder-based Automox secures $9.3M Series A investment funding [Automox]
  • Denver fintech company SRS Acquiom acquired by private equity firm Lovell Minnick Partners [DBJ]
  • From hardware to software: How Colorado continues to innovate to fight wildfires [ColoradoInno]
  • WeWork-backed bootcamp coding school opening in Denver [DBJ]
  • Denver-based Ping Identity adds two to executive leaders team [InnovatioNews]
  • Facebook opens new office in Lower Downtown Denver [DenverPost]
  • 9 Colorado companies make Deloittes list of fastest-growing tech companies [DBJ]

Top Upcoming Events

Thank you for reading!

If you know of any other good news stories or sources about tech in Colorado or if you have any news stories or opinions of your own about Colorado tech, email me at COTechWeekly@Gmail.com.

You can subscribe to all my posts by email.
Feel free to ‘like’ Colorado Tech Weekly on Facebook!
Visit directly at ColoradoTechWeekly.com

Denver Startup Week 2018 Review (Day 4): Improv, Art, Startup Founders and Inspiration

Denver Startup Week is an aptly named week long convention about startups and technology in Denver, Colorado. Two of the coolest things about Denver Startup Week is that it’s free to attend and it takes place in different locations throughout downtown Denver. 2018 was the first year I was able to participate in Denver Startup Week. I have watched through social media in previous years but I was never able to go because I worked as a 911 dispatcher and never felt it was a good use of my limited vacation time since I wasn’t working in the tech or startup industry. But this year in working for a tech startup with unlimited vacation time and coworkers that are open to collaboration and new ideas so I was excited to see what I could bring back to my team from Denver Startup Week.

Colorado, and Denver specifically, is growing by leaps and bounds. One of the things that makes me proud about our tech and startup community is the inclusion that we practice and it was great to see that attitude explicitly called out during the opening keynote and supported by the actions of other participants and by the panel on Thursday. Because my fear is that we will move away from that attitude as we grow so it’s great to see that attitude reinforced during the biggest free startup conference in the world. (My Day 2 review can be found here)

Day 4

I started out Day 4 at 8am the Bovine Theater for an Improv Workshop for Developers and this sounds like the epitome of “ugh, really?” because it’s improv at 8am… for developers. It sounds like a cringy setup for a sitcom episode. But it was SO GREAT! It was hosted by 2 people whose names I forgot but the woman in charge makes her living by doing improv poetry which instantly made her one of my heroes because anyone who can make a living by doing something that is creative and fulfilling to them is a hero of mine.

My favorite takeaway from this session is the importance of respecting the existence of imaginary objects both in improv and in writing code. An improv scene falls apart when one person pretends there’s a table in the middle of the stage only to have another actor ignore the existence of that table. The same is true for code. If a developer defines an object and other developers do not use that object in ways that respect the original definition, the code is clunky and difficult to follow.

Now since this was my first Denver Startup Week, Monday was overwhelming and Tuesday and Wednesday were packed to the gills with panels so I decided to take it slow on Day 4. I took it so slow… (How slow?!) I took it so slow I only went to 2 panels. However I got to continue to wonder at all the positive changes to downtown Denver. I took some time to check out the trendy Milk Market for lunch which was very overwhelming and even stopped to check out an art gallery.

It is very important that inspiration is accepted from all sorts of places because inspiration is a funny thing and strikes at odd moments and affects you in unexpected ways. This is why many of the hardest programming problems are often solved while on a walk or in the shower or looking at art so I make a point to enjoy art both for just the pure enjoyment of it and for the inspiration it may provide. This installation was at the Robischon Gallery on Wazee Street in downtown Denver. The art has changed since Denver Startup Week but you should still check it out.

After taking my time and checking out a few sights I was allowed to hang out in the CTRL Collective co-working space before my last panel of Denver Startup Week which was about the stress of a startup. Since I now work at a startup, I thought this would be a great way to talk with other startup employees about the stresses of the industry. I was wrong. Instead it was a panel of startup founders talking about dealing with stress from the point of view of a founder which was still good to hear about. Since I have a bit of an entrepreneurial streak in me this was absolutely worth my time.

One of my favorite takeaways from this panel was from Finn Kelly when talking about imposter syndrome which is as prevalent among entrepreneurs as it is among software developers. Imposter Syndrome is when you feel like you don’t belong in the industry or position that you want to be in because you feel like everyone else must know more than you. You feel like someone is going to unmask you as an imposter. Kelly’s advise was that any time he feels that feeling he asks “Have I done something inauthentic to get here?” and if the answer is “No.” then he is not an impostor! It’s simple but I love it!

I also added a bunch of books to my “To-Read” list on GoodReads thanks to this panel. A lot of thinking about thinking goes into being a successful startup founder.

That was it for my 2018 Denver Startup Week. I bailed on Day 5 because my wife was off work that day and I’m mostly introverted so, after spending 4 days talking and listening to many people, I was ready to recharge. I hope I helped give some insight into a good Denver Startup Week experience and I look forward doing it again next year!




Colorado Tech Weekly #283: Earnings News and Municipal Broadband Decisions in Loveland, Aurora and Erie

Colorado Tech Weekly Binary FlagColorado Tech Weekly brings you the top 10  technology stories of the past week and the best upcoming local tech events every Monday morning!

The startup I work for (I keep wanting to say “My company” but I don’t want people to think I’m in charge) is hiring for a front-end engineer/designer, a full stack .NET engineer and a software implementation engineer. Infinicept is a very small company so we don’t have a single person to do recruiting and hiring, we just have us and it’s made me appreciate what work is done by a good “people person”. It’s also a great place to work (although I’m admittedly biased)!!

This week had definite themes! There were a lot of headlines about news about tech company earnings. You can find most of those headlines on the BizWest and Denver Business Journal websites.

Also with the election last week, northern Colorado seems like the best place in the state for municipal broadband and Aurora is also looking to get into broadband. I like this a lot as I see internet access as a needed utility that should be available to everyone.

Have a great week!

Top Colorado Technology News

  • Denver-based Registria creates millions in new found value for consumer durable brands [Registria]
  • Longmont gig-Internet signups exceed estimates [BizWest]
  • Recently acquired Denver-based SendGrid still isn’t making money despite Q3 revenue increases [DBJ]
  • Denver’s Angi Homeservices reports best quarter since merger [DBJ]
  • 5 takeaways from Dish Network Q3 earnings: Worst quarterly subscriber loss ever [DBJ]
  • Special Report: Colorado Technology 2018-19 APEX Awards winners finalists honored [DBJ]
  • Loveland council reverses decision, moves ahead with broadband [BizWest]
  • Voters allow Aurora to explore broadband services [SentinelColorado]
  • Erie voters allow town to explore broadband alternatives [DailyCamera]
  • Boulder-based Zayo stock prices slip after lackluster earnings split announcement [BizWest]

Top Upcoming Events

Thank you for reading!

If you know of any other good news stories or sources about tech in Colorado or if you have any news stories or opinions of your own about Colorado tech, email me at COTechWeekly@Gmail.com.

You can subscribe to all my posts by email.
Feel free to ‘like’ Colorado Tech Weekly on Facebook!
Visit directly at ColoradoTechWeekly.com

Denver Startup Week 2018 Review (Day 3): Meeting People Again, Not Asking Questions and Ibotta’s QA Strategy

Denver Startup Week is an aptly named week long convention about startups and technology in Denver, Colorado. Two of the coolest things about Denver Startup Week is that it’s free to attend and it takes place in different locations throughout downtown Denver. 2018 was the first year I was able to participate in Denver Startup Week. I have watched through social media in previous years but I was never able to go because I worked as a 911 dispatcher and never felt it was a good use of my limited vacation time since I wasn’t working in the tech or startup industry. But this year in working for a tech startup with unlimited vacation time and coworkers that are open to collaboration and new ideas so I was excited to see what I could bring back to my team from Denver Startup Week.

Colorado, and Denver specifically, is growing by leaps and bounds. One of the things that makes me proud about our tech and startup community is the inclusion that we practice and it was great to see that attitude explicitly called out during the opening keynote and supported by the actions of other participants and by the panel on Thursday. Because my fear is that we will move away from that attitude as we grow so it’s great to see that attitude reinforced during the biggest free startup conference in the world. (My Day 2 review can be found here)

Day 3

Day 3 started with another morning trip to the CapitalOne Cafe, but this time I was in the right place! I got to meet a bunch of great people who I have been following on Twitter who you can usually find running the Boulder Python Meetup as they talked about how to grow new developer communities with purpose. If you work with technology at all, you know that the hardest part about technology is people and even though developer communities (user groups, meetups, conferences, mailing lists, etc.) are centered around technology, it’s the people and how they treat each other that make the community. I want to spend more time learning about Python and contributing to the community just because the people involved are nice and smart, which is a pretty cool feeling! I also got to re-meet Jessica West and realized just how much I don’t expect people to remember me. I’m all for humility, but I think I take it too far there. I’m just gonna be excited to see people from now on and if they don’t remember me they’ll probably say something.

The next panel I went to was one of my few panels that were not in the developer track. It was a talk about startup culture and how to scale it. This is something I worry about at Infinicept because we have a great implicit culture and I want to keep it going as we keep adding people. So I was very excited to listen to Josh Ashton, Emma Bindbeutel and… the guy that moderated the talk and works at Go Spot Check but I forgot his name. I came away from the talk feeling good that we are safe keeping our culture implicit for a while longer however I’ll feel better as we keep growing to have our culture explicitly defined. I also came away from that talk with a lot of questions because it turns out that when I have a lot of questions but only the opportunity to ask one question my mind seizes up and I end up asking no questions. At least I wrote them down so I can ask them some other time.

My foray out of the developer track was short lived as the next panel I went to was about figuring out how to have quality code without having a QA team. The talk was by Kelly Shuster who leads the Android engineering team at Ibotta. Since my company also does not have a QA team I was very excited to hear how a successful company like Ibotta does this. The overall lesson of the talk was to have an open, honest process around development that is owned by everyone involved. One of the really cool things Ibotta uses is feature flags, a thing I hadn’t heard about before. I really like the idea of having a flag that can be used to turn a feature on and off! I also like that there’s a routine and a reason to the release process that is used and respected by everyone in the process. I need to take these ideas to my team because I think they’d help out a lot or at least get us talking about how we want to own the quality of our applications.

On the way to the next panel I struck up a conversation with a random woman on the 16th Street Mall Ride about software development, QA testing and the relationship between developers and testers. When I got to the panel about empowering diverse engineering teams for success, it was not what I expected. Jesse White from Bluprint was the lone presenter. He talked mostly about the challenges of going from developer to manager which was neat to listen to, but since I haven’t even reached my first full year of my software development career it was not really applicable to me. He made some good points and brought up good concerns and issues but those are things that I don’t need to worry about yet.




Colorado Tech Weekly #282: My Daughter Knows More About Quizlet Than I Do And GO VOTE!

Colorado Tech Weekly Binary FlagColorado Tech Weekly brings you the top 10  technology stories of the past week and the best upcoming local tech events every Monday morning!

The startup I work for (I keep wanting to say “My company” but I don’t want people to think I’m in charge) is hiring for a front-end engineer/designer, a full stack .NET engineer and a software implementation engineer. Infinicept is a very small company so we don’t have a single person to do recruiting and hiring, we just have us and it’s made me appreciate what work is done by a good “people person”. It’s also a great place to work (although I’m admittedly biased)!!

Tomorrow is Election Day so please make sure your vote counts!! Democracy works best for those who show up and if we all show up, it works better for us all.

Just as I was finishing up this post, my 14 year old daughter came home and asked if there was any interesting tech news this week. I find the tech news interesting every week or else I wouldn’t do this but considering she’s a 14 year old girl I wasn’t sure if she would find any of it interesting. I told her about Propeller cuz they’re a drone company and told her about PlayerLync because their early clients were professional sports teams. Then I told her about Quizlet bringing employment to Denver because I like bragging about that. “Oh! We use Quizlet all the time!” she said excitedly. It’s one of the tools her teachers encourage her to use. I had never heard of Quizlet before this week, so it’s neat that even though I spend much of my time reading about the tech industry, I can still have my knowledge humbled by my daughter.

Have a great week!

Top Colorado Technology News

  • Why Advanced Energy is moving 100 management employees to Denver [DBJ]
  • Quizlet online learning platform’s new Denver office could bring 300 jobs paying average annual wage of $156K [DenverPost]
  • Westminster-based Coalfire partners with Virta Labs to enhance medical device security [InnovatioNews]
  • CU Denver is Colorado’s only CIBER school. Here’s what that means for business. [DBJ]
  • Drone software company Propeller settling into Denver headquarters with plans to grow [DBJ]
  • Douglas County’s Arrow Electronics posts record Q3 earnings on sales of $7.49B [DBJ]
  • Denver-based Platte River Networks acquires Allen Technology Advising [PlatteRiverNetworks]
  • After CDOT attack Colorado CTO talks layers of defense [GovTech]
  • Denver’s PlayerLync receives $12.5M in new growth funding led by Volition Capital [InnovatioNews]
  • Boulder-based JumpCloud’s accelerating growth requires additional office space in Boulder [JumpCloud]

Top Upcoming Events

Thank you for reading!

If you know of any other good news stories or sources about tech in Colorado or if you have any news stories or opinions of your own about Colorado tech, email me at COTechWeekly@Gmail.com.

You can subscribe to all my posts by email.
Feel free to ‘like’ Colorado Tech Weekly on Facebook!
Visit directly at ColoradoTechWeekly.com