Colorado Tech Weekly #215: Another Week Where I Brag About 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!

I was born and raised in Colorado so I’m going to admit I am biased about this state. In the 215 weeks I’ve bragged about the Colorado tech community, I haven’t yet been proven wrong about the reasons I love bragging about the Colorado tech community. It’s open, encouraging, cooperative and successful. It’s great to see that view repeated by others in Colorado.

The other great thing is that the Colorado tech community really exists all over the state. It’s not just Denver or Boulder or just the Front Range. Check out the CTA’s Colorado Tech Tour events next week to see what is going on in the rest of the state.

Have a great week!

Top Colorado Technology News

  • Colorado to be first state doing check cybersecurity pros say everyone should do [Denverite]
  • 5 Colorado tech companies where your dev skills may be the perfect fit [BuiltinColorado]
  • Comcast to launch ‘internet of things’ network in Denver [DBJ]
  • Niwot-based SparkFun and Los Angeles-based myDevices partner to speed IoT project development for makers and engineers [InnovatioNews]
  • SolidFire founder launches Boulder-based Automox, a new cybersecurity company [BizWest]
  • Native Vs Hybrid App Development: Beginner’s Guide [Mobile-DI]
  • Where are they now? Checking in on our Top 50 Startups to Watch [BuiltinColorado]
  • Tech roundup: Stapleton’s new coworking space, Cartasite raises $7.5M and more [BuiltinColorado]
  • MapQuest is retiring its JavaScript Maps API [ProgrammableWeb]
  • Beyond the mountains: A look at what makes Colorado tech unique [BuiltinColorado]

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.

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Colorado Tech Weekly #214: On The Edge of The Skill Gap

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The closer I get to completing my degree (Spring of next year!), the more i focus on finding my first job as a software developer. I see it, it’s just on the other side of the gaping chasm known as the “skill gap.”

The Skill Gap is the gap between the need for developers and the amount of skilled developers available for those positions. Much has been done on the skill side of the gap with STEM/STEAM programs at high schools, code schools, etc. Those are great things and need to continue but I’m not sure how much they’ve really done to narrow the skill gap.

Just like with other creative jobs like drawing, painting, writing, becoming good at programming takes time and experience. More needs to be done on the company-side of the skill gap to allow companies to better use newbie developers. The tech legislation below looks like it might be a good start.

I could rant about the skill gap forever. It’s very frustration for both sides of it. Have a great week!

Top Colorado Technology News

  • Niwot-based SparkFun.com is getting a facelift [SparkFun]
  • Gardner, Heinrich introduce bipartisan tech legislation to address workforce shortage [CoryGardner]
  • Denver startup Josh.ai, co-founded by Tim Gill, picks up $8 million in pursuit of voice-controlled home automation [DenverPost]
  • From food trucks to team retreats: How 4 Colorado tech companies celebrate summer [BuiltinColorado]
  • With government funding, CenturyLink adds broadband service to more rural Colorado communities [DenverPost]
  • Boulder-based companies protest plans to end net neutrality [BizWest]
  • Arvada-based Prescient opens second manufacturing facility, moves headquarters to North Carolina [Prescient]
  • Boulder-based web company, Stream.io, raises more than $2.5 million [BizWest]
  • Behind Denver-based Photobucket’s unpopular decision to go from free to $399 [DenverPost]
  • Seal the deal: 3 tech recruiters on killer post-interview follow-ups [BuiltinColorado]

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.

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Colorado Tech Weekly #213: Local Tech Podcasts and Python Events

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!

Just over a year ago I tried adding a podcast to this blog series and found out that doing podcasts is hard. If your favorite podcast is updated inconsistently, it’s because the creator has realized just how hard it is to create and post podcast episodes. This week I wanted to point out 2 great local tech podcasts:

  • Colorado TechCast: This podcast is hosted by local tech enthusiast, Trapper Little, and  just started with great interviews by local tech community members. Trapper asked me to guest-host the show and although I REALLY wanted to, I just don’t have the time to participate and that sucks.
  • Turing School Podcast: This is a great listen for anyone who is looking to get their first job as a software developer. Even though the podcast is geared towards Turing students, it’s a great resource for all of us. Even this Computer Science student.

There are a few other good local tech podcasts, but if I start trying to list all of them you’ll never get to read the news. I’ve highlighted a few Python meetups this week. I have an AI course coming up in a few months so I’m curious to try out Python. It is a language used for AI, right?

Have a great week!

Top Colorado Technology News

  • Denver Comic Con 2017 Hall of Games [PewPewCat]
  • Alex Ford joins Boulder-based Fitbot [FitBot]
  • Major Colorado employer Vantiv reaches $10 billion deal for Worldpay [DBJ]
  • Colorado Technology Association Hosts Inaugural SheTech Explorer Day in Colorado [27Global]
  • Denver’s MassRoots acquires Odava to create one of largest cannabis tech conglomerates [InnovatioNews]
  • Denver-based Photobucket addresses complaints over new policy that charges heavy users $400 [DenverPost]
  • Mobile Apps + Birthdays + Animals = Awesome Radial Q2 in Loveland! [RadialDevGroup]
  • Westminster’s DigitalGlobe partners with SSL to build next-gen WorldView satellites [InnovatioNews]
  • NexusTek rallies tech community to support Colorado’s college-bound teens [CTA]
  • Louisville-based energy-tech company, Generative Technology Operatives, raises $300,000 [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 feedback@coloradotechweekly.com.

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Colorado Tech Weekly #212: DinosaurJS, Sharepoint Fest and Game Developers at Denver Comic Con

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!

I love reading event reviews mainly for the simple fact that I can rarely go to events. This week I am happy to promote local reviews from Cuttlesoft about DinosaurJS and from Greystone Tech about SharePoint Fest. Also we get a quick word about the game developers at Denver Comic Con from Denverite. It’s great! I love it. I hope to see more event reviews in the future!

Have a great week!

Top Colorado Technology News

  • Takeaways from DinosaurJS 2017 [Cuttlesoft]
  • Erik Mitisek leaving University of Denver to join IMA’s insurance-tech startup [DenverPost]
  • Tech firm TapInfluence bids farewell to Denver, moves headquarters to Silicon Valley [DenverPost]
  • From charity to passion projects, this is how 4 Colorado companies do hackathons [BuiltinColorado]
  • Microsoft gives $25.8 million to expand Colorado workforce training program [DBJ]
  • Ibotta expands (again!) by doubling office space in downtown Denver [DenverPost]
  • SharePoint Fest 2017 [Greystone]
  • A behind-the-scenes look at 4 of the coolest offices in Colorado tech [BuiltinColorado]
  • Denver Comic Con showcases a slew of indie gamemakers hailing from the Front Range [Denverite]
  • Behind the scenes with one of Denver’s most influential entrepreneurs: Luke Beatty [DenverPost]

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 feedback@coloradotechweekly.com.

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Colorado Tech Weekly #211: Not Just The Front Range, Serious-er Robots, Denver Comic Con

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This week is my occasional reminder to myself that the Colorado tech community is bigger than just those of us on the front range. It’s a nice thing to remember.  I’m very interested in Sphero’s split into Sphero and Misty Robotics. I’m looking forward to seeing what kind of innovative serious robots they can come up with.

This weekend is my yearly creative re-charge also known as Denver Comic Con! I always look forward to talking with talented artists, authors and game developers at DCC! If you’re going, lemme know. I’d love to meet you.

Have a great week!

Top Colorado Technology News

  • Denver-based Royalty Exchange lands $6.4M, adds music industry power players to board [BuiltinColorado]
  • The CX Academy at Lakewood’s Computronix [Computronix]
  • U.S. Senator Cory Gardner visits TechSTART in Freemont [CanonCityDailyRecord]
  • Advanced Industries Accelerator sends $2.9 million in grants to stir technology innovation in rural Colorado [DenverPost]
  • Tech Talk with Broomfield n.io Director of Innovation, James Holmes [n.io]
  • Recent grad? Land your first gig at one of these 4 Colorado tech companies [BuiltinColorado]
  • Boulder’s Sphero launches Misty Robotics for home and office personal robots [InnovatioNews]
  • Denver-based Wayin App Store launches partnership with preferred data enrichment partner, Denver-based FullContact [Wayin]
  • Lockheed Martin funds advanced space manufacturing lab at MSU Denver [DBJ]
  • 5 Colorado startups shaping the future of green technology [BuiltinColorado]

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 feedback@coloradotechweekly.com.

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Colorado Tech Weekly #210: ViaWest, Sphero and Revolar

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One of the things I like about being a tech-enthusiast with a blog over being a journalist is that i get to unabashedly be a fan of different companies and people. So here’s the reasons I’m a fan of the companies in the title…

  • ViaWest: When I first started learning about the Colorado tech community, I was welcomed by CTA. ViaWest is a big supporter of CTA. CTA was nice to me. ViaWest was nice to CTA. Therefore ViaWest seems nice to me. It’s like an SAT question.
  • Sphero: In our household we have a SPRK, a BB8, an Ollie and the Force Band for BB8. We are just fans of Sphero. Sphero is also committed to STEAM education with their Sphero EDU app which I’ve yet to dive into since they recently made changes to it.
  • Revolar: For those of you who don’t know, I don’t work in tech yet. I work as a 911 dispatcher for a police department. I know how important it is for responders to get your location when you have an emergency and I think Revolar is doing it the right way.

I rarely post 2 headlines about the same story, but the ViaWest story seems like a big deal. I hope they continue to support the Colorado tech community as much as they do now.

Have a great week!

Top Colorado Technology News

  • INterview with Doug Campbell, Louisville-based Solid Power and Longmont-based Roccor CEO [InnovatioNews]
  • Amazon’s Colorado rollout will see robots and humans work together at new Thornton fulfillment center [Denverite]
  • Greenwood Village IT company ViaWest sold for $1.675B [DenverPost]
  • Denver-based Notion raises $10M Series A to make homes — and insurers — smarter [BuiltinColorado]
  • Inside the deal: ViaWest CEO on Colorado tech company’s $1.7B sale [DBJ]
  • DBJ Offices: Tour Pax8’s high-energy space in the Denver Tech Center (Photos) (Video) [DBJ]
  • Boulder’s Sphero is about to release an app-enabled Spider-Man toy [AndroidPolice]
  • Throwback Thursday: 3 leaders reflect on tech in the 80s and 90s — and make forecasts for the future [BuiltinColorado]
  • Denver-based Revolar hires ex-Otterbox CEO as its new leader [DenverPost]
  • Denver’s Choozle wins Denver Business Journal’s #1 (Medium-Sized) Best Place to Work [Choozle]

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 feedback@coloradotechweekly.com.

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Colorado Tech Weekly #209: The Hardest Part About Programming Isn’t the Code

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I never turn down advice about job seeking. I don’t always get good advice, but if you listen then you’ll find that most good advice gets repeated more than bad advice. I recently found out about, and signed up for, an email series from experienced programmer, Ian Douglas, that helps job seekers understand the questions from interviewers. It’s a great series and I recommend it for anyone looking for a new job.

If I could go to any tech event this week, I would absolutely go to the Denver Java User Group talk about Gradle. Gradle seems like it’s probably a useful tool for Android developers, but for me it just confused me, got in my way and discouraged me from learning Android development using Android Studio. Languages are easy. Frameworks, developer tools, deployment tools and management strategies are the difficult parts.

Have a great week!

Top Colorado Technology News

  • Jack Forrest Joins Boulder’s Fitbot [FitBot]
  • Beyond the tech: Personal traits recruiters look for in their next developer [BuiltinColorado]
  • Why I quit my job to teach kids to code [DenverStartupWeek]
  • 5 startups using tech to make Colorado a healthier place [BuiltinColorado]
  • An Interview with New Denver-based Brandfolder CEO, Digital Media Executive Luke Beatty [Brandfolder]
  • Drones in firefighting could save Colorado tax dollars and lives [ColoradoPolitics]
  • From parties to company retreats, here’s how Colorado tech celebrates closing big rounds [BuiltinColorado]
  • Broomfield software company Conga dances to investment deal with Salesforce Ventures [DBJ]
  • Blind CU student blasts through barriers — and now aims to help others envision science and tech careers [DenverPost]
  • PewPewCat Goes to E3 2017 [PewPewCat]

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 feedback@coloradotechweekly.com.

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Colorado Tech Weekly #208: Are We Putting The Driverless Cart Before the Horse?

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Like everyone else, I think the idea of autonomous vehicles is a fun idea and I am amazed at the advances made every day in the technologies needed to make driverless cars happen. However I think the biggest roadblocks to driverless cars are the roads themselves. The markings, signs and rules are made for human drivers. I wonder what a road system would really look like if they were designed for autonomous cars and not for people.

I feel like I’m just blathering again, but there is a story about driverless cars this week so at least I’m on some kind of point.

Have a great week!

Top Colorado Technology News

  • Colorado Technology Association adds diverse group of eight tech leaders to Board of Directors [CTA]
  • Boulder-based traffic-solutions firm, Intuicom, lands contract for infrastructure in Superior [BizWest]
  • Comcast launches gigabit internet in Colorado at a 50 percent discount from prior gigabit price [DenverPost]
  • Colorado Springs-based Rim Technologies offering $1 million in technology scholarships [RimTech]
  • It’s official: Colorado passes first law to regulate driverless vehicles [DenverPost]
  • Broomfield’s Level 3 CEO to succeed CenturyLink CEO after merger [BizWest]
  • Your new career is here: 6 Colorado tech companies hiring this month [BuiltinColorado]
  • Thanks for five amazing years [InnovatioNews]
  • Denver vacation rental company, Evolve, raises $11 million; will relocate HQ and hire 100 [DBJ]
  • Boulder-based restaurant-app developer Splick-It raises $1.1 million [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 feedback@coloradotechweekly.com.

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Colorado Tech Weekly #207: Computer Science Electives, The Tech Job Search and Open Source

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 (Unless Monday was a holiday. I hope you had a happy Memorial Day!)!

I’m proud of myself for finally writing a blog post that wasn’t a Colorado Tech Weekly post. I need to do that more often. My latest post offers to let you design your own entry level developer by asking for opinions about which Computer Science electives I should choose this fall semester. I also wonder how much CS electives really matter to the people that do the hiring. Please let me know!

This week I’m highlighting the BuiltinColorado post about 6 tech companies that are really looking for developers. It’s an encouraging thing to see however I still think there’s a skill gap that can only be solved with time and experience. Looking at the jobs listed, it looks like getting my first developer job is going to be the hardest job to get. Although it is encouraging to see companies like Boulder’s NetApp advertise jobs for college graduates.

Next week I might actually make it to a meetup I’ve been wanting to go to for a long time.  I’ve always wanted to go to a DOSUG meetup because I want to get involved in open source development but jumping into a project without a mentor has always kinda felt like showing up to someone else’s garage with my own tools and a bewildered look.

Have a great week!

Top Colorado Technology News

  • Washington insurance technology firm, Vertafore, moving HQ to Denver and plans to hire 300 workers [DenverPost]
  • Google I/O Rundown [CardinalPeak]
  • Growing pains: How these Colorado tech companies stay connected as they scale [BuiltinColorado]
  • Galvanize, CU Denver announce new partnership targeting tech-savvy students [DBJ]
  • Boulder’s Sphero announces interactive race car based on Disney Pixar movie [InnovatioNews]
  • Boulder-based Tendril Networks raises $5M in capital [BizWest]
  • 2017 Go Code challenge winners focus on water, noise and farmers [SecretaryofState]
  • Broomfield software platform for local government, TownCloud raises $1 million [BizWest]
  • 6 Colorado tech companies brimming with software engineer jobs [BuiltinColorado]
  • The story behind Ibotta, Denver’s most popular mobile app, and why it needed to change [DenverPost]

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 feedback@coloradotechweekly.com.

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Design your own Entry-Level Developer – Which CS Electives Should I Choose?

Imagine that you knew someone who was going to graduate with their Computer Science Bachelor’s Degree in the spring of 2018 (*waves*). Now imagine you could help choose which Computer Science elective courses they chose (*waves and jumps*). What courses would you choose?

This fall I need to choose 2 Computer Science elective courses to complete my degree. I looked through the Regis University course catalog and found 18 electives that I could choose from. I was pretty excited at my choices. Since I only need 2 courses, I decided to narrow my choices down to 4 courses. I new there were likely going to be unavailable courses as well as changes to the Regis University course catalog. I chose:

Object-Oriented Programming using C++

Mobile and Enterprise Programming

Web and Database Programming

Enterprise Software Development

Then I emailed my advisor to see what was available. Reality and availability are cruel things. None of the courses I chose are available this fall. My options this fall are…

Computer Systems Security OR Database Management

THEN

UNIX Operating Systems OR Artificial Intelligence

Let’s take a look at how I feel about these courses to see if I can make up my mind…

Computer Systems Security

Everyone would like a security-minded entry-level developer, right? Having a background in the military and law enforcement I’m all for making sure the applications I create are secure. However that’s where my interest ends. I want to be a software developer, not an IT technician.

Database Management

I feel like I still remember much of what I learned about databases when I went to Westwood College. I like looking at the design of databases. This course would honestly be easier for me than the Computer Security course and I feel like I would get more out of it. OK, I convinced me. I’m signing up for this course.

UNIX Operating Systems

I have taught myself how to use UNIX at least 4 times in the past 15 years. I even used Ubuntu as my primary operating system for a while before my appetite for games and college courses convinced me to move back into the Windows universe so this would be a fairly easy course for me. This course is taught by the same instructor who taught one of my first CS courses at Regis so it would be nice to have my last CS course with her. However I think the best way to learn UNIX is the same way to learn any OS and that is by just using it consistently.

Artificial Intelligence

If you’ve paid attention at all to technology news in the past 5 years, artificial intelligence (AI) is one of the premier buzzwords being used. AI and machine learning are credited for systems like Alexa and Siri and chatbots and, of course, the imminent takeover of the world by robots. Do I want to be one of the people who is ultimately responsible for the rise of our robot overlords? Well when I put it like that, how can i say “no”? Seriously though, it sounds more challenging, and fun, than a UNIX course and the applications for AI are fun and constantly growing.

So after talking to myself, I’ve decided I’d like to take the Database Management and Artificial Intelligence courses. What do you think of my choices?