Colorado Tech Weekly #32: Overwhelming events and mobile contradictions

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

Well my first Built in Brews event was… overwhelming. If you are ever in doubt about the vibrancy of the tech startup scene in Denver, go to one of those events. Your doubts will easily be put to rest. I forgot how loud networking events can get. I also forgot how futile they seem when you don’t have anything to ask of or offer other people. I also learned that admitting ignorance to someone that is 10 years younger than me is much easier to do behind a keyboard than it is face-to-face.small-logo

Speaking of large, overwhelming events, I have signed up to volunteer for the CTA C-Level @ Mile High event on March 6. I also signed up to help market the event online, so be prepared to see me mention it a few times. The only other CTA event I’ve been to was the APEX Conference last summer, so if it’s anywhere as organized as APEX was, it should be a good time.

Local News

  • 2013 Colorado Startup Report: Over $1B Generated through Exits (infographic) [BuiltinColorado]
  • 4 Colorado cities (Denver, Boulder, Greeley and Ft. Collins) rank among nation’s 20 ‘best performing’ for jobs, tech [DBJ]
  • Colorado companies Dish and Westone win “Best Of” awards at Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas [InnovatioNews]
  • Boulder-based Rogue Wave acquires Klocwork to enhance code security and reliability [InnovatioNews]
  • Lockheed Martin secures $3.9M Air Force contract to continue tracking missiles, space debris [InnovatioNews]
  • Denver’s FullContact buys Latvia-based Cobook, adds contact management apps and 1M users [Xconomy]

National News

  • GitHub acquires Y Combinator Alum Easel, a browser-based web design tool [TechCrunch]
  • Forget trying to make money off mobile apps – App monetization to get tougher still, with Gartner predicting 94.5% of downloads will be free by 2017 [TechCrunch]
  • But make mobile games and you’ll be rich! – Mobile gaming could drive entire video game industry to $100B in revenue by 2017 [VentureBeat]
  • U.S. appeals court strikes down FCC net neutrality rules [Reuters]

Upcoming Events

Thank you for reading!

If you know of any other good news stories or sources about tech in Colorado, please let me know! Also if you attend any of the events listed, I would love to hear from you!

You can now subscribe to all my posts by email.
You can also now follow Colorado Tech Weekly on Facebook!

 

Colorado Tech Weekly #31: Do whatever you need wherever you want

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

I felt like I could’ve easily posted 20 stories, but part of the fun of these posts is narrowing it down to the 10 most interesting stories of the week. I’m really curious about the trend of the technology industry allowing us to work from anywhere. Whether it’s cloud services, coworking spaces, connected cars or wearable devices we are increasingly allowing (forcing?) us to work from wherever we want.

I am looking forward to my first Built in Brews event this Thursday. Since I like beer and I like smart, ambitious people, it should be a good time.

Local News

  • CES 2014: Colorado roundup with Logic Integration, Revolv, Dish and EnerPlex [TechKnowBytes]
  • Boulder-founded Elihuu positions for national expansion [BuiltinColorado]
  • Colorado coworking spaces create a statewide membership [BuiltinColorado]
  • Denver-based Wayin acquires Comenta TV to power on-air social media [BuiltinColorado]
  • Denver-based Cloud Elements makes a developer’s life easier with Documents Hub launch [BuiltinColorado]
  • Cloud service provider Peak, based in Denver, starts 2014 with $4 million and big goals [BuiltinColorado]
  • Boulder’s Ball Aerospace trims workforce by 77 jobs [DBJ]
  • Douglas County-based Dish Network drops out of LightSquared bidding [DBJ]

National News

  • Google announces Open Automotive Alliance to drive Android Into connected cars [TechCrunch]
  • CES 2014: Less Is more for smart watches and other wearable gadgets [TechnologyReview]

Upcoming Events

Thank you for reading!

If you know of any other good news stories or sources about tech in Colorado, please let me know! Also if you attend any of the events listed, I would love to hear from you!

You can now subscribe to all my posts by email.
You can also now follow Colorado Tech Weekly on Facebook!

 

Colorado Tech Weekly #30: Marijuana? CES? Drones? Colorado has a little bit of everything

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

It’s the first Monday of the new year, which means it’s back-to-work time. With Christmas and New Years Day being in the middle of the week, I can understand if you’re finding it hard to focus.

Looking at the headlines this week, it’s impossible for me to come up with a theme for the week. Colorado has a little bit of everything going on. It’s fun to be a part of.

My classes at Regis start back up today. This semester I’m taking Control Structures and a class on Influence and Motivation. Maybe I can figure out how to influence my code to do what I mean and not just what I say.

Local News

  • Andy Vuong previews CES 2014 and features participating Colorado companies [AllOverTech]
  • Denver-based Rivet brings in an old friend for new CTO [RMTechLine]
  • If I could cut the cord I would. Dish and DirecTV to raise rates in February, Comcast hiked fees in October [TechKnowBytes]
  • If you didn’t think the new marijuana laws would have a tech spin, you must be high – MassRoots building digital hub for multi-billion cannabis industry [Xconomy]
  • Innovation Pavilion, in Centennial, celebrates their 2nd Anniversary! [BuiltinColorado]
  • Aw, this would have been so cool – Colorado fails to land drone test-site designation [DBJ]

National News

  • Here’s What Mobile Industry Insiders See Ahead for 2014. Could my Amazon prediction come true? [Xconomy]
  • App development trends 2013: JavaScript, APIs and cloud computing [InfoWorld]
  • A Microsoft OS that isn’t Windows piques my curiousity to no end – Microsoft’s Midori: The M# connection [ZDNet]
  • CES 2014 starts tomorrow: 5 trends the geeks are talking about at gadget show and other news bits [TechKnowBytes]

Upcoming Events

Thank you for reading!

If you know of any other good news stories or sources about tech in Colorado, please let me know! Also if you attend any of the events listed, I would love to hear from you!

You can now subscribe to all my posts by email.
You can also now follow Colorado Tech Weekly on Facebook!

 

UX Discovery: Measuring My Success

My goal is to be working as a software developer before the year 2016. My website will help me achieve this goal by showing local tech folk my knowledge, skills and achievements. All updates to this project can be found on the main project page.

Measuring Online Goals is So Easy, It’s Hard

Measuring your goals for a website is so easy it’s hard. What do I mean by that? The internet is full of tools to measure and report metrics! You can measure any and every metric possible, but until you know what it is you want to measure, all these tools will only provide useless fluff.

I only looked into one analytics tool, Google Analytics. Truthfully, It does about 50 times more than I could ever possibly want to do, but it’s free and I’m already immersed in the Google world. Plus I was impressed with the really cool Google Analytics Academy that I got to use as an online, self-paced guide to learn about analytics.

Reviewing My Goals

I need to make sure I’m measuring information from my website that relates to my goals. Essentially I narrowed down my main goal into 3 main parts. I want to attract people who are involved in the local technology industry, because those are the people I want to work for and work with. I want to show off my work to the people who visit my site. And since I am not planning to complete my goal for another 2 years, I want to encourage visitors to return and see more projects.

My Measurement Plan

At the recommendation of the Google Analytics Academy, I decided to use Avinash Kaushik’s measurement planning model to measure my website’s success. Since my website is essentially a branding website, I decided to go with the goals that closely resemble a branding website such as driving awareness, engagement and loyalty. I will attract users, show off my work and encourage loyalty.

MeasurementPlan

I will attract visitors using social media posts. I will measure my success by using the Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) of the amount of visitors and the bounce rate for my landing pages. My target goals are 100 visits per month and a maximum bounce rate for my Colorado Tech Weekly (CTW) posts of 70%.

I will show off my work with blog posts and project updates. I will measure my success by using bounce rate as a KPI. My target goal for my non-CTW landing pages is 60% bounce rate. If you are interested in my blog posts and project updates, I assume you will be more engaged than the average CTW visitor.

I want to encourage returning visitors. I haven’t quite figured out how to do that yet, but I want to measure my success by comparing new vs returning users and by my social media interactions. My target goal is to have 33% of my users to be returning users. This will require some work.

Next up, I will focus on personas. It’s time to me to find out who my audience is so that I can adapt my content accordingly.

Colorado Tech Weekly #29: 10 news stories, 5 predictions and a cat

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

Well, it’s the end of the year and this is a blog so it’s time for either a review post or a prediction post or both! I’ll spare you a year-in-review post since I didn’t start this blog until May, but I will supply you with 5 bold predictions for the Colorado tech scene in no particular order.

  • Prediction #1: 2014 will be known as the year for the Internet of Things! Companies like Revolv and Rachio will be bought up by bigger service companies like Comcast or ADT.
  • Prediction #2: Dish Network will not be awarded with the Worst Company to Work For award, breaking their 2 year streak.
  • Prediction #3: Smartphones will reach an innovation plateau until a game-changing audio UI comes out, but that won’t happen until 2015. There will be curved displays, but no flexible displays. Handwringing will ensue.
  • Prediction #4: This may be more of a wish than a prediction. Responsive web design will become the norm throughout the interwebz.
  • Prediction #5: File this under “Go big or go home”. Amazon’s Fire OS will become the #3 most popular tablet OS which will cause HTML5 to finally gain some traction as a popular, device-independent language.

I’m curious to hear what you think of my predictions!

Local News

  • Denver-based Closely improves Perch mobile app to deliver better digital marketing for small business [InnovatioNews]
  • Denver-based Digabit releases Documobile, a mobile version of Documoto, for easy access to parts info [InnovatioNews]
  • Englewood-based Pixorial further simplifies photo and video sharing with new features [BuiltinColorado]
  • With CES just over a week away, CES chief Gary Shapiro and CBS still at odds after Dish awards controversy [TechKnowBytes]
  • Fore! Brothers from Fort Collins raise $15K for golf app [AllOverTech]

National News

  • U.S. Mobile Internet Traffic Nearly Doubled This Year [Bits]
  • Google Offers Developer Checklist for Building Better Mobile Sites [EWeek]
  • Canonical gives developers a preview of a dual-booting Ubuntu and Android future [Engadget]
  • Lawyers staying busy: Google asks US court to rule that Android has not infringed Rockstar patents [PCWorld]
  • Samsung now lets developers build Smart TV apps that can control home appliances [TheNextWeb]

Upcoming Events

Thank you for reading!

If you know of any other good news stories or sources about tech in Colorado, please let me know! Also if you attend any of the events listed, I would love to hear from you!

You can now subscribe to all my posts by email.
You can also now follow Colorado Tech Weekly on Facebook!

Happy New Year!

Happy new year kitten

Colorado Tech Weekly #28: Momentum

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

There’s a certain momentum to the Colorado tech industry. Can you feel it? It feels like it’s picking up steam and for once I feel like I’m not left behind. I’m not where I want to be, but I’m not far behind.

If the local tech industry is a moving train, I’m running to catch up and watching others jump on. In a year, I’ll be along side the train looking for a place to jump on and within two years I’ll finally be on board. As long as the momentum keeps building.

Local News

  • Town of Haswell gets new computers with Haswell chips. Residents go, “Meh.” [TechKnowBytes]
  • Want to work in IT in Denver in 2014? Robert Half Technology has good news! [RMTech]
  • Rajat Bhargava jumps into DevOps as new CEO of Boulder-based JumpCloud [Xconomy]
  • Charlie Ergen’s Dish Network really wants a wireless company, reportedly mulling bid for T-Mobile in 2014 [TechKnowBytes]
  • Is that a band in your pocket or are you just happy to see me? Denver-based Wimbo Music smartphone application lets musicians put a band in their hand [InnovatioNews]
  • Englewood-based Pixorial aims to simplify video and photo storage and sharing across platforms [InnovatioNews]
  • Denver-based Inspirato combines with rival luxury travel startup Portico Club and will add more staff in 2014 [BuiltinColorado]
  • Denver-based GutCheck’s crowdsourced marketing research propels expansion (Video) [DBJ]

National News

  • Global job growth for pro developers to slow, but it’s still growing [InfoWorld]
  • In a preliminary hearing, district judge mostly says NSA’s collection of bulk phone records is probably unconstitutional maybe [DBJ]

Upcoming Events

Thank you for reading!

If you know of any other good news stories or sources about tech in Colorado, please let me know! Also if you attend any of the events listed, I would love to hear from you!

I have a break in my courses at Regis until January. I am using that time to work on my own projects. During this break I am focusing on learning UX design and how to implement it with my website. You can find all my updates on my website design project here.

Colorado Tech Weekly #27: Always working. Usually focused.

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

December is over halfway over which means my free-time to do my own project is coming to a close. I had planned on spending my time learning the basics of UX design and updating my website. Well it turns out there’s a whole lot more to UX design than I realized. I’ve also spent a good amount of my time doing transcription for a client I found on Elance.com. I’ve learned some good lessons, just not the lessons I had planned on learning.

Local News

  • ColoradoBiz magazine names Westminster-based SpotXchange Top Company of 2013 [CTA]
  • Almost there, Sprint 4G LTE network launch in Denver could be “a few weeks” away [TechKnowBytes]
  • Never fun news. Beatport cuts Denver staff, closes San Francisco office [DBJ]
  • Boulder-based Younity adds ephemeral file sharing, which sounds as cool as it is [BuiltinColorado]
  • Denver-based Zerista’s apps approach conferences and events from a community angle [BuiltinColorado]
  • By next summer, Colorado Springs-based Exelis Mission Systems will have fewer employees, a different name and a different mission [DBJ]
  • BuiltinColorado profiles 4 Colorado tech CEOs you don’t know (but should) [BuiltinColorado]
  • Colorado explores online gambling as virtual and mobile casinos boom [DenverPost]

National News

  • Supreme Court to decide on patent protections for software [Reuters]
  • Internet giants that make money by tracking us unite to fight government surveillance [DBJ]

Upcoming Events

Thank you for reading!

If you know of any other good news stories or sources about tech in Colorado, please let me know! Also if you attend any of the events listed, I would love to hear from you!

I have a break in my courses at Regis until January. I am using that time to work on my own projects. During this break I am focusing on learning UX design and how to implement it with my website. You can find all my updates on my website design project here.

Colorado Tech Weekly #26: Celebration, Education and Information

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

There are 52 weeks in a year. This is my 26th weekly post. What does that mean? It’s another milestone! I’ve now been doing these posts for half a year and I still enjoy it.

Speaking of weeks, this week is Computer Science Education Week and I get to celebrate it by volunteering at Mortensen Elementary (my daughter’s school) to help out with their Hour of Code program on Tuesday. I’m very excited!

Speaking of Tuesday, this Tuesday is Colorado Gives Day. Colorado Gives Day makes it really easy to donate to local charities by putting all the information in one place. You can get more information on 2 of my favorite charities here: Colorado FIRST and KidsTek.

Speaking of information, here’s what happened in the past week and what’s going on into next week.

Local News

  • A look at Colorado government’s shift to Google, one year later [DBJ]
  • Denver-based Photobucket: Web traffic numbers show 28% increase since site relaunch in Spring [InnovatioNews]
  • Tech Tuesday: Hot startups in Colorado including FlexJobs, HealthGrades and SeedPaths [BuiltinColorado]
  • Boulder-based LogRhythm granted patent for architectural foundation of its AI Engine [InnovatioNews]
  • Ex-Googlers that live and work among Colorado’s digital community [BuiltinColorado]
  • Denver’s T3Media wins Department of Defense contract with strength of metadata tagging [BuiltinColorado]

National News

  • SimCity wants to be the killer app of the classroom [Washington Post]
  • Salesforce Adds $1M prize in disputed hackathon [AdWeek]
  • Intel makes another acquisition: Hacker League, A platform for hackathons, is now a part of Mashery [TechCrunch]
  • House passes Innovation Act by vote of 325-91: a small solution to a big patent problem [GigaOm]

Upcoming Events

Thank you for reading!

If you know of any other good news stories or sources about tech in Colorado, please let me know! Also if you attend any of the events listed, I would love to hear from you!

I have a break in my courses at Regis until January. I am using that time to work on my own projects. During this break I am focusing on learning UX design and how to implement it with my website. You can find all my updates on my website design project here.

UX Discovery: Brainstorming my SMART goal

The goal of designing my own website is to create a website for anyone interested in my professional achievements and goals that is simple to update, worth reading and easy to look at on any device in any browser. All updates to this project can be found on the main project page.

Brainstorming my SMART goal

After researching the Discovery phase of UX design, I realized that the goal I had for my project is not a SMART goal, a SMART goal is:

  • Specific (and strategic): Linked to overall mission. Answers the questions of who and what.
  • Measurable: How do you know you’ve achieved your goal?
  • Attainable: Realistic and achievable within the time frame.
  • Relevant: Aligned with current tasks and projects and focused in one area.
  • Time-framed: Have a clearly defined time-frame or deadline.

My goal of “designing my own website is to create a website for anyone interested in my professional achievements and goals that is simple to update, worth reading and easy to look at on any device in any browser” is relevant, but that’s about it. It’s not very specific, impossible to measure which makes it impossible to attain and there’s not time frame set for it. I needed a better goal.

The first thing I noticed about my goal was that I started with “The goal of designing my own website…” which, in a way, is a goal within a goal. I should have a goal for my website, so then the goal of designing my website would be to reach the goal of my website. Now I would seem to have a recursive goal. Recursion is good to have in code, but bad to have in goals. That had to change. Time to brainstorm!

Unfortunately I have issues with brainstorming. I want everything I write down to sound perfect when I write it down. This hardly happens after a few revisions. It definitely doesn’t happen when brainstorming! So I forced myself to write down enough ideas to cover a sheet of notebook paper front and back before attempting to mold my ideas into a goal.

Here is my new goal.

My goal is to be working as a software developer before the year 2016. My website will help me achieve this goal by showing local tech folk my knowledge, skills and achievements. I will attract local tech folk to my site with informative Colorado Tech Weekly posts and my social media interactions. I will show off my previous knowledge, skills and achievements by showing my work, project and education history. I will show that my knowledge, skills and abilities are current and constantly improving by showing the status of self-guided, relevant projects. I will measure my success monthly by tracking webpage views from Colorado and social interactions with local tech folk.

Next I will figure out how to measure my success.

Colorado Tech Weekly #25: Tryptophantastic

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

This year was the first year I was in charge of Thanksgiving dinner. I’m thinking of putting it on my resume as proof of my project management skills. If you’ve never done this, the last 20 minutes or so before dinner, you are coordinating the preparation of 4 different side dishes while finishing up the turkey and setting the table using friends and family as volunteers. Nothing says holiday fun like dancing with 3 other people in a small kitchen while holding sharp knives and hot pans! I’m looking forward to doing it again next year.

Local News

  • Boulder-based Seamless Toy introduces Atoms, the latest robotic toy from Colorado [Xconomy]
  • KidsTek and COMPASS work together in Aurora schools [CTA]
  • Boulder-based Home automation startup Revolv lands $4 million in funding, led by Foundry Group [TechKnowBytes]
  • RoundPegg announces $2.8M fundraising round to beef up sales and marketing efforts [InnovatioNews]
  • Innovation Pavilion, Maverick Software partner to match firms with computer students [InnovatioNews]
  • Boulder-based Kindara raises $370K to develop app and expand team, hopes to raise $380K more this year [InnovatioNews]
  • Retired Air Force General Lindell named by Hickenlooper to be state’s aerospace and defense champion [InnovatioNews]
  • NSA may have accessed Google and Yahoo user data via Broomfield-based Level 3’s network [TechKnowBytes]

National News

  • Google moves to attract Chromecast developers [ComputerWorld]
  • Microsoft Now Shipping Kinect For Windows Preview Kits To “Thousands” Of Developers [TechCrunch]

Upcoming Events

Thank you for reading!

If you know of any other good news stories or sources about tech in Colorado, please let me know! Also if you attend any of the events listed, I would love to hear from you!

I have a break in my courses at Regis until January. I am using that time to work on my own projects. During this break I am focusing on learning UX design and how to implement it with my website. You can find all my updates on my website design project here.