Colorado Tech Weekly #43: Life, the Universe and Everything Plus One

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 number 42 always inspires Douglas Adams puns from me, For the life of me I can’t figure out why I missed out on such a great pun opportunity last week. I suppose I was too nervous about the Hour of Hardware event I was running at my daughter’s elementary school. It went great! The kids seemed to have a great time and the computers we used all worked after all the students left. You can read my review of the event here.

The news I read about the tech industry inspires and motivates me and it’s nice to pass that inspiration on to others.

Top Colorado Technology News

  • Durango-based Mercury Payment Systems goes for $100M IPO [BuiltinColorado]
  • Broomfield’s Level 3 and Elemental team to demonstrate world’s first real-time 4K Ultra HD streaming system [InnovatioNews]
  • Denver’s GoSpotCheck Returns From Google’s Inaugural Demo Day With $100K [Xconomy]
  • BuiltinColorado profiles 5 amazing women developers in Colorado [BuiltinColorado]
  • Is startup life a fit for you? BuiltinColorado provides insight into 4 local startup jobs [BuiltinColorado]
  • Open source thrives in Colorado [BuiltinColorado]
  • Denver-based MassRoots, a social app for cannabis users, gains $475K in follow-up funding [BuiltinColorado]
  • Colorado companies Dish Network and Arrow Electronics named to InformationWeek Elite 100 [DBJ]
  • Denver’s Mobile Accord helped U.S. start covert Twitter-like service to stoke dissent in Cuba, says AP (Video) [DBJ]
  • Congrats to the GoCodeColorado Challenge Weekend Finalists [GoCodeColorado]

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 subscribe to all my posts by email.
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Colorado Tech Weekly #42: Little Bit of Everything. Startups, 3D printing, Education and Media

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!

Last week I wrapped up my journey into UX Design. I didn’t finish my journey, I just wrapped it up for now. It’s a much bigger subject than I realized and I have a new respect for those that do it as a profession. On Wednesday, I picked up the Ruby on Rails Tutorial book. I spent all day Sunday troubleshooting tools that I only halfway understand so I could learn and develop with Ruby on Rails. Self-directed learning is a lot like the TARDIS, it doesn’t always take me where I mean to go, but it takes me to where I need to be.

I hope you check out Open World Learning’s request for volunteers. Few things are more fun than helping kids get excited about technology. I will get to do just that tomorrow as I am hosting a Hour of Hardware event at my daughter’s elementary school to compliment the Hour of Code event we hosted in the fall. Wish me luck!

Top News

  • 3D Collaboration and Interoperability Congress (3DCIC) announces final speaker lineup for three-day Colorado Springs gathering in May [InnovatioNews]
  • Rocky Mountain Innosphere in Fort Collins adds first 2014 group of six new client startup companies [InnovatioNews]
  • Denver-based PQCareers works to humanize the recruiting process [W3W3]
  • Open World Learning’s 5th Annual TechFair Competition Needs Your Help! [CTA]
  • Boulder-based FreeWave unveils WavePoint M2M platform for industry and government applications [InnovatioNews]
  • From Techstars to Galvanize, Denver’s GoSpotCheck now heads to Google HQ for inaugural Demo Day [BuiltinColorado]
  • Denver-based Ping Identity ups its mobile security hold with acquisition of Accells Technologies [BuiltinColorado]
  • Colorado Legislature declares Colorado Aerospace Day; criticizes feds for NASA cuts [DBJ]
  • This would be huge! Dish Network’s Ergen talks merger with DirecTV CEO, says report (Video) [DBJ]
  • ShowMobile, a media app based in Denver, meets kids where they live — on their phones [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!

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

Colorado Tech Weekly #41: Denver Tech Weekly?

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 pride myself on the ability to find tech news all over the state of Colorado, but this week it seems that almost all the headlines I chose were in Denver and I’m proud of that as well.

Top News

  • Colorado Technology Association welcomes new board members Shawn Adamson from Comcast and J.B. Holston from Sitrion [CTA]
  • Denver rated No. 2 on Forbes’ list of ‘Best Cities to Launch a Business’ [InnovatioNews]
  • Boulder’s Room 214 acquires custom social network provider, Social Engine [Room214]
  • Denver-based ad-tech start-up Choozle raises $1.8M seed round [Xconomy]
  • Denver-based Welltok acquires Seattle-based mobile health developer Mindbloom [Xconomy]
  • With new clients, new hires and new product releases, 2014 is a big year for SpireMedia in Denver [BuiltinColorado]
  • 3 creatives who are making waves in Colorado tech [BuiltinColorado]
  • HOSTING, headquartered in Denver, acquires Boston’s Ntirety, upping its total employee base to 400 [BuiltinColorado]
  • 23rd Studios reviews Go Code Colorado [BuiltinColorado]
  • Highlands Ranch-based Absio launches Dispatch Application -A confidential alternative to email [BDNT]

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 subscribe to all my posts by email.
Feel free to ‘like’ Colorado Tech Weekly on Facebook!

UX Design: Personas, Part 2 (For the individual designer)

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.

(Part 1 consisted of defining my audience and my initial attempts to understand my audience better. Read part 1 here.)

A Realization That I am Only One Person

The initial survey I created to better understand my audience was 52 questions long. I asked a few local UX professionals about it and they pointed out that it was entirely too long. I used these questions in a 40 minute interview with a technical recruiter who was nice enough to give me some of her time even though the interview was too long. I also had the realization that as one person working on the design and development of my website, 52 points of information is probably way too much for me to handle.

An in depth guide is great for a team of designers who are creating requirements for a team of developers, but as one person doing it all I needed to scale it down a bit.

Just the Facts

After my initial request for survey responses only garnered one response and one interview, I decided to take a different tactic. I asked myself

“What is it I REALLY want to know about my audience?”

I realized that, for this project, my audience’s gender and personality type are not as important to me. What I really care about is how they use my website and what they want from it, so I decided to redesign my survey. My redesigned survey can be found here. I sent the new survey out to those within my network that I consider to be recruiters and curious developers which gave me more responses.

My Personas

My personas are based off of the super helpful DIY User Personas post by UX-Lady. They are also hand drawn because pens and markers are easier for me to use than publishing software.

A person who makes hiring decisions regarding software developers:

RecruiterPersona

A curious programmer:

ProgrammerPersona

What’s Next?

This process has pointed out to me that I am not the designer-type. This is the end of this process for now. It’s been eye-opening to dig into the Discovery stop of the UX Design process. If you’re more design oriented than I am then check out the links in my Learning UX Design: Strategy and Learning UX Design: Design posts.

UX Discovery: Personas, Part 1

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.

My Trepidation with Personas

I’m excited to continue my exploration of UX Design, but personas make me nervous. It means I have to talk to people. I’m not the hide-in-a-dark-room-all-alone kind of developer, but I’m not a social butterfly either. I also like to sound like I know what I’m talking about, but since I’m learning about UX I don’t know what I’m talking about yet. It’s much easier to admit ignorance behind a keyboard. It’s much more difficult to admit it when talking to people who I want to consider my peers and bosses someday soon.

Who is my Audience?

Part of my purpose for this website is to “show local tech folk my knowledge, skills and abilities.” Who are these tech folk? What information do they want to know? I decided to group my audience into 2 personas: people who make hiring decisions regarding software developers and curious programmers. I don’t think I’ll ever have more than 3 personas unless absolutely needed. I would just get overwhelmed.

Finding out more about my audience?

Users are the most important people involved in a UX project. Without users, a website/app/program is just an exercise in programming. I want my projects to be useful tools for other people so I need to find out what they want. I’ve found that the best way to find out what people want is to ask them, so I’ve created a survey and interview template.

The survey gets basic information:

The interview gets to the meaty information:

  • References and Influences: References are people and organizations that I am associated with. Influences are people and organizations that my audience knows to evaluate my website.
  • Technology Expertise: In order for me to make a website that works best for my audience, I need to understand their comfort and skill with various technologies such as internet navigation, social media navigation, mobile usage and cloud computing resources.
  • Experience Goals: What is my audience looking for when they come to my website? What are their priorities? What is my audience’s expectations for the website? How do they want to feel when looking at the website?
  • Devices and Platforms: Find out what devices my audience uses to view my site. Find out what operating systems and browsers my audience uses.
  • Domain Details: used apps/websites: Find out what applications and websites my audience uses to evaluate my personality, knowledge and abilities that do not include my website.
  • Must Do/Must Never: Find out up to 3 things that my audience feels that I must always do online and find 3 things my audience feels that I must never do online.
  • Relationship with Brand: In this case, the brand is myself. Find out what functionality that my audience wants from my website. Also find out how familiar my audience is with my personality, skills and abilities.

My interview can be found here on SurveyPlanet. Please consider filling out the survey so that I can continue my research.

These templates are built on ideas from the DIY User Personas post by UX Lady.

What’s in store for part two?

In part 2, I review my survey and interview results and complete my personas.

Colorado Tech Weekly #40: A wish, a request and Go Code 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!

Happy St. Patrick’s Day! May you get all your wishes but one so you always have something to strive for!

I am working on redesigning my website to create a better resource for you as well as learn about the design process. You can help out by taking this 23 question user survey. I greatly appreciate your help!

Top News

  • Report ranks Big 4 wireless carriers’ service quality in Colorado. And the winner is… [TechKnowBytes]
  • Boulder-based SendGrid sees 85 percent growth in 2013, hits 200 billion emails delivered, 150,000 customers served [InnovatioNews]
  • Westminster-based DigitalGlobe’s Tomnod allows for crowd searching for clues about missing Malaysian plane [Xconomy]
  • Colorado Technology Professionals President Stephanie Lindquist interview with w3w3.com [CTP]
  • Englewood’s Arrow named one of ‘World’s Most Admired Companies’ for 14th consecutive year [InnovatioNews]
  • Go Code Colorado Partners with Colorado Office of Economic Development and International Trade [GoCodeColorado]
  • Google giving cloud platform products to Go Code Colorado [BuiltinColorado]
  • Colorado legislature readies to tackle telecom, rural broadband reform again [DBJ]
  • Colorado doles out more grants to innovative companies and projects [DBJ]
  • gSchool opens in Boulder, builds world-class instructor team [Galvanize]

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 University. 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.

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

Colorado Tech Weekly #39: Taking it one step at a time in awesome 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 think it’s about time I stop being surprised by the amount of tech news in Colorado. This is the 3rd week in a row that all 10 stories are from Colorado and I love it!

I had a blast volunteering for C-Level @ A Mile High on Thursday! It was amazing to talk to, and work with, so many people who have already achieved milestones in their careers that I can only dream about right now. It’s like running a marathon where the path doubles back on itself. I got to briefly see people who are way ahead of me and I want to be there! I gotta take one step at a time though. I’ll get there eventually.

Top News

  • Boulder’s Gaiam TV video subscription service now available via Apple Store [InnovatioNews]
  • Galvanize is one of 40 global tech hubs to receive $1M from Google to boost women-led companies [InnovatioNews]
  • Report says Denver tech workers earn 3rd highest cost-of-living adjusted salaries [TechKnowBytes]
  • C-Level @ A Mile High event draws hundreds to meet execs, bid on face-time to build business relationships [InnovatioNews]
  • It’s not just the Front Range, check out the Western Slope DTC (Durango Tech Center) [BuiltinColorado]
  • After opening up shop in Denver just last year, Signpost plans to triple its Colorado employee base [BuiltinColorado]
  • BuiltinColorado profiles the 5 coolest tech offices in Colorado [BuiltinColorado]
  • Boulder-based SendGrid hires proven tech leader, Paul Ford, to drive global marketing; relocates headquarters (to another Boulder location) to support growth [BuiltinColorado]
  • State of Colorado wants millions more to fix computer system [DBJ]
  • Douglas County-based TriZetto reports record earnings for 2013 [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 University. 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.

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

Colorado Tech Weekly #38: C-Level at Mile High and Promising Futures

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!

This week brings us yet another COLORADO ONLY CTW post! It always makes me happy when this happens. This Thursday I get to volunteer at the CTA’s C-Level @ A Mile High. I’m really looking forward to it! I’m sure I will be completely overwhelmed. I hope to see you there.

I curate these posts not only to keep myself informed, but also to keep myself motivated and after seeing all the exciting things brewing in Colorado I wish I could start applying for developer positions right now. Patience is a hard thing to have, but it’s nice that there’s plenty of news to keep me motivated.

Top News

  • Colorado Technology Association announces 2014 celebrities for C-Level @ A Mile High [CTA]
  • Congratulations for Boulder’s LogRhythm for earning two awards for security intelligence from Cyber Defense Magazine [InnovatioNews]
  • Colorado selected for National Advanced Manufacturing Technology Sites [COIN]
  • Boulder-based startup Ramen raises cash for crowd-funding and collaboration software [Xconomy]
  • New Tech’s Febuary Wrap Up [BDNT]
  • Longmont’s DigitalGlobe acquires Spatial Energy, expands its geospatial info platform [InnovatioNews]
  • Go Code Colorado Challenge Weekend invites app developers to compete for $50K in prizes [InnovatioNews]
  • 6 Months In: What’s Going on at Boulder’s RefactorU? [BuiltinColorado]
  • Colorado’s ‘Amazon Tax’ won’t tax Amazon.com, it turns out [DBJ]
  • Colorado investors may get tax credits for backing advanced industries [DBJ]

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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 University. 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.

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

Colorado Tech Weekly #37: Accolades, Innovation and Internships

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!

This is the 5th CTW post where all 10 stories are about Colorado. I wonder if I could do that every time. I bet I could! However so much of what goes on outside Colorado affects our industry here I can’t just focus on our awesome state alone. Maybe I should consider doing a local edition and a national edition? I’ll think on that later. It’s finals week for me this week so I’ll think on it later.

Speaking of later, next week I get to volunteer for CTA’s C-Level at Mile High on March 6th. It’s the biggest, coolest, geekiest, techiest way to meet some of Colorado’s top-level technology decision makers by bidding for their time, literally! Here are a few tips and tricks for winning those auctions. Hope to see you there!

Top News

  • Ft. Collins-based Crashboxx develops KISS, world’s first vehicle telematics control unit impact test rig [InnovatioNews]
  • Denver-based Oildex celebrates milestone anniversary with record-breaking customer adoption [CTA]
  • Epic River becomes second tenant in Loveland’s Rocky Mountain Center for Innovation and Technology [InnovatioNews]
  • Congratulations to Boulder-based Orbotix for being named one of Fast Company’s ’10 Most Innovative Companies’ [InnovatioNews]
  • Centennial-based AlumiFuel forms Bitcoin Capital Corp. to pursue opportunities in crypto-currencies [InnovatioNews]
  • OpenWorld Learning’s 2014 Outcome Report Shows Success [OpenWorldLearning]
  • Looking for a great internship this summer? Startup Summer Applications Close February 28 [BFeld]
  • Denver places No. 6 on Forbes annual ranking of fastest-growing cities [InnovatioNews]
  • Boulder’s Whimseybox delivers creative endeavors to doorsteps [BuiltinColorado]
  • Boulder-based SportsLabs revs up to manage thousands of live sporting events [BuiltinColorado]

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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 subscribe to all my posts by email.
Feel free to ‘like’ Colorado Tech Weekly on Facebook!

Colorado Tech Weekly #36: Online video innovation. Leadership changes. Student support.

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!

Two of this week’s national stories have to do with supporting students who want to become software developers. As one of those students it brings up the internal (eternal?) argument between traditional and non-traditional education programs. I got burned by a non-traditional school which is why I’ve decided to go back to a more well-established school in Regis University. That is not to say I am against non-traditional programs such as the DaVinci Coders program in Louisville and gSchool at Galvanize in Denver, but if you’re considering jumping into the software development field it’s something you should spend some time considering.

Local News

  • Denver Regional Council of Governments (DRCOG), Way to Go unveil first-of-its-kind trip planning tool [YourHub]
  • Denver app maker Welltok raises $22 million, featuring first investment from IBM’s Watson Group [TechKnowBytes]
  • Boulder-based Rapt Media releases Site Pairing technology to transform customer online media experience [InnovatioNews]
  • Evergreen-based Wowza launches Wowza Streaming Engine software to improve performance [InnovatioNews]
  • Colorado Technology Association elects Molly Rauzi as its 2014 board chair [InnovatioNews]
  • Boulder’s RoundPegg selects Kevin Grauman as its new CEO [InnovatioNews]
  • Level 3 CEO addresses NSA spying revelations, impact on business [DBJ]

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National News

  • FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler says next move on net neutrality will come soon [TechKnowBytes]
  • How Facebook’s Open Academy helps students to become better software engineers [TheNextWeb]
  • GitHub introduces new discounts to support student coders [VentureBeat]

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 subscribe to all my posts by email.
Feel free to ‘like’ Colorado Tech Weekly on Facebook!