New Project added to site – Author Assistant for Marie Trout for “The Blues – Why It Still Hurts So Good”

In October of 2013 I set out on Elance.com (now Upwork.com) to make a few extra bucks. I was lucky enough to find Marie Trout who needed someone to transcribe recorded interviews for her thesis. Since my full time job as a 911 dispatcher requires me to listen, understand, and type quickly, my skills were perfect for the job! After completing her Doctorate, she decided to turn her research into a book “The Blues – Why It Still Hurts So Good” which is now on sale through Amazon in paperback and as a Kindle e-book.

In the 3 and a half years since I met Marie, I have transcribed interviews, analyzed interviews, edited a manuscript into book form, added footnotes to the book, edited the book into an e-book, helped navigate Amazon’s Seller Central, Author Central and Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP) tools and updated Marie’s WordPress website using PHP, HTML and CSS.

Purpose: Most of my projects start with a specific purpose which drives the project. This project started with me trying to earn a few extra bucks and has turned into “How can I help Marie best?”

Solution(s):

  • Communication: Since Marie is in California most of the time, we communicate mainly via email and Skype.
  • Transcribing: I used Audacity to listen to interviews so I could slow them down to type-able speeds. I can type fast, but not that fast. I typed up the transcriptions using Microsoft Word to make it easier to deliver them to Marie.
  • Analyzing Interviews: Marie and I would review the interviews separately, then meet via Skype to discuss our findings. We also used an application Marie found to tag sections of the interviews, but I forgot what that was.
  • Editing: I used Microsoft Word to help edit the book and turn it into an e-book.
  • Website: Marie’s site was already using WordPress with a custom theme so I had to learn how the theme was set up. All edits are done in HTML and CSS using Atom then copied to Marie’s site using WordPress tools.
  • Amazon: Marie asked for my help getting her book listed on Amazon. I had no experience selling on Amazon so my solution was to dive in head first to learn about any solution that could help Marie.
  • Billing: We started with Elance.com, but soon switched to Paypal for billing.

Challenges:

  • Communication: Marie and I haven’t met in person, yet. I found that working remotely requires a lot of communication. My theory with remote work is to err on the side of over-communication. I would rather have a client say “Too much! I know you’re doing the work. Just tell me about…” than have them wondering if I’m paying attention.
  • Transcribing: It took some trial and error to figure out my workflow, but being paid for the work helped me figure out the best way to get the work done. I learned to create shortcuts for common words to make typing faster then use ‘Find and Replace’ to turn them into real words.
  • Analyzing interviews: Marie is the expert. She’s the wife of a professional blues musician and was the one doing all the research. It was up to me to find ways to add value to her work and she made that easy and comfortable.
  • Editing: I have a theory that most people use barely 10% of Microsoft Office applications. Editing a manuscript into book-sized pages (Marie self-published) and adding footnotes and styles allowed me to learn a lot about Microsoft Word’s capabilities. I think I can use 20% of Word’s tools now.
  • Website: I got to learn how to update a WordPress site with a custom theme without ruining it. This was my first time being paid to do any sort of web development so I was excited and nervous. The biggest challenge was using only WordPress tools and access to update the site.
  • Amazon: The Amazon Seller’s Central dashboard is an intimidating array of options and information. This makes sense since just about anyone anywhere can sell almost anything through Amazon. It takes a jump-in-with-both-feet kind of attitude to sell a physical item through Amazon for the first time. KDP was much easier to set up and navigate thanks to Amazon’s guides and Author Central also has some very helpful tools. We ended up using every kind of support option for sellers (chat, email, phone, etc.) to get things set up.

Outcome:

I have become Marie’s go-to person for most things internet and technology related. I believe this is mostly due to our mutual respect for each others’ time and effort along with a lot of timely and honest communication. I now consider Marie to be a friend and I enjoy helping her succeed any way I can.

Colorado Tech Weekly #170: Dizzion and GoSpotCheck Grow, Denver Celebrates Startups and Amazon Office Opens in Broomfield

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!

Today officially starts Denver Startup Week! I have purposely left DSW events out of this post for two reasons. The first reason is that the DSW website is an excellent and easy to use resource for all things DSW.

The second reason is that I’m a little bitter about DSW. Last week I was all excited to spend Tuesday downtown at panels, meeting people and participating in the Cognizant Quick Left hackathon however life had other plans for me. My house needs foundation repairs so instead of spending Tuesday meeting you cool people in real life I will spend it moving everything out of my basement to get my basement slab repaired.

Things don’t always go as planned but they often work out for the best. Have a great week!

Top Colorado Technology News

  • Colorado Springs-based Titan Robotics Engineer, Allison Jones, named Flag Bearer for Rio Paralympics [Titan3DRobotics]
  • Greenwood Village’s zvelo spent the week with over 20,000 hackers at DEF CON 24 — Here’s what we saw [zvelo]
  • Denver-based Dizzion secures $6.4M Series A1 funding led by Grotech Ventures and Access Venture Partners [Dizzion]
  • Denver’s GoSpotCheck pulls in $16.5M Series B, plans to double headcount [BuiltinColorado]
  • Anschutz doubles down on e-sports with five-year ESL joint venture [DenverPost]
  • 6 Colorado tech companies where you could land your dream job this month [BuiltinColorado]
  • Lockheed-built NASA probe made in Littleton launches on mission to fetch asteroid sample [DBJ]
  • Golden’s Wowza Media Systems partners with Alibaba Cloud to deliver streaming to Chinese markets [InnovatioNews]
  • Amazon tech operation opens in Colorado; hiring under way in Broomfield [DBJ]
  • Are you a stranded ITT Tech student? Colorado’s community colleges are offering help [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 #164: Happy Colorado Tech Week!

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 Colorado Tech Week, everyone! Granted every week is Colorado Tech Week for me, but this week it’s Colorado Tech Week for everyone! It’s true, the governor said so.

Since it is Colorado Tech Week, you should pay special attention to this week’s headlines and events because they accurately portray the awesomeness of the Colorado Tech community. There’s space, hackathons, startups, big data, developers, game development, online shopping. It’s all there!

I’m excited for a few of the events this week. Today starts the Colorado Technology Association’s 2nd annual Tech Tour to coincide with Colorado Tech Week. This week is also the 5th annual Develop Denver conference. And this weekend is the first ever Serenity Forge Game Jam. Unfortunately I won’t be participating in any of these events, but that just leaves more room for you. Have a great week!

Top Colorado Technology News

  • Broomfield database outsourcer Datavail acquires Oracle business-intelligence consultant [DenverPost]
  • Colorado Tech directory published [BizWest]
  • Sierra Nevada’s Louisville-based Dream Chaser to begin Phase 2 flight testing in California at Edwards AFB [InnovatioNews]
  • The keys to a killer hackathon, according to 4 Colorado startups [BuiltinColorado]
  • Broomfield’s Level 3 reports $149M profit for second quarter [BizWest]
  • 4 students share what it’s really like to intern at a Colorado startup [BuiltinColorado]
  • Rocky Mountain DataCon 2016 launches [AgileData]
  • Denver-based MuscleSound names Andy Jackson President and Chief Executive Officer [MuscleSound]
  • Here’s what you need to know about Develop Denver, returning this week [BuiltinColorado]
  • How companies with Colorado ties are competing with Amazon [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.

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

Colorado Tech Weekly #150: Almost All The Demos

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!

An amazing week of events coming up for student developers: Demo displays by RefactorU, Turing School and DaVinci Coders, tech fairs from Maker Boulder and Open World Learning and a high school team coding competition by Lockheed Martin. If you like seeing what things new developers are learning and creating, this is a good time for you.

Speaking of being a student it appears my time away from schoolwork is coming to a quicker end than I had realized. After a month off, My Computer Organization/Architecture course starts a week from today, not 2 weeks from today like I had originally thought. I’m looking forward to the course, though. Some might say developers don’t need to know about hardware as much anymore because so much code is built on top of layers of abstraction but I call BS on that. Between the amazing amount of devices already plus the IoT devices hardware is pretty darn important. Also someone still has to write those layers of abstraction so don’t disregard that hardware knowledge.

Just because I wasn’t doing schoolwork for a month doesn’t mean I wasn’t learning. In fact I’m pretty darn proud of my month off. I developed a Ruby on Rails web app for my police department which I will post to GitHub this week to show off. I made a game for Ludum Dare 35 called “Zorg’s Crash Landing.” It’s a very simple puzzle-like game that I did not work on as much as I would have liked, however I actually made a thing so that’s awesome. I also started learning Sphero capabilities with my entirely too long Sphero Android App Reviews post. I just started playing with the Sphero educational apps so look for that soon.

Remember, no more podcast so look for me to post something interesting this week. Looking at how much I’ve typed already I apparently have a lot to say.

Top Colorado Technology News

  • Know a veteran? No Barriers Warriors, sponsored by Douglas County’s Rise Broadband, offers all-expenses-paid trip [Tech+]
  • Boulder-based Ajubeo announces Chief Executive Officer, solidifying leadership [CTA]
  • Denver’s MarketPay acquired by Seattle firm; new owner plans to hire more in Denver [Tech+]
  • Online reviews site, Trustpilot, to open an offline office in Denver [Tech+]
  • How a combination of product and passion helped Boulder-based startup Tapinfluence raise $14M [BuiltinColorado]
  • Behind the scenes: what it’s really like to be a developer for Boulder’s SnapLogic [BuiltinColorado]
  • Colorado wants to duplicate Israel’s success in cybersecurity [DenverPost]
  • CodeCraft March Graduates’ Final Portfolio Apps & Demo Videos [CodeCraft]
  • From social media managers to senior developers, here’s what tech employees in Colorado actually make [BuiltinColorado]
  • Level 3 named Advanced Partner in Amazon Web Services Network [InnovatioNews]

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 #149 (Now with 30% MORE FUN): Fun Robots and Last CTW with a Podcast

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!

As I’m typing this I’m watching an episode of Sword Art Online after spending a good part of the weekend making a game for the Ludum Dare Jam. I want to work as a developer because I think writing code is fun! I also do these blog posts because I enjoy learning, and sharing, about the Colorado tech community. So, let’s have some fun with it!

So, fun things:

  • The Ludum Dare Jam ends at 7pm tonight. I should have my game “Zorg’s Crash Landing” posted somewhere on the interwebz by then. A big thanks to my daughter, Ashlynn, who gave me the inspiration for the game.
  • I will be meeting soon with my current boss to implement my Trespass Notice System app. It’s my first Ruby on Rails app and it’s all done except the password recovery portion of it.
  • In my pursuit of my dream job, I recently bought a Sphero SPRK and have started a big long post reviewing most of the Sphero-related apps in the Google Play store. Look for that to be posted fairly soon.

Things that haven’t been fun:

  • The Colorado Tech Weekly Podcast turned out to be less fun and more work than I thought it would be. Being a part of a podcast still sounds like a blast, so if you want to talk Colorado tech I am all for it but the CTW Podcast in its current form will not be continuing after today.
  • Cable TV: I don’t remember the last time we changed the channel on our cable box. Now that we added Amazon Prime along with our current Netflix subscription and live sports have become less of a priority in our house, it’s time to ditch the cable box.

Podcast Version: Click here to listen to the last, longest (and probably the best) episode of the Colorado Tech Weekly Podcast

Top Colorado Technology News

  • AVC and Niwot-based SparkFun – fueling DIY fun! [DenverMakerFaire]
  • University of Denver program looks to bridge cybersecurity skills gap [Xconomy]
  • Behind the scenes: what it’s really like to be a developer for Denver’s AUTOPAY [BuiltinColorado]
  • Facing slower and lower funding, Colorado tech adapts to a new environment [BuiltinColorado]
  • Boulder-based Visibl raises $1.5M, rebrands to Brandzooka [InnovatioNews]
  • Englewood’s Surrey Satellite and Boston’s BridgeSat partner to develop free space optical communications system [InnovatioNews]
  • Colorado Technology Association welcomes three new members of the Board of Directors [CTA]
  • Colorado springs focused on being cybersecurity industry hub [DenverPost]
  • Golden-based HomeAdvisor Releases Alexa Skill on Amazon Echo [HomeAdvisor]
  • Centennial’s Arrow Electronics sponsors Regional FIRST Robotics Competition [ArrowElectronics]

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.

You can subscribe to all my posts by email.
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Colorado Tech Weekly #92: TechHire, C-Level and great news for dev students

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!

Great news this week for people like me! Great news for people who want to become software developers in Colorado. I’m excited for the start of the new TechHire program here as well as Galvanize working towards accountability in immersive education options. The one thing that makes me nervous about dev boot camps is the lack of oversight. This is a great step in the right direction.

I’ll be volunteering at Sports Authority Field this Thursday for CTA’s C-Level @ Mile High event. I hope to see some of you there!

Top Colorado Technology News

  • Photo and video sharing service Photobucket raises $3.6M [BuiltinColorado]
  • Galvanize forms trade association with other industry leaders to establish accountability & standards for immersive education [Galvanize]
  • Colorado Technology Association announces 2015 celebrities for C-Level @ A Mile High [CTA]
  • Douglas County-based CH2M Hill named among world’s most ethical [DBJ]
  • 3 really physically active Colorado startups: All work and a lot of play at QuickLeft, SendGrid and ReadyTalk [BuiltinColorado]
  • Amazon confirms its acquisition of 2lemetry, a Denver-based Internet of Things startup [VentureBeat]
  • Colorado employers could get tax breaks for repaying workers’ student loans [DBJ]
  • Colorado’s a pilot region for Obama administration’s TechHire job-training push [DBJ]
  • Go Code Colorado receives nationwide recognition as a bright idea [BuiltinColorado]
  • Webroot and 443 Networks announce OEM partnership to improve cybersecurity protection [InnovatioNews]

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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!

Does your Colorado tech company have a blog or newsletter? Am I already subscribed to it? If you answered “yes” then “no”, send me your info! I want to hear about what you’re doing!

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Dev News Weekly #5: Where it’s mostly about mobile… and niceness

words456

Dev News Weekly is designed to give you (and me) 10 useful software/web developer stories every Tuesday morning!

I’m not usually one to quote Mother Teresa, but I like this quote a lot. I do have to admit to having ulterior motives with this newsletter though. If I keep this up, I’ll soon learn which technologies I am most interested in. You would think that would be an easy thing for me to figure out, but it’s surprisingly difficult.

Developer News

  • Where are the mobile dev payouts? In enterprise apps [InfoWorld]
  • Sprint partners with Google to sell apps for business [ReCode]
  • Can the Amazon Fire Phone take on iPhone and Samsung? [ReCode]
  • New Firefox 31 focuses on improving developer tools [VentureBeat]
  • Nvidia announces Shield Tablet, an Android device for hardcore gamers [ReCode]
  • Microsoft Open Tech brings support for more open-source projects to Azure [TechCrunch]
  • Cisco launches DevNet to woo software developers [eWeek]
  • Apple has paid $20 billion to iOS devs, half of it in the past year [TechCrunch]
  • For half, degrees In computing, math, Or stats lead to other jobs [Slashdot]
  • Tango luring developers to its platform with new $25 Million Global Games Fund [TechCrunch]

Pick of the Week

I needed to have something else in these posts besides my usual blathering and 10 news stories, so I will choose one thing each week to promote just because I like it.

Ruby Rogues logoThe Ruby Rogues podcast has quickly become one of my favorite programming podcasts! I started listening to it because I am teaching myself Ruby on Rails. This is not why you should listen to this podcast.

It’s a weekly podcast that spends most of the time talking about issues that ALL programmers have, regardless of the language you code in. It’s fun. You should give it a listen.

Thank you for reading!

If you know of any other good news sources for developers (especially newbies like me), please let me know!

You can subscribe to all my posts by email!

Dev News Weekly #4: Where there are 10 stories, no more, no less

Holy-Hand-Grenade-590x590

Dev News Weekly is designed to give you (and me) 10 useful software/web developer stories every Tuesday morning!

I have a hard and fast rule for myself when it comes to my Dev News Weekly and Colorado Tech Weekly posts: There will be 10 stories, no more, no less. 10 shall be the number of stories, and the number of stories shall be 10. 11 stories there shall not be, neither should there be 9, excepting that when there is one more to make 10.

This week was especially difficult to narrow all the stories down to 10. No wonder so many people narrow their blogs down to specific languages and frameworks. It’s a little mind-blowing to keep track of it all. I eventually ended up getting frustrated and picking stories that had the word “developer” in the headline. Speaking of frustrating, I realized that I haven’t written any code since I started this news letter. I see little green squares in my near future…and Monty Python.

Developer News

  • We don’t need new image formats: Mozilla works to build a better JPEG [ArsTechnica]
  • Employers use customized bonus plans to attract developers, survey says [ComputerWorld]
  • Apple and IBM want you to use an iPhone at work, please [ArsTechnica]
  • Google offers up a free crash course in Android development [TechCrunch]
  • Net neutrality comments flood FCC, crashing site as deadline extended [ReCode]
  • Microsoft seeks developer partners for mobile-first, cloud-first world [eWeek]
  • Microsoft merges developer resources for Windows Store and Windows Phone, adds 21 new payout markets [TheNextWeb]
  • Developers and Apple open up on new Swift programming language [ZDNet]
  • Amazon sets sights on snagging mobile developers [InfoWorld]
  • Microsoft slashing up to 18,000 jobs [DBJ]

Pick of the Week

I needed to have something else in these posts besides my usual blathering and 10 news stories, so I will choose one thing each week to promote just because I like it.

static.squarespace.comThe Application Developers Alliance is one of the first good, general sources I found for development. It is “a non-profit global membership organization that supports developers as creators, innovators, and entrepreneurs.” It’s geared a little more towards the developer as a business person crowd so if you wonder about ROI as much as you wonder about TDD, then this could be a good group for you.

Thank you for reading!

If you know of any other good news sources for developers (especially newbies like me), please let me know!

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Dev News Weekly #3: All the big names doing all the big things

Dev News Weekly is designed to give you (and me) 10 useful software/web developer stories every Tuesday morning!

Satya Nadella laid out his vision for Microsoft this week. I like “productivity and platform” over “software and services”. “Software and services” sounds like “stuff and junk” just without the cool alliteration. Apple showed transparency with Swift. Amazon showed off some new AWS services and Google released a cross-platform SDK! I feel like I’m cheating at SEO but this all really did happen this week.

Developer News

  • Apple opens up with a new blog about Swift, its new programming language [TechCrunch]
  • App developers gain resource hub, search engine to build the future [MediaPost]
  • Microsoft is a ‘productivity and platform company’ now, Nadella says [VentureBeat]
  • Software developers rank ALM tools as best to use [eWeek]
  • Game of Code: Checkio gamifies and crowdsources the task of programming [VentureBeat]
  • Apigee initiates global API challenge [ProgrammableWeb]
  • Python is now the most popular introductory teaching language at top U.S. universities [ACM]
  • Amazon courts mobile devs with a new suite of AWS services [VentureBeat]
  • Google Updates Android’s Play Games and Cross-Platform SDKs [ProgrammableWeb]
  • New Raspberry Pi “B+” uses less power, has more USB ports [ArsTechnica]

Pick of the Week

I needed to have something else in these posts besides my usual blathering and 10 news stories, so I will choose one thing each week to promote just because I like it.

My last 2 picks have been podcasts so I felt the need to change it up. This week my pick is codecademy.com. For too long I said “I want to be a developer” without having an answer to the question “What kind of developer?” Codecademy allowed me to try out a language without too much overhead, actually without any overhead! It’s all on their site. If you want to check out a new web programming language, give them a visit!

Thank you for reading!

If you know of any other good news sources for developers (especially newbies like me), please let me know!

You can subscribe to all my posts by email!

Dev News Weekly #2: Where typos break code and Microsoft does evreything

paired_programming21

Dev News Weekly is designed to give you (and me) 10 useful software/web developer stories every Tuesday morning!

Did you notice my typo in my headline? I bet you did. It was on purpose, I promise. This week, Google told us that the top reason code doesn’t compile is typos. Telling programmers that typos cause the most errors is like telling us that water is wet or the sun is bright. But I guess with having it proven, it’s nice to know I’m not alone. Speaking of proving things, how do you prove that water is wet anyway?

Developer News

  • Amazon launches its most affordable EC2 instances yet, but there’s a caveat [TechCrunch]
  • Why the growing API economy gives developers limitless opportunities [VentureBeat]
  • Microsoft chooses sides in battle for Internet of Things [ProgrammableWeb]
  • Accessory developers, meet iOS 8 [DoubleEncore]
  • Zend upgrade improves quality of PHP code [ProgrammableWeb]
  • IBM expects nanotube transistor computer chips ready soon after 2020 [MITTechnologyReview]
  • Google study: Typos are the top reason your code won’t compile [VentureBeat]
  • Microsoft, Perfecto Mobile enhance multi-platform device testing [eWeek]
  • Microsoft wants Visual Studio to be your one-stop cross-platform dev shop [ArsTechnica]
  • “HummingBoard” looks like a Raspberry Pi but packs in more power [ArsTechnica]

Pick of the Week

I needed to have something else in these posts besides my usual blathering and 10 news stories, so I will choose one thing each week to promote just because I like it.

CoderRadio_1760-Feb.-15-09.35Another one of my favorite podcasts is Coder Radio. It’s a weekly podcast recorded every Monday. Coder Radio is hosted by IT guy turned podcaster, Chris Fisher and co-hosted by independent software development president and coder, Michael Dominick so it provides a great contrast between ops and development.

It’s a more discussion-based show. They touch on the latest news, but spend more time discussing the topic of the show and spend a lot of time interacting with viewer/listener feedback. Another fun, infotainment show!

Thank you for reading!

If you know of any other good news sources for developers (especially newbies like me), please let me know!

You can subscribe to all my posts by email!