These past few months have been crazy-busy in the community:

  • Helped host the ever-awesome NASA Space Apps Challenge with the NASA Glenn crew and Brad Nellis of Expedient
  • Coordinated volunteers for Stir Trek – a developer conference in Columbus, OH with about 1200 attendees
  • Sponsored as Cleveland Tech Events (CTE) and represented both CTE and The Software Guild at BYTE, a hackathon hosted at Hathaway Brown

In addition to the community activity, I’ve moved contracting work as a side project, working full-time with The Software Guild as a Lead Instructor – currently teaching Java!  While I love working in Akron, I wasn’t liking the commute.  So my family is in the process of moving closer to Akron as well.  Lots of chaos here!

So what happened….?

NASA Space Apps Challenge – April 22-24, 2016

This was an amazing event – we hit our goal of 150 attendees this year!  NASA creates the International Space Apps Challenge, and communities throughout the world get together to help solve the various proposed challenges.  Our local group in Cleveland has hosted the event at NASA Glenn Research Center, and this year was spectacular.  In addition to roping in various tech communities, we had MakerGear bring in some 3D printers, which were super helpful and busy all weekend.  We also had all walks of life – from as young as pre-high school!  As an organizer, I am pleased with how everything went locally, and I can’t wait to see what next year brings!

Stir Trek – May 6, 2016

What can be said about an event that has 6 hours of technical content, followed by our own private viewing of a movie that opens that day?  This year, the movie was Captain America: Civil War.  It was great to see the lineup – as always, speaker and session selection is rough because we get so many submissions and have to whittle it down to only so many time slots.  Also amazing to see was the adventures of the Stwrap – these things that you can put on your purse, backpack, badge, etc.  It’s almost as bad as Pokemon Go – the Stwraps were also in demand with a “gotta get them all” attitude.  While I wasn’t on the path to get them all, I did bring home some, and I have my favorite Stir Trek Stwraps on my backpack at work.  While I didn’t stay for the movie, I did enjoy listening to all the feedback and look forward to helping make next year’s event better.  (And yes, for those wondering, we really have outgrown that location and their capabilities, and we are hoping to find a more suitable host for next year’s event!)

BYTE – Bring Your Tech Expertise

I had received an email from a local high school student that was looking for sponsors for their hackathon.  My first thought was – “I need to sponsor this!  These are young, impressionable students who need to know about the tech community!” and so I sponsored them as Cleveland Tech Events.  It was great to see local high schools – Hathaway Brown, Orange, Mentor, University School, and another whose name is escaping me at the moment – compete against each other.

Their ice breaker round included being assigned groups with other people from other schools and creating a story with 3 random words.  The winning story was about a Holy HashMap!  (Yes – the nerdery was strong with this group! 🙂 )

After the ice breaker, the students then regrouped into their teams and tackled programming problems from Kattis.  This was my first time seeing Kattis, and I think it’s a great system for hackathons and competing.  They have problems to solve, scoring, and even a leaderboard!

In the afternoon, the students competed in computer science and general computer-related trivia through Kahoot.  Competition was fierce!  Even the team moderators were getting into it and trying to figure out the answers to some of the questions.

So… what’s next?

What’s next on my radar?  Maybe settling down!

Seriously, though…

Stay tuned – more information coming soon!

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