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Hello Akron.io! – A new tech resource in Akron
Aug 21st, 2014 by Sarah Dutkiewicz

I am beyond thrilled to announce that there’s a new tech resource down in Akron – http://akron.io.  My dear friend Jonathan Knapp is coordinating the efforts in bringing the tech community together down there.  From weekly emails to discussion groups, a library of books and an assortment of events, Akron.io is the place for Akron techies!

Check out their Hello Akron.io Tackk for more details!

Akron Software Developers Guild Reboot
Aug 7th, 2014 by Sarah Dutkiewicz

From our friend Jerry D’Antonio….

As the summer winds to a close it’s time to ramp up the Guild’s activities again. It’s also a good time to perform an agile retrospective, talk about what’s worked well, reflect on where we have new opportunities, and reboot the group.

We’d love to form a small group of dedicated meetup organizers to actively manage the group. Anyone interested in being a co-organizer is welcome.

If you are interested in being involved but can’t attend the meeting please feel free to reach out to me over Twitter. You can find me at @jerrydantonio.

-Jerry

Check out their meetup event for more details!

Introducing… Akron Women in Tech
Jul 7th, 2014 by Sarah Dutkiewicz

Are you a woman interested in learning to code? Are you a woman who loves to code but wants to learn more or interested in mentoring other women? Akron Women in Tech wants you to join our community of women and friends who are interested in learning to code websites and mobile applications. No experience required. We are looking for learners, teachers, mentors, and tech enthusiasts.

For more details, see http://www.meetup.com/Akron-Women-In-Tech/

 

Talking Tech Over Breakfast!
Jun 26th, 2014 by Sarah Dutkiewicz

Calling all techies!  If you’re ever finding yourself wanting to get together to talk tech over breakfast, know that you aren’t alone.  In fact, there are at least 2 groups that are doing tech breakfasts. Check them out!

Akron Tech Breakfast

Organized by the Akron/Canton web meetup, a bunch of techies meet for breakfast on Tuesday mornings.  You can find out more about the when/where here: http://www.meetup.com/akroncantonweb/events/153975982/

Cleveland Tech Breakfast

Organized by the Cleveland JavaScript Meetup, a bunch of techies meet for breakfast on Wednesday mornings.  You can find out more about the when/where here: http://www.meetup.com/Cleveland-JavaScript-Meetup/

Others?

Know of any other groups meeting for breakfast?  Let us know on Twitter as @clevtechevents or drop me an email at admin at this domain!

TechPint – Networking for Techpreneurs
May 1st, 2013 by Sarah Dutkiewicz

Between emails from NEOSA and hanging out at LaunchHouse, I’ve been hearing about some awesome buzz in the tech world here in Cleveland.  One of the upcoming events is TechPint – an event that helps tech entrepreneurs and investors.  This is what I’ve heard…

What’s TechPint?

On Thursday, the 20th of June, the first TechPint event will be held in Cleveland. This new event series will then be held every 3 months in drinking establishments across the city. TechPint will feature speakers that will shake things up for you and give you a chance to see how fellow innovators are progressing with new ventures. Pints will be flowing freely, and undoubtedly new ideas and connections, too.

Where?

TechPint will take place in the Market Garden Brewery in Ohio City from 5:30PM until they kick us out. But you can expect most of the action to take place between 6PM and 9PM. Make sure you get there early for drinks and heavy appetizers.

What you’ll experience

At TechPint we are celebrating the startup, with positive attention brought to failing as well as success. So expect to hear from people speaking about very specific challenges that they are working through such as finding the right people for a startup, growth hacking and recent failures (and subsequent learnings!). TechPint is primarily focused on Internet tech (web, apps etc.), but with most businesses having to leverage online in some way, there will be something for all.

Who’s it for?

TechPint is exclusively for active entrepreneurs and investors. (So if you wish to sell something, this isn’t the event for you.)

For more details, check out http://techpint.org

Announcing the Software Craftsmanship Guild
May 1st, 2013 by Sarah Dutkiewicz

One of the goals I have for this year is to help boost the quality of developers that we have in the area.  My friend Eric Wise is one of the guys behind the Software Craftsmanship Guild, a program to help learn top-notch development skills and possibly lead to a job in the industry.  I asked Eric for a bit more on his program, so read on! – Sarah

—–

Learn Professional Software Development Skills the Right Way!

We are the Software Craftsmanship Guild based in the Akron Global
Business Accelerator building in downtown Akron!  Our goal is to bring
more qualified software developers into the region to meet the explosive
job demand the field has been seeing in Cleveland and well… pretty
much everywhere.  We do this by having real working professionals
teaching skills based on real world exercises.  Our apprentices come out
knowing how enterprise development works and with a code portfolio to
prove it!

So whether you are an IT student who needs some real world experience to
break in, a career changer who doesn’t want to spend 2 years and tens of
thousands of dollars sitting in a classroom, an existing professional
who needs a jump-start to modern skills, or an entrepreneur looking to
dive in and get understanding of the craft we welcome you to apply
now at our site.

Our teaching focuses on being able to take a data driven application
from start-to-finish. So here’s a smattering of the specific
technologies we learn with:

* C#
* WCF Services
* HTML/JavaScript (jQuery, Knockout, jQuery UI, JSON data)
* ASP.NET MVC (Razor)
* SQL Server (T-SQL, Basics of Indexing, Relational Design,
Backup/Recovery, SSIS/SSRS)
* Unit Testing/TDD, Source Control

Tools we use:

* Visual Studio Pro (2012)
* SQL Server 2012
* JetBrains Resharper
* Nunit
* Moq
* Fiddler
* Balsamiq
* and others!

Programming concepts we explore:

* SOLID principles
* layered architecture (enterprise patterns)
* design patterns (strategy, observer, state, etc)
* iterative development/minimum viable product
* basics of UX and wire-framing

The best part is, we are so confident that those we accept into the
program will be successful that we do not charge the full fee until you
find a job in IT.

Our June cohort is filling up, applications are accepted until June 1st
so apply now!  http://www.swcguild.com

Sarah’s Adventures at the Shaker|LaunchHouse
Apr 26th, 2013 by Sarah Dutkiewicz

While things here are a bit crazy – juggling life as a mom, client work, and this site, I managed to take some time to talk with my friend Sue Marrone about a business idea she had.  Sue invited me to meet her down at Shaker|LaunchHouse. Now while there are a bunch of user groups that use their space, I haven’t had time to get there… until this week.  My only regret is not making time to get down there earlier.  I wanted to share my personal experience there to give you an idea of what’s around.

The Layout

When I met with Sue on Thursday, I have to admit that I was a little nervous.  I pulled into the lot of this former car dealership and already didn’t know what to expect.  But to see how they transformed this (and are continuing to build on it)… simply amazing!  When you walk in the front door, there’s the Flex area – those spots are claimed on a first-come, first-served basis.  Members who work in the Flex area pay $99/month to access the area.  Then, there’s an area where they had a couple meetings – a group of college kids were there yesterday, and today there looked to be a lunch event of some sort.  There are private offices – those guys pay more for their space, but it becomes their staked spot.  There are conference rooms to reserve.  I saw a kitchen, the Makers Alliance space – a nifty hackerspace, another meeting space that looks like it can hold around 200 people (based on what their website says), and more.  Their layout plans are posted as well – great plans coming up!  And somewhere there, they have chickens.  Totally not what I expected!

The People

When I walked in on Thursday, I knew I was looking for Sue.  Other than that, I figured I wouldn’t know anyone else.  However, after wandering a little, I ran into my friend Matt, who eventually was able to help me find Sue thanks to their common friend Jay.  Later in the day, I found out that my friend James is part of their IT crew.  The characters at LaunchHouse come from all walks of life – humans and dogs, business people, techies, and everyone in between.  You have the architect, who’s out of retirement for a 2nd time and is enjoying what he does.  Then there are the Tenant Magic guys – they have some cool projects for landlords and tenants.  There’s a guy who’s doing some cool things in music.  Did you know that the newspaper isn’t the only place to find unclaimed funds? There’s a guy who specializes in tracking that down.  There are developers writing all sorts of code. Writers, designers, IT guys, developers… all sorts of backgrounds. Everyone has a story, and I’ve been enjoying hearing about them so far and making note in the back of my mind on how I might be able to help them out later.

The Vibe

The vibe is a powerful one. Did I mention that these guys are super smart?  The ideas and creativity that flows throughout the place is grand.  As I sat there with Sue on Thursday, I thought “This… this is where I need to be. This… this is where awesome technology happenings happen.  These are my people – the kind of people who I would love to network with and help out as best as I can.”  So this morning, I returned to the LaunchHouse, in hopes of catching up with Dar Caldwell and finding out how I can help.  Alas, he was caught up with stuff and I managed to be engaged in various conversations as well.  But the energy that I could feel throughout the morning was great – to be surrounded by this environment encouraged more of my personality out.  The vibe… inspiring.

All This Happiness… What’s One Downfall?

The major downfall – at least for me – is that there’s no easy highway access.  Thankfully, I live on the east side so taking city streets is no big deal.  However, if I were living in any part of Cleveland not near Shaker, I’d find the lack of easy highway access to be a bit annoying.

Conclusion

Overall, I am impressed with the Shaker|LaunchHouse and with what’s going on there.  They’ve got a lot going on, and they’re a great asset to Cleveland’s tech community.  They have their tech accelerator program (applications close May 1, 2013) coming up, and they’ve already backed some great tech companies.  They host user groups, trainings, and other tech events as well.  This place truly embraces the Cleveland tech community well.   I hope they’ll let me become a member and hang out there more, as Shaker|LaunchHouse has a lot going on, and I’d love to promote them and their techie happenings even more here.

Microsoft Store Community Events – Fun for All Ages!
Apr 20th, 2013 by Sarah Dutkiewicz

Disclaimer: I am not a Microsoft employee. I am not a Microsoft Store rep. I happen to be a mom with a son who enjoyed an event there. I also happen to be a fan of Microsoft Stores, having visited the Bellevue, WA store on my trips out to Redmond.  I am promoting the store here because they want to help the community at no cost, and no cost is a good deal in my book. That and Microsoft sponsors many of our user groups in the area. – Sarah

For those who haven’t heard, we now have a Microsoft Store here in the Cleveland area. It opened on April 13th at Beachwood Place, on the Lower Level, across from the Lego Store.  While they have various Microsoft platforms represented – Xbox, phones, tablets, laptops, and desktops, they not only showcase the hardware but also how to use it with various apps.  They also have a theater area for user groups and other events – Xbox devices are available as part of the event.  They will host user groups there for FREE!  The theater area seats about 40-45 comfortably with up to 60 including standing room, based on what they told me on my tour this past Sunday.  Not only will they host groups, but they also host their own stuff as well, and I wanted to make you aware of their programs.

Microsoft Store Gaming Events

Calling all gamers!  The Microsoft Store is hosting gaming events, giving you a chance to game with other gamers!  Some games currently include League of Legends, Call of Duty, Injustice, Halo, and Street Fighter.  For more on the Microsoft Store’s gaming events, check out their gaming-specific meetup at: http://www.meetup.com/The-Microsoft-Store-Beachwood-Place-Mall-Gaming-Events/

The rest of the events below are part of the Microsoft Store’s general Meetup.  You can find that at: http://www.meetup.com/Microsoft-Store-Beachwood-Place-Mall/

Tech Tots

Calling all caregivers and children ages 2 to 6!  The Microsoft Store is running a program for children of this age group called Tech Tots.  My son and I attended our first Tech Tots event yesterday, and Amanda and Pierre were two Microsoft Store reps who ran the show. They had various apps to show the kids, including playing a connect the dots app and Fresh Paint on the large touchscreen.  They also had toys and snacks – including organic fruit snacks, goldfish, and Capri Sun drinks.  Amanda and Pierre were great interacting with the kids, and other store associates would also come by and join in.  Rakesh did a great job acting like a kangaroo with one of the little girls there.  They run Tech Tots on Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays 1:00pm – 2:00pm.

Getting to Know Your Windows 8 Device

If you are interested in Windows 8 or Windows RT devices or have recently purchased one, be sure to check out this workshop on how to take advantage of the various features that are in Windows 8.

Intro to Office 2013

Learn more about the tools that help productivity and collaboration in Office 2013.

Conclusion

We have a new resource in the community, one that would love to host your event and be a partner with the community at large.  The Microsoft Store at Beachwood Place is staffed with such welcoming, friendly people.  I highly recommend checking it out!

Calendar update – new tags
Apr 10th, 2013 by Sarah Dutkiewicz

I’ve updated the calendar today to no longer pull the Meetups from one Meetup.com feed.  I am now pulling each Meetup’s individual feed for the Cleveland Tech Events calendar, allowing me to tag each event with appropriate tags.  Thanks to feedback from you guys, I’ve added tags for Cleveland, Akron, and Canton.  Other appropriate tags have also been added. Each user group should now be appropriately tagged for location and topic.  However, if you see a group missing or would like your group’s tags changed, please contact me!

Also, if your group is not on Meetup and has an iCal feed (not an RSS feed, only iCal feeds), please let me know so that I can subscribe to the iCal feed and get your events to automatically appear on the calendar!

NEOSA Tech Week – April 15 – 21, 2013
Mar 29th, 2013 by Sarah Dutkiewicz

NEOSA is hosting their tech week event this year April 15-21.

Some of their events include:

For a complete list, check out: http://neosatechweek.com/calendar.aspx

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