Monthly Archives: January 2015

Bitwise on Transforming Fresno

Bitwise Industries: “It’s tempting to think that what we’re doing at Bitwise Industries is about buildings or technology or companies. Those are incredible byproducts of what we’re trying to achieve, but that’s not our game. Bitwise is about humans. We’re about their stories, and empowering the next generation of ambitious people to do awesome stuff in Fresno.”

This is why I named Bitwise, Irma, and Jake as A few of my favorite things. Their undying love of people and community. They’ve built something special in Fresno.

Thank you, Irma and Jake.

IBM Layoff? Maybe.

IT World: “IBM is expected to go through a massive reorg next month that will reportedly see 26% of its 430,000-strong work force let go, or 111,800 people. If that figure holds true, that would make it far and away the largest corporate layoff event in history, “

Wow. Just, wow. That’s almost as many people as live in Visalia (the city I live in.) It’s so massive it’s hard to fathom.

Update: To put it another way.

It’s about ads y’all

Listen... do you smell something?CNBC: “Flock is part of Twitter’s push to transition from a place where people go to tweet, to an infrastructure and ad supplier for mobile apps.”

Oh boy.

I can imagine the conversation inside Twitter:

“I know, let’s create the worlds best open communications platform.”

“Naw, let’s make an ad network. People will love it!”

Welcome to the Free Web.

Teehan+Lax+Facebook?

Teehan+Lax: “Ultimately, the things we would get to do at Facebook, the people we would get to work with, the problems we get to solve were too compelling to say no to.”

While I’m not a fan of Facebook I can’t blame anyone for “selling out” to them, but this deal is strange. Basically the Teehan+Lax principals just shuttered their company so they could go to work for Facebook.

In a nutshell “the people we get to work with” at Facebook are better than the people we hired and work with every day, so we’re just going to move to Menlo Park and enjoy the good life.

That, of course, is a bit harsh, but it sure reads like that’s what went down, doesn’t it?

From one of their employees, on Twitter.

https://twitter.com/derekkinsman/status/556102474625720320

Also, why wouldn’t Facebook offer everyone a position, or at least give them the opportunity to take a position in California? It all seems very slimy.

The one thing I learned while freelancing, people will try to get you to do work for nothing. Facebook obviously pulled off quite a coup, without having to purchase an entire company to get what they wanted.

It also sounds like they had reached an inflection point. They obviously didn’t like dealing with the day-to-day garbage (who can blame them) and they wanted to do the interesting stuff. Can’t fault them there.

https://twitter.com/derekkinsman/status/556098484953432068

In the end the Teehan+Lax partners did what was best for them. I just feel bad for the 40 folks left standing in the cold of a Toronto winter wondering what just happened, and what do they do next?

Over 30? Sorry, you can’t help.

Mr. FredricksenMedium: “This year, we’re looking for outstanding technologists to become members of Global Health Corps. If you’re 30 or younger, have an undergraduate degree, and want to use your skills for a social good check out some of these opportunities to become a GHC fellow.”

I guess the Global Health Corps is an ageist organization? What is wrong with people over 30? Do brains stop functioning?

I’m going to sound like a bitter old man for asking that, but my brain hasn’t stopped functioning. I still feel like a kid in many ways. I love technology and still love creating technology. Why couldn’t a 47-year old man do this work? It’s an honest question. I’d love an honest answer from Global Health Corps.

SEC, not so tough

USA Today: “By the time Ohio State finished its takedown of No. 1 Alabama in the Sugar Bowl national semifinal game Thursday night, the top five teams in the SEC West had fallen this postseason. Alabama, Mississippi State, Ole Miss, Auburn and LSU all lost to teams from supposedly inferior leagues.”

I’ve heard time and again how the SEC can’t be beat. I believed it, as did the pundits, or the SEC wouldn’t have so many teams in the Top-20.

It is time for a real tournament. Limit the regular season to 10 games. This would allow for a real tournament. A tournament of 16-teams. Four teams is a good start, but until they reach 16-teams, it’s all pretend.

One other option. Take the pre-season top 16 and schedule them to play their first four games tournament style. It would be a scheduling nightmare, but it would stir the pot right out of the gate.

A few of my favorite things

A wonderful bouquet of flowers.I don’t normally look back on the year, and 2014 is a year I’d like to forget, but instead of focusing on the bad I thought I’d share some of the great things of the year. Here they are, in no particular order.

Bitwise Industries

Even though big tech companies could allow folks to work remotely, they don’t, or won’t. If you live in the San Joaquin Valley of California you’re in a definite no mans land of tech, or as I described it once before, a Technology Black Hole. That said a few wonderful folks, leaders all, decided they would do something about it and formed Bitwise Industries as an umbrella company to provide those of us that live in The Great Valley a place to gather, learn, and work. There are so many people to thank for making this happen, but Irma, Jake, Anna, and Rick are amazing. Thank you for giving Technologists in the Valley a hub.

Castro

Castro is my podcast app of choice. It has a unique user interface and works the way I’d like my podcast application to work. It’s simple, does a great job, and is beautiful. Not much more to say.

Slack

I’ve used Slack on a couple client projects and we use it at Agrian. It’s a great way to communicate and keep an eye on other parts of your business. E.G. You can integrate it into your build environment or be notified when a server or database is having issues. I know I’m only scratching the surface of its capability. It’s a great tool.

Basecamp

When I started Freelancing earlier in the year I worked with a couple companies using Basecamp to manage projects. If you need something simple to manage projects Basecamp is a great choice. It’s easy to use and reliable.

Tweetfave

If you’d like a way to manage your Twitter Favorites, look no further. Tweetfave will deliver your favorites to your inbox. Pretty simple.

AFNetworking

If you’re writing iOS or Mac client applications, that needs to communicate to a network service, you’ve probably heard of AFNetworking. This code makes communicating with REST/JSON based services a snap. You can, of course, use it for more than REST/JSON.

Simply Design

Simply Design is another Fresno based company. Tessa Williamson runs this great design shop. When I went back out on my own I wanted to transition Apple Core Labs to Hayseed. Tessa gave me a beautiful design and is so easy to work with. She’s the real deal. (No, Hayseed never came to be.)

New Orleans

Back in May we moved Haileigh, our oldest daughter, back to California. We turned it into a vacation. We hit New Orleans the evening of Tuesday, May 6, and I was instantly in love with the French Quarter. I’m sure this happens to most people that visit. It’s a magical place, and no, I’m not talking about Bourbon Street, New Orleans is so much more than that. We were able to spend one day in this beautiful city. I’d love to live there.