What am I working on right now?

Good Eats blog – This is a for fun site I am putting together because the collective information on the internet about this show mostly is terrible. It’s either got bad UI, incomplete information, or no information. This site is for me and I don’t expect it to really gather any traffic ever.

Hackathon License – There is a fundamental Intellectual Property problem with going to hackathons. If you create a viable solution/product/whatever at a hackathon, you’re on the hook to all the people who helped you at the hackatahon if you want to build a business around this idea. I am working on a solution with a lawyer (possibly many lawyers) and some friends to solve this problem or at least come up with a 60-80% solution. We will open source this license or agreement (the wording is not clear yet, as we haven’t ironed everything out) and make it available to the community to build upon. More information on this coming soon as it’s moving forward and awesome things are happening.

Learning Ruby and Rails – I am a coder who has a business card that says “Recovering Developer”. The problem is that I don’t really want to recover. It’s a joke because I don’t get paid to code anymore (and not really at this time looking to be paid to develop). Riding the “ex-developer” wagon sucks, so I refuse to do it. In my spare time (hahaha) I am learning Ruby and Rails. I really like what I have found so far and see the possibilities unfolding in front of me, like the guy watching the screen on The Matrix. There’s a project I am probably going to build so that I can learn Rails in a hands-on manner, we’ll see if it goes anywhere. The point is not for it to be huge, unless some interest shows up for it. The point is for me to learn a new language and a new framework at the same time.

Ignite Denver and Denwhere? – I wanted to be one of the organizers for Ignite Denver for at least a year before I weaseled my way in. :) I really enjoy the organization aspect and I love the idea of building an event that 300+ people love to go to every couple of months. It’s a great way to learn more about event planning and to meet some awesome people. Also, the sparks are always fantastic. While organizing, we realized there was room for doing so much more both for the event and then down the road for the community, but there was a problem. At the time, Ignite was a for-profit sort of non-company that was being run through one of the organizer’s bank accounts. This created liabilities and fun-times with money that were not conducive for growth and community involvement at a greater scale. So, we started down the path of building a non-profit called Denwhere?, a 501(c)(3) eventually.

The name Denwhere? is a play on the fact that so many people see Boulder as the place to be. It’s cheeky and fun.

This non-profit will allow us to accept donations that are tax-writeoff-able for the organizations donating. It allows us to show that no one person is pulling down money from Ignite, because we have to report any money paid out to Board Members to the IRS and state of Colorado.  We have no plans to pay any volunteers, organizers, or board members for their time. All money is rolled back into the org so we can put on bigger and better events that help us to build the Denver community.  It will also allow us to do so much more for Ignite like bigger venue, free stuff, t-shirts, the possbilities are endless. We are working towards the goal of doing more in Denver, but focusing on making Ignite more amazing with every new event. Lots of stuff in motion and many more announcements to come here.

Building the Startup Community in Denver – This is a huge goal of mine and many other people in Denver. There are an amazing number of startups, entrepreneurs, tech companies, and wickedly smart people in Denver. The big issue is that many don’t know each other because we are so spread out and everyone is so busy. If we had more places that people WANT to be, where they see value, and gain business advantage from being involved – we will see Denver grow and be known as a tech city. There’s no reason that Denver should be seen as a suburb to Boulder as far as the tech community is concerned. We have more of everything and should work together to prove it. My goals here are just to be involved with the right organizations, get the right people together, and get them working on a common goal. Helping with and getting the word out about events like Denver Startup Week and organizations like Built In Denver or Denver Coworks are exactly where I will be spending my efforts.

Getting started as a developer SUCKS – This is one of those ideas I am floating around to see what people think.  I am working to find a solution to the gap from academia to being a professional with regards to being a developer. I got REALLY lucky in college that I had two companies who could see the potential and didn’t have the budget for super-coders. They let me start fresh with them, kicked my ass for a year and a half, and then I was able to leap from there to do new things. I am super grateful to both those companies for how they helped me. I was the exception to the rule.

I see a great space with many possibilities for what could be done as a sort of “Finishing School” (Thanks Seth Levine for the term and the great convo about this idea) for developers. A place where they get to be immersed in the Agile workforce with a real project manager who keeps things on track, where they get paid for their work, and they get to work on the technology that will get them a proper job with an awesome company.

There is also great possibility here to do amazing things for the community, ala code for community, where projects are brought in partially funded or without funding for awesome non-profits or social-good companies who don’t have funding. On top of this, there would need to be funding and some paid work with reputable companies who might be looking for these people down the road. We will provide a way for developers to be exposed to awesome companies, engineers, and potential employers through the work their doing while providing great value to those organizations.

This is one of those things that I am really excited about and I am seeing tons of interest. If you know someone who might be interested in helping out with this idea or who I should meet, please tell me!

Secret Sawce – There are a couple things alluded to above with Ignite and Denwhere?, my first real Rails project, and I am working on a couple other things that fit into these above very nicely. More info will come if these things are allowed to see the light of day.

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