3 Notes

Join us for Rails Girls Summer of Code 2014!

railsgirls:

After an incredible first Summer of Code, we’re back for another year and need your help!

We just started our crowd funding campaign one week ago and secured 8 scholarships in 7 days! Our goal is to fund 20 scholarships for our future students again. And you can help us make that happen!…

176 Notes

What kind of Muppet are you?

nprfreshair:

Dahlia Lithwick of Slate poses this theory:

Every one of us is either a Chaos Muppet or an Order Muppet.

Read through to find out which type is which. [slightly related] Which are you?

We’ve discussed this at lengthat DBC this week. 

1 Notes

Is There Really A Skills Gap?
Excerpt from Inc. article 
“If businesses hired for skills, not experience, they could expand the pool of talent and also expand the ability of providers to get them the people they need. That is the market niche that Shereef Bishay, once a lead software developer with Microsoft, has identified.
Bishay is a founder of Dev Bootcamp, a for-profit enterprise that develops what Bishay calls “world-class beginners” in Web development and software engineering. Says Bishay, “We are a vocational school in the most honorable sense of the word.” In its first year, 2012, there were 100 graduates; in 2013, there were 370, and this year, the projection is 750. There are sites in San Francisco and Chicago; New York is scheduled next.
Bootcampers do nine weeks of intensive training (plus nine weeks of online prep before the course); working pros teach them Ruby on Rails, HTML5, CSS, JavaScript, and other skills. No specific background is required, but most participants have a college degree of some kind; the key attributes are the desire to code and what Bishay calls “a commitment to personal awareness.”
The idea is to graduate coders who not only have technical skills but whose human operating systems are also in working order. There is a 95 percent graduation rate, and essentially those graduating get jobs as soon as they want one, with an average starting salary of around $80,000; employers include Twitter, Google, and Apple.
The point is not to graduate with a degree—Bootcamp survivors get a set of dog tags on their last day rather than a diploma—but to demonstrate mastery of a particular skill. The emphasis is on extreme employability, not prestige credentialing; students bring their code to job interviews. In a sense, Dev Bootcamp is a New Agey trade school for the high-tech economy.”

Is There Really A Skills Gap?

Excerpt from Inc. article 

If businesses hired for skills, not experience, they could expand the pool of talent and also expand the ability of providers to get them the people they need. That is the market niche that Shereef Bishay, once a lead software developer with Microsoft, has identified.

Bishay is a founder of Dev Bootcamp, a for-profit enterprise that develops what Bishay calls “world-class beginners” in Web development and software engineering. Says Bishay, “We are a vocational school in the most honorable sense of the word.” In its first year, 2012, there were 100 graduates; in 2013, there were 370, and this year, the projection is 750. There are sites in San Francisco and Chicago; New York is scheduled next.

Bootcampers do nine weeks of intensive training (plus nine weeks of online prep before the course); working pros teach them Ruby on Rails, HTML5, CSS, JavaScript, and other skills. No specific background is required, but most participants have a college degree of some kind; the key attributes are the desire to code and what Bishay calls “a commitment to personal awareness.”

The idea is to graduate coders who not only have technical skills but whose human operating systems are also in working order. There is a 95 percent graduation rate, and essentially those graduating get jobs as soon as they want one, with an average starting salary of around $80,000; employers include Twitter, Google, and Apple.

The point is not to graduate with a degree—Bootcamp survivors get a set of dog tags on their last day rather than a diploma—but to demonstrate mastery of a particular skill. The emphasis is on extreme employability, not prestige credentialing; students bring their code to job interviews. In a sense, Dev Bootcamp is a New Agey trade school for the high-tech economy.”

Notes

Kevin Starr at IIT Design Research Conference 2010

This is one of my favorite talks that combines the topics of social entrepreneurship, impact investing, mission driven organizations, human centered design thinking, and data-driven results. 

In summary, here’s the list of the full chain needed to get from an initial idea or invention to real impact:

  • Idea
  • Need
  • Real Demand
  • Design Process
  • Product
  • Manufacture
  • Distribution
  • Marketing
  • Behaviour
  • Impact

Regardless of the fact that this talk primarily focuses on non-profits the logic still applies to for-profit ventures. It’s worth the watch. 

1 Notes

In Cincinnati, we’ve worked with local government to enact an open data policy, which is now in draft form as a formal motion. We’ve also collaborated with the Representatives Hagan and Duffey in Ohio to work on a bill to open data at a state level. The bill is currently being discussed by a committee at the statehouse.

Cincinnati is currently the only city in Ohio to participate as a Code for America Brigade city, the first to pass a formal policy for open data transparency, and the only city to formalize and execute a policy from a grassroots level - most other cities have an appointed CTO, Digital, or Innovation Office within city government. Ex: Jason Lally in SF, Jonathan Reichental in Palo, Dan O’Neil / Chris Whitaker in Chicago, and Mark Headd in Philly.

In our case, we are supported entirely by the Haile Foundation through a Program Manager and local technology volunteers. As such, ODC is the subject of a capstone project by graduate student researchers working for the Los Angeles City Controller’s office to help provide information and best practices useful in the construction of an open data blueprint.

- my response to a WCPO inquiry about Open Data Cincy

I’ve had my head down for so long I forgot how much we accomplished. I’m really proud and so grateful for the support. 

Open Data CincyOhio bill

Notes

Leaders Eat Last

I’m reading Leaders Eat Last, by Simon Sinek. So far, it’s proven as thought-provoking as his other publications and sparks my interest in exploring leadership development on a more in-depth level. I’m not entirely sure what that means yet. Probably reading more books. 

image

His talk at 99U last year sums up the book pretty well. Take a few minutes to watch it here:

Simon Sinek: Why Leaders Eat Last from 99U on Vimeo.

/emk 

10 Notes

radiolabreads:

Generation: The Seventeenth-Century Scientists Who Unraveled the Secrets of Sex, Life, and Growth
Matthew Cobb
Related Podcast: Black Box

radiolabreads:

Generation: The Seventeenth-Century Scientists Who Unraveled the Secrets of Sex, Life, and Growth

Matthew Cobb

Related Podcast: Black Box

Notes

1 Notes

Innovators Solution: Open Data + Startup Weekend

To prepare for the Open Data Startup Weekend event, I’ve been reading The Innovators Solution, which makes me think in more depth about the benefit of open data and open source technology to networks, communities, and organizations.

Let’s start by focusing on open source technology, which I see as an essential element for innovation as described by the “The Law of Conservation of Attractive Profits”:

“When attractive profits disappear at one stage in the value chain because a product becomes modular and commoditized, the opportunity to earn attractive profits with proprietary products will usually emerge at an adjacent stage.”

Simply put, open source technology and methodology have an impact on innovation by commoditizing one element in the network while enabling greater profit generation opportunities at other elements.

For example, Linux commoditized the server operating system, so the opportunity for profit generation transferred to the server itself, as well as the database, middleware and application layers, and opportunities for service providers/system integrators. As a result, you see the explosive growth of companies like IBM, Google and HP. Linux, the open source software, enabled other elements of the network to monetize and flourish while also expanding our toolset to include new systems that help individuals problem solve at every level. This stimulates innovation, which may actually lead to an increase in demand and profitability for the network as a whole.

Now let’s think about this as it relates to Open Data Startup Weekend, which is an event intentionally hosted for the purpose of using open data in an open source environment to artificially commoditize an element in the network.

Right now, many of the organizations liberating data do so for the purpose of transparency. They fail to realize there may be economic opportunity, along with innovation, that can be derived from open data.*

Revisiting the law, we reframe the explanation in terms of the use of open data for civic innovation:

“When attractive profits disappear at one stage in the value chain because a product becomes modular and commoditized (public transit/taxi service) the opportunity to earn attractive profits with proprietary products will usually emerge at an adjacent stage (Web/mobile apps like Ridescout/Uber/Lyft)”

Instead of waiting for organizations that are contributing data to commoditize an element, Open Data Cincy and Startup Weekend Cincinnati have decided to play an active role in accelerating the delivery and implementation. Both organizations hope to encourage startup profit opportunities to adjacent elements - through the creation and use of websites, mobile apps, database architecture, algorithms, and so on.  Drawing a parallel to the Law, we hope the use of regional open data spurs innovation locally by social entrepreneurs activating their problem solving skills to build solutions for the challenges in our community.

*One can also deduce, the more open data - the more opportunity for civic innovation.

Sidenote: I am writing this on a plane. It might only make sense to me. Much of it is jumbled together from what I’ve read/learned from Clayton Christensen, ‎Michael Raynor, and Tim O’Reilly. 

 

Notes

Alan Moore Takes Superheroes Seriously

There’s more going on in his comics than in anyone else’s: more imagination, more humour, more playfulness, more depth and breadth, more politics, more affection for the medium, and more anger that it isn’t reaching its full potential. And more words.

Alan Moore covered in Intelligent Life Magazine http://bit.ly/1cr099q

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