I recently took a trip to the Middle East (Iran, Oman, and the UAE), where I visited my cousin Jonathan Roberts, who is a Design and Technology teacher at Repton School Dubai, a sister school to Repton School in the United Kingdom. I was really impressed by the amazing workshops and top of the line technology Jonathan’s students were using. As soon as I saw this, I was excited to show it to Baltimoreans. From An Estuary to the Baltimore Robotics Center, from the Foundery to the Digital Harbor Foundation, Baltimore’s educational technology and maker spaces are burgeoning.
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SmartLogic is a web and mobile product development studio based in Baltimore. Contact us for help building your product or visit our website to learn more about what we do.
If you haven’t heard about Giving Tuesday, it’s the charitable follow up to the Black Friday, Small Business Saturday, and Cyber Monday craze. This year, our former client GiveCorps is heading the BmoreGivesMore campaign to make Baltimore the most generous city in America on Giving Tuesday, December 3rd. You can follow along with the campaign using the hashtags #BmoreGivesMore or #GivingTuesday.
To join in and give, just report your gift to your favorite charity. GiveCorps will be distributing matching funds to BmoreGivesMore projects throughout the day, so there’s a chance your gifts could be matched if you give through the campaign.
SmartLogic supports charities every year, so this year, we’re happy to tie our giving into Giving Tuesday. Our tradition is to allow each employee to designate a charity to receive part of our company donation, and to match our employees’ personal gifts, up to a certain amount. This year, I’m happy to report that 100% of the team participated in our matching program.
If you’re wondering who to give to on Giving Tuesday, below are the charities SmartLogic employees chose to give you some ideas. Read the rest of this entry »
Collecting links from conferences is starting to be a tradition for me. I followed up on last year’s RubyConf with these links, and I’m back at it again. Whether you were at RubyConf or not, I hope you enjoy following through on all of the resources and events that I kept track of. Feel free to add your own links in the comments!
Over the years, SmartLogic has helped turn dozens of ideas into products. Along the way, we’ve busted through roadblocks, shared our clients’ frustrations and successes, and of course, learned a lot. I’ve condensed a lot of what we’ve learned into an eBook, which you can download below.
The eBook is ideal for people who:
- Are building a web and/or mobile based product
- Have money (or have access to it)
- Need a plan to ramp up development in order to churn out features
In this post, I’ll cover a few things you need to consider as you’re planning your application development process. I’ll go into more depth on each of these points—and many more—in the eBook itself.
Want to just skip to the eBook?
You can download it here.
We’d love to have your email to keep you posted on other resources we create, but if you’re not comfortable providing it, you can also just click here.
Below, you can read a sneak peek of what you’ll find in the eBook:
Who do you need to build your product? To build any web or mobile application, you can either insource all development, outsource all development, or use a hybrid model. We highly suggest at least a hybrid model if you have limited technical and product development experience. If you’re a skilled product developer, then the model you use depends on your timeline and budget. Will your development needs stay consistent in the long-term? Insourcing may be better. Do you need a team that’s ready to go quickly? Outsourcing might be the right way to go. If you’re looking for more guidance on this decision, I break down the advantages and disadvantages of each model in the eBook. Read the rest of this entry »
I’m at REST Fest this week in Greenville, SC. Whether you can’t make it, or you’re here and want to follow up on the resources you’ve heard about throughout the event, here are 60 links that I’ve bookmarked so far. Tweet me at @ericoestrich if there’s one you’d like me to add!
Edit: Added 30 more links on 9/23
This is just a quick note about a piece I recently wrote for CityBizList, 12 Reasons Why Your Boring Tech Company Can’t Hire Millennials. While I can’t repost the entire article here, if you’re struggling to find employees, particularly software developers, you should read the post on CityBizList.
The article stems from my experience sitting on a panel with other local tech leaders. As the panel talked about how it’s hard to find technical talent in the area, I thought about why this is harder for some companies than for others. The article distills the company culture problems that make recruiting difficult.
If you think your organization might need to take a look in the mirror, check it out.
When SmartLogic decided to bring BohConf to Baltimore for its first year as a standalone conference, I knew I would have a lot to learn about running a technology conference—and I was definitely right about that.
Below I’ll break down a few things I learned to give aspiring conference organizers some advice, and to give BohConf attendees a look behind the scenes. Feel free to comment with any advice or feedback on how BohConf—and any conference—can do better.
Here are some expectations I had about running the conference—and whether or not they were met:
Expectation: It’d be fun to do this for cheap, on a budget.
Realization: While doing BohConf on a budget made it more inclusive and affordable for attendees, it required a lot more time on my behalf, and made some of our decisions as organizers more challenging. Because we lacked resources, some of the little things that needed to be done before the event didn’t happen until the very last minute, for example deciding on the schedule and publishing it to the website. All of the little things really add up, and you can’t cut corners. Now I have a much better idea of what those little things are, and I’ll be able to plan resources and timeline better for next year. If you’re interested in replicating the low-budget model (proceed at the risk of your own time), I go into more detail on how we made it work at the end of this post.
Expectation: BohConf wouldn’t be that much work for me because we had the right volunteer organizers.
Realization: While we had some great volunteers like Jonathan Julian, Kate Bladow, Nick Gauthier, and the rest of the organizing team, we could have used a lot more help. Perhaps it was tight timing, my perfectionist tendencies, and/or lack of delegation, but we ended up spending a ton of time on the event—personally, I spent over 100 hours. The opportunity cost of those hours for SmartLogic’s business is huge. Looking back, I probably would have structured the conference fees and sponsorships so that the event would earn enough to justify hiring event planning professionals, or having SmartLogic employees spend more time on the event as part of their jobs. Read the rest of this entry »
Last Friday, SmartLogic hosted BohConf as a standalone design and development conference here in Baltimore. I gave a talk about testing android, and I also kept track of interesting resources other speakers mentioned.
Enjoy, and feel free to add your own in the comments!
I like to have separate files for each class in my Android projects, the only exception being AsyncTasks. Having this many java files means you have to have more packages than the base package. I ended up with a package for each type of main class. Each class is named ending with its type.
Thirsty for some Nerdy Boh? SmartLogic is organizing BohConf as a standalone conference this year: mark your calendars and buy tickets for Friday July 19th at the University of Baltimore. If you’ve been to BohConf before, you’ll be seeing something a little different. Instead of focusing on just Ruby on Rails, we’re widening the scope. If you’re interested in the latest technologies and best practices for web and mobile application development and design, you should attend and/or speak. We’re planning a jam-packed schedule, with content for both super technical people and those who prefer a wider lens.
We’re still seeking speakers, and we want first-timers and veterans alike to talk. Submit your proposal for a 60 minute guided exploration or 20 minute talk here by July 1st. Or you can just buy tickets for the full day and/or BohConf Ignite the night before.
Why should you come? There are many reasons, but here are a few reasons why I’m excited: Read the rest of this entry »