Update 3 – Portland Startup Week – Docker, Fig, Women in Tech, Wearables & A Hackfest

Here’s some great events coming up the first week of February for Portland Startup Week! Are you planning on attending any of these or others during the week? Let me know of other good events related to Portland Startup Week and I’ll get those posted too.

Sailing Away From Dependency Hell with Docker & Fig
Tuesday Feb 3: 12-1 PST

Deconstructing Women in Technology: What’s the Data Really Telling Us
Tuesday Feb 3: 5-6 PST

Portland Startup Week Where are your Wearables Hackfest with Quick Left & Name.com
Wednesday Feb 4: Hackfest: 6:00-10

I’ll be attending the hackfest and hope to team up with anyone that has been hacking IoT or other hardware and wearables to try to put together something new – or even to discuss what we might build in the future. Either way, it should be a great time and I look forward to teaming up with people to build some awesome.

Cheers!

2013 Dies, 2014 Lives… To a New Year!

My feelings on new years resolutions is pretty dry. Namely, I think they’re rather stupid. The main reason being this, if one is only checking their life, place and accomplishments once a year they’re forgetting most of them and remembering little if any accomplishments. It reminds me of the hierarchical nonsense of western European derived management culture. Something that is horribly out of space, time and element in today’s world. It has really shown it’s age but refuses to let go and disappear.

But, in humor of the past, to humor the age old hierarchical notions of the past, present and future. He’s my cheers to 2013 as it dies and my cheers to 2014 and what may come. First, what’s been done. As I was saying, I’m not a fan of wait a whole year to review things, and I’ve done plenty of reviewing over the last year. That’s include making hard decisions and kicking some serious ass. I’ve made huge changes, not just in my life, but in the direction I’m heading in my career (if you’d even call what I do a career, there isn’t exactly a defined path).

Accomplishments

I haven’t worked for a company in 4 months. I’d want to stop doing that for many months and strike out and try something of my own. Run a startup, build a startup, work as a purely individual contractor and contributor or something. Something were I wasn’t collecting a set pay check by a set company that could at whim do whatever it wanted with me, the project and such. I wanted a truly greenfield effort and a greenfield gig. So what did I do?

Beer

I sat on my porch for 2 months, enjoyed the waning summer and drank a few beers. Amazing and tasty brews from local brewers in San Francisco, Portland, Seattle and a few other locations. Most of them, from right here in the beer capital of the world Portland, Oregon. I spent a few evening just hanging out with friends, fellow coders, metal heads and musicians at heart at Bailey’s Tap Room. A lot of hanging out there, but it went further then that. I jammed with a multitude of street musicians, hoodie donned and pulled to. It was very enjoyable.

During all of this time I didn’t really throw a lick of code. I didn’t implement anything. I didn’t even really think that much about stuff. I read a few things here and there and did study a little bit. But mostly I just did a lot of hanging out, sitting, chilling and introspecting about what I wanted to do next.

The Changes: Change #1 a Calendar

After that 2 months of getting all fat and happy. Just enjoying life and pondering all that is the first big change happened. It’s kind of stupid, but it is a huge change for me. I updated my calendar to actually reflect what the hell I’m doing. I’ve made a point in the last 2 plus months to keep it up to date too. It’s amazing how much easier the day to day is when the calendar is up to date. It seems like a small thing. Something of the “well no shit Sherlock” category of obvious. But it has indeed shifted the way I work and the way I stay organized for the better.

The Changes: Change #2 Fukkit, OS-X & All the OSs it must be. Windows is officially dead to me.

With the last few months at Basho I’d bought an X1 Carbon, using mostly with Ubuntu but also having Windows 8 loaded on it. Windows 8 I grew to not just dislike, but loathed the horridness of so many things. It was Windows 7, with a nasty UI and stupid UX thrown on top. It took decades of UI know how and turned everything upside down.

So I killed it. I killed it dead. Ubuntu was the only US for me at that point but I wanted more. I wanted a high res screen (minimum of 1920×1080 work space at least) that I could do video editing and video rendering on. The Ubuntu and Carbon wasn’t cutting it for that. I wanted to be able to write OS-X, iOS, Windows or whatever code I wanted being able to switch between whichever OS on an efficient OS. The only one that enables all of that is OS-X with VMware Fusion loaded on it (or maybe Parallels or such). So I said to myself, screw it, get back on board that Apple wagon. I still had a Mac Book Air, but it wouldn’t cut it for all the needs, so I upgraded to a Mac Book Pro Retina with 16GB RAM and an i7. This sucker screams and does every single things I want. Change #2, easy, just plunked down a giant chunk of money and it was done. Whew.

The Changes: Change #3 Hedge My Work Decision, Then Decide on Something.

The final decision of this year was the biggest I’ve made in some time. I started doing some contract writing for blogs, all while checking into a few cool companies around Portland. I also started discussions with Aaron Gray about a prospective business. While looking at becoming the Vice President of Engineering for one company with an exciting product, writing blog entries and working with startups to help determine their paths, and looking at just doing simple contract work building out some large scale systems something came up.

Aaron and I decided to kick off Deconstructed.io. Yup, I’m co-founding a startup with Aaron Gray. Do you know him? Follow him on the tweetersphere @agray.

The Changes: Change #4 Yup, I’ve changed my blog theme again. It’s not a big deal, but it should be much more readable.

Happy new year to all, keep kicking ass and putting up the good fight.   \m/  \m/

PIE’s Third Class, You Better Keep an Eye on These Companies…

There are a number of new startups that have joined the third PIE Class. However there are a few that have stood out to me.

The first startup has to do with the IoT. IoT stands for Internet of Things. I’m a MASSIVE fan of what is being done with IoT. Personally I think it should be the space to watch in regard to the next big moves and big shifts in technology. From a market perspective, there’s some legitimate reasons to watch the IoT space from that view too.

Smart Mocha

With that, Smart Mocha caught my eye immediately. The description reads “Connects monitoring/measurement devices to the Internet of Things, enabling greater and more efficient access to critical data.” Their first product is Sense Simple, which is an “out of box” sensor network. This is interesting, being that existing systems that do what their Sense Simple offering does, are:

  • Dramatically more expensive, easily 10x or more.
  • Complexity in existing systems introduces vastly more points of failure, maintenance issues and other concerns.
  • Often not as capable for integration into other systems, Sense Simple already has “cloud control” – which is a control and device diagnostic tool to provide remote views of the sensor network.
  • All this, via a cellular gateway preconfigured and ready for logging data , multiple sensors, around temperature, humidity, barometric pressure, vibration, sound and more.

As I mentioned above, integration with existing industry standard sensors and the ability of the company to expand this product in the future already exceeds most of the existing offerings in the space. An example, just based on the cell gateway and cloud based control, provides a prime avenue to expand into the API space to provide even more ways to track, report and log data.

Orchestrate.io

The tag line says it all, “Add Features, Not Databases”. Orchestrate.io have designed a simple API, idiomatic client drivers as their site states. All of which enables you to get started trying tout Orchestrate.io rapidly. The goal of Orchestrate.io is to remove the need to manage a disparate array of databases and to instead focus on the data, what you want to do with the data and to develop solutions against that data. Being that it is offered as a Service akin to PaaS, IaaS and other styles of offerings, it provides the ability for you to pay for only what you use.

In today’s marketplace this is extremely ideal for a number of companies and becoming even more ideal for existing companies, legacy data and more. Got data? Check out Orchestrate.io and see if it works for you.

Summary

IoT:  As I was writing above, IoT is definitely shaping up to be a huge deal in the near future. Many industries are moving back to make progress in the physical realm akin to the migrations from ‘foot travel’ to ‘horse travel’ to ‘rail travel’ to ‘air travel’. We’re going to see some huge leaps here, maybe something along the lines of ‘human vision’ to ‘augmented vision’ to ‘perceptual planes vision’. Do you even know what ‘perceptual planes vision’ is? If not, get ready for the future, things might get bumpy! Smart Mocha looks to be positioned in a good place for impact.

Big Data, Data and more data: I’m under the impression I don’t need to elaborate on the notions of big data, but I will. Data has become a major differentiator, more so than even 5-10 years ago. Data has also become an even greater pain while becoming this major advantage. From genomic research to full tracked telemetry data to high volume high scale high quality printing, our new world of big data is here to stay. Orchestrate.io can help you wrap this realm up.

Disclosure: I don’t work for either of these companies, nor am I paid by the city of Portland, but they’re on my radar as I watch Portland’s startup scene and culture. I also live and breath the culture here, I am a Portlandian. Stay tuned for more in the coming weeks as other incubators and startups keep rocking and rolling here in the city of Portland, OR.

Resources:

Indirect Resources:

For good coverage of Portland’s artistic side, video quality and some of our current startups and companies, give this Techtown Portland video a watch.

Tech Town Portland from Uncage the Soul Productions on Vimeo.

Holy Sh@#! Did You See What That Program Does!!!!!!

Have you ever worked for a startup? A successful startup? Have you ever seen the excitement in a startup meeting, hackathon, or other event were an idea starts to come to fruition! When the users of the startup’s application finally see it and start getting excited? Have you seen when people get so excited because you are about to CHANGE THEIR LIVES FOREVER?

Startups are crazy exciting. However startups can also be death marches of pain and anguish. It’s up to an individual to be careful about joining startups, to know the people involved and the leaders. It is up to the individual getting involved to make sure the owners of the effort are on track and heading in the right direction! It can be extremely stressful just deciding to get a startup kicked off!

I’ve been working with a number of people and volunteering ideas and efforts to startups lately. If for one single reason I get involved with startups, is because of the excitement! It is something not felt in any other industry ever. The entrepreneurial stress and excitement is unmeasurable!

So, Why Am I Rambling About Startups?

I’m rambling on about startups because it is that time of the cycle again in the tech sector. The excitement is contagious! The ideas are flowing and slowly but steadily being implemented. Many ideas are horrible, but there are the gems that will create new jobs, simplify lives, enable people to do more with less, and in the end make everybody’s lives better. I’d like to just encourage people to look past the technology, past the in religious conflict of Emacs vs. Vim, and jump on board some of this excitement. Get in the battle to succeed and bring change, sometimes by force! Be disruptive and cause those that don’t want change to get pushed aside so that our day to day gets better!

…and keep in mind that being a developer you are one of the most valuable parts of this entire effort. You have the ability to enable massive and disruptive change and create a better future. Sometimes it is slow, sometimes it seems to grind along, but we developers are the movers of the world these days! Make that change!

CloudCamp Seattle!

Cloudcamp Seattle (December 1st)

Cloudcamp Seattle (December 1st)

Tomorrow is the big day!  So be sure to come check out CloudCamp Seattle!  We’re going to have a lot of great attendees, some rock star lightning talks and more.  Make sure to get registered ASPA (click on the CloudCamp image above).

Location:
Amazon HQ
426 Terry Avenue North (At South Lake Union)
2nd Floor Conference Room
Seattle, WA 98109

Final Schedule:
6:00pm Registration, Networking w/ Food & Drinks
6:30pm Welcome and Thank yous
6:45pm Lightning Talks (5 minutes each)
Tony Cowan – WebSphere CloudBurst/Hypervisor Editions
Mithun Dhar – Microsoft Azure
Steve Riley – Amazon Web Services
Sundar Raghavan – Skytap
Josh Wieder – Atlantic.net
Margaret Dawson – Hubspan
Patrick Escarcega – “Managing Fear – Transitioning to the Cloud
7:30pm Unpanel
8:00pm Begin Unconference (organize the unconference)
8:15pm Unconference Session 1
9:00pm Unconference Session 2
9:45pm Wrap-up Session
10:00pm Raffle Books: “Host your website in the cloud” by Jeff Barr
10:15pm Drinks at 13coins sponsored by Clear Wireless Internet

NW Cloud

NW Cloud

Local Organizers:
– Jon Madamba of http://www.sawsug.com
– Shy Cohen
– Krish Subramanian of Krishworld
– Adron Hall (Me)
– Dave Nielsen of CloudCamp

Cool Places, Things, and Groups in Seattle So Far?

I am new to Seattle from the "I live here" perspective.  I have travelled here and visited more than a few times.  The last week or so I have been wandering a bit and checking out various groups such as Web Analytics Wednesday and possibly will check out the Startup Drinks Group in Ballard this Friday.  All in all I’m happier with my move from Portland to Seattle than I originally thought I’d be (because Portland is seriously awesome too).  Seattle is surprising me in a few ways that I actually didn’t expect, one of them is the tech scene presence is a little bit better than I originally thought it was (good job tech scene pplz).

There are a few points I am still curious about.  Maybe some readers could help me out with the following:

  1. Where and when do the people interested in Saas, Cloud Computing, and similar topics get together, hang out, have drinks, or otherwise?  I haven’t found too much going on around these topics.
  2. Ok, I have found a number of awesome coffee shops to hang out at on those days were I don’t go into the office.  So does anyone else have any suggestions for cool places to pull out the laptop and crank on some code and such?
  3. I really dig hearing about all the awesome startups in Seattle, which Seattle 2.0 is pretty awesome in relating, but is there anything else I should check out?

That’s my burning curiosities at the moment, so if any of your dear readers have any thoughts on these things, or know of anything please do leave a comment or three.  : )

I moderate, so if they don’t show up immediately it will eventually.  Thanks!