4 Issues Surrounding Workforce Development for Technology Companies

The Arizona Technology Council released a report from a survey that the University of Phoenix and the Technology Councils of North America recently did on Software Development Competencies to better understand workforce development issues in software development occupations. Asking the following Questions. (Three Roles: Mobile, Application and Web Developer)

1. What is the primary reason for the reported talent shortage in the software development sector (quantity or quality)?
83% of respondents indicated there is clearly a talent shortage.
51% stated the most significant cause is the local market does not have an adequate supply of available works entering the field (quantity).
27% stated the most significant cause is available workers do not have adequate skills and education to occupy the roles (quality).

www technologycouncils org site publisher files UOPX TECNA Software Development Survey Results for Distribution pdf e1408933416197 4 Issues Surrounding Workforce Development for Technology Companies

2. What 3 to 5 most critical skills must individuals have to perform effectively in there high-demand software development roles in the next 2 to 4 years?
The majority of respondents saw User Interface Design, Architecture and Java as key skills in the next 2 to 4 years.
Programming, Web Design and Data Warehousing were seen as necessary skills for all roles.
88% of the respondents felt “Soft Skills” were equally or more important than technical skills.

3. What education and certifications will be required by individuals in the next 2 to 4 years to preform successfully in three high-demand software roles?
45% felt less than a bachelor’s degree was necessary for web/mobile development.
Only 7% felt greater than a bachelor’s degree was necessary.
Less than 30% felt industry certifications were valuable.

4. What are employers doing to cope with future anticipated skill gaps in three high-demand software development roles?
Only 69% of employers are doing something about it.
68% plan on conducting internal training
64% plan on offering internships
53% plan on retraining employees
51% plan on network building

Report summary: UOPX-TECNA Software Development Survey Results.

City of Mesa Open Data Road Show

The City of Mesa and Code for America are hosting an Open Data regional event on September 4th. The benefits of Open Data range from enhancing government performance to increasing public participation. Show up and explore the process and outcomes of implementing data driven initiatives.

Code for America Summit 2013 Flickr   Photo Sharing  City of Mesa Open Data Road Show

In Attendance:

  • City officials who have adopted open data policies (Phoenix, Tucson)
  • Start-ups/entrepreneurs who use open data, creating new job opportunities.
  • Community groups actively developing projects that affect the city and it’s residents (eg: transit, health, park apps).
  • ASU faculty and staff researchers who benefit by and contribute to open data sets (eg: budget, water usage).
  • Citizens!

At past events people walked away energized and committed to implement new practices, host hackathons and develop community partnerships. It is an opportunity to share, ask questions and learn from other departments, partner cities, start-ups and community members.

“I thought the open data roadshow was very informative and inspirational! I thoroughly enjoyed it ” -Tony Heinrichs, Deputy Chief Operating Officer, Infrastructure/Public Works, City of San Diego

Goals:

  • Bringing the best of open data practices, policies and experiences to cities.
  • Educating a government audience to the concept, values, and opportunities of open data.
  • Consulting and troubleshooting how government staff can pursue open data within their own agencies.
  • Sharing resources and best practices to support governments interested in implementing open data.

The Logistics:
Open Data Roadshow: Mesa
Thursday September 4th 8:30am – 1:00pm
Mesa Arts Center – 1 E Main St, Mesa, AZ 85201
Free of Charge with breakfast and lunch provided!

RSVP Here:
https://www.eventbrite.com/e/open-data-roadshow-mesa-tickets-12361508605

More info here:
http://opendataroadshow.com/

Gangplank Guilt-free Book Club: August Recap and September Book Announced

Did you know that Gangplank Chandler is host to a “guilt-free” book club? Guilt free means that you can (and should) participate whether you read the book or not. Discussion is always thoughtful and mind-opening and the group challenges itself with books from every genre and focus as it can. You should check it out!

August Recap

Our book for August was “The Little Prince” by Antoine De Saint-Exupery.  It was a very different book for us, the result of a desire to discuss a book from out past that touched our hearts.  We were treated to French wine, cheese, and dessert by Ann W. as we celebrated  the French-ness of the book, as well as getting back in touch with our inner child. Deconstructing a book so full of metaphors was like trying to pick up a big bowl of spilled Jello (wait, is that a metaphor or an analogy??).  Anyway, we had fun, as usual.

September’s Book

September’s book is, as we are known to do, a real departure from last month’s book.  Join us on Wednesday, September 10th at 6 PM, as we discuss Nassim Nicholas Taleb‘s newest book, “Antifragile: Things That Gain from Disorder.”

His general thesis of the book:

With the velocity of change it is impossible to predict if, when and how things will change.  Better, then, to create organizations and platforms that benefit from disorder and change (antifragile) than ones that are broken or made obsolete (fragile).

Taleb says, “The antifragile loves randomness and uncertainty, which also means – crucially – a love of errors, a certain class of errors. Antifragility has a singular property of allowing us to deal with the unknown, to do things without understanding them – – and do them well. Let me be more aggressive: we are largely better at doing that we are thinking, thanks to antifragility. I’d rather be dumb and anti-fragile and extremely smart and fragile, anytime.”

New York Times says, “Mr. Taleb — who has worked as a derivatives trader and quantitative analyst, and who holds the title of distinguished professor of risk engineering at the Polytechnic Institute of New York University — writes with great certainty and vigor. At his best he serves up provocative theories that encourage us to look at the world anew. He reminds us of the limits of Enlightenment reason, goads us into thinking about why small might be less fragile than big (a rule, he implies, that applies to animals and corporations alike) and gives us a renewed appreciation of practical knowledge (of the sort possessed by engineers and entrepreneurs) as opposed to the sort of academic knowledge acquired in school.”

Also, check out his talk at an Authors at Google discussion on the book.

Remember… our book club is a guilt-free book club, so you don’t have to read the book to join in.  So, join us on Wednesday, September 10th at 6 PM, as we discuss Nassim Nicholas Taleb’s newest book, Antifragile: Things That Gain from Disorder.

RSVP on Facebook or Meetup or share the event page on your social media.

Community Meeting Notes, August 20, 2014

Some notes from this week’s Community Meeting

Restarting the Gangplank Chandler Incubator Program

Derek N. proposed we reform the Gangplank Chandler Incubator program. There is popular support for this idea. Reasons include:

  • Forming an Arizona incubator that is both unselfish and effective. Derek sees many of the local incubators take too much or lack the effectiveness Arizona needs. We already have the resources to give both!
  • Building stronger accountability in the community. By building an incubator where each business is collaboratively accountable to each other, versus to the incubator organization, they will grow stronger, faster.
  • Leverage the power of our GP mentors. Our GP mentors are awesome, but some of them are frustrated with the one-and-done way most mentees go through the program. They volunteer mentor to make a stronger AZ entrepreneurship environment, and they want more opportunity to make that happen. A formal incubator could use their experience to the maximum and give them a more rewarding reason to mentor.
  • An application process will draw greater attention to GP, helping us bring more vibrant people to the space.

Derek plans to take this discussion offline and people interested in supporting this program should reach out to him.

Snack Machine will go Bye-Bye

Jeremy S, who manages the vending at GP Chandler, announced his intent to remove the snack machine after we finish the rest of the inventory. The machine was popular at first but lost interest as people began to not trust the machine to work. With Jeremy S and team not always here, there wasn’t a good system in place to offer refunds when the machine got stuck. The machine is for sale for $60 if you want to own the nostalgic style snack machine.

Spontaneous Exploding Glass Incident

Last week on Thursday, a large glass panel shattered sometime in a two hour window between the late crew closing up on hacknight and the first co-workers arriving in the morning. Without evidence of break in and no knowledge of cause otherwise, we’ve chalked it up to spontaneous glass breakage. This will be repaired in the coming days. Thanks to Phil S. for getting quotes and acting as lead person on the repair.

250 & 260 Update

Our current Gangplank space, despite what address we advertise, is at 250 S Arizona Ave. Our building, which we share with Planet Sub and other tenants, may be up for sale soon. Derek discussed seeking out a motivated Gangplank-friendly investor to purchase the building.

Phil S. gave a verbal update on the 260 construction project. Glass windows and doors for the front were installed this week, but otherwise, we are still waiting on engineering plan updates for roofing to begin.

Bonanza Ed & GP Jr. First LEGO League Team

Bonanza Educational is sponsoring a GP Chandler (GP Jr.) based First LEGO League team. Parents with kids interested in LEGO Robotics should reach out to them for info on how to join and participate.

Going on this week

This week, the GP Health crew is taking videos of what people do “for the health of it”. The crew is recording on hacknights and Thursdays for the next few weeks. Reach out to Trudi W. for more info.

ASU and GP Chandler are co-sponsoring Brain Fair this weekend. Eileen K has helped get some significant media coverage for the event. The crew was looking for a few additional material donations. Check the GP Facebook group for more details.

Gangplanker Profile: Kameron Williams

Hi! My name is Jason Bastian and I am a new addition to the Gangplank content team. Thank you for having me aboard and I hope I can contribute in a meaningful way. I am originally from Omaha, Nebraska, and yes I know all about cow tipping. I love writing and hope to blend my unique observations, people skills, and comedic insights into some great blogs and stories for everyone at Gangplank. I’m going to start off by profiling some of the Gangplank regulars!

First up, Kameron Williams of LilliMedia. Kameron is a big contributor to Gangplank and I was able to sit down with him one on one, see what he is all about, and what he could enlighten us on with photography. The Gangplank Photography Classes were started by Kameron and have grown into a prosperous meet up at Gangplank.

Me: Why did you get into photography?

Kameron: I got into photography because it was the best way to create an emotional connection with someone. I feel there are a lot of different mediums that people engage with, but for me personally photography is the best way to take a feeling, an event, or an occasion of that particular point in time and really preserve it and share it with someone else.

Me: How important is it, in this day and age, with video, high-speed internet, the I Max with 3-D, advanced special effects, iPads that play music videos, movies, and television shows, and even phones with video blogging capabilities, that when you have photography, you still have to appreciate that. How do you see [photography] as still an important piece of our everyday lives?

Kameron: I think that multimedia as a whole will always continue to evolve. You see, as you mentioned, these huge I Max theaters and things like that I think one very important piece of information that people forget about is a lot of movies that you watch are a conglomeration of many different images moving together, so for me, where you have all these different realms of multimedia; i.e. YouTube, Vine, Snapchat, things like that I think the epicenter, the core, the anchor that holds all these pieces together will always be photography. Whether it’s in a moving format or a still format the basic image is what we always see –the basic image is what we always identify with.

Me: Why is lighting so important [in photography] [for you]?

Kameron: For me, I believe that lighting is a large contribution to the emotional connection of the image. Whether it’s inside or outside, studio or ambient, I feel that lighting sets the tone for the way that imagery is going to be perceived. So, if you were to liken it to something else, I would say that lighting is the secret sauce of the palette of imagery and it’s what distinguishes one artist from another, or one photographer from another. As well as one feeling from another.

Me: Tell me about your company, LilliMedia.

Kameron: LilliMedia is a full service web design, web development, and interactive agency. What our focus is, what our primary function is, is that we articulate brand messages, we really show people what different brands do in order to help brands connect with different groups of people.

So, what that means for us is that we look at photography, videography, web design, web development, their marketing assets, and we carve out a road for a brand to specifically engage with a particular type of target or individual and a large portion of what we do is focused on engaging imagery, i.e. still photos to accomplish that mission or that goal.

Me: Can you predict the next phase in digital photography? Where do you see the future of photography headed?

Kameron: I think that multimedia will continue to evolve as it has. I think that photography will still be through that river of evolution. With a lot of this mobile technology coming into place, things like wearable technology, location based technology, the pace of life is always getting quicker, so people want to do less reading, more looking and just understand what something is. So, I feel that digital photography moving forward will play a paramount role in that because where you see a reduction in text and verbiage, and things like that I think that digital photography, iconography, things like embedded in small squares that we wear on our wrists and put to the sides of our faces, I think that imagery will be the primary means of human communication moving forward.

Thank you very much Kameron Williams for a wonderful and very insightful interview. Say hi to Kameron if you see him around Gangplank!

Kieran Thompson: Funding a Local Film w/ Kickstarter

Gangplank Chandler welcomed Kieran Thompson on July 28th, 2014 for our weekly Brownbag. He shared with us his personal experience with using the Kickstarter crowd-funding platform to fund the production of his local, feature film: Broken Leg.

Watch it here:

You can also follow along with Kieran’s visuals on his Kickstarter page, now over two years old.

Continue reading

Community Meeting Notes, July 23, 2014

Note: We did not hold a July 21st meeting.

Red Bull Wings Team Visit, Monday, July 28th, 2014

Whether its Mountain Dew, Monster, or Red Bull, Gangplankers are no strangers to sugary, caffeinated drinks, regardless of what the GP Chandler Health Initiative will say.

Our relationship with Red Bull goes even deeper though, as they regularly send the “Red Bull Wings Team” to share free samples at various events of ours, including last weekend’s Startup Weekend Chandler. This week, a regional marketing director asked a special favor of us. They are filming a new training video for the “Wings Team” and need an office/work environment to use. Because they love the layout and atmosphere of Gangplank, they’d like to fill that need at our space.

The community discussed whether this was okay. We agreed yes, given the condition that everyone be provided with adequate warning and an option to not participate. It was also asked that they turn on the cameras only after they’ve announced their arrival.

The “Wings Team” and video crew will be at GP Chandler around 11am to 1pm on Monday, July 28th. You’ve been notified!

Downloading on Startup Weekend Chandler

The Startup Weekend Chandler organizing team wishes to thank all who helped out and/or participated in last weekend’s Startup Weekend Chandler event.

Our winning team was Rival Ripper, which included GP Chandler regulars Michael and Hans M., and runner up was Shark Bite Boards, featuring the work of our own Jenna C. Congrats and good luck everyone!

Trish G. announces departure from role as Executive Director

Trish G. has been playing the role of Executive Director of the global Gangplank organization for nearly two years. She announced that she will be leaving her role effective 8/8. She thanked us for our support and encouraged us to keep up the good work. She said that she still will be around to a varying degree, depending a lot on what her next career move entails. THANK YOU TRISH!

260 Update/#90days #blameJade

Construction on 260 has slowed to a near-halt the last few months and Trish G. provided us an update.

“The delays are caused by needing to re-think a few design issues. Older buildings come with hidden surprises, and ours is no exception. That said, work was active this week and should pick back up again soon.”

Awesome!

Upcoming City of Chandler Contract Renewal

The GP Chandler team is preparing to submit paperwork to the city to renew our city contract that provides a majority of the funding from the city for Gangplank Chandler. Keep your ears open for ways you can personally support this. The council is expected to vote on this topic later this year.

Discussion on the Future of the Brownbag

Jeremy S. announced his commitment to restoring quality to the Brownbag programming.

Jeremy S. assembled a team of supporters for Brownbags that will keep them running smoothly from here forward. He wishes to point out the following people for their support: Jeremy S. (Scheduling, Lead), Catherine L (Speaker Support), Ita U. (Video Recording, Emcee), Jody H (Promotions, Video Recording & Emcee Backup), and Hans M (Post Brownbag Blogging).

Because Brownbags are important to the current city contract, he explained how he made a strong effort to schedule out Brownbags for the remainder of the year. He explained that this is merely a patch, however, because recent lackluster support for Brownbags are a consequence of many in the community seeing them as having lost value.

Trish G. and Jeremy S. explained that a new vision for the Brownbag is being discussed for implementation in the new year. They will seek further feedback from interested persons and finalize the details later. That said, they previewed the concept:

In the beginning, Brownbags were an opportunity to teach and learn. In a lot of cases, the teacher was merely sharing a recently acquired knowledge of their own. It was a weekly personal and professional development hour for Integrum and Forty. Since then, the Brownbag grew from a small, in-house training event to a speaker’s event that moved more toward an inspirational storytelling and/or pitch platform. We are not Tedx or Ignite, but in a way, we act like one. This means the training and learning value has been replaced with an entertainment value at times, and therefore lacks much value to the average Gangplanker. Our vision is to return to the concept of learning and teaching knowledge to the peer-to-peer inside. We want to introduce the concept of Learning Loops, and we’d like to challenge the community to bring the Brownbag back to an event of the community where outsiders are welcome versus an event where we bring outsiders in that don’t resonate as well with the community.

As this idea is further developed, more details will be shared. If this reboot plan goes forward, it will take effect in early 2015.

Next Week’s Brownbag: Kieran Thompson on Kickstarting a Local Film

All that said, the Wednesday, July 30th, Brownbag will be Kieran Thompson speaking on the experience of Kickstarting the Production of a Local Film. His description:

In March 2012, a group of local Arizona filmmakers used Kickstarter to fund the production of our first feature film. “Broken Leg”, raised over $24,000 from over 200 backers. I’ll share what we learned while planning and executing a successful campaign and discuss how we’ve engaged our backers throughout the entire life of the project. “Broken Leg” will be released on DVD, Blu-ray,m and online August 1st.

Please share this with friends and colleagues! It promises to have some deep insight into running a Kickstarted campaign, as well as some entertaining stories from an up-and-coming Arizona industry.

Desert Code Camp 2014 (October)

Desert Code Camp 2014 has been announced for October 18th.

Be part of the creative process as they plan for Desert Code Camp – Desert Code Camp 2014.2! Suggest a session! Suggestions will be immediately visible once you submit. If you want to Teach a session, choose “I can teach this” when submitting a session.

desertcodecamp Desert Code Camp 2014 (October)

What is a Code Camp?

By and For the Developer Community
Code Conferences are about the developer community at large. They are meant to be a place for developers to come and learn from their peers. Topics are always based on community interest and never determined by anyone other than the community.

Always Free
Code Conferences are always free for attendees.

Community Developed Material
The success of the Code Conferences is that they are based on community content. All content that is delivered is original. All presentation content must be provided completely (including code) without any restriction. If you have content you don’t want to share or provide to attendees then the Technology Conference is not the place for you.

No Fluff: Only Code
Code Conferences are about showing the code. Refer to rule #1 if you have any questions on this.

Community Ownership
The most important element of the Technology Conference is always the developer community. All are welcome to attend and speak and do so without expectation of payment or any other compensation other than their participation in the community.

Never occur during work hours
We need to understand that many times people can’t leave work for a day or two to attend training or even seminars. The beauty of the Technology Conference is that they always occur on weekends.