Gangplank Jr Journalism Program

Children have a natural curiosity that makes them excellent journalists. As any parent can tell you, they are always questioning and see everything.

The Gangplank Jr Journalism Program seeks to build upon this natural curiosity, teaching kids to use their powers of observation to inform others. Participants will learn the importance of the first amendment, how to write different types of stories such as news and feature, podcasting, video as well as create a working news site as the final product.

The Gangplank Jr Journalism Program takes place over 9-weeks, beginning July 9th. Meetings will take place each Saturday at 2:00pm. Kids must attend at least five of the meetings in order to participate in the ‘First Issue’ workshop on September 9th.

Please join us for our first meeting on Saturday, July 9th at 2:00pm at Gangplank.

Software Engineering Reading Group

Are you interested in evolving from a “layman copy/paste coder” to a professional software engineer? Are you interested in getting together with others who take software engineering seriously and discussing the merits of clean code and architectural unity over food and a fine frothy beverage? If so, join the software engineering reading group, meeting Wednesday nights at 7 pm.

What will we read? That’s up to you. Vote from the following choices:

· Fowler’s Patterns of Enterprise Application Architecture

· Brown et Al’s Anti-Patterns

· Bob Martin’s Clean Code

· Beck’s Refactoring

· Coders at Work

Sound like fun? E-mail your interest and preference to

Gangplank 3 Years On.

Disruptive does not begin to describe what we have done. Rather than follow the established order, we executed a bold plan to fundamentally change how business is done in Phoenix from the state and city government level down to the real estate agent and the recent ASU grad.

Gangplank is a collaborative workspace located in the desert of Arizona far from the tech centers of Silicon Valley, Boulder, Austin, Boston and NYC. Founded by 4 anchor companies 3 years ago, Gangplank is pushing the philosophy of “social capital” powered workspaces combining freeform coworking workspace, established anchor companies, and community engagement to create an environment of collaboration, innovation and mentorship for the creative class and business community in Chandler and all Greater Phoenix. Continue reading

Gangplank Volunteers Rock

Since Gangplank’s trades in social capital, we’ve never had our shortage of people willing to help out from time to time. A little over two months ago, a few of those folks joined forces to become the first official class of the Gangplank Volunteer Program.

Since then, these folks have blown me away with their dedication to even the most heinous of tasks (i.e. cleaning out and setting up the library). They genuinely want to help keep Gangplank running smooth so that everyone can work and have a good time.

I wanted to take a moment to recognize their awesome work and encourage everyone to tell them ‘thank you’ the next time you see them. Continue reading

Schools of the Future

It is no secret that Gangplank Jr is an experiment to see what could be possible in educating kids for the new economy.  Here is a sample of what a school in the future might look like.  If you are interested in seeing this sort of thing happen for your children, please sign up and get involved.


Weekly Event Roundup May 24-30

This week at Gangplank:

Tuesday, May 24th

  • (6:00pm) Chandler Mayor Jay Tibshraeny’s ‘State of the City’ address
  • (7:00-9:00pm) Phoenix Rails Meeting
  • (7:00-9:00pm) Storytellers AZ

Wednesday, May 25th

  • (noon) Brownbag – ‘Spec Work vs. Pragmatic Business’ [RSVP]
  • (1:00pm) Gangplank Tour
  • (6:00pm) Hacknight
  • (7:00pm) Street Hockey

Thursday, May 26th

  • (6:00-9:00pm) SEVDNUG Meeting

    What CAN we do in one week?

    Mayor Tibshraeny and the City of Chandler have accepted a friendly challenge from the Town of Gilbert, as both raise food for the hungry.

    The community that donates the most food (by weight) during the month of May will send the losing Mayor & Council T-shirts to wear during an upcoming Council meeting.

    As much as we’d love to see Councilmember Weninger blush while wearing whatever clever concoction Gilbert creates, we can’t let them beat out Chandler. We’ve got one week (through May 31st) to collect as many non-perishable items as possible in Gangplank.

    SO BRING EM! We’ve got a small box by the video games that we can easily overflow with goodies for the local food bank.

    Want to help spread the word? Here are Facebook and Twitter alerts to put out to your networks:

    Worthy cause that gives Chandler bragging rights over Gilbert? Win! Donate your canned goods through 5/31 @gangplank –

    Donate your non-perishable items @gangplank through 5/31 and help us beat Gilbert!

    Friendship over Formality

    As part of a new series, ‘Living the Gangplank Manifesto’, various community participants share their stories about the values through blogs, videos and podcasts. If you’d like to participate, email

    Chris Conrey, Human to Geek Relations for Integrum and Gangplank’s resident loud voice, shares how he lives the value of ‘Friendship over Formality’ is his work.

    Check out the ‘Boldness over Assurance‘ value video.

    Breaking down Gangplank

    An important part of Gangplank’s culture is our ability to adapt to change and commitment to having an agile space. Though displayed in many small ways every day, the most significant example of this commitment in action is moving out our entire space to welcome in various events. It can be a bit chaotic, but always a good workout!

    Why I Let a Ten-Year-Old Tattoo Me

    Gangplank’s guest-blogging series illustrates the array of personalities and experiences embodied by our community. All invited participants – past brownbag speakers, anchors, new members, City of Chandler employees and others – share their Gangplank stories. Interested guest posters should send a draft to our Director of Operations.

    By Chris Conrey, Human to Geek Relations for Integrum and ‘Don’t Sell Me Bro‘ podcaster

    “You guys are crazy man.”

    That’s what the professional tattoo artists from Tabu Tattoo told us when we said that five of us were going to let kids put real tattoos on our bodies at the “Making Your Art Permanent” Gangplank Jr event. Confidence inspiring for sure.

    “Nasty” Nate Houtz, along with Adam and Chris, led the class for 12 kids ranging in age from 4 to 14. Beginning with some basics about how a tattoo machine works, followed by a practical demonstration on a grapefruit, the kids were ready to rock and roll. They started by drawing on their own grapefruit with a sharpie, then took turns using a real tattoo machine to make it permanent, just like they would do on a person. After a few butterflies, smiley faces, skulls, and other pieces were added to various members of a healthy breakfast, Greg Taylor, Derek Neighbors, Laurie Neighbors, Mike Benner and myself geared up to be put to the real test – a kid with a tattoo machine aimed at our skin.

    Derek, Laurie and Mike can at least say it was their own kids, to justify letting a kid ink them up. Greg and I lent our bodies to be the canvas for Susan Baier’s two kids. Emma, who was turning 11 the next day, asked me no less than 4 times if I was sure this was ok before she applied the stencil to my arm in preparation for the tattoo. There were probably three more reassurances before the needle first touched my arm, but once contact was made she was off to the races with a big grin. Just a few minutes later I had a Gangplank Jr skull logo on my left bicep that would go home with me forever (pending amputation of course).

    But why would I let a 10 year old have the chance to permanently scar me? What sort of crazy person would do that?

    My thoughts on it are simple – you only live once, and so do the kids. What better way to show them that taking risks can be done in a safe environment with people who can help teach and guide you? This was an opportunity to give those kids a chance to do something that no one in their peer group will experience for years, if ever. I am proud to be a part of it. Conventional wisdom says to go to a professional like Nate, Adam or Chris if you’re inclined to get inked – but that’s the same conventional wisdom that tells you to not let kids take risks or learn about dangerous things.

    The dozen kids who got to handle a tattoo machine that day will never forget it, and I’d be willing to say that their curiosity has been tickled. Who knows what sort of artists or creative minds we jumpstarted that day? I can’t wait to find out.