Coding & Tech Lightning Talks

Hack Upstate
Oct 30, 2015 · 4 min read

So I had this whole post all written about what Upstate NY’s tech community could do between now and the next Hack Upstate to help grow the community, but then I went to the Lightning Talk event at Syracuse CoWorks last night and decided to scrap that to tell you about the resources that were mentioned/discussed/available.

But first, some housekeeping. Doug & Mitchell asked me to stay on as a writer for this blog for the next few months, which I am happy to do. My concern was that I want to make sure this little corner of the internet reflects topics that interest you, so if you have a topic that you would like covered or if you know someone that should be featured in an interview, please do not hesitate to let me know. You are welcome to reach out to me on Twitter @sarahrroche or via email, carrier pigeon, smoke signal, whichever works.

Now on to last night’s Coding & Tech Lightning Talks. Zoe Koulouris put on a great event. She reached out to people in the community, asking them to pitch their coding class, meetup, or space. The event was powered by AT&T, and Syracuse CoWorks let her use the space. The format was pretty simple; those that were scheduled to speak were given their time and allowed to take questions from the audience. The floor was open after the main talks for anyone who had something they thought the group would benefit from. There was a great turnout and I learned that a number of groups are active that I thought weren’t. I also discovered resources that I didn’t know existed. I was really excited to see so many new faces. This was a great opportunity to make new connections and I walked away really excited about potential collaborations.

I’m going to give you a quick rundown of the people that spoke with resources to the groups/contests/spaces they were pitching. If you caught one that I missed, do not hesitate to mention it in the comments. I will be happy to add it.

First up were Sarah and Kristen video conferencing in from North Carolina and Rochester, respectively. They were on hand to discuss Girls Develop It and raise interest in starting a chapter in Syracuse. From my perspective in the audience, it seemed there were a number of interested parties. Hoping to announce a chapter launch soon.

Next, The New York Design & Code Academy Chief Academic Officer Zach Feldman brought students up to discuss their experience with the current Web Development 100 class and announced they will be hosting another class starting in either November or January, depending on interest.

OpenHackSYR’s organizer, Mike Vormald discussed their once a month meetups and offered everyone the chance to attend and meet with other developers.

Alison McCauley (who you may have seen as a judge at the most recent Hack Upstate) pitched Code Like a Girl, which is teaching Python to women for free. The next class is Python 2, coming up November 7 and you can RSVP here if you have taken Python 1, or you can reach out to Alison if you would like to be taught Python 1 before the next class.

The Le Moyne College Maker Zone was up next to discuss their new makerspace. They are seeking volunteers and are happy to give tours. Reach out to Laila Kobrossy Audi for more info.

Michael Giannattasio spoke about the SALT Makerspace and their recent move to Syracuse CoWorks. They have 3D printers, computer space, and a bunch of computer and electronics parts to work with. I’m brewing up an idea with him that I am very excited to announce once we get further along.

That concluded official talks.

Tony Kershaw of The Tech Garden let the audience know that The Syracuse Tech Meetup Group will now be open for the tech community to post meetups and events under one umbrella, so if you have something you want to organize, reach out to him.

Dee Cater pitched the XPrize, a competition to create a tech solution to encourage adult literacy. There is a seven million dollar prize on the line. She also reminded us all to turn to our local libraries for makerspaces and free memberships.

Ayham Boucher brought his project, Codemania, to the group’s attention. his goal is to teach kids in the community to code.

Other groups that we were told about include: Sig315, a local Meteor.js Meetup, a maker fair in January , CNY Developers Group, and the CNY PC users Group.

I’m sure I missed one or two groups, so do not hesitate to let me know and I will add them in.

I’m hoping to see more events like this in the future, and now with the Syracuse Tech Meetup group open to hosting events sourced by the community, there is no better time to pitch an idea to Tony Kershaw at The Tech Garden if you have something you would like to see.

It’s a great time to be part of the Upstate New York tech community! Happy building!

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Advancing Upstate New York's tech community through events and education. &&

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