by: Scott Ford
Looking to introduce your friends and family to the wonderful world of computing? In the honor of Hour of Code and Computer Science Education Week, here are some great resources for students of all ages and skill levels:
Scratch (http://scratch.mit.edu) is a great environment for learning to make the computer do things. Fun things, like move a monkey around on the screen. I made a small project to celebrate Computer Science Education Week, and to think the teachers that got me started. (http://scratch.mit.edu/projects/15283467/).
Scratch's drag and drop interface helps create an intimate relationship with the different operations that it provides. It reminds me a lot of playing with Lego.
If you'd like to try typing out commands, then I highly recommend taking a peek at Logo (http://el.media.mit.edu/logo-foundation/logo/turtle.html).
To see Logo in action, visit http://www.calormen.com/jslogo/, click on an example in the sidebar and then click on the "Run" button.
If you'd like to take a stab at making the world around you light up and move, then I suggest taking a peek at littleBits (http://littleBits.cc). These little devices make creating hardware computing projects dead simple. No wiring. No soldering. Just magnets and fun!
Interesting in trying to mix software and hardware together? Then check out Lego Mindstorms (http://mindstorms.lego.com). Lego Mindstorms centers around a smart Lego brick, that you can program (with Logo!) and make your creations move. There are even some school teams that compete with each other to build little bots that perform specific tasks (http://www.firstlegoleague.org).
So go forth! Have fun! And make your computer and other devices around you do things. It's fun and rewarding.
Scott is a Code Whisperer at Corgibytes (http://corgibytes.com). There he works hard to breath new life into old software projects.
Joey Figaro is a user-experience evangelist who has been known to love (and sometimes shout about) a number of different things. He recently was a part of the winning team at RVA's debut Startup Weekend and is now the Creative Director of Speakeasy, a local company that sprung from the resulting win. Current bearer of the 804RVA title 'Red Button Pusher, Seeker, and Enthusiast,' this man knows a thing or two about lockety locks, whiskey, and quiet-time.
by: Todd Nuckols
How about a few treats (no tricks) for your October! Check out all the excitement around the region to get you motivated and moving as a starter, hacker, designer .... well whatever you are!
Plug into 804RVA @ (http://www.804rva.com/classes--events.html) . Your premiere community for co-working offers many special opportunities to connect with community. In fact, 804RVA turns 1 this Wednesday, October 3, so stop in for cake and join Jelly Day
Good grief developers – even more opportunity for you to connect at Richmond Code Camp, October 6. Details @ http://richmondcodecamp.org/.
StartRVA (www.meetup.com/StartRVA) is currently recruiting developers and designers Hack4EDU where cash is on the table for 24 hours of your best creative thinking and application development around Department of Education Data. Details @ http://www.apps4va.org/hackathons.html. Takes place October 19-20.
InnoVA Partners is bringing a great education program to help you develop a 36 month strategic plan for your business. Not just a startup plan this curriculum is produced by the Kauffman Foundation with proven business building techniques. If you need a 3 year plan for your business you need to definitely get the details @ http://www.richmondventureforum.com/events?eventId=559494&EventViewMode=EventDetails.
And at the end of October, join the Richmond Venture Forum to celebrate RVA’s Companies to Watch. Happening at the Hippodrom on October 24th, check it out @ http://www.richmondventureforum.com/events?eventId=548359&EventViewMode=EventDetails.
Looking for another 54 hours of madness?! Head out to Charlottesville, the birthplace of our own Startup Weekend leadership team, to make progress on your next big idea or be a help to others. Kicks off Friday October 26th with all the information you need to know at http://charlottesville.startupweekend.org/.
StartRVA and 804RVA also have something BIG brewing for Tuesday, November 13th so save that evening on your calendar and be on the lookout for details regarding that event and maybe a few other October surprises on this same “bat channel” dedicated to helping you build your business, hone your skills, launch your next great idea and help others just like you!
by: Brian Bassett
At 804RVA, we're always working to get our coworkers to meet and know each other and find work and social connections. In this new series, we'll ask five questions of 804RVA coworkers to help you get a better sense of who's who around the office. Next up, hacker extraordinaire Jeremy Weiland of 6th Density!
What keeps you busy while at 804RVA (what's your job)?
I write custom software for clients and work on my own web application products.
How would you define coworking?Co-working is how self-employed people have co-workers. It's a way to get some of perks of working for a firm like peer feedback, conviviality, and outside-the-home office space without having to be an employee and make somebody else rich.
How did you begin coworking at 804RVA?
I had been interested in coworking ever since my friend Jim showed me Lightbulb Coworking in Charlotte, NC. I dipped my toes into the jelly concept a bit in 2010 and put my contact info on the Jelly wiki. Later, some fellow developers and I were looking at opening a communal office, and Larkin reached out to me just before we got serious about it. Now we have the benefits of working with a larger community while having a space for us to go heads-down on code.
Who is someone you would have likely never met, but have really enjoyed getting to know at 804RVA?
So many of my developer friends have been joining that I haven't really gotten to know anybody new at 804RVA, but I certainly look forward to it.
What's your favorite thing about coworking at 804RVA? A permanent location for the Central Virginia Ruby Enthusiasts Group, our Ruby user group that had to beg around for meeting space before many of us became members here.
I am an entrepreneur and a hacker (more software than hardware-unless duct tape counts). I am currently involved with BitFog in technology development, CiiService inenergy management & mechanical services), EZMService (legal data provider), Scoutly (speeding ticket website), WillowOaks (office building), and woob (CRE management website).
Multilingual (english, GWT, C, php...), still reads /., and still amazed RSS never caught on. My Likes include FOSS, startups and domain names. My dislikes include observation bias, combat drones, and software patents.
I was born in Florida, raised south of RVA, and went to engineering school at UVA. I worked at NASA (though I wasn't an astronaut). Next, I took a job with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers (where I was not a football player) and later went on to start my current company, BitFog. I have a loving life with my wife Lisa, son Luke (9), daughter Megan (6), and goldendoodle Wally (10).