Tag Archives: legion of tech

2010 in Review: Change is Good!

Every year, I like to write some kind of year in review blog post. I started writing these in 2007 as  a way for people that I don’t talk to very often to keep up with what I’ve been doing, but I’ve found that it helps me see what I’ve accomplished (or not accomplished) that I can use to reflect on what I want to do in the next year. You can find the 2007, 2008 and 2009 editions if you want to see how this year compares with previous years.

2010 in review

First, the big changes:

While all three of these were really hard decisions to make, I’m happy about each of them. I was really burned out in the first few months of 2010, and I’m just now starting to feel re-energized. The goal of each of these big changes was to free up more time for myself and more time to work on fun little projects that I’m passionate about doing.

Progress Toward my Goals for 2010:

If you go back to my 2009 post and look at my goals for 2010, I feel pretty happy about what I’ve accomplished. Here are those goals and my progress on each one.

  • Continue to do interesting work on fun projects where I can collaborate with cool people: My work on MeeGo fits this goal pretty well.
  • Start a few more websites: Well, maybe not a few, but I did start one: Rednecks in the Wild.
  • Stay healthy by continuing to work out and eat healthy food: I’ve been doing a lot of running this year, and even did my first 5K. I’ve also been making a real effort to eat more real food and less crap.
  • Spend more time reading a combination of fiction and business / technology books: I have read at least 45 books that I’ve counted, mostly science fiction / fantasy, which is about a book a week.
  • Take more beach vacations! Todd and I had a lovely Thanksgiving vacation in Hawaii this year.

Other Interesting Things I Did in 2010:

What I Want to Accomplish in 2011

  • Finish that cookbook that I’ve been threatening to write for the past 15 years. I started working on it over the holiday and am making pretty good progress.
  • Get back into doing some light programming for fun projects. I’ve been dabbling a bit over the last year, but mostly with things like shell scripts and awk that aren’t really programming, so I’d like to do more with PHP and APIs.
  • Work on a couple of side projects or random websites with the goal of helping to build more programming skills.
  • Be even healthier in 2011 to build endurance and strength with longer runs and more regularly hitting the gym to lift weights.
  • Continue to read regularly and take another beach vacation.

Blogging Elsewhere

Here is this week’s summary of links to my posts appearing on other blogs:

GigaOM’s WebWorkerDaily

Portland Data Plumbing User Group (pdpug)

Legion of Tech

Ignite Portland

Business Leader NW

If you want a feed of all of my blog posts across multiple sites, you can also subscribe to my über feed.

Want to Volunteer for BarCampPortland?

We still have plenty of time before BarCampPortland on May 1 & 2, but it’s never too early to get people thinking about how they can help out with the event! If you love BarCamps as much as I do, please join us next week for our volunteer kickoff meeting. Anyone interested in volunteering for the event is welcome to attend!

BarCampPortland Volunteer Meeting
Monday February 23, 2009 from 5:30pm – 6:30pm
CubeSpace 622 SE Grand Ave
RSVP on Upcoming if you plan to attend

Want to help in some other way?

  • RSVP for the actual event on May 1 and 2 on Upcoming.
  • Sponsor! These events can’t be successful without our sponsors. Contact Todd Kenefsky (kenefsky on gmail) if you would like to sponsor a portion of the event.
  • Join our Mailing List: Sign up for our Google Group to get email announcements about future meetups and events.
  • Follow us on Twitter: Up to the minute breaking updates about the event as @BarCampPortland
  • Tell your friends: Don’t forget to use the BarCampPortland tag when blogging, posting pictures, etc.

Related Fast Wonder Blog posts:

Ignite Portland 4 was Awesome

Wow! We’re never quite sure what to expect with Ignite Portland after the chaos at Ignite Portland 2, but the last two events, including Ignite Portland 4, have been smooth sailing.

The presentations were amazing. We had:

  • a little nudity
  • a sing-along for take me out to the ball game
  • a Kenny Rogers quote used by 2 different speakers
  • cyborgs
  • dating advice
  • garanimals
  • and much, much more

A huge thank you to all of our sponsors. Without sponsors, Legion of Tech could not afford to do free events. The sponsors paid for the venue, event insurance, some food, and more. We also had some really cool, 30 second sponsor videos, which I thought worked much better than having each sponsor talk on stage for 30 seconds.

The only down moment during the event for me was having people boo our sponsors. Not cool, people. The sponsors are the people who make the event possible. Be nice to them if you want to have future events.

A huge thank you to all of the people who volunteered and helped out at the event. Without the support of a huge volunteer staff, we could never make these events happen. Keep in mind that everyone in Legion of Tech and all of the people staffing our events are volunteers. We do this because we love it.

Now, what did you think of Ignite Portland 4? What worked well, and what didn’t? Please post any feedback about the event on the Ignite Portland Open Thread: What Could We Have Done to Make Ignite Portland 4 Better?

Related Fast Wonder Blog posts:

Thrive in PDX Despite Economic Uncertainty

These last few weeks have been tough on people. Most of us can probably say that we’ve felt the impact of these tough economic times in one way or another. From my perspective, companies have been a little less eager to spend money on consultants, and I have some friends who recently lost jobs at local Portland tech companies. During times like these, we need to stick together and help each other. By working together, we can all be more successful and come out of the downturn with our businesses intact.

On another note, a few of us have noticed something a little disturbing about the Portland tech scene:

On the one hand, Legion of Tech and other grassroots efforts (Beer and Blog, WikiWednesday, Portland Web Innovators, and more) have built thriving events where groups of people get together to talk about technology in a very informal way. These events tend to bring in large numbers of very smart people who skew toward being relatively young, working as consultants / freelancers, being incredibly passionate about technology, and having more technology-related side projects than you can count.

On the other hand, there are groups like the Software Association of Oregon (SAO) holding events that are also very well attended, but by a completely different set of people. These people are also very smart and successful, and they skew toward being more experienced, working at established companies, and are career technology professionals.

For some reason, it seems to me like there is this wall between these two groups of people, and it doesn’t feel healthy to me. I’ve been working with the SAO for months (way before we even suspected that we were heading into times of economic uncertainty) to find ways to break down this wall and get these two groups of people together. With the economy taking a hit, we decided that now was the time to do something about it. We felt a real need to get these two groups of people together to find ways to help each other through tough times. Our ultimate goal is to have Portland emerge out of the downturn with a technology industry that is stronger than ever.

We wanted to kick this effort off in a very informal way to get these two groups of people together and talking to each other. Thrive – PDX is born. We would love to have you join us on November 11th for the first in what we hope will be a series of events for a united Portland technology community.

Thrive – PDX
Tuesday November 11, 2008
5:00pm – 7:00pm
Kells Irish Restaurant & Pub (upstairs)
112 SW Second Ave
RSVP on Upcoming

Rick Turoczy and I also outsourced part of the naming for this event to our Twitter followers, and I wanted to thank everyone who provided suggestions. A special thank you to Benjamin Jacobsen who came up with this idea: “Survive and Thrive. Portland Tech moves onwards.” (we shortened it a bit)

Please use the tag: ThrivePDX when you write, tweet, post photos, etc. about this event.

We hope to see you there!

Related Fast Wonder Blog posts:

Brady Bunch, Twitter, Lonely Techies, iPhones, and Events that Do Not Suck

Have you ever wondered how the Brady Bunch, Twitter, lonely techies, iPhones, and events that do not suck are related?

We decided that at the next Ignite Portland that rather than giving our sponsors the microphone for 30 seconds, we would rather have them submit a 30 second video. Needless to say, we wanted to have an example to help encourage people to get creative with their videos. Todd came up with the concept and the lyrics for the Legion of Tech Brady Bunch video. The video is hilarious and you need to watch it.

A huge thank you to Jed Herzog of Outlier Solutions for filming and editing this for us and to our wonderful chorus of singers; Mia Burcham, Owen Burcham, Liam Burcham, Aodan Collins, Xander Collins, Soren Collins and Rainer Collins. A big thank you to Todd for coming up with the lyrics and herding the rest of us to get everything recorded.

If you want to put together a cool video and have it shown at Ignite Portland in front of ~500 people, you can visit the Ignite Portland site to learn more about sponsoring.

WhereCampPDX: Location, location, location

The first ever WhereCampPDX event is coming up in just 2 weeks on October 17th-19th where local geo-geeks of all stripes will be gathering for a weekend of location based fun. WhereCamp is an event that started in the Bay Area in 2007 to continue conversations from the Where 2.0 conference. Legion of Tech is organizing a Portland version to show off the amazing, fun geographic technology activity we have. This is not just an event for specialists: we would like anyone who is interested in the intersection of people, place, and technology to participate.

WhereCampPDX needs your help!

  • Attending. If you plan to attend, please RSVP on Upcoming so we can plan accordingly.
  • Sponsoring. We still need a few more sponsors to help cover the costs of the event.
  • Marketing. Blog, Tweet, and let your friends know about the event.

You can expect to see people from a variety of places talk about various location-based technologies related to projects like Shizzow, Platial, WeoGeo, Trimet, and much, much more. You can find out more about the event on the WhereCamp PDX blog.

Related Fast Wonder Blog posts:

Elections for the Legion of Tech Board

Do you love Ignite, BarCamp, Startupalooza, and the other events organized by Legion of Tech? If so, you might be interested to know that nominations for new board members are due on November 1. We will also be forming a new advisory committee if you would prefer to help out with a smaller time commitment. The entire process is documented on the Legion of Tech site with detailed information about responsibilities and the elections.

I know that at least three people currently on the board have decided not to run for next year due to personal time constraints, new jobs, etc. This means that there are plenty of opportunities for you to get involved this year.

If you want to get involved, take a look at the detailed blog post and then talk to a current board member to get nominated.

For anyone living under a rock or not living in Portland, Legion of Tech is an Oregon non-profit organization working hard to grow and nurture the local Portland community through free, educational, community-run technology events. I am a co-founder of the organization, which was formed in December of 2007, and I currently serve as Chair. I plan to run again for the board, and I have had a great time participating in Legion of Tech over the past year.

I hope to see the rest of you out at our upcoming events, including WhereCampPDX October 17th – 19th and Ignite Portland 4 on November 13th.

Related Fast Wonder blog posts:

Portland Tech Events for August / September

We have some fun events planned for the next month here in Portland, and I wanted to take a minute to highlight some of them.

Sarah Lacy Tweetup (business week reporter, author, and more)
Monday, August 25, 2008 at 6:00pm
Green Dragon Bistro & Brewpub (on the patio) 928 SE 9th Ave
RSVP on Upcoming.

Legion of Tech Happy Hour Meetup
Thursday, August 28 from 5:30pm – 7:30pm
Green Dragon Bistro & Brewpub (on the patio) 928 SE 9th Ave
RSVP on upcoming.
Contact me if you are interested in sponsoring the meetup.

From Side Project to Startup
Friday September 12, 2008 (5:30pm – 9:00pm)
Saturday September 13, 2008 (9:00am – 5:00pm)
CubeSpace 622 SE Grand Avenue
Details about the event.
RSVP on Upcoming.

Haunted Lunch 2.0
Wednesday September 17 from 12:00pm – 2:00pm
SplashCast 226 NW Davis Portland
RSVP on Upcoming.

WordCamp (all about WordPress):
Saturday September 27
CubeSpace 622 SE Grand Ave

I hope to see you at some or all of these events!