Presidential Web Challenge welcome/skateboard break

To kick off Web Challenge weekend, Nerdery President Tom O’Neill wrote the message below to teams, nonprofits, sponsors and volunteers. But the key to any 24-hour workday is making time for simple pleasures – like skateboarding. Enjoy your weekend. Let’s ride.

“On any given Monday morning when people ask me if I had a good weekend, my answer is consistent. I can find something to like about any weekend – haven’t had a truly bad one yet. But the annual weekend of our Overnight Website Challenge is one that I get especially stoked about.

“My utility as a programmer wore off at The Nerdery a few years back, but I still dabbled in software development during Web Challenge weekends until finally being sentenced to the sidelines, where I now gladly root for all of you. As cheerleader-in-chief, I play no favorites at these nerdathons for nonprofits. I see you all as generous champions of worthy causes, and friendly rivals, and winners. I have all due respect for all of you.

“If you’re participating in the Twin Cities, expect to be high fived by me at some point in the next 24 hours. If you’re in Chicago or Kansas City, expect your high five another time. Our Phoenix Nerds can expect that our Web Challenge will go west next spring.

“But for now, with 31 pairs of nonprofits and teams in three cities this weekend – Chicago, Kansas City and St. Paul – I want to thank you all for being an important part of this growing community initiative. Nonprofits, nerds, sponsors, friends, thanks.”

– Tom O’Neill, President, The Nerdery

Mobile-Friendliness Essential for Google’s April 21 Update

Google recently made two major announcements that will dramatically impact where websites land within all search results.

Continue reading Mobile-Friendliness Essential for Google’s April 21 Update

How I Used a Wireframing Tool to Build a Website

People who know me know I love misusing and abusing tools. So when fellow User Experience (UX) Designer Fred Beecher told me that the latest version of Axure, a rapid-prototyping tool used to generate interactive clickable wireframes and mockups, was basically a JavaScript frontend, I felt compelled – nay, tasked – to attempt to build a website using only Axure. This is what I do in what passes for my spare time, apparently.

Continue reading How I Used a Wireframing Tool to Build a Website

Popular WordPress Plugin Announces Security Hole

WordPress users need to be aware of a security hole in the WordPress SEO by Yoast plugin. This is a very common plugin and is used by more than 14 million websites.

The bad news is this security hole leaves websites vulnerable to hackers.

The good news is the issue can be fixed by simply having your WordPress administrator update the plugin to version 1.7.4 or greater.

If you need assistance with this update or you’re not sure if your site is utilizing the WordPress SEO by Yoast plugin, contact us or call 1-855-453-8199 and we’d be happy to chat with you and discuss your options.

Making the Most of Your Quality Assurance (QA) Budget

One of the biggest constraints when setting out on a custom software development project is the budget. A project’s budget will ultimately determine how many hours your project team can work on the software, and the scope of the software’s features.

What many people don’t realize is that seemingly small decisions can have a huge impact on your project budget – and Quality Assurance (QA) is one area where this is especially true. So what do you do when you have a limited QA budget but want to keep your project on track?

Here are three things to consider when trying to maximize the impact of your QA budget.

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Creating The Nerdery Holiday Party App – An Integrated iBeacon Experience

Each year The Nerdery has a holiday party. And each year our Nerds try to come up with a new way to engage and interact with fellow party-goers. This year, they created an app that integrated with iBeacon technology (naturally). Watch what happens when our own employees are both the app creators and users. Continue reading Creating The Nerdery Holiday Party App – An Integrated iBeacon Experience

How Wearables Will Transform the Mobile Experience

A few years ago, saying that you had a smartwatch put you in the “nerdiest of the nerds” category. You probably had a Casio calculator watch, which while occasionally handy, couldn’t do much beyond basic calculating and telling the time.

The most popular wearables right now are fitness trackers – the likes of FitBit and Nike Fuel Band, which collect data and report it back to your phone or computer. But Google, Microsoft and Apple are all making huge pushes to go the next step and get consumers wearing smarter devices that act as second screens to personal devices, and can serve as standalone devices as well.

With the weight of the biggest tech companies behind them, wearables have the power to do more than ever before and will transform the mobile experience. Continue reading How Wearables Will Transform the Mobile Experience

The Future of Windows 10 and HoloLens

Microsoft clarified their vision for Windows 10 and provided the world with a glimpse of what is on the horizon for Windows development in an announcement made late last month. From unifying development across their diverse hardware platforms to unveiling a whole new way of interacting with apps, Microsoft is taking bold steps forward to empower developers to dream, build and deliver apps to their consumers.

Continue reading The Future of Windows 10 and HoloLens

Project Management: So You Want to Build a “Snowman”

Setting out to build something new can be daunting. Especially something as complicated and intricate as a website or an app. As a project manager at The Nerdery, it’s my job to take an intimidating goal and break it down into very manageable pieces for our clients.

That can be tricky though. Let me show you what I mean. (Spoiler alert: this may or may not be an extended metaphor.) Continue reading Project Management: So You Want to Build a “Snowman”

Chicago Pentathanerd 2014 – Final Results!

The Chicago office wrapped up their second Pentathanerd over the week of December 1st through the 5th.  4 teams competed against each other in some Nerdy and fun events to determine the champion for 2014.  The 4 teams were (with honorary members in parenthesis):

2PMs and 1QA – Travis, Ryan, Joe

In the .NET – Andy, Ben, Ken, (Michael), (Curtis)

Molly and the Spicy Tuna Crunch – Molly, Martin, Jim, (Gary), (Burton)

Team Greggani – Dani, Gregg, (Jabari)

And they competed in the following events:

Continue reading Chicago Pentathanerd 2014 – Final Results!