This podcast is a conversation about digital project management with two leaders in the field: Clockwork COO Megan Wilker and Kurt Schmidt, Director of Project Management here at The Nerdery – both invited to speak at today’s Digital PM Summit in Austin, Texas – no spoilers in this preview. Kurt also talks with Megan about the growing community-of-peers she founded called the Twin Cities Interactive Project Management Meetup.
In recent years, you’ve probably heard a lot about “big data” or Apache Hadoop but little of it has been enlightening or inspiring (maybe a bit mysterious like a good twist to a movie). Big data is really just a buzz word for now, but it’s what we use when we’re talking about a collection of large and complex data sets that are analyzed to reveal patterns. Some say it’s solving big problems for big businesses like Google, US Bank, and other large enterprises out there. Some say it’s too complicated for “an ordinary developer” to do. We’ll try to answer some of these questions, dispel some of these myths, and most importantly, show you how you and your business can use big data to solve your problems… big or small.
“Try turning what you used to see as a trash can into real money for your business.”
Every marketing professional that works with iOS mobile apps will receive the gift that keeps on giving this fall – the gift of insight over their conversion funnel, granted by analytics data that you do not have access to today. Read more
Anticipation for Apple’s iOS 8 update launching this fall is a lot like a rocket’s launch-day – with everyone scrambling to make the necessary preparations before take-off. As we observe the progress from mission control, we’re seeing a new world of possibilities for iOS appstronauts to create new and interesting mobile experiences.
In prep for the big launch-day we’ve created this visual countdown of the 10 most notable features of iOS 8 for you to share with the appstronauts in your life. Read more
I have started four different jobs in the past three years. That’s not a stat I’m proud of, and I’m sure my one-job-for-life grandpa shifted in his grave as I wrote that opening line. Sorry, gramps. The positive spin is that my recent history makes me something of a veteran newbie and connoisseur of onboarding processes.
Based on past experience, I expected my first days at The Nerdery to fall into one of two distinct categories – Chaos or Order. The Chaos onboarding plan is basically, “Here’s your computer. There’s the fire. Have fun!” The Order process involves phrases like, “You will spend the next 45 minutes reviewing the Harassment Policy before taking a quiz.” Awesome.
The Nerdery falls into neither category, which was my first clue that this place is doing much more than simply developing world-class interactive solutions. They have the crazy idea you are an adult human being and an asset who can transcend your job title and make a difference. That means not throwing you into the fire without ample support and training. That also means not tailoring the onboarding to such a low common denominator that they’re wasting everyone’s time.
It only took me a few days to learn The Nerdery is treating Newbs better than anywhere else I’ve worked. I say this not because they are paying me and not because Ryan Carlson is holding a Nerf gun to my head (he is). Rather, I volunteered to write this post because potential future employees should know the accolades and boasts on the website aren’t simply window dressing or gimmicks.
Even before I stepped in the door on day one, I already had a team of people looking out for me – an advocate, a team lead, a mentor, a development manager, and a Nerd buddy. My support system grew exponentially during the first week because The Nerdery designed their onboarding that way and because my fellow co-Presidents are cool, empowered, and interested in seeing their colleagues succeed. By the start of week two, I felt as welcome as Norm walking into the “Cheers” bar.
Feel free to be skeptical. I know you’ve all heard the “Culture! Best place to work! We love people!” company pitches before. Many, many businesses talk that talk and put their best face forward on their websites. Fewer businesses, like The Nerdery, make the necessary effort to walk that walk.
It’s not all rainbows and puppy dogs between these walls – although there are a lot of puppy dogs. It’s still work. And work is work is work. The Nerdery is a business, and as with any business, you are an employee being paid to do tasks, log time, fight through tough projects, occasionally overextend yourself, and deal with clients. You’ll get that everywhere.
But companies also control how they want to build their environments, tools, processes, and resources around that core of doing work, and those choices have major impacts on employee happiness.
Among the many messages driven home during my Newb week, the most refreshing one for me was that failure is an option. The Nerdery understands that projects can go wonky in a million different ways, and we’re all going to stumble and fall. Again: we’re human. The question is how we deal with those situations, how we communicate those issues, and how we rely on our supportive colleagues.
That big warm hug was very reassuring during a week when most newbies are nervous, unsure, uncomfortable, and over-eager to impress.
The Nerdery’s Ryan Carlson tells K-TWIN’s Cane & Co about iBeacon and the internet of things. Barely mentioned by Apple at WWDC, iBeacon has flown under the radar among all things iOS, but devs took notice – and Nerds experimented.
Must-hear radio like this can be heard at 8 a.m. Monday mornings on K-TWIN (96.3 FM, Twin Cities). Or, hear our rebroadcast, here.
Tech chatter like this can be heard every Monday morning (unless put off ’til Tuesday) on K-TWIN radio (96.3 FM) at about 8 AM. Or, listen faithfully to our rebroadcast, here.
Fred Beecher, Nerdery UX Designer, wants and deserves your vote to speak at SXSW. Fred’s running two (totally clean) campaigns, for two different but similar/supportable talks:
Frameworks for Modern Day Apprenticeships: http://panelpicker.sxsw.com/vote/20124
Making More UX Designers: Practical Apprenticeships: http://panelpicker.sxsw.com/vote/20699
Candidate qualifications: Fred pioneered The Nerdery’s UX Apprenticeship program. He made the business case for it and had the wherewithal to see it through, with course-corrections along the way. Here is where Fred said what he’d do, and here is where you’ll see he did what he said he’d do. Vote-worthy accountability? You bet it is. So send this man to SXSW. Give him the trip to Austin that he so richly deserves.
With the first UX Apprenticeship cohort in the books, three of our four apprentices were hired while the fourth heads back to school, with a job waiting right back here with us upon graduation. But all four apprentices are ready to be UX Designers today, after their 12-week apprenticeship. And we’re ready to begin with our next cohort.
And you, by now, are surely ready to vote Fred, here and here, by the voting deadline of Sept. 6. Can’t decide which of Fred’s talks to vote for? Easy. Both. Two thumbs up. Vote Fred, early and often.
I’m Ryan Carlson the Technology Evangelist here at The Nerdery. This week we kick things off as we do each week with our regular tech segment on local radio station K-TWIN. We talk about how the tech community was in a buzz over speculation of what exactly did the NSA contribute to the Android code base. We wrap up the segment discussing Motorola Mobile’s hail-mary pass with the Moto X, the latest smartphone by Motorola and heavily influenced by their new company overlords at Google. Hear what makes this phone unique and how it takes a new look on the mobile market.
If you want to catch our weekly tech segments live in the Twin Cities, tune into 96.3 FM at 7:45 am every Monday morning.
Did you know that The Nerdery has it’s very own team of UX apprentices and they are under the tutelage of the Nerdery’s very own UX Sensei Fred Beecher?
This week on the blog, Leah Honsey, one of the first UX apprentices, writes a first-hand account of her first impressions and early experiences in this first-of-it’s kind experiment. Tune in next week for part two of this story.
This week we had not one, but two NerdCasts – The Nerdery’s very own weekly podcast that is featured both on the blog and available on iTunes.
Our first episode is all about working from home. We interview WFH Nerds Ben Koren and Shane Smith. Hear about their tips, tricks, and struggles of being away from an office that prides itself so heavily on a fun and collaborative office culture.
Last week we promised an interview Nerdery Developer Nick Le Guillou, the team lead on the Sparticl project. We hear about what he had to say to the next generation of scientists, technologists, engineers, and mathematicians at an event held at The Science Museum of Minnesota. Hear more about Sparticl and how the wisdom of Wil Wheaton event played into it.
We are excited to announce this month’s Nerdery Webinar topics.
The first will be about how to get top notch responses to your next request for proposal document. Check the nerdery.com homepage banner to save your spot on August 20th.
The second topic is all about demystifying Big Data and what it means, how it applies to normal business, and it’s real world applications. This will be live on August 27th.
If you have Nerdery Webinar topics you’d like to hear about, send that feedback to firstname.lastname@example.org
I’m Ryan Carlson and This has been Week In Review for Nerdery Tech Content. Tune in next week, subscribe on YouTube, and be sure to follow us on Twitter @the_nerdery