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Uniting Software Professionals Revolution Conference June 1st and 2nd 2017 Virginia Beach

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DAYS | SPEAKERS

 

 

Uniting Software Professionals

 

 

ABOUT

RevolutionConf is a two-day, platform and language agnostic, software development conference being held on June 1-2, 2017.  This year, we are taking over the beautiful Wyndam Virginia Beach Oceanfront. With 15,000 sq. ft of conference space, on the world famous North End of Virginia Beach, VA, we are hosting talks from regional, national, and international thought leaders.

RevolutionConf is organized and supported by the board members of RevolutionVA, a 501c3 non-profit based in Norfolk, VA. The goal of RevolutionVA is to unite software developers in the mid-Atlantic region through conferences, and career and learning opportunities.

Ready to get started? Email us at team@revolutionva.org

 There are sponsorship opportunities reach out to the organizers below for a Sponsorship Prospectus or click here to drop a note within the contact me.

Our Organizers

Kevin Griffin

Independent Consultant
Griffin Consulting

Linda Nichols

Software Engineer
ETA

Erik Olson

CEO
80/20

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Norfolk-Virginia Beer Trail #nfkvbbeertrail

After a wonderfully crafted post by AltDaily.com, that you can find here (psst click the image)

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AltDaily: Norfolk-Virginia Beach Beer Loop

 

I decided to to put together the actual map tracing this beer trail through Norfolk-Virginia Beach (in case you didn’t know where we are) and up through the Peninsula. Yes we have several local names for our cluster of 7 cities. So if you are vacationing here this summer this map will help you travel through our great cities and sample some the best craft beers in the United States (yes that is an extremely biased statement, I know). The map places the breweries in the exact order they show up in the above article.

Also we have a great event coming up here in Norfolk-Virginia Beach called “Drink the District.” Click on the image below to get tickets:

Screen_Shot_2015-03-30_at_11.21.35_AM

Eventbrite: Drink the District

 

 

 

Also keep in mind we are an Uber and Lyft community. Please click on the below images to download these great apps for attending this events and leaving the driving to your personalized Designated Driver!

 

uber android

Google Play: Uber

lyft andoid

Google Play: Lyft

        

uber ios

App Store: Uber

 

lyft ios

App Store: Lyft

 


2014 – OPTIMISM

I started a new thing in 2014, pick a word and try an live by it in all facets of your life. So I picked OPTIMISM. I put everything through that lens and wow what a difference it made.

My 2014 definitely had it’s fair share of ups and downs. Taking a look back on these photos their were far MORE UPS! Additionally, I think with my word “OPTIMISM” I took the downs and quickly shifted my mindset to an up. After doing this for a year now, I do believe mindset really helps shape the way we see the world. Even when the world seems to be serving up shit sandwiches, mind set really helps a person always see the positive side, the silver lining, the hope, and most importantly the optimism to move forward with hope.

So I am working what my word for 2015 will be. I am leaning more towards a positive action oriented word for 2015. Leave a comment if you would like to give me a suggestion. Wishing everyone a happy and safe new year’s eve!

More importantly be the most positive person you can be in 2015. You will be surprised when you look back on 2015 and into 2016 what a difference that will make.

100-positive

 

#2014

 

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Hey 1978 POS welcome to 2014, we’ve been waiting for you!

Everyone knows why phone payment apps don’t work right as well as they should by now, right? Believe me it is not the lack of trying by the phone hardware, software, and operating system producers. The majority of POS (point of sale) technologies are still stuck in 1978…to upgrade = $$$ for not much return, well unless your business knows what they are doing.

Think about how many POS systems you interact with on a daily, weekly, monthly basis…now you understand the undertaking to improve this vast interconnected systems. That over the years have been duct tapped and band aided together with toothpicks and dental floss. My geek friends in IT that implement technologies love that saying. The big mountain the phone and app makers have to climb, is there is a ton of $$$$ in the POS hardware-software industry. How fast would you entrench yourself in the status quo if your company is on the verge of losing millions and possibly billions of dollars and huge percentages of market-share. Big reason the new phone and app makers can move faster than them.

apple pay     Google-Wallet    square

Here test this out download the Apple/Android/Square payment apps using NFC and try and use every time you pay for something in a month bet the % will barely reach 1% of all your POS transactions…not stellar. The other thing to keep in mind is these POS technologies are tied to many back-end systems the customer never sees. Such systems like Inventory Management, Shipping and Receiving, Purchase Ordering, and Accounting, and several other systems to run your business. With the POS being the main source of information of what was purchased as well as returned. Image if the Millennium Falcon was run on a Sup’d up Cummins Diesel engine (I know it is a big powerful engine, but I am not a car guy..ask Joel Feder) and you wanted to upgrade to a warp core engine like what is in the USS Enterprise (you see what I did there). The amount work and testing and building and testing and building and testing. Guess what the POS customers are not asking for this, the customers of the POS customers are asking for it (that’s us!). Guess what we “phone pay” users do not purchase to justify the investment on either side of this equation.

I am glad these phone technologies are pushing the limits, but we are about 5 years away from full integration. So don’t get mad at the Google or Apple they are making the POS technologies to bust out of their status quo. This is hard work! So thank them and try and help both sides as a customer. Provide feedback where you can to improve the overall process, this will go a long way to improve the whole interconnected web of technologies graduating from 1978.

So yes this can be frustrating and sometimes down right madding. I do think there is hope and I do feel with all the credit card breeches utilizing #Ph2Ps (Phone 2 POS) payment processing could pave the way for less hacking our information. The processing of the transaction can be much more encrypted (making things unreadable by the black hats). So as a consumer and user of all these newer ways of paying for things we have to be accountable and responsible to help if we want to improve it. Lastly just try and see what happens, that is biggest leap forward the whole process can take!

 

 

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What your Customer sees when you’re NOT collaborative internally!

So I spent some time at a Radisson Hotel at the Waterpark of America this past weekend. Let’s just say the housekeeping and booking process did not live up to the standards I am used to when staying at a nationally recognized chain of hotels. I proceeded to express my views upon checking out on Tuesday August 27th:

Radisson Tweet

I did send Dana an email on August 28th, 2013. Now the problem is I am sending an email to a general email box, NOT Dana. So who knows if my email will be read and addressed. Sometimes these tweets are sent to passify us Customers thinking we will not bother doing anything further after venting. Yeah not in my case after the money investment we made in their establishment! What happens next is that I look in my inbox to see the following two emails. The interesting thing is they first want me to come back right away with a discount….did you read my tweet (and if you think I have not gone back after stating something like this your wrong!). Then they ask me how things went and asked me to take time to help them improve…really?

First email

 

Then the 2nd email asking how my stay was from of all people the COO! Come on really this is so automated and fake. I understand someone’s name has to be on it, but there has to be better ways to do this. Also you know where this originated from right?! The first thing I did was look him up on all the social networks….YUP you guessed it. No presence what so ever. You are begging for trouble with this, you know that right Radisson and CarlsonRezidor Hotel Group. If he is not going to use it get rid of it. Your customers that value that channel do not value the fake attempt to be apart of it.

Second Email

Now Javier does have a good profile on LinkedIn….I say good because all he is doing is gathering connections…but who I am to judge. But if I was in charge of sending out the above emails I would think twice about using this profile on the signature. Because there is so much more He and team could be doing besides this cold, unfriendly, see through it automated email. Trust me lot more positive customer engagement and internal employee collaboration could be happening.

Javier Linkedin

If your teams were more collaborative these two emails would NOT have been sent and Dana would’ve taken over as soon as She or He tweeted back to ensure resolution and nothing else adds gas to the fire. Your current automated systems, fragmented and disorganized departments serving your customers can NOT do this today…or can they?

Offer from the Radisson that was given by the Customer Support Team not the Hotel itself. They never called. Wrong move again shows disconnect between corporate and regional properties. Also if I am a regional hotel operator I want to get as close to my customers as a I can. 6 degrees of circle of influence!

Radisson Offer

 

You have HIGHLY educated, passionate, and motivated people that do want to help customers and even better make their experiences exceed expectations. Let them solve problems together for the good of the company not some department goal or objective. Your customers or becoming digitally savvy and this will become a hourly occurrence by all your customers. Hashtags are mainstream NOW. Wait til more people start understanding the power they have as a consumer. You will have to adapt and starting internally is the easiest step. Well maybe not easiest, but it will be the most effective!

 


Maybach Talent desires with a Plymouth Sundance checking account

freetouse-money1I understand standard of living is regional and even statewide, but when one state is 2.9% to 9.9% lower than another state and you put job postings out to pay 45% less you WILL NOT attract senior level great talent to your state! If you don’t believe me here is a recent job posting I received. Believe me this is not the first time this has happened. I was shocked when I moved to Norfolk-Virginia Beach two years ago. And after two years I have not seen any improvements. This is a problem we need to solve, asap!

Take this position for instance.

Project Manager – Agile experience 

12-18 month contract opportunity in Norfolk, VA. If interested, please reply with an updated resume and I will follow up to discuss.

$50/hr. (all-inclusive)

 12-18 months

I need an experienced IT Project Manager for our Client in the financial services and banking industry. This includes the management of IT development, technology or non-technology efforts that have limited to moderate complexity. Candidate will work within a group of related software applications that provide a defined scope of functionality used to support business activities. Many of the platforms are Agile or have incorporated some Agile best practices. The PM leads the local effort and when it is completed then moves on to another platform to work on another local delivery effort. Candidate must have proven experience leading IT development or IT technology projects, a working knowledge of the IT development life cycle, proven ability to lead a team to desired outcome and establish working relationships with fellow team members, exposure to Agile methodology, familiarity with Clarity or similar project portfolio management tool, and proven ability to lead team matrixed from different internal groups.

This is a pretty senior level job (at least in the job posting). Yet they are paying junior level contracting rates. Here is an example based on personal experience; Minneapolis-St.Paul to the Norfolk-Virginia Beach has a 2.9% to 9.9% differential in standard of living. Norfolk-Virginia Beach is 2.9% to 9.9% less to live in than Minneapolis-St.Paul.

So I would expect 2.9 t0 9.9% (depending on living and working) less in contracting rates for senior level positions, a contractor here should be getting $90.00/hour all inclusive. As you can see this position is 45% less based on the contractor getting $50.00/hour. Now we all know the contractor is getting billed out at around $100 to $125.00 (I get that contracting firms are not a non-profit).  This contract gig in Minneapolis-St.Paul would be at least $125 at the low end and $135 at the top end to the contractor, which is more inline with the 2.9%-9.9% difference.

Norfolk-Virginia Beach region is NOT going to attract top talent or even move top talent around (cross-pollination of talent is good for a region too) like we want and desire to happen. As a region if we don’t start paying to get talent, we will not get them, period! Wanting Maybach type talent and paying Plymouth Sundance prices will not get the job done! Ask company management, recruiters, and or human resource professionals in this area see what they say. Bet their first statement will be “We cannot attract talent at the wages this region has set within their budgets!” This is a top down and a bottom up solution driven problem.

 

What do you think region needs to do to rectify this problem?

If we don’t solve how will this affect this regions growth potential?

 

Tell me what you think!

 

 


Money, Fame, or Power

money fame power blog post image

So my daughter had a writing assignment for school about what would you rather have Money, Fame or Power and what you would do with them.

I had to share this piece of writing because it was very inspiring to achieve this level of compassion, caring and humility! I just hope she never ever ever ever loses this growing up.

Selfishly I have to say my wife and I have done good so far!

 

I would choose Money. If I had a lot of money I would use it to help others.

I would build a homeless center with nice things. I would also build a shelter

for any animals that can be pets. If someone needed a job I would help them

find a job. When my kids have dreams I will help make that dream real. When I

hear someone has a dream or a goal I will help them. I will build places that people

who need a job I will make sure they work there, as long as they did not go to jail. I 

would make sure any where there isn’t a sport that kids want to play then I will make

sure they get that sport. If there is a school that is struggling I will help them. I will always

use money for good use.


Start Norfolk 3, We can control our our future!

Start Norfolk 3, We can control our our future. 

500 Startups

Partner, Paul Singh to Keynote: Start Norfolk 3. Paul is a Partner at 500 Startups — a “super angel” fund headquartered in Mountain View, CA and founded in July 2010. To date, 500 has invested in 450+ companies in 25+ countries. He is currently serving as an Entrepreneur in Residence with the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy and DHS/USCIS. Prior to 500, Paul was the founder of a few of his own startups (two successful exits and a number of failures in between) and spent some time at PBworks, AOL and Symantec. He can be reached at twitter.com/paulsingh

Building Our Future

Silicon Anchor News is excited to announce Start Norfolk 3, a weekend long event bringing together individuals of different mind and skill sets, entrepreneurs, engineers, developers, designers, business people and everything in-between, with the goal of building a viable startup over a weekend. Join us at the Innovation Research Park at Old Dominion University on March 22-24, 2013.

Pitching? Make it Good: Because you only have 60 seconds, no props, no slides, just a good ‘ole pitch.
Who are you?

What is the problem you are addressing?
How are you going to fix it?
What do you need?Not Pitching? No Problem! @StartNorfolk 3 You can pitch your business idea. Like what you heard? You can join a team of developers, designers, engineers, marketers, SEO Wizards and many more for the idea you liked best. You can also meet those in the local startup community, listen to 7 speakers, meet with over 30 mentors and have an awesome time, while learning how to improve your business or helping you get the confidence you need to start one.

Previous Start Norfolk companies have been featured in Tech CrunchForbesIncVentureBeat and DEMO.  So, what are you waiting for, pitch that idea.
Register Now!

Prototype

With over 500 people attending the first two Start Norfolk’s, we are happy to bring you a bigger and better Start Norfolk this spring. Those who attended were highly enthusiastic about the outcome of the event, saying: “I felt like I was the the Woodstock of Technology, it was legendary,”  and Start Norfolk was a “Titanic event”.

Thanks to our partners! Arcphor StrategyxTupleNorfolk Fair Trade CompanySendGrid,CITSmartmouth BeerMidSouth AssuranceStartup Virginia and InMotion Hosting

Register today (3/5/13) for 15% off! Use coupon code “MailChimp”

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SiliconAnchorNews: Building a startup country one region at a time

Startup2013 at Whitehouse (20)

Executive White House Building

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Posted on SiliconAnchorNews.com by Zack Miller (my partner in crime). Wanted to share this information over on my blog also. Since I was a part of it and Zack did a wonderful job highlighting the 2 days in DC! Oh and he did use all my photos!

Like most folks, one of the first things I do in the morning is check my email. Typically, it’s the same stuff, sites I subscribe to, some business emails and the random spam email, however one morning last week, I received an email from the folks at Startup America Partnership, inviting myself and a few other Virginia champions to the White House to meet with the administration behind job growth in our country.

Score!

Like anyone else, I emailed back as quickly as I could. This was an opportunity I did not want to miss. Not because I’ve dreamed about visiting the White House or that I wanted to check it off my bucket list, but rather because I wanted to showcase the Norfolk-Virginia Beach startup community. Something I cannot rave enough about.

395686_10151291999643995_166436348_n

For the past 2 plus years, my focus has been on creating and growing startups from the nations 36th largest media market. We’ve been very successful in my mind, but those in our immediate region and across the country are just now noticing.

Given a chance to tell our nations leaders and startup leaders across the country about how we created and grew our community was something I was beyond proud to represent.

Most know about Start Norfolk in our region and more recently the launch of Hatch, an early-stage accelerator program. But, many do not know about the countless hours put in to the vision behind such a community. When I first came up with the idea of the startup community here, many and I mean many told me I was crazy, that it wasn’t sustainable and that it would never work. But, with determination, and lots of execution, the startup community here is thriving. 549199_10151292586058995_1503742577_n

Since the first Start Norfolk back in November 2011, over 100 different startups have been pitched, over 100 different entrepreneur and innovative events have occurred connecting like minded business leaders, builders and creatives together. And just announced Drop Anchor, a conference connecting innovators, startup community leaders and entrepreneurs, with speakers from all across the country traveling to Norfolk, VA in April.

The Norfolk-Virginia Beach startup community is my passion and starting and growing it to where it is now is so awesome.

We had a few calls with the Startup America folks to discuss logistics at the event and what to have prepared.

Keith Privette and I decided to go up the night before to meet up with some of the other regions. After tweeting to see who was in town(Keith loves him some twitter), we met with Indiana startup leaders(Mike Coffey and Matt Hunckler) and discussed how both communities have grown. Indiana and Virginia have similar stories and lots of drive from their entrepreneurs.

We called it a night and woke up all jazzed for the jam packed day.

I dressed up, not a common theme.

The day was filled with a breakfast with Steve Case and the Case Foundation, to the Kaufman Foundations State of Entrepreneurship, the White House visit and then the kickoff of 1776, a new space in DC that will host the top entrepreneurs in the DC region.

IMG_0838I truly believe that the key to any startup community is awareness. If people don’t know what’s going on, how can they build kick ass startups?

On the bus ride to the White House I met Erik Mitisek, who along with Brad Feld and Jan Horsfall are leading the way for entrepreneurs in Colorado. While talking with Erik, I told him some of the shenanigans  we were whipping up in Norfolk-Virginia Beach and said we were looking at doing a Norfolk Entrepreneurship Week. Erik goes on to tell me that he helped organize Denver Startup Week and it was a huge success.

This is why I go to these events, because you meet your counter parts in other cities across the country and they don’t try to sway you off your ideas, rather help you in any way they can to help you succeed.{Insert USA chant here}

IMG_0839After going through two security check points, we were in. We walked up four flights of a crazy awesome spiral staircase and made our way into the Indian Treaty Room. Found a electrical socket, charged my phone and grabbed a quick pic with the Startup Virginia folks.

Things got kicked off with a few introductions from Jean Case and Scott Case(still not related to Steve). 11 regions were in attendance along with several administration officials to discuss the importance of fostering vibrant startup communities throughout the US. Representatives were from the Small Business Administration, Office of Science and Technology Policy and the Department of Commerce.

Hearing stories of action from the 11 different states that attended was beautiful. About 50 folks from across the country attend from Arizona, Colorado, Washington DC, Iowa, Indiana, Maryland, North Carolina, Nebraska, Tennessee, Texas and Virginia. All telling their journeys and how they will create the next mecca. But, instead of working individually, cities within each state and ultimately each state with each other, are working together to create our country as the leading startup community.

Each discussed their Big Idea, from Creating Things that Matter(Indiana), to Solving Real Problems(Nebraska and my personal favorite Big Idea) and Connecting the Commonwealth(Virginia).

We together are building the greatest country in the world, because 50 states is much better than just 1 city.

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