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Google Fiber comes to RTP

Google Fiber Party in Raleigh

Raleigh, NC – So we attended the Google Fiber party in Raleigh at Clouds Brewing. A great party and Clouds Brewing did a really good job making sure that everyone was well fed and agreeably drunk!(?) A great party!

Erik Garr, Head of Google Fiber Operations – Raleigh/Durham, and the rest of the Google team were great hosts.

Here are some pictures from the event:
Google Fiber comes to RTP

Google Fiber comes to RTP

Google Fiber comes to RTP

Google Fiber comes to RTP

Google Fiber comes to RTP

Google Fiber comes to RTP

Google Fiber comes to RTP

Code for America at Google Fiber comes to RTP

Code for Cary

Code for Cary – Jan 2015

Cary, NC – Tuesday, January 13, 2015, the Code for America Brigade in Cary (Code for Cary) held their first meeting of the year. The regular meeting space for Code for Cary has now changed to the Cary Innovation Center. While there was a strong sign up on meetup the weather warning of ice reduced turnout for the meeting.

Code for Cary Hack Night

Code for CaryBrigade Captains Robert Campbell and Ian Henshaw introduced the program. After the attendees had all introduced themselves there were presentations about Code for America and several of the projects that Code for Cary has and is working on:

  • Development Visualization App
  • Public Art Finder
  • When is my Trash Pickup?

A discussion about the challenges of massaging and cleaning the datasets the brigade receives to populate the apps was also informative. The meeting broke early being mindful of the weather and the attendees safety. Code for Cary will get back to the projects in a few weeks.

Want to Know More?

There are 5 Code for America Brigades in North Carolina. Each of them are undertaking exciting projects that can dramatically change the way that citizens interact with their governments and government services. Look over the Brigade websites. If you like what they are doing, join their meetups, introduce yourself and get involved. You do not have to be a coder as many, many skills are required to make disruptive change through technology adoption.

Details about all 5 NC brigades can be found in the Tech Tank article Code for America in NC 2015.

Code for Raleigh

Code for Raleigh – Jan 2015

Raleigh, NC – Tuesday, January 6, 2015 saw the Raleigh Code for America Brigade (Code for Raleigh) hold one of their biggest hack nights ever – 40 “civic hackers” had signed up on the meetup group. Civic hackers started filtering in to the NC Innovation Center early in anticipation of the nights events.

Code for Raleigh Hack Night

Code for Raleigh PresentationsBrigade Captains, Jason Hibbets and Reid Serozi introduced the program. After the attendees had all introduced themselves there was a round of short presentations of the ongoing projects and pitches for projects that different people wanted to work on. The projects ranged from reuse of existing Code for America (CfA) projects to some really interesting new ideas:

  • Where’s My School Bus (Existing CfA project)
  • NC Connect
  • Flu Shot Finder (Existing CfA project)
  • Real Time Transit Finder
  • Optimized School Bus Routes [Using data from Where’s My School Bus?]
  • Where’s My Treatment
  • Prospect Citizen

Code for Raleigh PresentatonsAfter the presentations, the assembled crowd broke up into groups to discuss and work on the above projects. Much civic goodness will come from this and the subsequent Code for Raleigh Meetings. All these projects and their activity can be found on the Code for Raleigh Website.

Want to Know More?

There are 5 Code for America Brigades in North Carolina. Each of them are undertaking exciting projects that can dramatically change the way that citizens interact with their governments and government services. Look over the Brigade websites. If you like what they are doing, join their meetups, introduce yourself and get involved. You do not have to be a coder as many, many skills are required to make disruptive change through technology adoption.

Details about all 5 NC brigades can be found in the Tech Tank article Code for America in NC 2015.

Triangle Open Data Day - Picture by Reid Serozi

Triangle Open Data Day 2015

Raleigh, NC – Registration for Triangle Open Data Day 2015 (TODD) is open and tickets are going fast. We sold out last year and are expecting another sell-out crowd this year. We will be in the same location as last year at the Engineering Building II on Centennial Campus which proved to be a great place to hold the event.

Triangle Open Data Day LogoThis year we will be putting more focus on the hackathon and will be identifying mentors that can help you start and rapidly progress on an open data project of your own interest. We are looking for mentors with programming, start-ups, data analysis and open data skills to help us out at the event.

For some of you this is a warm up for the NC Datapalooza competition to be held later in the year, so come out and figure out what sort of winning project you can start working on for that competition.

Our keynote speakers are the Durham CIO team of Kerry Goode and Greg Marrow who will be informing us of the different direction that Durham is taking over many other US cities in their upcoming open data program.

This year you will also be able to interact with the Open Data Institute of North Carolina (ODI NC), the local affiliate of the Open Data Institute co-founded by Sir Tim Berners-Lee, founder of the Web and the overall director of the W3C. Sir Tim states that “Open data and a change of mindset is the next step in the internet revolution”.

The Triangle Code for America Brigades will also be participating in CodeAcross during TODD 2015.

TODD 2015 Details

  • What: Triangle Open Data Day 2015
  • Where: NCSU Engineering Building II on Centennial Campus, 890 Oval Drive, Raleigh, NC 27606
  • When: Saturday, February 21, 2015 at 9:00 AM – Sunday, February 22, 2015 at 6:00 PM (EST)
  • Why: A gathering of citizens in the Triangle to write applications, liberate data, create visualizations and publish analyses using open public data to show support for and encourage the adoption open data policies by the world’s local, regional and national governments.
  • Registration Site

Previous Tech Tank Articles on TODD

Code for America Digital Front Door Initiative

Code for America Digital Front Door Initiative

Cary, NC – Code for America has undertaken the Digital Front Door Initiative, an effort to design city websites with people in mind. The approach is to be data-driven, quick, actionable, immediately relevant and decentralized.

Tech Tank will run a series looking at several cities that are redesigning the process where they recreate their City Websites. Lets look first at the principles of the Code for America Digital Front Door Initiative:

Goals for the Digital Front Door

We put together a list of nine principles for cities that want to launch a Digital Front Door. Every city that launches one agrees to:

  1. Embrace digital services as central to governing
    • Government services should be “digital by default,” available to us on the mainstream platforms and technologies we already use.
    • Services should be useful, accessible, and add value to our lives.
    • Government should do more than broadcast out. Tools should make room for interaction, feedback, and citizen participation.
  2. Design with empathy, establish trust
    • Government service design should reflect a respect for our time, dignity, and abilities.
    • When the act of renewing a driver’s license, filing a request, or getting a business license is pleasant, citizens begin to trust and appreciate government.
    • Services should be compelling enough that citizens prefer to use them.
  3. Serve everyone
    • Government services should be designed to reach as many citizens as possible regardless of income, location, language, or access to technology.
    • Government employees should get out of the building, test assumptions with real citizens, and tweak service design to improve it on a regular basis.
  4. Encourage citizen participation
    • Governments and citizens should share in decision-making and service design.
    • Services should be built to anticipate participation from employees and citizens in the design and development process.
  5. Be transparent and accountable
    • Let citizens and staff see and support what’s going on in government, whether it’s purchasing data, viewing open source code, or accessing open data portals.
    • Governments should be clear on the goals of a service and identify areas that can be measured, displayed, and improved on by employees and the public.
  6. Build for flexibility, welcome change
    • Online services are an ongoing investment that require attention and modification over time.
    • Government services should be launched as evolving pilot projects rather than one-time massive monoliths.
    • Cities should invest in ongoing research, maintenance, and development and should have the internal support to push regular technology upgrades.
  7. Create better processes and policies
    • The best government technologies should be easy-to-use and useful in a city employee’s regular work routine.
    • Government technology should reduce overall workload and increase the efficiency of city employees.
    • City policies should support the creation and deployment of better online services.
  8. Unlock the capabilities of government employees
    • Governments should expect city employees to tweak and improve on city services.
    • Innovation, technology maintenance, and service design should be a responsibility of all employees, rather than the realm of one group or department.
  9. Get value for tax dollars
    • Whether through short-term trials or pilot programs, no system or vendor solution should be deployed en masse without evidence of success.
    • When investing in technology, cities should consider their internal skills and ability to maintain and upgrade that technology in the future.
    • Governments should reduce barriers to the contracting process and encourage greater competition amongst vendors in order to increase options and drive down the cost of technology.
Code for America Logo

Code for America in NC 2015

Research Triangle, NC – 2014 was a very busy year in NC for the Code for America Brigades. In 2015, NC will continue to have a large percentage of the Code for America activities in the US.

NC Cities with Code for America Brigades 

Check out the brigade websites to see all of the cool projects that are being worked on. The best thing is that the projects are all open source and open data so they can be reused in other cities or expanded to regional efforts.

In the Triangle, the brigades take turns hosting big hack events including Triangle Open Data Day, CityCamp NC and Hack Duke while also supporting many other events during the year.

What is Code for America?

Code for America is a 501(c)3 non-profit that envisions a government by the people, for the people, that works in the 21st century.

Our programs change how we participate in government by:

  • connecting citizens and governments to design better services,
  • encouraging low-risk settings for innovation; and,
  • supporting a competitive civic tech marketplace.

What is a Code for America Brigade?

The Brigade network is an ongoing effort to deploy, maintain and sustain civic technology and open data infrastructures. Each Brigade is comprised of local volunteers and government employees who connect for regular hack nights, discussions and app development.

How Do I Get Involved?

Code for America is an open group and all can join. We need a diverse voice to be effective. Please join your local Meetup Group:

If you don’t live in any of these areas, please contact Ian Henshaw, Brigade Captain for Code for Cary and Managing Partner of Tech Tank, and he will get you connected!

Previous Tech Tank Articles on Code for America

2014 Top Ten Image

Tech Tank Top 10 for 2014

Cary, NC – 2014 was a good year for Technology activity in NC and the Triangle. The pages and regular features from Technology Tank that you found most helpful were our listing of Tech Meetup Groups in the Triangle and Charlotte, the monthly lists of Upcoming Tech Events and our Tech Calendar. [Note, please contact us if you find any errors or omissions on our Tech Meetup Group lists.]

Tech Tank Top 10 Articles

Here are the Top 10 Tech Tank articles based on your views:

  1. Hortonworks launches in Durham. Tech Tank interview with with Barry Duplantis, Hortonworks new Vice President of Customer Success to discuss his move to Hortonworks and the decision to launch operations in the Triangle.
  2. Raleigh – Emerging Tech Hub. Raleigh included in a TransferWise blog list of the 8 emerging tech hubs.
  3. Oakhaven Coworking. A project of Tech Tank, Oakhaven Coworking follows the success of American Underground, HQ Raleigh and others by bringing a coworking space to suburban Cary.
  4. How Libya’s Election Process is Better than the United States’s. NC based Caktus Group developed the technology that registered 1.5 million voters for Libya’s June 25th elections.
  5. Triangle Open Data Day Recap. We were told that Triangle Open Data Day was the biggest Open Data event in the world!
  6. Morrisville StartUp Networking. The Morrisville Innovation Foundation periodic networking event.
  7. Triangle Open Data Day. An initiative of Tech Tank, Triangle Open Data Day unites developers, data analysts, civic leaders, students and activists in a weekend of learning, liberating data and building applications to display useful information.
  8. Code for America Brigade. The idea behind Code for America (CfA) is “hacking for public good” – developing civic apps that can be used across municipalities in America.
  9. LIVES – Open Data Standard. Wake County is one of four early adopters of the LIVES data standard – an open data standard which allows municipalities to publish restaurant inspection information that can be consumed by apps like Yelp.
  10. The Open Data Institute Comes to NC. The Open Data Institute founded by Sir Tim Berners-Lee has a node in North Carolina – the Open Data Institute of North Carolina (ODI NC).

Picture from iabusa under Creative Commons

Emerging Tech Hub - Raleigh, NC - Picture by James Willamore

Raleigh – Emerging Tech Hub

Raleigh, NC – Raleigh was just included in a list of the 8 emerging tech hubs. The list originally appeared on the TransferWise blog: Why you should pay attention to these 8 emerging tech hubs (TransferWise is the new way to transfer money between countries and is “from the people who built Skype and PayPal“)

The TransferWise folks “found 8 cities where technology’s influence is growing by the minute, and the world should start paying close attention.”

The List

  1. Eindhoven, Netherlands
  2. Pune, India
  3. Nicosia, Cyprus
  4. Dublin, Ireland
  5. Raleigh, North Carolina
  6. Hong Kong
  7. Malmö, Sweden
  8. Tel Aviv, Israel

The Word About Raleigh

Affordable housing, short commutes and the title of No.1 U.S. city for young families are all triggers for the flock of technology companies and university graduates to Raleigh. Over the past two decades, Raleigh has experienced the third-highest job growth and second-highest population increase in the country. It’s also part of the North Carolina Research Triangle, one of the most prominent U.S. research parks pioneering in IT and biotechnology. The region (known as Raleigh-Durham-Chapel Hill) is anchored by cutting-edge research institutions from surrounding universities, growing high-tech companies like Bandwith and Yealink as well as Fortune 100 companies IBM, Cisco, Sony Ericsson and many more.

Entrepreneurship and Innovation as an Economic Development Tool

The efforts of everyone in Raleigh pulling together for entrepreneurship and innovation is a powerful economic development tool. The momentum is continuing to build and recognition of Raleigh and the Triangle as a premier Tech Hub will only continue.

What are all the pieces that are building our strong and vibrant Tech community?

Takeaway

I hear people wondering if we have too many things going on in the Tech space and if the market is now getting crowded. I think there is room for many more, companies, programs and meetups. Competition, friendly competition, in the Triangle area will develop even better programs and offerings than we have right now and will ensure our place as a premier Tech Hub.


Featured picture by James Willamor under Creative Commons

Code for America Logo

Code for America in NC

Research Triangle, NC –

What is Code for America?

Code for America is a 501(c)3 non-profit that envisions a government by the people, for the people, that works in the 21st century.

Our programs change how we participate in government by:

  • connecting citizens and governments to design better services,
  • encouraging low-risk settings for innovation; and,
  • supporting a competitive civic tech marketplace.

Code for America in NC

In 2014, NC will have a large percentage of the Code for America activities in the US.

NC Cities with a Code for America Fellowship Program

NC Cities with Code for America Brigades 

What is a Code for America Fellowship?

The Fellowship is Code for America’s best known program and consists of a one year residency placing developers, designers and researchers within local governments. Over the course of the program, fellows and government partners build apps, inspire new thinking amongst public servants and tackle some of our country’s toughest problems.

What is a Code for America Brigade?

The Brigade network is an ongoing effort to deploy, maintain and sustain civic technology and open data infrastructures. Each Brigade is comprised of local volunteers and government employees who connect for regular hack nights, discussions and app development.

Brigade Projects in the Triangle

  • The Raleigh Brigade was one of 15 inaugural Code for America Brigades in 2012. The Raleigh Brigade participated in the Code for America ‘Race for Reuse’ campaign and developed and deployed the Adopt-a-Shelter app for Raleigh. The Raleigh Brigade sponsors Triangle Wiki and CityCamp NC
  • The Cary Brigade formed in 2013 and is currently working on an app to visualize development data in Cary. The Cary Brigade sponsors Triangle Open Data Day
  • The Durham Brigade formed in 2013 and is currently working on a Durham Restaurant app. The Durham Brigade is working with the City of Durham and Durham County to adopt a joint Open Data Policy
  • In December 2013 the Triangle Brigades cooperated in an event to assist Raleigh with their Open Data Portal

Code for America - Joint meeting to assist Open Raleigh

How Do I Get Involved?

Code for America is an open group and all can join. We need a diverse voice to be effective. Please join your local Meetup Group:

If you don’t live in any of these areas, please contact Ian Henshaw, Brigade Captain for Code for Cary and Managing Partner of Tech Tank, and he will get you connected!

Previous Tech Tank Articles on Code for America

Picture by Reid Serozi

2014 Top Ten Image

Tech Tank Top 10 for 2013

Cary, NC – 2013 was a good year for Technology activity in NC and the Triangle. The pages and regular features from Technology Tank that you found most helpful were our Tech Calendar, the listing of Tech Meetup Groups and the monthly lists of Upcoming Tech Events.

The articles of greatest interest were about activities of local ‘civic hacking’ groups, like CityCamp, Code for America, and NC Datapalooza.

Tech Tank Top 10 Articles

Here are the Top 10 Tech Tank articles based on your views:

  1. Pulse Point for the Triangle – PulsePoint is a 501(c)(3) non-profit foundation based in the San Francisco Bay Area, and brings the promise of higher survival rates from heart emergencies. The Triangle EMS dispatches only need to be hooked in and we will begin to be able to take advantage of this great service. A look at team activity from the 2013 CityCamp NC.
  2. Google Designates Cary as North Carolina’s 2013 eCity – The eCity Awards recognize the strongest online business community in each state.
  3. Triangle Ranks High in Tech Start-up Density – A Kauffman study has both Raleigh-Cary and Durham-Chapel Hill in the top 25 Metros for High-Technology Business Formation and Job Creation in the United States.
  4. DevFestNC 2013 – Nov 2nd – The inaugural event of the Google Developer Group in Research Triangle.
  5. RGreenway Expands to Include Cary – RGreenway was the winning application developed by a group of civic hackers at the 2012 CityCamp Raleigh. The team has continued to expand the coverage of the RGreenway app by incorporating greenway data from municipalities adjacent to Raleigh.
  6. Code for America Helps Raleigh – An article about the cooperation of all Triangle Code for America Brigades to assist Raleigh with their Open Data Portal update.
  7. A Look Inside: Code for America Cary – Review of the happenings in a typical Code for America Brigade meeting.
  8. Imagine Cary Preview – Cary started their multi-year forward planning effort and we look at some interesting demographic changes over the years.
  9. NC DataJam Coming April 22 – NC DataJam and NC Datapalooza were the first regional Open Data competition to be held outside the White House.
  10. Talking Open Data – In preparation for Cary Open Data Day, we have a discussion with Jason Hare, the Raleigh Open Data Manager.

Picture from iabusa under Creative Commons