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Where we talk about business tech,
hardcore development & craft beer

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SDW Tech Talks: Overcoming Barriers to Innovation

Video Tech Talks

In this SDW Free Friday Tech Talk, innovation consultant David Phillips shared his thoughts and experiences about overcoming individual and organizational barriers to innovation.

David is the founder of Faster Glass Consulting, an innovation advisory firm that helps organizations unleash the imagination and creativity of their people so that they can find unexpected solutions to their most complex challenges.

Before launching Faster Glass in 2010, David spent six years at Bank of America where he developed and led a number of internal innovation programs. David also enjoys being a photographer, musician, husband, and father, even as he is constantly reminded of his amateur status in all four roles.

More David

- more reading (handout & references)
- Faster Glass Consulting

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Sometimes It IS How You Start…

Are you familiar with the quote, “It’s not how you start, it’s how you finish.”?

software salesAs a slow, but long-time runner, I think about this saying a lot during long runs. The first few miles for me are always painful, but I always know that I will be able to kick it up during the late miles and finish strong.

However, as Skookum Digital Works (SDW) engages with more enterprise level companies, I’ve been rethinking this age-old advice.

Starting Software Projects In Order to Be Successful

At SDW, we build custom software to solve unique business problems. We work with a lot of enterprise clients who come to us looking for an innovative and customized software solution. Most of our business come from referrals, however, some clients have also come to us via a RFP.

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Eric LaForce To Drop Open Source .NET Knowledge

This is Eric LaForce:
.net developer
Eric’s a lead developer at SDW, one of our resident .NET gurus, and now he’s off to share his knowledge with the world.

SDW at Monkeyspace in Chicago July 22-25

The folks at Monkeyspace the official cross platform and open-source .NET conference, have invited Eric to Chicago to speak about our open source .NET project called Hero.

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SDW Tech Talks: Challenges & Solutions for Building Software Beyond Borders

Video Tech Talks

Building software to function across international borders takes more work than simply sending the micro-copy to a translator.

What do different cultures need out of their UI and functionality? How do environmental factors play out when building for worlds far different than our own?

MAC OS developer (and SDW Tech Talk regular) Douglas Welton of Einstein’s Legacy will walk us through a survey of the language, cultural, and environmental issues that make building software for international distribution “more fun.”

This presentation provides an overview of the issues involved in creating software that “just works” in a multi-national marketplace. In particular, Douglas focused on the structural, implementation and cultural considerations that have to be integrated into the software development process in order to achieve successful results.


- slides
- Douglas on Twitter
- Einstein’s Legacy Mac OS X Software

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SDW Tech Talks: Building Native iOS Apps Using Web Developer-Friendly Tools

Video Tech Talks

Building a native iOS app can be a daunting proposition for anybody: Xcode, Objective-C, Core Data, Xcode, Instruments, provisioning, Xcode. Not to mention XCode. But it can be especially tough for those of us who’ve gotten used to some of the niceties and conveniences of web development.

For an awkward few years, web developers and designers tried to avoid properly learning Objective-C using hackish Webview solutions like PhoneGap, Titanium, Corona, et al. But it was soon painfully obvious that any ease-of-use they provided was overshadowed by being slow and buggy.

But now, using great tools like CocoaPods, Pixate and Parse, it’s easier than ever for web and front-end developers — as well as even front-end savvy designers and product people — to create a solid native iOS app using technologies they’re already familiar with like plugins, CSS, HTML and cloud databases.

In this Free Friday Tech Talk, Skookum Digital Works Design Director Adam Howell will show how he stumbled through building a small app called Indistractable using just these tools and more.

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SHARE Charlotte Gets Even Awesomer

The sun beats down on your neck with the heat of a thousand… well… suns. You’re wearing that one long-sleeve t-shirt you own and those work-gloves you borrowed them from your neighbor, Carl. You’re holding a shovel.

It’s your annual [organization of choice]‘s volunteer day. Once again, you’re doing manual labor. But you’re not a manual-labor kind of guy. “I’m a graphic designer,” you say. “I’m pretty awesome at it, and I love it. I dig this non-profit and the cause we’re helping, but couldn’t I help them with my tech chops?”

SHARE Charlotte v2.0

Screen Shot 2013-06-12 at 10.38.15 AMEnter one of SDW’s favorite clients, Kelly Brooks, and her recently launched v2.0 of SHARE Charlotte.

SHARE is a free — and technologically/civically awesome — website that matches you, aka “the neighbor”, with non-profits based on your personal passions and professional talents.

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SDW Tech Talks: Computer Science for Regular Folks

Video Tech Talks


If you’ve ever wondered why an apparently simple feature took weeks to build or why engineers never give you a straight answer, this talk is for you.

In this SDW Free Friday Tech Talk our own Hunter Loftis offered up a back-stage pass for people who work with programmers but aren’t programmers themselves. Take a trip into a software developer’s mind and discover that it’s not as crazy, or as complicated, as it seems.

JavaScript Wolfenstein

Instead of covering code and programming, Hunter explained the concepts behind multi-million dollar software with hands-on props, interactive environments, and a peek at the processes needed to create the original—BEST EVAR video game—Wolfenstein.

Try JavaScript Wolfenstein

- demo (1-9 & Q/W to change the demo settings. AD and Arrow keys to move.)
- slides
- source code

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Rails Girls in CLT July 26th-27th at SDW HQ

SDW is proud to announce that Rails Girls will be hosting their next workshop at Skookum Digital Works World Headquarters.

The event aims to give tools and a community for women to understand technology and to build their ideas. No programming experience is necessary. Participants learn sketching, prototyping, basic programming and get introduced to the world of technology.

Rails Girls was originally started Finland, but they are now holding non-profit events all over the world.

Around 25 slots are open, and applications are free.

Rails Girls CLT

Friday/Saturday July 26th & 27th

We’re happy to host the event in our space; the first at our new office.

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SDW Tech Talks: Hackerspace Charlotte’s Felt Radio

Video Tech Talks

Teachers today are facing a difficult problem with far-reaching consequences for all levels of education.

One of the world’s most required skillsets is not only difficult to teach but also conceptually difficult and hard to develop a passion for. With FELTRONICS, electronics theory and design can be presented to any age through hands-on experimentation that rewards with instant feedback at students build a completed circuit.

In this SDW Free Friday Tech Talk, Quincy Acklen & Ben Gatti explained how it takes less than a dozen components and only 5-10 minutes to assemble and basic radio transmitter.

This same project won Hackerspace Charlotte the Element 14 Great Global Hackerspace Challenge at the 2011 MakerFaire in San Francisco.

More Hackerspace




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