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

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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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SDW + Forrester Research on “The Foundation of Mobile Trust”

Hunter Loftis, SDW Director of Technology, is really smart.

Randy Heffner, VP and Principal Analyst at Forrester Research, is also really smart.

Put them together — along with other mobile business technology innovators — and you get Randy’s latest research study:

“Mobile Solution Architecture: User Authentication Is The Foundation Of Mobile Trust”

Abbreviated synopsis: “… This report analyzes how key business issues and user scenarios factor into four major mobile authentication design questions, identifies product categories that can play a role in your mobile authentication architecture, and recommends a five-step process for establishing that architecture.”

Who should read this report?  Business leaders who want to ensure that the mobile apps they deliver to customers and employees are trustworthy and secure.  So… pretty much everybody.

Major props to Randy Heffner and his team for their awesome work.

You can download the report in its entirety here (free for Forrester clients).  If you need more help, give us a shout at 704.930.7444 or drop us a line at start@skookum.com.


SDW .NET Series Part 3: Hero

How A Progressive Software Development Studio Uses .NET

.net software development

Our New .NET Open Source Library: Hero

Here at Skookum Digital Works, we love open source software. There are many advantages to utilizing code that is built by a community of people, and we would feel remiss if we did not give back to the community we love so much.

SDW is proud to introduce a new open source product for the .NET community to handle user authorization. It’s called Hero, because who doesn’t want a big strong man…I mean code library…to save them?

Hero’s Purpose

Hero is an ability based authorization library for .NET MVC and WepAPI projects. It was inspired by the Rails project CanCan and by Derick Bailey.  Hero can be installed via NuGet.


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SDW .NET Series Part 2: Code Reuse

How A Progressive Software Development Studio Uses .NET

.net software development

The following is part two of a three part series describing our .NET application development infrastructure at Skookum Digital Works. (Part One is here.)

Application Development Code Reuse

Code reuse is one of the most talked about things in development circles. Unfortunately, a lot of developers like the idea of code reuse and are great at using existing open source libraries, but most don’t actually write code that is reusable. The reasons are wide and varied, but some of the common explanations (excuses) for writing one-off code are:

  • lack of knowledge
  • difficulty in planning out thoughtful programming
  • confidence to create clean, concise code
  • time to get this project done vs. saving time on the next projects

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SDW .NET Series Part 1: Continuous Integration with TeamCity

How A Progressive Software Development Studio Uses .NET

.net software development

.NET kinda/sorta gets a bad wrap in the open source development world. That’s unfortunate because most estimates show two-thirds or more of Fortune 5000 businesses use .NET for some part of their infrastructure.

SDW prides itself on mixing the open source with the enterprise. It’s advantageous for progressive, open source, and experimental software builders to have the knowledge necessary to sew organizational change from the inside out.

To do that, we have to be able to meet a lot of clients where there at. And for large companies, that means we not only need to be HTML5, CSS, JavaScript, node.js, Ruby, Python, PHP, and iOS experts but also .NET as well (among other languages).

The following is part one of a three part series describing our .NET application development infrastructure at Skookum Digital Works. We have an amazing team of .NET developers who also know how to slang up-and-coming open source code, so we wanted to specifically share our .NET workflow and the types of projects which benefit or require .NET

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