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


SDW Tech Talks: Data Visualization with Douglas Welton

Video Tech Talks

“You don’t make choices on data. You make choices on information.”

In this SDW Free Friday Tech Talk, Douglas Welton, MAC OS developer (yes, a Unix programmer in the flesh!) and SDW Tech Talk regular, took us through myriad questions related to visualizing data over time.

This presentation explored the design, creation and use of Data Visualization in our current cultural environment. Douglas also discussed why people want to visualize data in the first place and broke down the value that can be derived from different types of visualizations.

In addition, we also learned about some of the programming and statistical tools that are available to anyone interested in creating interactive data viz.

Great talk!

More Douglas Welton




SDW Tech Talks: Startup Failure with OtherScreen CEO Chris Halligan

Video Tech Talks

In this SDW Free Friday Tech Talk, Chris Halligan, founder of the failed “companion TV content” startup OtherScreen, candidly walked us through what OtherScreen got wrong, how “the market fired them,” and the lessons learned from being another technology startup relegated to the dustbin of history.

OtherScreen decided to shut down after several rounds of prototyping, beta testing, and early funding.

Chris was very forthcoming and candid in his assessment of his own startup’s failure.

This talk is funny.

Chris Halligan’s Links



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SDW Tech Talks: GIS Programming & Open Government Data

Video Tech Talks

In this SDW Free Friday Tech Talk, Mecklenburg County (which is more or less made up by Charlotte, North Carolina) GIS Programmer Tobin Bradley talked to us about lots of fun stuff.

Tobin is the creator of the the Strategic Planning and Support division’s open-source mapping tool, The Quality of Life Dashboard, a responsive, interactive map that uses HTML5, jQuery, Leaflet, and Google Charts.

The largest technology meetup group in Charlotte, NC got to hear about life inside a government GIS department, Tobin’s thoughts on open data, and current trends and tools for web mapping and where things are headed in the future.

Mecklenburg County GIS Programmer Tobin Bradley’s Links

Quality of Life Dashboard:

Tobin on Github:

Tobin’s Blog


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Charlotte, NC: Technology Hub

Do you like the 6 p.m. news?

Do you like wondering where you can get one of those cool, SDW hats?

Want to see tiny shots of the production floor at Skookum Digital Works World Headquarters and some random servers at Peak10?

Lucky you, Local News 14 was ON IT:

Charlotte Has Technology Jobs

Recently, Charlotte, North Carolina was ranked by Fortune magazine (yes, that Fortune) as one of the top areas in the United States for technology job creation.

Sounds about right.

SDW Growth

Over the last two years, SDW has doubled in size each year, producing great software for large brands to use both internally and with their customers.

If you haven’t moved to Charlotte yet, you should.

And if you like working with smart people and building interesting projects, we should talk.

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SDW Tech Talks: Single Page Application Development

Video Tech Talks

In this SDW Free Friday Tech Talk, SDW’s Tessa Harmon took us through everything she wishes she’d known about building single-page web and mobile apps from the get-go.

Tessa covered structuring JavaScript for maintainability and scalability, thinking in terms of page states, tracking down memory leaks, optimizing for speed, and ensuring backwards compatibility.

The largest technology meetup group in Charlotte, NC also got to see Tessa demonstrate her preferred development workflow featuring Ender, Knockout.js, Stylus, Jade, and a static site generator.

Single Page App Dev Resources

Repo on GitHub: https://github.com/TessaHarmon/brewskipedia
Supplemental reading & resources: https://gist.github.com/TessaHarmon/5157013

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Skookumites are not Suffering from Dissociative Identity Disorder

I swear. We are not.

All Types of Software Programming Languages

A quick look at the recent activity around SDW World Headquarters will tell you differently, but I stand firm. Our recent knowledge droppings include posts and talks on:



Objective-C iOS Blocks

Single Page Application development

3D Building Tools

Lying About Your Identity

.net (Hey, it’s cool too!)

and even 5 days withthe Windows phone.

That’s barely scratching the surface of the seemingly never-ending display of knowledge you will find inside our office.

Even More Technology Knowledge Sharing

Amongst our ranks are speakers of majestic things. Hunter Loftis and myself spoke at ConvergeSE 2012. Snodgrass23 and David Becher did workshops at SXSW 2013. Mark Rickert and Hunter Loftis are speaking at ConvergeSE 2013. Josh Oakhurst is regular on business and marketing panels in Charlotte. Kenny Parnell wrote the C bindings for using Potrace from Ruby. And on the design front, Rich Robinson is a regular contributor to Unmatched Style.

We are not specialists in any one technology stack. We are not your standard client services studio. We are experts in problem solving. We are experts in adapting. We are experts in learning. We are experts in helping you. Your company. Your users.

I guess this is my way of saying…I really like building software with my smart colleagues at Skookum Digital Works.

It’s fun coming to work when you work with smart and fun people.

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Node.js & You: Learn to Write the Real-time Web

Here’s the SDW Workshop from 2013 SXSW Interactive given by Jim Snodgrass

node.js programmer

Just last week, our software development crews got back from the 2013 SXSWi festival where we had been invited to give two programming workshops.

Below is the audio and slideshare presentation for @snodgrass23‘s workshop on node.js.

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Building with Blocks

Here at the SDW World Headquarters, we are always looking for the best way to do things. Sometimes that’s a new process or product to use, and sometimes it’s fully utilizing the power of the language that we have in front of us.

Objective-C Blocks

Well, while working on a new iOS app, I need to have a dynamic callback executed after a standard animation occurred. Fortunately for me, Apple gave us one of the most powerful features in Objective-C since iOS4.0, blocks

I love blocks, they are still were my favorite toys as a child. But these blocks are a lot more confusing than the ones that I played with. These iOS blocks are more like a puzzle with pieces that change shape. Once you figure out how to use them correctly, they become a powerful tool to use.

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