A Bias Take on Tech

This has been such a crazy few months for me. I went from getting settled to being on fast-forward nonstop. I’m still reeling with all the amazing (positive) changes. Here’s just a sampling of what I’ve been up to recently.


One of the big focuses in the tech industry has been lack of diversity. it feels like it’s suddenly “in style” to toss out the next big project as more and more reports show how homogenous different sectors are. However groups have worked to change this for a long time. A new Chicago-based tech incubator is Blue1647. Along with DCEO, YWCA Metropolitan Chicago and GeneXus USA, a new program started in May of this year called CreatingILTalent. I applied and am one of the participants for the inaugural class.

Every Saturday for three months (I’m just at the halfway point now), I spend four hours learning the GeneXus platform to eventually (in the next few months) start building mobile and web applications. I have two projects lined up upon completion and receiving my GeneXus license (one personal and one for work) which I’m quite excited to move forward with. There are a lot of hardware resources I’m looking to integrate with. While Angry Birds is not on my to do list, I definitely aim for that kind of success and cross-platform cohesiveness.

Google Serve

Thanks to HandsOn Tech Chicago, non-profits get a lot of different opportunities to increase/expand upon digital efforts. Working in marketing for a non-profit full time, I’m always looking for ways to share our story. So, when I received my HandsOn Tech Chicago newsletter a couple of months ago and heard about Google Serve — you know I had to get involved. We applied and were selected to be one of the non-profits to meet with volunteers at the Google Chicago office and discuss how their products can best serve us personally.

I, along with two other coworkers, were able to get a lot of meaningful information. We went through key applications, brainstormed ideas on how we could use them and even got word of a future offering Google Chicago is considering. It was so much fun and increased my passion about getting into the tech field further. Thankfully, I’m in the right city to make that happen.  v(0.-)v

P.S. Swag bags are always a win.

Google I/O

1871 is one of the more well-known tech hubs in the Chicago Loop. For this year’s Google I/O, they hosted a live screening of the keynote. I had never been inside before, but had seen all the videos/photos from different events and interviews. Gorgeous is such an understatement. There was a pretty good turnout at the event, and man, was there a lot covered.

Basically, Google’s aim is to be in every facet of your digital life (no surprise there). Some of the highlights:

  • The increase of Android use is skyrocketing…period.
  • Android One Initiative (pretty interesting timeline goals)
  • L Developer Preview (OMG…Give me your dev knowledge a.s.a.p. Glorious… Though, that’s a lot of new APIs)
  • UI changes (i.e. animation feedback speed, nested scrolling, personal locking)
  • I may have no interest in using wearables, but the unexpected Moto360 in-person preview owned. I only managed a halfway-decent photo. They were trying to keep it very clear this wasn’t an official presentation yet.
  • AndroidAuto (in the car…already?!)
  • Chromecast updates (casting to TV on different wi-fi? Yes. You just won the internet).
  • Chromebooks (apps in launchpad…almost makes me want to ditch the iMac & iPhone…almost)

Techweek Chicago

I’ve always heard of Techweek Chicago, but I never previously attended. I only went to one event, but I think it was the best way to whet my curiosity And with the controversy of this year, it was the only compromise I was willing to take. So what did I attend? The Social Innovation Summit which was geared specifically at non-profits. Noticing a pattern yet? lol.

Stand out ideas:

  • Storytelling is beyond the new buzz word. Ironic since I’m speaking about it in September.
  • “Money, message and mobilization”
  • Understanding funders and your audience in a new, realistic way. It’s not just the nonprofits’ job, but listening the right way helps.
  • Gamification and Engagement (courtesy Youtopia)

So that’s what I’ve been up to. It’s been pretty awesome switching up focus and cementing my professional niche. There will be more of these events to come, actually I have two coming up in the next week or so. Hope you all are doing well as always!