October 28, 2019

25 Nonprofits provided new websites through 48in48 Event at Bottle Rocket

Over 3,000 volunteer hours were contributed to creating updated websites for 25 non-profits during the first Dallas 48in48 event. The event, now in its fifth year, has held events in various other U.S. cities and plans to do its first international event in London later this year. Event founders Jeff Hillmire and Adam Walker are passionate about giving back to the community and also helping nonprofit organizations do even more good in the world. State Farm served as the founding sponsor and Bottle Rocket donated its space for the weekend event.

A dozen volunteer teams, including five Rocketeers, volunteered their talents to give back to non-profits by designing logos and building new websites. Additional volunteers helped organize the event and run the logistics that are required to help make this magnitude of an event possible. For more information on the event, visit https://48in48.org/dallas/.

Kathy Meadows, Founder and Executive Director at Mission Possible Kids, one of the nonprofit organizations enrolled in the Dallas program, said the 48in48 event arrived at a pivotal time for her organization as their website is expiring. “We needed a change quickly because the platform we were on won’t be available next month,” Meadows said, “Our website would’ve gone defunct, so this is saving us thousands of thousands of dollars.”

Kayden Grinwis (left), Principal at Kayden Michael Digital and Trent King (right), Art Director at Bottle Rocket, shows Kathy Meadows the first version of the new website on Saturday October 19, 2019.

Meadows said though the application process for 48in48 was intense, everyone was ‘super helpful.’

“I don’t have the website building skills even if I wanted to...what would’ve taken me a hundred years, these volunteers can do in a weekend.”

Kathy Meadows

Adam Walker, co-founder of 48in48, said he was excited for Dallas to be the seventh city to host the ‘hackathon style’ event in 2019. “Hosting at creative agencies or creative spaces like Bottle Rocket really provides a lot of energy. The team members you’ve got here seem to be pretty amazing,” Walker said.

Walker said he hopes that all professionals that participated were able to recognize that they can use their coding, designing and web talents to give back to others.

“The biggest thing is for the volunteers to be empowered to use their professional skills for good. Obviously, we want to build websites, but it’s more about volunteer empowerment."

Adam Walker

He said simply giving time to make a website or create content for these nonprofits can, “make a huge impact in the world.”

While really everyone that participated deserves recognition for their hard work, the event hosted a fun competition at the end of the event to award first, second and third place awards to the three teams that created, what four judges deemed, the most improved and creative out of the 25 websites made in the 48 hours. Awards were given to the teams of volunteers that worked on Open Hand Outreach Program (O.H.O.P), Just Bakery, and Break Bread, Break Boundaries. New websites for each of these organizations will be launched soon.

Judges (left to right) Breanne Clark, Manager of Philanthropy at State Farm; Jana Boone, VP of Marketing at Bottle Rocket; Diwakar Dewan, Head of Product Management and Technology at State Farm; and Mike Fletcher, IT Executive at State Farm.
Other volunteers help out with food, check-ins, and passing along information to the volunteers working on the nonprofit sites.
Volunteers working away for their nonprofit.

October 18, 2018

Chris Koeberle to Speak at Droidcon SF 2018

Droidcon is the largest global network of developer conferences which bring together the industry's foremost experts dedicated to advancing the Android platform. Droidcon engages a global network of over 25,000 developers attending our events in 22 cities.  Droidcon is the place to meet the international Android community, learn from expert speakers and dive into the latest Android advances and explore cutting-edge technologies.

This year, one of our own will make his way to San Francisco to present at Droidcon SF. Chris Koeberle will share his experience in building teams that not only get work done but support each other throughout their projects in a session titled "Building Effective Teams of Competent, Friendly People."

Building Effective Teams of Competent, Friendly People

I have spent 7 years leading teams of 3-7 developers who build complex apps quickly and with a high level of quality while working 40 hour weeks. Let's talk about:

  • How to take a group of competent, friendly people and turn them into an effective team.
  • What to do if you suspect that you have people who are not competent or friendly.
  • How one experienced engineer can use a team of adventurous developers to create a broad safety net that gives everyone the feeling of safety they need to improve themselves as they develop a product.
  • The sort of support that is needed from other disciplines, and how to give them the tools they need to give you that support.
    Some colossal failures, and how we recovered from them.
  • How to structure an Android app to get a bunch of people working on it all at once.

April 23, 2018

Rocketeers to Speak at InnoTech Dallas

Join Rocketeers Jonathan Campos, Ashley Banegas, and Luke Wallace at InnoTech Dallas this year. Jonathan will join Chris Gates, Paola Saibene, and George Trujillo for the a session titled CIO Expert Panel: Modernizing Data Management. Ashley and Luke will be hosting their own session where they'll take a look at where voice interfaces are today and what we can expect in the future in their session titled Hello Computer: The Future of Conversational UI.

Session Descriptions

CIO Expert Panel: Modernizing Data Management

In 2018, CIOs are being challenged more than ever to achieve digital success and leverage emerging technologies to create new capabilities which drive new growth and differentiation. CIOs need to modernize their data management strategies and architectures to leverage emerging technologies such as Machine Learning, AI, IoT, Blockchain, Big Data and Cloud. Data is at the heart of all these changes. Data ingestion, data integration, architectures, data management, data governance and data virtualization all need to be part of the enterprise data strategy. Join us to gain insight as leading CIOs share their vision and experiences in meeting their modernizing data management challenges in 2018.

Hello Computer: The Future of Conversational UI

Voice Interfaces have started to pervade our daily lives, from our personal mobile devices, to smart speakers around our home. Now that we have constant access to voice controls and assistants, how will our lives change, and what comes next? We’ll explore not only the current capabilities, but where conversational interfaces are going, and some of the key concepts to be aware of for these new user experiences.

Bottle Rocket Speakers

Ashley Banegas is an experience designer and Strategist at Bottle Rocket. She consistently crafts unique digital experiences for her clients, some of which include Coca-Cola, MoneyGram, and Pfizer. Ashley is passionate about staying up-to-date on emerging trends, and she combines the latest technologies with industry-specific innovations in order to bring a fresh perspective to problem-solving. She has experience in both startup consulting and Agile management and has a master’s degree in Product Development from Carnegie Mellon.

Luke Wallace is Bottle Rocket's Director of Android Engineering. Luke has successfully led his team to develop Android apps for clients such as Chick-fil-A, Starwood Hotels, and Nationwide: Make Safe Happen, managing the process from development to implementing strategic objectives that are aligned with the Android engineering discipline's strategic initiatives. A strong proponent of all things Google, Luke is an invaluable resource at Bottle Rocket, always bringing the latest perspectives on news and updates from within the industry.

February 16, 2018

World IA Day 2018 – Austin

In 2012, the Information Architecture Institute launched World AI Day - an annual, one-day event to unite professionals and enthusiasts alike with the goal of practicing, teaching and shaping the future of information architecture. This year, World IA Day events will occur at 56 locations, in 25 countries, across 5 continents.

Each event is unique. A theme is provided so the global discussion is aligned, but the form each event takes is up to those running it. Whether they choose to make it a networking event, a design slam, traditional conference or hybrid of everything in between, each event is a creative experience intended to promote collaboration and information sharing across the community.

Rocketeer, Information Architect and Strategist, Adam Polansky, will be presenting at the Austin event this year - and you won't want to miss it.

Visit the World IA Day website for more information about the event and it's purpose.

Find out how to get involved with World IA Day.

Or, if you're not near Austin, find a World IA Day event near you.

September 15, 2017

Adam Polansky Returns to Speak at Big Design 2017

Come see Rocketeer Adam Polansky discuss tools, techniques, and deliverables in his session titled “Fit & Finish: The Importance of Presentation Value to UX Deliverables.”

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