CareGo took home the prize in the Communications Technology category at this week’s Outstanding Business Achievement Awards, hosted by the Hamilton Chamber of Commerce.
â€śWinning this award in Communications Technology is very exciting for us,â€ť says president and CEO Demetrius Tsafaridis. â€śIn the late 1990s I started my steel warehousing company, known as SteelCare; today our focus is on creating software that allows innovative ways for steel and other goods to be stored and managed. We are marketing this patent-pending software all over the world from our home base in Hamilton, Ontario.â€ť
â€śWe use our own products in our warehouses every day and that helps differentiate us from competitors,â€ť Tsafaridis added.
An awards gala was held March 25, 2013 where the winners were announced. Watch a live demonstration of the CareGo software in the video below:
Last night Software Hamilton (@hamiltonsw) and Hamilton Economic Development (@hamiltonecdev) hosted the inaugural Jobs Night at McMaster University. A big part of the motivation for me to organize Software Hamilton events is the frustration I’ve experienced watching the brian drain occur out of McMaster. Year after year an amazingly talented bunch of people graduate from McMaster University and generally leave Hamilton. I’m told this happens in “University towns” everywhere, but I’m fairly certain it’s worse in Hamilton. An obvious example would be RIM (now Blackberry), which has been great for retaining University of Waterloo graduates in their city. We can’t capture all of the McMaster graduates or even most of them at this point, but with Hamilton software firms now hiring in greater numbers than ever before we should be able to start retaining at least some of them.
McMaster has formal channels for connecting students to jobs that work great; my own experience with the co-op program during my undergraduate years was fantastic. I obviously forward any job opportunities I’m aware of to the right contacts internally (McMaster is my employer, and I’m a graduate student there currently).
But in past years I’ve also run more unofficial informal “networking events” for undergraduate students where I’ve had alumni come in and pitch what their company does and what types of jobs they will be looking to fill over the next 6 months. It ends up being educational for the students if nothing else, they get to see what types of career paths exist and what companies out there are looking for in terms of skills and experience. But a cool thing happened where every time I ran one of these events companies would fill positions with students they interacted with that night. I’ve always wanted to do one of these event focusing on companies from Hamilton specifically, but it wasn’t until the software startup and job surge over the last few years that doing so was really possible.
At Job Night last evening we had Mabel’s Labels, Weever Apps, REfficient, ProSensus, HiFyre and others from the Hamilton-area come in and talk about what positions they’ll be looking to fill over the short term to about 60 students in attendance. I know at least a few of these companies will be conducting interviews with students that they met at the event, and they spoke highly of the McMaster students that they have hired thus far. A representative from the Small Business Enterprise Centre was also there to explain the Summer Company program. Several students indicated they would be using the program to help launch their own software development shops over the summer. There’s a huge opportunity for them there… I get a lot of requests for help with short-term software development projects from companies that are overburdened with work but not yet at a level that they can justify hiring a new employee.
A single event like this isn’t going to stop the brain drain or build a better funnel from McMaster in to Hamilton. In some sectors like healthcare the talent already flows freely and in large numbers from McMaster in to Hamilton. But in others the talent doesn’t flow in to Hamilton, it just flows right out, and the lack of local opportunities can lead to a perception that McMaster is a bit of a wall within Hamilton. Based on feedback from participating companies and students, I suspect Job Night helped put a nice little crack in that wall, with many more to come.
I really loved the space. It just had the right feel. Scruffy hardwood floors, exposed wooden beams, brick walls, and glass doors connecting rooms to a larger open space on the 2nd floor. I also really loved the ping pong table in the basement, along with the kitchen and a TV/couch area. It really felt like somebody listened to their customers and delivered a great product – this is exactly the kind of space that appeals to me personally.
It’s great to see startup spaces like this popping up all over the city. If you want to be plugged into the innovation hub at the McMaster Innovation Park there is the Factory Floor. If you want direct access to Mohawk students there is iDeaWORKS (@MohawkIdeaWorks). If you want to be downtown in the heart of the creative sector you’ve got the Cobalt Connects (@CobaltConnects) Hotel Hamilton space on the corner of Mulberry and James. For those of the maker / hacker ethos there is Hamilton’s hackerspace ThinkHaus (@ThinkHausOrg). Each space serves a different purpose by providing value in different ways, and in the process they build a market for future spaces. It’s not a zero-sum game, the pie just gets bigger.
I like the location of Platform 302 as well, it’s very close to Gage Park and the future stadium district. It’s important to see downtown Hamilton succeed because it’s the heart of the city, but seeing economic growth spread more broadly across the lower city is great too. Hot desk space starts at just $75, with a range of options beyond this. I’m told that 50% of companies currently at Platform 302 are tech, with the remaining 50% mostly in real estate.
I hope that more tech companies move into Platform 302. Collaborative space can be a huge thing for growing young companies as they can share talents, pool their knowledge and help each other out. Like a Startup Weekend that just keeps going. I hate to make yet another Hamilton-to-Toronto comparison, but when I’ve visited colleagues in Toronto working at tech startups there I’ve often been jealous of the cool space they’re working in and wondered why we don’t have something similar in Hamilton. Now we do.
Check out video of Platform 302 from Hamilton Economic Development and some pictures I took below:
Software Developers are a unique breed of people. We combine the discipline of science, the design of engineering, the creativity of an artist, to turn abstract ideas into reality. We live for the challenge of taking wild and crazy suggestions and making them work. The harder the problem is to solve, the bigger the rush when we solve it!
Over the length of my career at RIM and Mabelâ€™s Labels I have had the honour to lead some extraordinary development teams. Every team has performed incredible tasks; made many an astounding invention, changed lives, broke barriers that were deemed impossible to break, and changed perceptions of what was possible. Most importantly of all â€“ we had fun doing it. Every day I wake up I am eager to go to work and have more fun. I hear from many of my former teammates who passionately recall the days we were together. Many attribute to me that as their leader I set the tone, the environment, and the enthusiasm and spirit.
One of the most important characteristics about being a leader of any kind is to be true to who you are. Recognize and acknowledge your strengths, the things you do really well. Be aware of your weaknesses, the things you do not like to do. Understand the way you solve problems.
Building a team is about constructing an organization that works together. They must all be active and willing participants in sharing your vision. Whatever the goals are; if they are shared and everyone plays a role in bringing the goals to fruition, then everyone pulls together.
At RIM when we were developing the very first two-way interactive devices (the RIM 800 and 900) a team of four of us were working on the radio protocol, connection management and battery management software for the 800. This device was for use on the DataTAC network in USA and Canada. One of our goals was to improve battery life and still maintain the high responsiveness of our product. We put a proposal together and submitted to the carrier in the USA. This proposal was sent on to Motorola, who built the network and the â€śbestâ€ť devices on the network at the time. They said there was no way that the new algorithm would work as we outlined. Talk about waving a red flag in front of a bull! We pulled together, solved some extraordinarily tough problems, and made it work â€“ In just under 2 weeks! When we proved that the algorithm worked as we expected, the major consumers at the time dropped Motorola and bought our product. The team was dismissed en masse from Motorola. I was asked about hiring some of these folks â€“ I said no. Their attitude did not fit the culture of our team â€“ â€śnothing is impossible, we can do anythingâ€ť. We proved it time and time again.
The team members must have skills of course. They must be able to do the technical work and possess problem solving skills and a â€ścan-doâ€ť attitude to crack those tough problems. The members of the team have to be able to support each others weaknesses through complimentary skills. Your job as the leader is to allow them to develop their skills, to learn from each other, and to showcase their abilities. Each member of the team has value, their contributions may not be the same, but they must feel as though their work and their effort are as important to the overall success as everyone else on the team. This starts with you; your attitude, and your enthusiasm for all aspects of everyoneâ€™s work is infectious. The rest of the team will pick up on the values you place on each member and hold their colleagues equally high.
My leadership style is based on Hersey-Blanchardâ€™s Situational Leadership theories. The basic theory is that you lead according to task and motivation level. If a person has high skill and motivation for a task, a leader needs to set the task, set goals, deadlines, and clear obstacles. Then let the person do what they do best. If that same person has low skill or low motivation for the task, then I am there to coach, motivate, and organize the person, to help them succeed. The less skilled and motivated the person for that task, the more structure and coaching is required.
At Mabelâ€™s Labels the IT/IS team has grown from 3 to 8 over the past 2 years, with growth continuing as the company grows. By delivering excellent service to ITâ€™s customers (production, marketing, sales, finance, customer service) we have become an integral part of every project. The six developers have strong coding skills and are highly motivated to produce software that wows ITâ€™s customers. We both are confident that the job will get done well, and if issues arise, we will discuss in a mature manner. On the other hand, putting together a presentation to describe a piece of technology they find interesting for the rest of the company, is a task that they are less confident about. Some are motivated to expand their skills, others â€“ not so much. This task requires much more coaching on my part, motivational, structural (how to perform the task), and how to have fun doing it. As the individual gains experience (but not necessarily motivation) to make presentations, the coaching style changes.
Another key aspect to leading Mabelâ€™s IT/IS team is to understand the right amount of â€śsoftware development processâ€ť to put in place; how to introduce and gain acceptance â€“ and to make it fun. Last year we began adopting an agile methodology for development. We have introduced the concept slowly, with a fun angle at all times. Our daily scrums are fifteen minutes long, if someone is late there is a fine ($1). If I am late, the fine is $10. If our VP is late, the fine is $20. The fine money collected is used for a barbeque lunch, during which we invite other departments for team building. During the scrum we encourage free speech; all of us (including myself and our VP) are treated as peers. No judgement is passed; we all can share our difficulties and new discoveries and look to each other for help. Our sprints are three weeks long; the final Friday afternoon is free time to work on fun projects. Hand-writing out the stories for a sprint is painful, so various people have taken it upon themselves to automate this task. We have gone from manual calligraphy to using a touch screen. Over time we have added a page of documentation required to help with end of year reports. Cake is a reward for on-time submissions.
When you lead a team, understand and support the differences in everyone. Learn who they are, what each one is passionate about, what they are motivated by, what frightens them â€“ share who you are with them. Be open, be honest. Listen. With your ears and your heart. Share your experiences, share your spirit; embrace their passions. Have fun and encourage fun. Let each person know how important they are to you and that their success is more important than anything else. Respect them. Understand that respect is earned not bestowed by a title. Earn their respect, trust them, and they will trust you back. Show them and tell them that you believe in them. Hold them up, and they will fly to unexpected heights.
NEWSÂ | NICHOLAS KYONKA, THE WIRE REPORT
PUBLISHED: SATURDAY, 12/01/2012 11:24 AM EST
LAST UPDATED: MONDAY, 12/03/2012 2:55 PM EST
OTTAWAâ€”CRTC Chair Jean-Pierre Blais said he expects universal access to broadband Internet to one day be defined and regulated a “basic service,” as home telephone services are now.
“The commissionâ€™s mandate and overarching goal is to make sure all Canadians, including vulnerable populations, have access to essential communication services. No debate about that,” Blais said Friday in a speech at a dinner hosted by the Public Interest Advocacy Centre (PIAC).
“Deciding exactly what constitutes a basic service is open to interpretation, of course. Years ago, it meant having a basic telephone line. In light of the growing importance of broadband to all aspects of Canadiansâ€™ lives, I can foresee the day when universal access to broadband will form part of the definition.”
Telecommunications services classified as “basic” by the CRTC can involve price and access regulations. The Telecommunications Act says the CRTC can establish a fund to support services it defines as basic to ensure Canadians have access to it at affordable rates.
Basic service regulation ensuring access and price ceilings currently applies to incumbent home phone services in some markets where there is not enough competition.
In its “obligation to serve” decision in 2011 (2011-291), the CRTC said the deployment of broadband Internet access “should continue to rely on market forces and targeted government funding, an approach which encourages private and public partnerships.” The commission said “it would not be appropriate at this time to establish a funding mechanism to subsidize the deployment of broadband Internet access services.”
In thatÂ decision, the CRTC set a target for all Canadians to have access to Internet speeds of 5 Mbps or faster for downloads and 1 Mbps for uploads by 2015.
In February, a CRTC-commissioned reportÂ raisedÂ the question of whether Internet connectivity is an essential utility, and what that may mean for monthly bandwidth caps or customer disconnections.
“From these complications concerning the rise of cloud computing in a digital culture of bandwidth capping, arise questions about whether internet service providers should be allowed to cut households and small businesses or organizations off from the web because of overuse, or if internet connectivity is an essential utility or service, like water, electricity, or the telephone,” said the report, by Queen’s University professor Sidneyeve Matrix.
Blais said Friday that CRTC requirements for incumbent telecom companies to offer smaller telcos wholesale access to essential services is “vital to competition” in Canada, adding that the commission “refrains from regulating when we are convinced that market forces are sufficient to produce the desired benefits for Canadians.”
CORRECTION: An earlier version of this story incorrectly mixed up the definitions for “basic service” and “essential service.” The two are different regulatory terms, with essential services relating to wholesale and basic services relating to universal access.
YWCA Hamilton in partnership with Mohawk College offers the Bridging to Information and Communications Technology program designed to prepare Internationally Educated Professionals (IEPs) for employment in Canadaâ€™s Information and Communications Technology (ICT) sector. It offers technical upgrading and sector communications training, including interactive workshops, followed by support in creating pathways to employment opportunities.Â The participants of this program are highly qualified individuals with more than 2 years of ICT work experience and a minimum of 3 years post secondary degree obtained outside Canada.
YWCA Hamilton wishes to connect with ICT professionals and ICT companies that would be willing to engage in work exposure opportunities for participants of the Bridging to Information and Communications Technology program.Â Here are some opportunities to participate as a representative of the ICT sector:
Give a guest speaker lecture about your work in the ICT sector
Give an informational interview to a program participant
Mentor a newcomer to Canada
Enable a newcomer to job shadow you for a day
Offer a newcomer a volunteer position with your organization
Take on a newcomer for an unpaid work placement
Take this opportunity to host a qualified immigrant with the technical and soft skills to succeed in your organization.Â If your organization is interested in providing any of the above opportunities, please contact Jupiter Deveau at firstname.lastname@example.org to get involved.
The great folks at Innovation Factory in partnership with the Xerox Centre for Engineering Entrepreneurship and Innovation have got a new initiative called Factory Floor that I think you should know about. Factory Floor is a co-creation space located in The Don Pether Business Incubation Centre, the collaborative space is based on a clubhouse model where Innovation Factory clients can reserve â€śhot desksâ€ť daily, weekly, or just occasionally. Start-up entrepreneurs and business professionals alike are being encouraged to take advantage of the space to work, share, and innovate together. The space joins a growing number of venues in Hamilton with shared working space including Cobalt Spaces, Mohawk College’s iDeaWORKS and Joe Accardi’sPlatform 302.
At last weekend’s Startup Weekend Hamilton event in the Mohawk College Collaboratory one thing just about everybody commented on was the “buzz” or the “vibe” in the room. Participants were actively collaborating, not just with themselves, but across teams as well. I saw participants filling out other team’s market research surveys, giving each other’s products “a quick once over” for feedback, discussing strategy, and generally helping each other try to build better startups. I know one local Hamilton entrepreneur who wasn’t actually participating in Startup Weekend but instead volunteering at the event, who ended up staying all night on Saturday just because he found the atmosphere so helpful to getting his own work done! So I’m really glad to see that Hamilton now has a new initiative aimed at creating a collaborative atmosphere for startups to work in every day of the year… it can be a difference maker.
From the website:
Innovation Factory is totally jazzed to introduce a new initiative to Hamiltonâ€™s Innovation Community â€“ Factory Floor, a co-creation space for innovators to work, collaborate, and grow together! Beginning May 1st, Factory Floor will be open daily from 8:00am â€“ 4:00pm, with optional 24/7 access for full-time users. It will operate out of McMasterâ€™s Don Pether Business Incubation Centre in collaboration with the Xerox Centre on the third floor at McMaster Innovation Park. Factory Floor offers free coffee, copying and collaborating with 16 unique seats and meeting room availability. Space is limited so make your reservation today!
- Entitles you to 8 full days (8am-4pm) throughout the month
- Includes 4 hours free meeting room space
- Seats must be pre-booked and are subject to availability
- Entitles you to 24/7 accessthroughout the month
- Includes 10 hours freemeeting room space
- Your seat is guaranteed
Clubhouse? Co-creating? Hotdesking? What does it all mean?
Join us Wednesday afternoons throughout May for an OPEN HOUSE at FACTORY FLOOR. Chat with our clubhouse coordinator, Leah, and check out the space! See what Innovation Factory and McMaster Innovation Park might have to offer you and your growing business!
Weâ€™re serving treats and bevys between 1pm and 3pm May 2, 9, 16, 23, and 30 in suite 304. Contact Leah to arrange another time.
If you were at McMaster for DemoCampHamilton6, you would have seen the amazing new game BlockHopper (available on iOS) from Green Pixel (@GreenPixelDev) . Green Pixel demonstrated the core mechanics, level editor, and amazing graphics to the 200 onlookers at the event. They put more than a year into the game, and successfully released it on the App Store with a flash port coming soon. I got the chance to talk to one half of the team, developer Rich Halliday:
So can you tell us a little about yourself good sir
My name is Rich Halliday and I work with my artist friend as an indie developer. I hesitate to use the term “indie” at the risk of sounding pretentious, but it just means that we design, build and release our own games. I came to Hamilton in 2006 solely because my girlfriend was a masters student at McMaster. I found a job in Burlington and I was able to live in Hamilton and commute. We continued living here even after I started working in Toronto because Hamilton is more our style.
I was fortunate growing up that my parents always had a decent computer. I remember one day finding a book on the BASIC programming language at my elementary school. I was only copying programs from the book at that time, but it blew my mind that I was able to build something from nothing. To this day I still love the fact that you can go from an empty text file to something you can interact with in a few hours. I love to create things, but I suck at drawing or any sort of physical art so I find programming lets me explore my creative side. I also really enjoy the instant feedback, when you finally get your program working you know it works right away. I always hated waiting a week or so getting a math assignment back.
I chose a career in games at first just because they’re my favorite thing to do in my spare time. It wasn’t until I started in the industry that I realized it was a perfect fit as it’s pretty challenging work and if you get bored or stuck doing something, you can usually leave it for later and work on some other area of the game.
Did you go to school for computer science or game development? What’s your take on that?
I have a computer science degree from Acadia University. I think about the value quite often actually! I go back and forth but I think ultimately it was a good choice. A lot of companies won’t even look at you unless you have a CS or math degree, so breaking in as a programmer might be tough. I think it depends on your ultimate career path. If you just want to work for yourself or make games as a hobby, I think the 1 or 2 year college game design course is fine. They usually teach you about working with a specific engine like Unity or Unreal and maybe some scripting with Lua or ActionScript. The problem with that is your knowledge becomes very specific and a lot of the bigger companies will use a modified version of these engines or, more often, their own engine that they constantly refine in-house. I’d say if you intend to work for a BioWare or a Valve, a computer science degree is mandatory as they’ll expect you to know how to optimize your code for different hardware. Basically, if you want to work on any of the main consoles or handhelds or for any of the larger game companies you’ll need a CS degree from a university.
So what did you do after university?
I worked for Capcom Mobile for 6 months in 2006. It was my first real job after university and they had a great team when I started. The lead programmer at the time would come around every few days to see how things were going. He was really good at pointing out the good things you had done and also areas that could use improvements. I learned an incredible amount during that time. About 3 months in, there was a shakeup and he ended up leaving. The new guy in charge of the programmers didn’t come from a technical background and was really only worried about deadlines and not too interested in improving the talents of the team. So I guess the two bosses I had were the best and worst experience!
I left Capcom Mobile just after Christmas in 2006 with 5 other employees due to “dismissal without cause”. We weren’t really given a reason, but we were all hired by the same lead programmer who ended up quitting since they effectively wanted him to take a demotion. We figured since we were his guys, we also got the boot haha. I was bummed at the time, but from what I heard from the people who stayed, things weren’t much fun there. As of today, everyone I kept in touch with has a better job with a different company. It was pretty much Capcom in name only, they just bought a local mobile developer and acquired the licenses to their current IP.
After going through one company that had to close due to bankruptcy and being part of an unsuccessful start-up, we thought we had seen enough of the development cycle that we could do it ourselves. We worked together at these previous two companies and tend to like the same type of games. We enjoy the SNES/PS1 era and figured the only way to work on these types of games is to do it ourselves. Living on an indie budget is not for everyone, that’s for sure. We’re both fortunate to have our significant others picking up most of the tab. You really have to plan to not have an income for 1 or 2 years as you’re truly starting from scratch. At first no one knows who you are, so unless you happen to make an amazing game that takes the world by storm, the best you can hope for from your first release is attracting some fans. Currently, most of our profits go into things like server costs, outsourcing music and buying any development software we need. We use a lot of free tools and build a lot of our own tools for the more specific needs.
Your first projects were The Pocalypse and The Pocalypse Defense.
They were the first projects! Joe really does the web comic, The Pocalypse, by himself. ThePocalypse Defense was a starter project to see if we could work together to make a game from start to finish. Since Joe lives in Japan, we haven’t had a face-to-face meeting for about two years now so just finishing and releasing the project was considered success for us.
Joe and I worked together at Silverbirch Studios and Electron Jump. We are friends outside of work which really helps as we like talking about the games we are playing. None of my other friends are into games at all, so maybe it’s good that I save all my news and opinions for the guy I work with.
Hypothetically speaking, what would you want in a third teammate?
I think the best thing you can bring is passion. I’ve never had to hire anyone before and if that day ever comes, I think I’d need someone who likes messing around with code and game ideas in their spare time. I know the debate on whether games are art or not rages on, but I definitely do it as an art form, so I’d need to work with someone who shares that view rather than a way to make money. I like to work with people rather than manage, so they’d have to be pretty self-reliant and also bring their own ideas and be open to discussion.
What’s your take on the Flash platform?
It was the first time doing anything in flash for either of us. I liked working with ActionScript and now I use it to prototype all my ideas just because it’s so fast and forgiving. There has been rumblings of Flash is Dead! for a few years now and we’ll move on to something else when it truly does die but right now Newgrounds, Kongregate and Armor Games are all still running flash. From the outset, we wanted to distance ourselves as far as possible from the flash IDE so we wouldn’t get caught in the trap of only knowing how to make flash games. We have our own animation system and we use sprite sheets so everything is modular and easy to port. Flash and iOS will be our two main platforms for now, but I’m thinking of adding PC and Mac as well.
The cost of development is the biggest factor and most of these are free (iOS costs $100 a year developer fee) compared to consoles which can run you from $2000 – $20,000 for dev kits. The main reason for starting in flash and moving to iOS was due to the fact I had never developed for iOS or used Objective-C before even though I have a lot of experience working with C. I thought the new platform and new language might provide enough of their own challenges without developing the side-scrolling platforming logic on top.
So how would you describe BlockHopper? You said reception was good but there were some issues with the iOS crowd, can you elaborate?
Well, reception has been mostly positive! For the first few weeks, I was active on the TouchArcade forums. A lot of people had good things to say. We got some good reviews and some poor reviews. I think overall, iOS was not the best platform for this game. Most of the negative reviews are from people finding it too hard which is funny because it was originally much harder like Super Meat Boy. A lot of people tell me they haven’t gotten passed level 4 or 5 out of 35, so it’s pretty obvious it’s too hard for the general iOS audience. I think the flash version will be better received as it tends to play much better with the mouse and keyboard and maybe some day we’ll make a PC/Mac version. It was a great experience though, knowing your audience is a good lesson to learn.
We had this discussion the other day whether or not to update BlockHopper with new levels and game play or just forge ahead on the next game. We decided to just go ahead and make something new unless there is some huge bug that needs to be fixed. We had planned on expanding the game play and adding Universal iPad support for the first update, but our sales have dropped off and I think most people have moved on to other things now. I think since we’re only two people, we have to keep moving forward as quickly as possible but if enough people ask for (reasonable) changes, we’re happy to do them!
BlockHopper is now published in the App Store. You mentioned some tax hurdles in your blog, did you require a lawyer or did you manage to get it all completed on your own?
We didn’t need a lawyer, but our story is not uncommon. If you’re new to iOS, get the tax forms in as soon as possible. Even if you haven’t started your game yet. You fill out the forms on the iTunes portal but they can still take a few months to be processed. Until they are, you can’t sell your game. We made the mistake of filling out the tax forms when we submitted our game to the App Store so it was approved on December 23, but didn’t actually go on sale until the middle of February. If you’re a Canadian dev, you have to fill out a second set of physical forms that you mail off. If you don’t fill these out, you get docked 30% of each sale for GST. The good news is you only have to do these things once!
You mentioned that the porting was not that difficult. Would you consider offering a ‘flash to iOS’ porting service as part of your companies services?
We might consider this depending on the scope and content of the game! Right now we’re focusing on doing our own thing, but as a fallback it’s not a bad idea.
Where can we see you next and what kinds of projects will we be looking forward to?
I’m putting the final touches on the BlockHopper flash game tomorrow and sending it off to Joe so he can encrypt it and put it up for auction. We submit our flash games to a website called Flash Game License where flash portals can bid on your game. The winner gets the game for a certain period of time and then we’re free to distribute to other sites. It’s Joe’s turn to wear the lead designer hat so we’re going to start on The Pocalypse Defense 2 for iPad initially and maybe PC/Mac. We’re going to try the crowd-sourcing thing and put up a donation page on indiegogo.com. After that, I have two more ideas I’d like to try and finish before the end of the year which are much smaller in scope and will probably be free to play iOS games. In my spare time I’m also working on a JRPG which is kind of my lifelong project.
Mohawk College and Weever Apps Inc. proudly announce the launch of the Mohawk College web-based mobile app and their collaborative development efforts though Mohawkâ€™s innovative iDeaWORKS program. Students, employees and visitors now have instant access at their fingertips to search programs & courses, view streaming social feeds, events, photos, and videos, and share a GPS mapping feature allowing them to find their classrooms.
â€śOur experience with Mohawk has been nothing short of phenomenal.â€ť says Tim Richard, VP Operations for Weever Apps Inc. â€śWith the college’s practical approach to education, Weever Apps has been able to collaborate with students who possess knowledge beyond theory. The calibre of students has allowed Weever Apps to tackle highly complex mobile app programming projects.â€ť
iDeaWORKS has also recently worked with Weever Apps to develop a mobile web application for the Interoperability Showcase at the 2012 HIMSS health and technology conference. The HIMSS conference & Interoperability Showcase is the premier international conference for health information technology, management, innovation, while offering a unique demonstration of health technology solutions.
â€śThereâ€™s no better way for students to gain 21st century skills than by collaborating with companies like Weever Apps,â€ť says Pamela Hensley, Director of Research & Innovation at Mohawk. â€śWeever Apps is young, local, creative, and theyâ€™re toting disruptive technology. We want to be a resource to this kind of company.â€ť
iDeaWORKS and Weever Apps began collaborating over a year ago and plan to continue the relationship with another new project this Fall. The Mohawk College mobile app was officially launched on March 23, 2012.
They’ve also added a large amount of more offerings starting later in the summer and fall of 2012. There are around 40 or so classes, check them out: Coursera.org
Udacity is also offering 6 courses right now, all taught by world-class professors, all currently in their first week. The first homework assignment is not due until Tuesday the 24th so you still have time to join. You won’t be disappointed in their quality and engagement.
Lastly I’m currently taking “Principles of Economics” at academy.mises.org, there are monthly offerings for under $200 if you are interested in broadening your scope in that kind of area.