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Utilities have a lot of facility information that needs to be visualized which traditionally has been done with paper maps. If the utility manages different business areas such as generation/gathering, transmission, and distribution, the paper maps just scaled in multitude. In the case of an electric utility, if overhead and underground assets are managed separately, the map count has just doubled. Continue reading
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If you are using the Operations Dashboard, you may have noticed today that we pushed an update. This is the first of two updates that are coming to you in the next few weeks. This first push simply updates our client-side app licensing. It’s important that you update your Dashboard as soon as you can so if it is currently running, close it. You will want to uninstall it from your machine and then force the update by clicking on the download link and installing a fresh new version. Simply re-installing or updating your existing install will not work. Continue reading
Jim (@jimbarry) and I (@AmyNiessen) flew out of Ontario International Airport (yes international…I think because they go to Mexico) to head to Houston, TX and then from Houston to Raleigh, NC where we would be hosting a Dev Meet Up the next evening. The flights were good, on time, and still refusing to give out food. That’s OK; I always bring snacks along. Upon arriving, we drove to the hotel to unwind and rest a bit. Downtown Raleigh was not what I was expecting. Let’s just say I think downtown Redlands could stand up in a competition. Does that say enough?
After an evening of pre-prepping and checking out the hotel gym (four machines, one functional), we hit the bed so as to get a good night’s rest.
The next day, I decided to do a run around the North Carolina State University at Raleigh campus. It was absolutely gorgeous. This was the opposite direction of downtown and I’m really glad I got a chance to see it, because it really did wonders for the city. (OK Bruegger’s Bagels had a little something to do with my giddiness as well.) Later on in the evening, I would meet Curtis Belyea, a biologist at NCSU, who was not only attending the Dev Meet Up, but also presenting as well.
Having some time before prepping for the Dev Meet Up, we met up with some folks at a place called The Pit Authentic Barbeque. It’s a barbeque joint, and strangely enough, they did have something on the menu called “Barbequed Tofu”. I had to try it. Not bad. I think the barbeque sauce was pretty much what made it.
After our lunch and regrouping, we headed to The Flying Saucer where the Dev Meet Up would take place. The place looked pretty awesome and gave off a really good vibe. The staff was super friendly and definitely came through, especially in the AV department. The Flying Saucer had a bit of a British pub vibe going, but of course they hadn’t seen or experienced anything like the Esri Dev Meet Ups before!
As I’m greeting people and Jim is setting up, I meet Curtis (see above if you forgot) from the Biodiversity and Spatial Info Center at NCSU, who sits down and begins to talk to me as though we’re old friends (even though this is the first time I’m meeting him). I think to myself, “Should I compliment him on the nail polish color he selected for his nails?” He later informs me that it is part of a bet. Ah.
He also co-authored the jQuery Cookbook along with about 18 other authors. I think Jim scared him a little bit by showing him a picture he dug up from a video Scott was recorded in. As we waited for the meet up to get started, the staff started to bring out some wonderful appetizers including the best one I have had yet: Bavarian soft pretzels with the spiciest hot mustard I’ve ever had.
So now it was time for Scott to present his keynote speech. In a very visually appealing slideshow, Scott’s presentation covered the process of building applications. He begins by offering the advice to start out simple, expand and adapt, find users, ask others for help, and repeat. He states that “you don’t need to understand everything because chances are, someone else already knows how, and you can pay them for it.” Here is his presentation in a nutshell for those of you who missed it:
“How I Got Started as a Coder and How You Can Too”
1. Stare blankly at the monitor
2. Build something, anything (even something that already exists, just to accomplish something)
3. Expand the app with new ideas
4. Find users
5. Ask for help
7. Repeat again
8. Raw talent doesn’t matter
9. Great ideas evolve
10. You don’t need knowledge, you need to know how to find knowledge
11. Code quality doesn’t matter if it works
12. Sometimes good enough is good enough
Overall, Scott gave an inspirational keynote and got people excited about getting out there and creating some new applications.
We took a short break before starting the lightning talks. People got a chance to ask Scott questions, as well as introduce themselves to one another. Starting with Marc Stanard from NCEM (North Carolina Emergency Management), we began the lightning talks. He discussed their Floodplain Mapping Information System (FMIS).
Next up was Tyler Waring from the City of Durham, who wants to get more people involved in coding. (Am I seeing a theme here with this Dev Meet Up? Very inspirational!) He shares a flexible app that he created for clients using XML. Soon after, when he switches to a demo, he runs into a little snag, but thankfully Jim was able to help him back up and running. Tyler was able to then show us his widgets using the demo.
Finally, it was time for my buddy Curtis to present his lightning talk. He came in completely empty-handed, so I thought he was just going to perform in a very animated way; however, I saw that he pulled out a thumb drive. Before he began, he revealed to everyone the story behind his nail polish. He gave his presentation on urbanization analyses he performed on some land use raster data using Geoprocessing tools and Python scripting.
Before we began the raffle, and after the final lightning talk, Tyler stood up and threw out a couple of questions to the crowd on how he can close a widget in Flex Viewer 2.2. This got people involved in suggesting workarounds that he could use.
For the raffle, Joe Weyl and Mike Ping both won passes to 2012′s Dev Summit event in Palm Springs. They were both super stoked. Can’t wait to see you guys there!
We had a great Dev Meet Up in Raleigh! There was such a good turnout, and we hope to see you guys again. Now on to Charlotte…