Come Learn Some Code

We had so much fun last time, we’re doing RailsBridge again on 11/16! This time, we’re going bigger, with three tracks and a potential 60 students. Here are the tracks:

The Intro to Rails class is almost full, so don’t wait if you want to sign up.

And now, a favor. We need volunteers, especially for the front-end track. This is a great chance to give back to the local tech community and help create some new developers. Plus, ask anyone who volunteered at the first one, it’s a ton of fun. If you can spare a Saturday, please volunteer!

I hope to see a bunch of you there!

And a big thank you to the sponsors who are providing the space, the food and the hosting to make this all happen: The Creative Coast, Armstrong Atlantic, Georgia Southern & Rails Machine.

Refresh for September: Creating Your MVP

This month we’ve got Yvonne Jouffrault from Tour Buddy to tell us the story of creating her MVP (minimum viable product – if you don’t know what that is, you should definitely come) and, well, I’ll just let her explain it:

Case Study of a Savannah Startup! We’ll talk about the process of creating a Minimum Viable Product (MVP) – which is the first working version of a product or technology – why its important, how to approach it and I’ll share lessons learned from my own adventures in creating a technology based product over the past few years. We’ll walk through examples of decisions we had to make and how it turned out – Design, UI, development languages, features, etc. I’m also involved in a new project – creating a new mobile based product and I’ll share our recently completed MVP with the group and talk a little about building it.

I’m really looking forward to this one, as I think Yvonne will be able to shine a light on a lot of the challenges folks face trying to build technology companies in Savannah.

I hope to see you there!


  • What: Refresh Savannah: Creating Your MVP
  • When: 9/17 @ 6PM
  • Where: Focus Lab – 35 Barnard St, 2nd floor

Friendly Neighborhood Conferences

First off, here’s a reminder that Refresh is next Tuesday at 6 at Focus Lab’s new office on the 2nd floor of 35 Barnard St. Be there, it should be awesome.

Secondly, I hope you remember Gene Crawford from Columbia, who came down and spoke at Refresh a couple of years ago. Well, they’re taking their web design and development conference, Converge, to Jacksonville 9/11-13 and the speaker lineup is really great. I’ve worked with a couple of them, spoken on panels with a couple more and have friends who’ve spoken at and attended it and really liked it. Because we’re neighbors, Gene’s offering up a discount code refreshsavannah that’ll get you $50 off the ticket price.

And on top of that, he’s giving away a ticket to one lucky person who enters right here. So, enter and see what happens!

August’s Refresh: Structuring a Web Shop for Success

This month, Erik Reagan from Focus Lab will be speaking – and before I editorialize, I’ll let him describe it:

Any good business needs a well-built, well-designed foundation to thrive and be successful. It’s easy to complete a project and call it a success. It’s a bit harder, but still fairly easy, to go through a year of business and call that a success. But can you define what made it a success? Can you replicate that process over and over again? In our time together we’ll look at key ingredients to building and maintaining a business geared toward success.

I know, right? We’re switching things up this month since the fine Focus Lab folks have just moved in to new digs, we’re going to help them break them in!

  • What: Refresh Savannah
  • When: 8/20/2013 @ 6PM
  • Where: Focus Lab’s shiny new office: 35 Barnard St suite 202

I hope to see lots of you there!

June’s Refresh: Detangle your jQuery: using lessons from CoffeeScript to create better design

Hey, look, we’re having Refresh four months in a row! Isn’t that swell? This month, Jed Schneider will be talking about… well, let’s let him explain it:

Despite the explosion of tools and MVC frameworks for JavaScript, jQuery remains the dependency of dependencies for almost every browser based web application. And yet, for most of us, our use of jQuery tends to create the code with the most painful, rambling, and troublesome design.

This is a talk about using CoffeeScript’s native language constructs to apply what we have learned from frameworks and tools like Backbone and Bootstrap. Solutions that promise us a better experience, retain relevance and clarity in our code, and respond more easily to change.

Refresh this month is scheduled for the 18th, which unfortunately means that I won’t be there. Can I get a volunteer to MC this month? Speaking of, here are the details:

  • What: Refresh Savannah
  • When: 6/18 @ 6PM
  • Where: ThincSavannah – 35 Barnard St, 3rd floor

I would say I hope to see you there, but I won’t be there! So, I hope you make it.

Update: Erik Reagan, from FocusLab, has graciously agreed to MC this month. Thanks, Erik!

Also, don’t forget that TEDx Creative Coast is this Friday! If you didn’t grab a ticket, you can watch it live on the site starting around 9AM on Friday!

National Day of Civic Hacking

From Brady Cannon:

Want to hack for a change? Here’s your chance. The National Day of Civic Hacking unites technologists, civil servants, designers, entrepreneurs, engineers – anybody – who is willing to collaborate with others to create, build, and invent to address challenges relevant to our neighborhoods, our cities, our states and our country.

Join us June 1st at noon at ThincSavannah for the National Day of Civic Hacking. So we know how much pizza to buy, please register here

I think it’s really cool that we’re having one of these in Savannah and a huge internet high five to the folks organizing it!

Also, Refresh is tomorrow night! It’s our fourth anniversary (which I didn’t realize until I saw an old tweet about it in Timehop). I hope to see you all there!

May’s Refresh: Local Journalism’s Fight With the Internet

Refresh three months in a row, shocking! This month, Jesse Bushkar of Bright Here will be presenting (hooray for first-time Refresh presenters!). Here’s his description:

This will be a (hopefully offensive) overview of the current relationship between local news and the Internet / social media. As a web developer AND an alum of two local photojournalist jobs (with several years writing for the Savannah Morning News), my experience is squarely at the intersection of local journalism and the web. I’ve spent the last 6 years trying to reconcile the two industries (the web and local news), and I think I’ve finally come up with some answers.

Sounds interesting, right? Well, you should come! Here are the details:

  • When: Tuesday, 5/21 @ 6PM
  • Where: ThincSavannah, 35 Barnard St, 3rd Floor

I hope to see you there!

April’s Refresh: The Age of Social Machines

We’ve got something a little different this month! Mark Stahl, local developer and all-around genius, is going to talk about something not many people tackle – creating a new programming language! I know! Here’s Mark’s description:

The world of programming languages has not changed much in the last thirty years. The ideas that we hold dear today, in many cases, were held just as dear by our industry forefathers. This poses a problem to our world of technology. As our ideas and desires get bigger and bolder, the languages used to express those ideas remains stagnant. We need new languages, with new abstractions, that take advantage of the wonderfully technological world we currently live in and that our children will create.

Discourse is an exercise in creating a language to express these bold, new ideas. Discourse is inspired by the syntax of Smalltalk and Ruby, with the semantics of Carl Hewitt’s Actor Model. At its core, Discourse is an ideology with three tenets: the Earth we live on is the perfect role-model for any system we desire to create, therefore Discourse shall be concurrency all the way down, our world is a place of social connections, therefore the semantics of Discourse shall depend on the Internet as opposed to punishing it to libraries, and the privacy of all Actors within a system is paramount, therefore all communications in Discourse shall be encrypted.

I hope to see all of you there and full of crazy questions for Mark! If you’d like to be adventurous and provide food and/or beverages for this month’s meeting, please let me know!

And the details:

  • When: Tuesday 4/16 @ 6PM
  • Where: ThincSavannah – 35 Barnard St, 3rd Floor
  • What & Who: The Age of Social Machines by Mark Stahl

I’m really looking forward to this one, so I hope you can all come out! Also, we don’t have a speaker for June yet. If you’ve got something you’re passionate about and can’t wait to tell everyone, please let me know!

Update: Thanks to TalentSoup for providing beverages for this month’s meeting!

Mobile Refresh: Building native Android & iOS mobile apps using Javascript – an Introduction to Titanium Mobile SDK

We’re back! This month, Will Dent, co-founder of Dently will walk us through the Appcelerator’s Titanium Mobile SDK complete with a short demonstration on how to build an Android and iOS application using Javascript.

Here’s his description:

Building Native Mobile apps isn’t only for those that know Objective-C and Java. Learn how you can create a native mobile application using Javascript via Appcelerator’s open sourced Titanium Mobile SDK. Titanium provides direct access to native Android and iOS controls and device functionality well beyond any other solutions on the market. The benefit to developers is the ability to create native applications with less code for multiple devices and still maintain an experience users expect from native mobile applications. If you understand Javascript then you should come out and see how this can help you venture into mobile application development.

Refreshments and giveaways provided by Appcelerator (but Will assures me this isn’t a sales pitch, we’re really going to learn something!)


  • When: 3/19/2013 @ 6PM
  • Where: ThincSavannah, 35 Barnard St, 3rd floor

I hope to see you there! Also, if you’d like to speak at Refresh, please email Refresh only works if we have speakers!!

Refresh October: Where Your Food Comes From and Why A Software Guy Wants to Change It

This month, Matt Liotta, the founder and CEO of PodPonics will come tell us where our food comes up from and about the solution he’s come up with. It should be an interesting presentation for anyone curious about technology solutions to locally sourcing food.

Here’s his description:

In this talk, I will provide insight into how the modern agriculture system works and why it needs a revolution. From there, I will share how I have turned my vision for fixing it into realty.

So, come ready to talk about food! Mmmm, food!

Where: ThincSavannah – 35 Barnard St, 3rd Floor
When: 10/16 @ 6PM

I hope to see you there!