National Civic Day of Hacking Is Back!

Calling all hackers! For those who attended April’s Refresh, you heard from Saja Aures on the City of Savannah’s new Open Gov/Open Data initiative. To read more on the Open Gov/Open Data initiative and add to the Public Comment section.

On May 31, the City of Savannah and the Technology Association of Georgia will partner to host the National Day of Civic Hacking, joining more than 90 cities across the world. 11:00 AM, Saturday, May 31 we need developers, coders, designers, hackers, and Savannah enthusiasts to collaborate with City officials to develop and design ways to improve our community and the government that serves us. If you think the city of Savannah can be better, this is an excellent opportunity to put those thoughts into action. We encourage you to register, because we want to bring you food. Even hackers need sandwiches.

Sign up here!

* What: National Day of Civic Hacking
* When: 11:00 AM, Saturday, May 31
* Where: ThincSavannah 35 Barnard St STE 300
* Who: City of Savannah. Technology Association of Georgia
* More info/Register

Refresh April: Ask Not What Your City Can Do For You: Open Gov/Open Data in Savannah

We’re back! This month, get ready for some civic-minded conversation with Saja Aures from the City of Savannah! Here’s Saja’s description:

The City of Savannah is drafting its first Open Government Policy this year. Citizen input is key to creating useful, transformative, and progressive initiatives. Saja Aures, administrator for the City Public Information Office, will open a discussion of intersections between government transparency and innovative tech. Let’s explore collaborative opportunities for Savannah’s designer/developer community to engage and shape their government at the local level.

Bring your ideas and questions and get ready for a great conversation!


  • What: Refresh Savannah
  • When: 4/15 @ 6PM
  • Where: Focus Lab LLC – 35 Barnard St, 2nd Floor

Can’t wait to see everyone!

It’s Been Too Long!

It’s been too long since we got together for a Refresh Savannah, don’t you think? I haven’t been out looking for speakers, and no one’s volunteered. Let’s change that, shall we? We’re definitely going to have Refresh in April, and if no one volunteers to speak, you’re all stuck with me. I’m hoping that the thought of me speaking on not-yet-decided topic will be enough to convince someone to volunteer!

I’ll post something else when we get closer with the details about the speaker, topic and location. In the meantime, volunteer to speak! It’s fun, a great audience, and a great way to practice your public speaking skills in front of a friendly crowd. It can be about anything web-related (which is pretty much everything these days) you’re passionate about as long as it’s not a sales pitch.

I’ll see y’all on April 15th!

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!

No Refresh For July

No one stepped up to speak this month, so we’re not having Refresh next Tuesday, breaking our streak of 6 months in a row. Instead of doing to Refresh this month, why not spend some time thinking about what you’d like us to discuss next month and volunteering to speak on something? That would be awesome.

Or, if you don’t want to speak, but have ideas for topics that someone else might volunteer for, feel free to post them in the comments!

Enjoy the rest of your summer, Refreshers!

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!