some personal news!
ok there’s no good excuse for a late newsletter, but I’ve had to be a bit stealth about what I’ve been working on & the demands of this project since January. my company, Withfriends, has temporarily relocated to the Bay Area because we are currently in Y Combinator. so far it has been a wild ride (y’all know how skeptical I am of 1) techbros and 2) literally anything to do w/ big money), but we’ve been able to find some friends and mentors and make some big advances as an organization. but, we’ve had to hold off on speaking publicly while we waited for the official YC announcement, so I’ve had to be a bit sneaky about it.
so what does this mean for AGtC? for the next few weeks, until our Demo Day in mid-March, my newsletters and posts in the Facebook group might be a bit spotty! I’m trying to bank as much content as I can, but I’ll be a little scatterbrained until we are over this hurdle.
that said, the YC/Bay Area experience has also reinforced for me how important it is to have resources for people and communities who are neglected by the trends and money of this marketplace, people from diverse backgrounds who are exploring the creative fringe of tech with whatever resources they can muster. I’m looking forward to working harder with y’all to find good resources and create spaces for people to connect this year, both online and off. it’s going to be all the more important to me to make sure that I am scoping resources, attending events, and connecting with good communities.
after spending some real time seeing the (Very Not Good) state of diversity and inclusion in the Bay Area, Withfriends needs to do better as we enter a new phase of growth. that means I need people like y’all in my rolodex for future hires. if you’re interested in talking about future design & engineering needs at Withfriends, please get in touch.
ok ok my final plug is that if you are an organizer and running an events program (workshops, live code parties, whatever), and you want to give a membership program a try, we also have launched a really simple onboarding flow that I would love for you to try. we’ve cornered our niche of music venues, but tech-facing events are more and more where my heart is these days and I would love feedback from y’all on what features matter to you.
ok now on to what you are actually here for lol….
here’s a lil dev.to thread on books about programming! I personally have a copy of The Mythical Man-Month that has been haunting my nightstand, unread for nearly a year. it’s hard to find programming books that are informative but also pleasurable enough to read to make it onto my radar after I’m already tired for a day of working in the field. this thread has a least a few more I’m going to add to my queue to try.
also from dev.to, here are some analogies for understanding object-oriented programming. this a good place to start if the concept feels intimidating! I could definitely use a refresher myself.
Marina Mosti has been putting out a great series on Vue.js for Beginners that is worth a look! the series assumes some basic HTML/CSS/JS knowledge, but you shouldn’t feel intimidated to give it a try! you can get started with the first post here. she’s also a member of Vue Vixens, a community of people who identify as women who are learning Vue.js. you can check out their upcoming events here!
“it will do” vs. “it will scale” seems to be the recurring nightmare of doing a tech incubator. there’s so much pressure to ship things ASAP, but this can bite you in the butt by setting you up for future bottlenecks and tech debt. as such, I luv this post by Molly Struve on some strategies for better scaling your code as a project grows.
sizing images for web! everyone is lazy about it, even weather.com apparently (LOL). here’s a rundown of some best practices around serving images for web.
here’s a nice tutorial on using CSS animations to make a website feel more interactive and vibrant. it also shouts out this great post by Sarah Drasner on using context-shifting UX effectively. both worth a view!
ok this is just great bc literally every time I am working on hardware I just end up with a gnarled web of solder. SO SMART.
the Data Visualization Society is a new community aiming to be a resource and space of engagement for people working in the field. right now sign up is free, so if, like me, you’re curious to see how they approach their goal of fostering constructive engagement with community members on broader problems of the field, now is the time to sign up! you can learn more about how the community is developing in this Medium post by the organizers.
NEW INC’s Year 6 open call is now live! apply by April 20 to be considered for this new batch, which will run from September 2019 - August 2020. for Year 6 they are offering 5 tracks: Interactive Experiences, Museum Technology, Creative Experiments, Art + Code, and Ideas for the City. so apply asap if one of these tracks applies to your current work!
VRHAM, a virtual reality & arts festival in Hamburg, Germany, has an open call for submissions. it’s Germany’s first artistic VR festival, and I’ve heard good things from a former curatorial team member. submit by March 17 to be considered for the June 7 - 15 event! you can learn more here.
this seems like it would be a great lil gig for someone interested in creative coding. Daniel Shiffman, a full-time instructor at ITP/IMA and a director of The Processing Foundation is looking to hire a part-time community manager for The Coding Train YouTube channel. I hear that Daniel is a delight to work with, and this seems like a great way to supplement your income with some steady but flexible work. you can learn more about the responsibilities and compensation here.
📅 upcoming events!
Thursday February 28! Supplyframe, San Francisco, CA USA: Hardware Developers Didactic Galactic is back for February with a night focused on design for manufacturing with talks from Natasha Baker and Kerry Scharfglass. after the talks there will also be demos, socializing, and community announcements. you can RSVP on Meetup.
March 23 & 24! School of Machines, Making, and Make-Believe! Berlin, Germany: this looks like a unique way to get started with Arduino! School of Machines, Making, and Make-Believe is hosting a DIY Vibrator workshop by Alice Stewart. tickets for both dates are available via Eventbrite.
Sunday March 3! Institute of Contemporary Art! Los Angeles, CA, USA: the Art+Feminism Wikipedia Edit-a-thon kicks off this Sunday at ICA LA! the LA event will be focused on women and comedy, but upcoming events will cover Latinx women and nonbinary artists at the Vincent Price Art Museum; women, film and media at the Hammer Museum; women, design, and craft at LACMA; and sessions dedicated to female artists in the permanent collections of the MCA San Diego and California African American Museum. you can learn more here.
Tuesday March 5! WeWork North State! Chicago, IL, USA: Flatiron School presents Designers of Color in Conversation!
“Everyone is invited and attendees can expect a down to earth conversation about diversity, strategies for navigating the design world as a minority, as well as access to a great network of passionate creators and researchers.”
this event is FREE aka get over to Eventbrite and register now!
just for lulz!
if ur not following Y2K Aesthetic Institute on Twitter, do you even internet?
as always, submit to the open artist call if you have anything in the works that you are excited about! and if you have an event or opportunity to promote (anywhere), please send me all the details. the next newsletter will cover the week of March 3 to 9, but I’m happy to promote events further in the future as well and keep them on the calendar.
we also now have a Discord channel! right now it’s just a few of us, but feel free to drop in and share a gif. I’m starting to experiment with new tools for building community and moving off of Facebook, and this is just one attempt! if you have recommendations for other tools and platforms that you enjoy, please let me know!