“In the spring, a young man’s fancy turns to thoughts of tech…”
That’s not quite how Tennyson wrote it, but he would have, if he’d lived in Louisville at a time when coders, hackers, designers, and other geeks and nerds offer such a remarkable smorgasbord of creative techie activities. That’s my story, anyway.
Here are a few specific events that you can become a part of, plus some other cool ones further down the screen.
The fifth annual Code Across is a volunteer event for civic hacking.
Over the course of one day, coders and designers pitch ideas and settle into teams. They create an app, a site, or something else. At the end of the afternoon, they present what they’ve created and give it away to the world. There are even snacks and prizes.
It’s a great way to make friends, learn a new approach, work together, create or solve something, gain experience, and help the community.
- a pet adopter that helps you find the animal you want at a shelter close to you
- a restaurant recommender which takes into account health scores, nearby crime, and reviews
- a park amenities locator, to find the nearest potty while you’re on that hike
This year, the event will be held at Code Louisville, 252 E Market St, Louisville, KY 40202.
Keep June 4, 2016 open on your calendar for the National Day of Civic Hacking, also a Code for America event.
Our local “Code for America Brigade” is the Civic Data Alliance. We advocate to make government data open and transparent, so that everyone can learn from it. We also host hackathons and educational sessions.
Louisville’s Startup Weekend is a twice annual volunteer event for business idea creation.
Similar to Code Across, people gather, pitch ideas, form into teams, work, then show their results at the end.
The difference here is that the projects tend to be entrepreneurial, with an ongoing sustainable profit plan. This one is 54-hours long (Friday afternoon through Sunday afternoon), with judges and valuable prizes. On Sunday, teams show off their creations to compete for valuable prizes.
Our local Startup Weekend has gotten some national attention. Lat year, more women than men participated. And the winning team was led by a high school girl!
Projects we’ve had in the past include:
- Moov — Uber for pickup trucks
- MixxThis — an easier way to process your drink orders
- Foodinary — an app to explain the ingredients in your meal
This year, the event will take place at the UofL School of Business.
A lot of the movers and shakers of the local business and tech scenes help out with and attend these.
There is a modest fee to attend this one, but I believe it’s well worth it. I’ve attended four startup weekends so far.
Here’s my post about last year’s event.
Here are even more ways that you, too, can join in on the fun.
- 3/5 – Civic Data Alliance
- 3/11 – Nonprofit Leadership Network
- American Printing House for the Blind, 1839 Frankfort Ave
- If you work with any volunteer or charity group, the KNN can keep you abreast of resources, policies, and happenings.
- 3/3 – Louisville Geek Dinner
- Bluegrass Brewing Company, 3929 Shelbyville Rd
- Hang out with geeks and nerds of all stripes.
- 2/26 – Lean Coffee
- Press, 252 E Market St
- Lean Coffee is a cool way of meeting in which the agenda is created during the meeting itself.
- 3/18 – Digital Marketing Conference
- 2/28 – VEX IQ Challenge Kentucky State Championship
- Galt House (Fountain Room)
- The middle school state championship for robots.
- 4/20 – VEX Worlds World Championship (volunteer here)
- 4/30-5/1 – Mega Drone X
- Louisville Mega Cavern, 1841 Taylor Ave
- The world’s first subterranean drone race.
- 2/27 – Warp Zone Grand Opening
- Warp Zone, 609 W Main St
- Game developers, app makers, and fun builders join together. Family friendly.
- 3/4-3/6 – Louisville Arcade Expo
- Ramada Plaza, 9700 Bluegrass Parkway
- Play Pac-Man, pinball, and hundreds of other games all weekend! Proceeds go to the children’s hospital.
- 3/26 – Random Fandom Con
- Louisville Public Library, 9725 Dixie Highway
- Meet other fans of comics, anime, sci-fi, fantasy, horror, and other fun nerdy pursuits.
- 4/8 – ConGlomeration
- Ramada Plaza, 9700 Bluegrass Parkway
- ConGlomeration is Louisville’s oldest and friendliest science fiction con. Highly recommended. The weekend includes expert panels, costumes, gaming, music, and food.
- 3/12 – Heroes Comics Grand Opening
- Heroes Comics, 361 Baxter Ave
- Another comics store! Yay!
- 4/1 – Louis Villainz Market for Mischief
- The Cure Lounge, 1481 S Shelby St
- All the “weird” vendors gather to offer superhero soap, goth rock vinyl, pop culture candles, psychedelic art, and lots more. Very fun.
- 4/2 – Authors Fair
- National Guard Armory, 1533 Clifty Dr, Madison, IN
- This annual event brings in dozens and dozens of authors to autograph books and chat with fans.
Want to stay in the loop about events like this? There are several ways that you can do that.
- subscribe to my own calendar
- browse through louisville.io, which automatically pulls local tech events from eventbrite and meetup
- follow TALK (twitter, facebook, linkedin), LDA (twitter, facebook, linkedin), LVL1 (twitter, facebook)
- join the Nerd Louisville message boards