#codingforward20 January 2013

Coding Forward Chicago

Earlier this month I was fortunate to be a part of New Relic's Coding Forward events. New Relic, makers of an amazing application performance monitoring tool, kindly sponsored a road trip of OFA Technology team members: Jason Kunesh, Ryan Kolak, Nick Leeper, Scott Van Den Plas, and myself.

We had a great time traveling to New York, San Francisco, and here at home in Chicago. We shared some behind-the-scenes stories from our time on the Obama for America Technology team.

Event attendees were very enthusiastic and appear to have had a great time. Here's a roundup of some reactions and press:

Current TV: "Obama tech team talks winning, disrupting and sticking to basics"

Slashdot: "The Billion-Dollar Startup: Inside Obama’s Campaign Tech"

Constantin Basturea's Storify: "Coding Forward New York | January 8, 2013"

SF Bay Guardian: "Machine Politics"

Harish Chakravarthy's Storify: "Obama for America tech team in SF"

Software Development Times: "DevOps were the difference on the campaign trail"

Douglas Lee Miller's Blog: "Notes from the #codingforward Q/A with the Obama 2012 Tech Team"

Thank you to everyone who came out! I hope you enjoyed our stories.

Civic Innovation19 January 2013

I am excited to start working with the Smart Chicago Collaborative as a civic innovation program manager.

The Smart Chicago Collaborative (SCC) is a non-profit devoted to using technology to make lives better in Chicago. Their work is, in broad terms, three-fold: increasing access to technology in Chicago; providing Chicagoans the skills required to use technology; and enabling civic innovation with open data and open government services. SCC is supported by a number of entities, most notably the Chicago Community Trust and the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation

In the role of civic innovation program manager, I'm positioned at the intersection of the SCC, local governments, and the Chicago civic developer community. I'll work with developers to increase the number and quality of civic applications, and to increase the adoption of existing tools and services. I'll also manage SCC infrastructure and contribute code to grow and improve SCC-supported tools.

SCC has supported a number of impressive technology projects in Chicago. I first became involved back in 2011 when I assisted with porting Code for America's Adopt a Hydrant application to Adopt a sidewalk, a free tool for Chicago residents to volunteer to clear sidewalks in their neighborhoods during snow storms. Other projects built by or supported by SCC include Clear Streets, built on the city's open plow tracker data; a flu-shot locator, used by the Chicago Department of Health; Chicago Early Learning, a resource for finding and comparing child care providers in the city; and many more.

Chicago is a leader in open data and civic innovation, evidenced by initiatives like Open311 and Mayor Rahm Emanuel's executive order mandating city departments to publish and maintain their data. There is a robust and vibrant developer community that I feel is capable of building amazing applications. Groups like Open City, the Code for America Brigade, and OpenGov Chicagoland are collaborating and building the next wave of civic applications. I am honored to be a part of the community and look forward to a productive and innovative 2013.

Something new09 January 2013

This past Saturday (January 5), on the four year anniversary of our first date, I got down on one knee in the front room of our apartment and asked Melissa to marry me.


Coming up for air26 November 2012


I am still figuring out what comes next after my time with Obama for America. Watch this space for writings about what we did, and what I will do next.