DevFest planning continues with Speaker Requests

Planning continues in earnest with the site confirmed for Bitwise Stadium South. We will be looking to enlarge the reception and venue space with an anticipated 400 folks this year hoping to set another record attendance. Forms are available for speakers at: . 

There is a strong effort to improve the number of women attendees and work for greater diversity in the people attending the event. We have started reaching our to sponsors. Since we are a not-for-profit these contributions will be tax deductible.

Social media campaign is underway with announcements on the Facebook page and now we have Twitter so share with your friends and admirers @GDGFresno and Facebook: GDGFresno.

GDG North America Announces WTM Mentor

Fresno's well know local technology advocate Rio Waller was announced this week as a Mentor for Women Techmakers. On the faculty of Fresno City College her expertise will be expanded to a wider audience outside of the Central Valley and even California. She will be available to help other Women Techmaker Groups in North America. We are all proud of her accomplishments and now this is recognized with her new role. 

Valley Devfest 2017 June Update

Valley Devfest 2017 planning continues weekly. Every Wednesday various VDF 2017 committee members hangout to develop the plan to put together another fabulous event. Although early planning believed that a location was set, various ideas emerged to bring in a fresh approach to the 5th year annual event. Committee members are trying to insure plenty of room for 4 or more tracks to educate the attendees. This isn't just an educational event but a chance to network with community developers and entrepreneurs who want to bring technology solutions to everyday and working life. 

The plans include a roll out of social media but additional information is on the way from Google Developers Network and is critical to a more uniform message and look.

Valley DevFest 2017

Conversations have started as we build consensus about where we will hold the event and what you can expect. Four teams met with over 20 people in total to figure out how we can improve the experience as we expect hundreds to attend. Nancy Mohamed will be the lead for the event as one of the GDG Fresno organizers. Along with Rio Waller, Csaba Toth, and Mark Simonian MD the other three organizers all are intent on making this an event to remember. 

I will update our progress here and on pages assigned to cover the upcoming event. 

Valley Devfest 2016

Bitwise Stadium South map.PNG

Saturday October 22 Valley Devfest 2016 will be at Bitwise Stadium South, 700 Van Ness Ave, Fresno, CA 93721 with registration starting at 8: am and meeting finishing at 4 pm. Great speakers from Google and regional superstars also will be presenting many Google applications and tools for the developer or newbie:

We expect over 300 attendees all ages and skills hosted in the auditorium and 6 classrooms. Topics will cover Progressive Web apps, Firebase, Android, Cloud, Code Labs and special Maker Space for Sumobot construction and combat. Loads of special take home prizes and gifts plus a wonderful lunch and snacks.

Code Labs is an added track and are being lead by Rick G and Michael Chrisco in classroom 5.

Proposed Speaker List: ( See: Latest Information)

Paul Bakaus: Web Developer Advocate at Google
Sandeep Dinesh: Developer Advocate at Google
James Duvall IV: Software engineer, GDG Oakdale Organizer
Jim Hutton: Developer, GDG Modesto
Laura Krake: Graphic Designer, GDG Oakdale
Walter Kuppens: software engineer, GDG Oakdale
Todd McLeod: CIT Professor
Martin Omander: North America GDG, Advocate for Google
Derek Payton: Software Developer, GDG Fresno
Paul Perrone: Data Analyst, GDG Oakdale
Justin Ribeiro: Software developer, GDG Oakdale Organizer
Csaba Toth: Software Developer in Fresno, GDG Fresno Organizer
Rio Waller: Fresno City College Faculty, GDG Fresno
Murat Yener: Android software developer at Intel
Nilay Yener: Google advocate for GDG North America



GDG Fresno Reprise I/O 2016

Three of the GDG Fresno organizers attended Google I/O this May. Both Csaba Toth and I (Mark Simonian) were first timers. We were all impressed with the venue at Google at their stadium. Early streaming of the event shows the crowd of 7,000 attendees at the amphitheater. We all came back with very positive feelings. The meeting at Bitwise Stadium on June 2nd was lead by Rio Waller and Csaba who recounted the many highlights. We encourage you to view the I/O meeting streamed on YouTube with every talked captured. I will follow up this first note with more detail later.

Google Vision API

Last evening at Bitwise South Stadium interested attendees came to hear James Cha discuss Google's Vision API. We got to see a successful demo of the tool to analyze images.

Per Google: "It enables developers to understand the content of an image through an easy to use REST API."

We saw it quickly classify images into categories. It also finds and reads printed words within the images. It is still in Beta and you are advised not to use this in real time usage on mission critical applications. 

Rio Waller also mentioned the upcoming Women Techmakers International Women's Conference coming on Saturday April 9th. It will run from 10 am to 3 pm with some special guests from Google. The event will be at Bitwise South Stadium. WTM Registration

GDG Fresno and .Net Fresno

Last evening 1.21.16 in American Ambulance conference room 3 the room was full with .Net and GDG Fresno members listening to a talk by Csaba Toth. Food provided by American Ambulance filled grateful folks and at the end a few won some nice gifts. A frequent speaker at both groups Csaba  reviewed history and demonstrated  data visualization with Google tools to help users for Web site development.

Michael Twohey hosted and there was representation by GDG Fresno President James Cha and Rio Waller VP.

There are some locals events coming up for both groups and these were described. 

WTM 11/15/15 Meet the Librarian

Yes we met the Fresno County librarian Terrance McArthur who spent some of Sunday afternoon describing the programs at Fresno County Public Library. It wasn't about Dewy Decimal System but the amazing tools and services that GDG members might utilize by using their library card. This writer picked up a new card at the event since I hadn't used mine in 50 years.

Rio Waller and Victoria Solomon led the group and reviewed some of the upcoming events including the Hour of Code likely December 8th at Fresno City College. There is a planned event for WTM for 2016 in March but only early announcement was mentioned without a time or day.

The best thing I heard Sunday was the free access to There are so many coding language modules available for the interested person who wished to expand their skills on coding. Also they have services for grants and grant writers through affiliation with library tools. This was a meeting well worth attending. 

GDG Fresno DevFest 2015 Review

We spent an hour and a half Thursday evening at Pelco with many of the active participants and attendees talking about their experience and perspective on our event at Fresno City College. We shared a little pasta and chocolate cookies and talked. The consensus was that this year we had the best event in our three year history.

First we wish to thank the many sponsors who helped finance our non profit to put this on. We are very grateful to the tremendous volunteers who made this event memorable.

At our November 5th meeting we looked deeper into that DevFest day to find out where we excelled and where we came up short. First the venue was right on a lovely Saturday. We had around 350 register yet the number coming was about 100 short of that total. We planned for a group up to 400 so the food was more than enough with some minor delay at lunch. Many made the most of extra time in the line chatting about the day and other topics. We don't have any survey to convey the individual experience so we had to share what each of us saw and heard. Even though the food was great we will look at better methods to make sure people will be feed efficiently. We hope to find a better tool also to monitor attendees experience and we will work on that during the year.

One conclusion is that we need to do this again in 2016. We have tentative date of Saturday 22nd October 2016. We expect that it will be at the same location at Fresno City College. We believe the speakers were first rate and hope to get feed back from them about their experience with the attendees and DevFest itself. 

The tee shirts were a big hit and attendees regularly asked to get their hands on them although we held tight until the prizes were distributed at the end in the mid afternoon. The audience seemed excited with many getting useful technology and hardware they could use. Thank you sponsors.

Traffic was better managed with attendees directed to their meeting with well placed signage. As with many events some left each talk early but it wasn't the mass shifts we saw the year before. Some will recognize that the talk wasn't right for them and leave yet most talks were well attended. There is still analysis about which topics were most useful yet the majority were well received. 

Check in went smoothly and some attendees continued to arrive even at noon although the meeting started around 9 am with breakfast snacks and drinks available. 

There was some struggle with the Wi-Fi link with many having difficulty getting access. This is a target for improvement and there are some ideas how to solve that problem. The location is well lined with bricks and metal so even some telephone signals are blocked. The challenges of a historic location and structure. 

The Googlers were a big hit and they seemed to enjoy their experience and interaction with the audience. Many young students attended too and even though they were beginners some topics were familiar to them so better communication about expectation and their options will be high on next year's list of things to do. Also the rooms seemed to fit the needs of the speakers with better prep for speakers so less downtime for the actual talk and labs. 

One point many professionals mentioned was regarding those topics especially designed for their benefit. Topic designers always should consider the end results in their labs and topics. What is the proposed finished goal and how can we point out those important steps to get there. This should be an issue with every speaker and lab.

All in all last night we were pretty happy with the DevFest 2015 and we hope those that attended will consider coming back for 2016. We need to think about our new event logo and start planning for a more successful event with focused professional topics and encourage local youth to participate. See you next year and stay tuned for our next event Hour of Code.


The Good, the Bad and The Ugly of DevFest 2015

On November 5th our Google organizers plan to review all the pieces of the recent DevFest 2015 program at Fresno City College October 17th. This was the best produced and program rich event ever for GDG Fresno and neighboring GDG groups.

Multiple Googlers and experts made up part of the faculty and local experienced users completed the faculty roster. Well over 350 registered for the event enjoyed the program with breakfast snacks and a terrific lunch. Those attendees staying picked up a shirt to mark the day and some won prizes donated by supporting businesses and individuals.