Our Blog

Disrupting The Enterprise

No one wants to be disrupted. But when it comes to business innovation, being disruptive is a good thing; a very good thing.

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Erik Olson On Our Hampton Roads Developer Community

Erik was interviewed by Gina Lynch for her podcast; Tomorrow's Tech Podcast. Topics discussed: the founding of the company, the co-founding of RevolutionVA, RevolutionConf, and HRDevFest, as well as the state of the local software community.

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Talk: A Tale of Two Outcomes - Failure and Success

Erik recently gave at talk at Hatch to a group of entrepreneurs about dealing with failure and success in business.

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Talk: What does a good employee look like?

Erik provided a talk to job seekers at Hatch's Circuit job fair. Although the topic requested was about how to be a good employee, the reality is that employment is a two way relationship.

Checkout the slides

TV Interview on Hampton Roads Business Weekly

Erik was recently interviewed on the Hampton Roads Business Weekly TV show. Check it out and find out more about the company and our founding.

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The Case for RevolutionConf

We're helping to launch the first annual RevolutionConf techonology conference on May 13th! Why would we spend our time and resources to co-organize a non-profit conference? The better question is, Why wouldn't we?

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Motivational Lessons from a Five Year Old

Motivation is a classic, universal problem. How do we inspire someone to want to do something that isn’t inherently enjoyable? The typical method is to come up with rewards. We see this method applied pretty much everywhere. Need an employee to do something? Offer him/her higher salary, bonuses, more time off, etc. Need to lose weight? Promise yourself that post-workout TV time, a cheat food, or that bit of money towards a long awaited vacation. Want a five year old to push himself a bit during a race? Maybe cartoons or candy will work.

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Chromebooks: When Less is Way More

We've started an experiment to shift from expensive MacBooks to $200 Chromebooks. Why would we do that, has it worked, and would that make sense for you? This article dives into why we started the experiment, what we've learned about going 100% cloud, and how we survived in the cloud.

When was the last time you wanted a less powerful computer? Usually we're after more computer; more RAM, more CPUs, more monitor. But the Chromebook is making IT professional rethink computer specifications. By offloading heavy-lifting computational horsepower to the cloud, there's little need for a dedicated powerful computer anymore. Nowadays, you really just need a way to get to the web.

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Mobile as a Competitive Advantage

Do you know that mobile has already overtaken the desktop as the preferred way to access the Internet?

Businesses leverage the Internet to market to potential customers and to provide self-help tools that complement their products and services. Providing users with a desktop-only option is no longer a viable option. There are two main options for satisfying your customers' mobile needs; native apps, and mobile responsive websites. We explore the pros and cons of each option. No matter which way you go, don't avoid mobile.

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Apple Watch is Cool. But Apple Pay is the Bigger News.

Did you watch Apple's big product announcements on Wednesday? They announced the iPhone 6 and Apple Watch, both huge new product announcements.

They also announced Apple Pay, a mobile payment service that runs through the Apple ecosystem. Apple Pay will have a huge impact on consumer behavior, retailer payment requirements, and to Apple's bottom line. It wasn't the highlight of the event, but has the farthest reaching implications.

Learn about Apple Pay and what it means to consumers and retailers, and why it'll likely be one of Apple's biggest wins.

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The Village Consultant. When Hiring a Consultant Makes Sense.

Inspiration for this week's blog came from a recent vacation to the Outer Banks of North Carolina. How is it that small villages, or any organization, can complete projects that are beyond their local capabilities? One option is to bring in experts - aka consultants. Read more to discover when it makes sense to hire a consultant and what consultants bring to the table that in-house staff do not.

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Five Reasons Why Start Norfolk is Important

Start Norfolk 5 is only a couple of weeks away. We think that it's such an important event for our business and technology community that we're sponsoring it this year. If you haven't attended in the past then you owe it to yourself to attend this Sept 19th - 21st. Read our blog post for the five most important reasons to attend this annual event.

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The Crippling Effect of Legacy Software

No one likes working with old applications. With age, applications will break little by little; a web page returns an error, forms require too many or not enough fields, or other small problems that can individually be overlooked. But over time these little issues add up to an old buggy application. Worse, they can dictate not only business processes, but can limit the perceived capabilities of the business. This article dives into the negative effect that legacy software has on organizations, and what should be done to avoid it.

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Why We Switched Exclusively to GitHub Issues

Ever feel like you spend more time tracking tasks than actually doing them? We've felt like that in the past, and have spent countless hours researching different task trackers looking for a good balance between the power of the tracker and effort required to maintain it. Find out why we switched exclusively to GitHub Issues for all of our software agency's work.

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Will .com Become Passé?

Since the beginning of the Internet 20 years ago, domain names ending with .com have been the most popular by a long shot. Other “top level domains” such as .net and .org have been used as well, but the perception with Internet users is that nothing beats a .com domain name. With the release of hundreds of new top level domain names such as .agency, .actor, .bike, and .social, the mighty .com may have serious competition in the future. What does this mean to business owners and consumers? Read the article to find out our thoughts on this topic.

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The Node.js Job Market

A buddy of mine - and early adopter of coding hotness - Kevin Griffin sent me an older slide deck from 2012 on Node.js and how fast it's being adopted. One slide in particular caught my attention and shows just how popular Node.js is becoming.

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Turning to Node.js

If you're not familiar with Node.js, it's a JavaScript engine that runs on servers. It can be used instead of other server technologies such as .NET, Ruby on Rails, PHP, and others. Presented here are the top four reasons we've started to move in the direction of Node.js.

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Just Take My Money Already

Ever get frustrated trying to pay at the checkout counter? Every merchant uses different system, has a different process, and asks you to confirm different information about yourself. Then there's the inevitable question I have to ask; Do I press the green or red button? What a pain! This article dives into a frustrating consumer experience I had and provides a better model that all retails should follow.

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SEO is Dead

After more than 15 years, the SEO industry is changing. Gone are the days of black-hat tactics like hiring a gang of button-pushers to render your webpage hoping to raise your search engine rankings, or submitting your website to 5000+ other websites in a desperate attempt to "SEO" your own site. Not only do those tactics no longer work, you will be penalized by the legitimate search engines (aka Google, Bing) if you're caught doing that. Don't be that guy. Find out how the SEO market has changed and how you can win at the SEO game.

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Will Mobile Kill The Web Star?

If anyone still thinks that mobile is the future then they are behind the times. Mobile is here...actually it's been here for a while now. Did you know mobile devices have been outselling desktops for years? As applications developers, we're witnessing this shift in dramatic ways. Most new products aren't even built for the desktop; they are mobile only. Is there even a need for non-mobile applications anymore?

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Polyglot Programming

What kind of a programmer are you? PHP, Rails, .NET? With the rise of polyglot programming - a fancy way of saying that someone uses multiple languages - it's becoming less relevant. Emceed by 80|20's founder, several local development communities came together recently to discuss polyglotism and it's implications.

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The Coolness of Azure

When it comes to hosting options for your application, cloud servers are a great alternative to facility based single servers which can be points of failure. With the cloud, all the complexities of redundant hardware is abstracted from users and developers and application uptime improves dramatically. Microsoft's cloud offering, Azure, is quickly becoming a power house in the industry. We've used Azure for the past few projects and will guide you through some of the cooler features that make life easier.

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Holy #BatKid! The Social Media Behind Miles’ Historic Wish

Get behind the scenes insight into how Make-A-Wish raised awareness for #BatKid and their cause through social media before, during and after Friday's Internet sensation. Learn how social media mobilized early champions and communicated the event through platforms such as Reddit, Twitter, Facebook, Wired, Mashable, and Vine. The event projected participation of only 200, but the viral effect of social media resulted in 12,000 attendees, celebrity best wishes, and attention from President Baraka Obama and the Department of Justice.

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