Creating a Startup Environment where Software Developers Thrive

On Wednesday May 19th I'm giving a talk at The University of Chicago’s co hosted by the Student Chapter of the Association for Computing Machinery and the Entrepreneurship & Venture Capital Group from Booth. If you're interested in coming please RSVP for the event.

The topic for the talk is "Creating a Startup Environment where Software Developers Thrive". One challenge in growing a startup is building a strong technical team that is focused on solving a problem your customers care about enough to pay for. Sometimes software engineering teams get distracted by technology and lose focus on what's best for the customer.

I will talk about my experience creating an environment (physical and digital) that allows the software development team at Inventables to thrive. I’ll discuss his strategy, process, and specific tactics that he’s used successfully at Inventables.
This talk is targeted at Computer Science and Business students.

Here's a taste for technical folks:
Inventables has a culture built on agile software development. We believe that by writing tests first you gain superior insight not just into what your code needs to do, but also how it should be structured. We pair program, and we follow the red-green-refactor loop relentlessly. This approach helps us deliver code early and often. We constantly scout out and incorporate the best tools for the job. Right now we’re using GitHub for source control; Ruby on Rails for our web development stack; and Cucumber, Rspec, and friends for our testing. I'll be getting into more detail at the talk but in the meantime if you're interested in learning more or coding with us, check out our technical blog Developmentables or apply to join as a software engineer.

Each developer gets an exploration budget and every Friday the opportunity to work on a "Free Point" they work on whatever they think is most important.

Here's a taste for the non-technical folks:
Inventables is a VC funded startup that helps vendors of materials and technologies market their products to people who are looking to solve sourcing problems. Funded by True Ventures in San Francisco the company operates an online marketplace where vendors including DuPont, 3M and Exxon Mobil use the site to create product pages like this one that describe the properties and applications of their products. Engineers, industrial designers, and product developers at companies like Microsoft, Ping, and Kraft Foods find these product pages when searching the internet for new materials and technologies.

If this sounds interesting please RSVP and we'll see you there.


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