Sherry Bonelli (Early Bird Digital Marketing), Tim Lane (Senior Digital Strategist at Geonetric) and Tyler Hakes (Principal and strategy director at Optimist)

SEO Marketing Meet-up in Iowa City | Let’s Get Digital

WordPress Migration Tips and Build Websites with WordPress in Cedar Rapids, IA

Volunteer Judges gathered in the Senate Chamber for the Grant Wood district National History Day at Old Capitol Museum in Iowa City

Website Judge for Grant Wood district National History Day at Old Capital Museum in Iowa City, IA

Local Guides Iowa City, IA

Sunday June 12th at 10am: Google Local Guides Event in Iowa City, IA at the Sheraton Hotel.

TechBrew attendees outside on the patio at Forbidden Planet

TechBrew (Geek Social Event) @ Forbidden Planet in Iowa City, IA

Iowa JavaScript Meetup group in Iowa City at MetaCommunications

Iowa JavaScript Meetup in Iowa City at MetaCommunications (Creative Corridor JS meetup)

This month’s Iowa JavaScript again took place at the headquarters of MetaCommunications at 201 E Washington St in Iowa City. Our event host Nathan L. Smith (TwitterGitHub) got us started with a going around the room “tell us a bit about yourself.” Then Sam Beran (GitHub) talked about a javascript library that he found called Nativefier. Nativefier is a command line tool that allows you to easily create a desktop application for any web site!

Sam Beran presents Nativefier a JavaScript Library at the Iowa JavaScript Meetup in Iowa

Fun with RUM (ClojureScript language)



Next up Uday Verma (GitHub) talks about RUM (made by Nikita Prokopov) a library for ClojureScript language that compiles to JavaScript. He uses figwheel to build the ClojureScript code and hot loads it into the browser as you are coding!

Uday Verma talks about RUM a library for ClojureScript language that compiles to JavaScript

Our fearless leader Nathan L. Smith then delves into Angular 2. I found the Syntax with the use of multiple types of brackets impressive! It makes sense that each bracket is used for specific reasons!

Left : Uday Verma and Nathan L Smith is on the right.

Left : Uday Verma and Nathan L Smith is on the right.

NEW MetaCommunications logoAs always, thank you to MetaCommunications for the free beer and pizza at this event!

Crowd in the auditorium at EPXCON game dev event at Art Building West in Iowa City

EPXCON 2016 Game Dev (Animation & Game Development at The University of Iowa)

EPXCON 2016 is being held at the University of Iowa’s Art Building West located at 141 N Riverside Drive, Iowa City, IA on both Saturday and Sunday. This event is for people who is interested in game development or, like me, just like to play games when they have a free moment.

Eric Neuhaus’s booth at EPXCON Game Dev

You may recognize Eric Neuhaus from one of my other blog posts about game dev. He is showing off several of his new games at this year’s EPXCON. Eric is trying to get his most recent game Crystal Control II on Steam. Like he said, if he was making music he’d want to be on iTunes, seeing that he’s making games and he’s trying to get it on Steam.

Diego Floor’s booth at EPXCON Game Dev

I had a blast playing Diego Floor‘s game. He has been working on this game off and on for 3 years. You can play his addictive game called Apple and Worm: Patching holes in spacetime online now! It’s a fun game that still has some glitches, but definitely one of the several great games at this event.

KintoGames booth at EPXCON Game Dev

Hung out playing bit Dungeon II at the KintoGames booth with the designer and his son. You can buy it online from Steam today.

People at EPXCON Game Dev

Over all, this place was kinda dead. Unfortunately the promotion of this event isn’t what it should be! I, myself, didn’t hear about this event until last minute (thanks Eric Neuhaus). It is the 5th year that the University of Iowa has held this event. I’m hoping the word gets out better next year because the games from local designers were quite impressive. Alone there were conferences being held upstairs for aspiring animators and game developers! It’s a must go for any game dev in Eastern Iowa!


Jessica Bertling loses her ball playing Wizard of Oz pinball machine in Iowa City, IA.

User experience/User Interface Design talk with Jessica Bertling: Fun w/ Web Dev & Pinball

Jessica Bertling, is a front end web developer in eastern Iowa. She and I became friends over Twitter revolving around several of the same interests. We are both heavily into website UI (User Interface Design) to give our users a better UX (User eXperience) and it turns out she also enjoys playing pinball as well!

So we decided to spend a Sunday morning talking shop and playing the silver ball. The great thing about people in the tech industry is that we are open about our experiences and lessons learned. She told me about the work she did for J&P Cycles (originally designed using C# / MVC, now using WebBaker CMS) and why she spent so much time making sure that the user interface worked on every browser that was on the market even the bane of every website designer’s existence. . . Internet Explorer (none of us were sad to see Microsoft kill that browser: let’s hope Microsoft Edge is better). I give you a hint, it was all about the money. Granted the highest percentage of users on J&P’s site were young bikers, but like she said, why would you give up a large chunk of money because of either an outdated browser or because Javascript was turned off?

Jessica now works at in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, as the lead UX/UI designer of multiple projects, including one for testing students. I’m expecting to see great things coming from that brand new company soon.

People in attendance at the ALT (Art + Life + Tech) event in Iowa City, IA

Art + Life + Tech (ALT) Community Lightning Talks in Iowa City, IA logoAnyone can sign up for a 5 minute lightning talk at the A.L.T. (Art + Life + Tech) event held in the creative corridor area. Tonight’s ALT community lighting talks had a wide range of topics: From game development by Eric Neuhaus using Construct 2 which is an app produced by Scirra, to a presentation by Thomas Hansen creating web applications with background processing using backgroundworkers, to hacking an Amazon Echo presented by Wesley Beary.

Download Benjamin Oakes slide presentation about

Game Development by Eric Neuhaus:

Background notifications by Thomas Hansen:

Hacking an Amazon Echo by Wesley Beary:

Wesley Beary goes over upcoming events:

Play or download the game made by Eric Neuhaus during ALT talk:

Play flappy game designed at this event

Download zip’d file of Flappy Bird Demo.capx

Worked on the bluebird diner website with owner.

Website work for the owner of The Bluebird Diner in Iowa City, IA

WP-Filebase Download ManagerI’m sitting at Forbidden Planet enjoying my calzone and in comes the co-owner Tommy Connolly talking about how he is having troubles with updating one of his other company’s (The Bluebird Diner) websites that is based on WordPress. After one of the patrons of the restaurant jokingly Google’s “what is WordPress”, I chime in asking what would you like to know about it? I started off by saying lots of people think it’s just used for blogging, but also lots of large corporations use this technology to easily manage their website(s).

Needless to say Tommy realized that I work with WP full time and I even name-dropped that I’m the Co-Organizer/Event Host for the Cedar Rapids WordPress Meetup Group. Tommy has become a friend of mine over the years that I’ve been going to Forbidden Planet and I offered to help him out with getting the company logo with downloadable menu in a PDF file format to show up on the website.

Tommy logged into The Bluebird Dinner’s website and I navigated over to the Appearance > Widgets to update the right side widget area of the WP-Filebase logo in WordPress menuwebsite that was missing the logo with downloadable pdf menu. I noticed that the original website designer utilized a plugin called WP-Filebase, a plugin that I was not currently familiar with. I noticed while looking at the widgets area in the admin panel that the plugin was trying to autofill but it wasn’t currently on the correct setting of “menu_2”. The previous web designer didn’t make the selections all that clear, but I was able to dope it out quickly and get the logo with downloadable PDF up and running fast! It still needs some CSS work and maybe a line break to completely look good, but getting the Menu back up and running was key at this point.

A refill of my coffee and game tokens to play the pinball machines was all the payment I needed for this quick job and potential new customer in the future.

Inside the bluebird diner's wordpress dashboard with the owner by my side

Inside the bluebird diner’s wordpress dashboard with the owner by my side