Jivan Achreja is a UNC alum where he focused on Biology, Chemistry, and Entrepreneurship, and has written for Singularity Hub. Putting off medical school to pursue start up life, he worked as CIO of INRFOOD and Smashing Boxes in Durham, NC. When not teching it up, he loves to read, run, and spend time with his family. You can catch up with him on Google+.
The East Coast Game Conference 2014 proved yet again to the Triangle that video games are a huge business for North Carolina. The industry at large has been evaluated at a range of $75-100 billion dollars or more, and growing annually. I, for one, had no idea of the developer presence we have right here in our back yard until I attended ECGC this year.
The gaming industry has been in a bit of an upheaval with Zynga's long-documented poor performance after its initial exponential growth and the bankruptcy and shutdown of high-profile studios such as 38 Studios. Outside of the usual giant publishers like EA, Blizzard and Ubisoft, it's tough to know where studios stand.
But with the latest console cycle now well underway, and digital distribution via platforms like Steam more popular than ever, it seems that there has never been a better time to be an indie game developer. There is, however, a big question to be raised: Can you make money in video games as a little guy in the playing field?
If local hiring is any indication, then surely you can. There are 60+ local jobs available in the industry right now and in a variety of positions. Local development studios came out en masse to ECGC to spread the word on their home turf and attract new talent to their projects. So if you are looking to get into the games industry, your timing could not be better. Seriously. Go apply now. --Read On
Girl Develop It is an organization started in the U.S. to help women learn software development. With 90 percent of programmers male, there is a serious need for women in the field.
In four years since its launch in 2010, 25 chapters have sprung up around the United States and Canada. It's clear Girl Develop It has begun to solve a real world problem that has existed in development since the inception of the field itself. We need more female developers, and Girl Develop It is building them up and churning them out.
Enter Girl Develop It Raleigh/ Durham. The local chapter is helmed by three active members of the Triangle developer community: Julia Elman, Sarah Kahn and Sylvia Richardson. I first interviewed Julia and Sarah last year for an ExitEvent story about Teen Tech Camp, an annual event held for underprivileged teens at the Durham County Library. That, however, is just one of their pursuits to spread learning and knowledge of software development. I sat down with Kahn recently to learn a bit more about our local GDI chapter and what is in store for the near future.
First, some quick stats about the Raleigh/Durham Chapter: --Read On
High Speed internet is the lifeblood of our entire society. Gigabit speed internet would be crucial to our area, especially for entrepreneurs. Right now, the state of the United States internet is pretty bleak. Globally, the U.S. ranks 8th in connection speeds, having an average of 9.8 Mbps throughout the country. South Korea in comparison, is ranked first with an average of 22.1 Mbps. There is a very clear need for faster internet throughout the entire country, and the battle for broadband dominance in North Carolina is happening right now.
On February 19th, Google announced that Raleigh, Charlotte and seven other cities are on the short list for next cities that might get Google Fiber. Interestingly enough, this announcement is on the heels of an acquisition announcement of Time Warner Cable by Comcast, for $45.2 billion. Google Fiber could be the next big broadband player locally here in N.C. as early as two years from now. The announcement though, is not as simple as one would hope. --Read On