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2017 Tech Job Fair (Part Deux!!)

Back in April, Techstars, CodeUp, Geekdom, and other sponsors helped make the 2017 Tech Job Fair a major success–so much so, in fact, that there was immediate demand for a repeat performance! So, what better way to please our community (and our evolving ecosystem) than by giving them what they want?

Just like the event in April, the second round of the Tech Job Fair will be held at The Doseum on Tuesday, September 26th, from 5:50-8:30 PM. How can you make sure you’re a part of it, you ask? Just follow these simple steps to register!

 

  1. Click on this link to head on over to the registration page, and click on the RSVP button to input your information
  2. On Tuesday, throw on something business casual, print out several copies of your resume, and park anywhere in the Doseum parking lot.
  3. At 5:30, only attendees that are on the RSVP list will be allowed in for the first hour.
  4. From 6:30 on, the job fair will be open to the rest of the public.

 

Just by registering early, you’ll have access to the entire fair for a full hour before the rest of the public!

Are you ready to find the next step in your path to a successful career? Register today!

Geekdom Guest Spot: Matthew Myers

As Geekdom grows, our community’s entrepreneurial reach has expanded beyond the US borders and has gone international! We have everything from established companies to brand new start-ups from across the globe who have set up shop right here in our building.  Nevertheless, immigration can be a very complicated process. To help give us some basics, community member and immigration lawyer Matthew Myers wrote this post to help describe a basic understanding regarding the “legalese” of immigration.

When it comes to noncitizens, many people in the United States have heard generally of immigrants and undocumented aliens.  Under U.S. immigration law, there are actually immigrants and nonimmigrants and those with other legal status (i.e. DACA or asylum).

Most employment-based immigration options require employer sponsorship, and many foreign nationals actually start in nonimmigrant status as an F-1 student, H-1B specialty occupation worker, Trade NAFTA professional, etc. before obtaining an immigrant visa.

  1. Getting your Foot in the Door: Nonimmigrant Visas

Commonly referred by immigration lawyers as an “alphabet soup,” the U.S. immigration system provides for nonimmigrant visa options for almost every letter of the alphabet, with certain letters having multiple variations.  Nonimmigrant visas authorizing work may be issued for a specific duration generally between 1-5 years and at renewal require the petitioning company to prove that the foreign national still qualifies for the position in order to extend the nonimmigrant visa.

Certain nonimmigrant visas have a cap on the years that a foreign national may remain in such status, after such period the foreign national either needs to change to a different nonimmigrant visa, secure an immigrant visa, or return to their home country. For example, the cap on the number of years spent in H-1B status is seven years, and the cap on the U.S. intracompany transfer visa options of L-1A Managers and Executives and L-1B Specialized Knowledge employee is seven and five years, respectively.  Not having the same time restrictions, an alternate option available to companies may be hiring Canadian or Mexican professionals under the TN visa if the job and applicant’s credentials align with a set list of over 60 professional occupations set forth by NAFTA.

Other nonimmigrant visas, such as the H-1B Specialty Occupation visa, have a cap on the number of new visas that may be granted annually. The H-1B specialty occupation visa is the most frequently utilized by tech companies in the United States, but the annual cap on new visas is reached shortly after the beginning of the fiscal year on April 1. Companies who require specialized workers outside of the cap may choose to hire nationals of Chile, Singapore, and Australia. The U.S. signed treaties with these countries that provide for a separate visa category for U.S. companies to petition for nationals of these countries who are qualified to fill specialty occupations.

2. The Holy Grail of Immigration: the Immigrant Visa

The immigrant visa, commonly referred to as the “green card”, is the holy grail of U.S. immigration law, other than citizenship, because it allows the holder to renew permanent residency indefinitely so long as that person remains admissible and a permanent resident of the United States. The renewal process is similar to that of a passport or driver’s license and may be done routinely generally without the legal advice and substantial evidence of continued qualification necessary to extend nonimmigrant visas.

Generally speaking, there is a correspondingly higher level of scrutiny in the self-sponsored or employer-sponsored options to request an immigrant visa, relative to nonimmigrant visa options. These options include the EB-1 Aliens of Extraordinary Ability, EB-1B Outstanding Professor or Researcher, the EB-5 Immigrant Investor Visa who invest $500,000 or $1 million, or the National Interest Waiver for individuals whose research is in the national interest of the United States who have proven accomplishments in the field.

Community Spotlight: Folo Media

It’s no secret that the Alamo city is in the starting phases of one of the largest population and industry booms of its 299-year history. People and businesses are looking to relocate here, while major companies like Hulu are looking to grow even larger in the Bexar area.

And yet, while all signs seem to point toward a bright future for San Antonio, it might not be available to everyone.

“I’m still pretty new to San Antonio, and I don’t think I’ve ever lived in a place quite this segregated,” writes Patton Dodd, Editor-in-Chief of Folo Media, “the seams between wealthy and poor show here, if you just look out for them a little bit”.

Comprised of three veterans of the news and media industries (Patton Dodd, Alice Rhee, and Benjamin Olivo), Folo examines the growing disparity and inequality between San Antonio’s wealthiest and poorest communities. As referenced on their website, two recent studies (linked here and here) argue that San Antonio is the most unequal city in the entire nation.

“Before we started Folo, we asked a lot of locals what they thought about local inequality, and they responded one of two ways: ‘That’s not something people talk about very much’ or ‘I had no idea’” Dodd said.

It was the surprising responses that led the team to dial in to this inequality and decide to focus solely on exposing and discussing this societal elephant in the room. With the support of the Laity Renewal Foundation and the H. E. Butt Family Foundation, Dodd, Rhee, and Olivo have set out to bring much-needed attention to San Antonio’s most vulnerable and at-risk communities.

“The Foundation tasked us with developing a project that would use media as a tool to serve vulnerable families and children,” Dodd explained, “We tested some ideas that were focused on national concerns, but as we got to know and love San Antonio and understand some of the most pressing local needs locally, we felt that this topic could benefit from sustained attention.”

The downtown districts have already experienced revitalization, and when coupled with Geekdom’s budding ecosystem of professional development and supporting local businesses and start-ups, Dodd knew Folo needed to be in the center of it.

“Entrepreneurialism is absolutely part of the answer to inequality, because people need jobs, and startups tend to provide jobs that pay more and offer more opportunity than jobs from aging firms.”

Dodd continued, “We’re also keeping an eye on the flow of venture capital to see if it spreads throughout the city via things like the Investing in Opportunity Act.”

But while business growth and entrepreneurs are part of the solution, what about on an individual level? For those of us who don’t have the start-up bug, how can we help encourage this vital conversation and begin to reverse this growing inequality in our city? Dodd’s answer is simple:

“Get involved. Local nonprofits do everything from building bikes for kids to serving food and making art. If you spend part of a day volunteering, you’ll make others aware because you’ll be wanting to talk about it.”

San Antonio is currently the seventh-largest city in the country, and although growing pains are inevitable, the Alamo city has all the talent and resources it needs to reverse the trend and spread the benefit to the entire population.

“This problem–systemic inequality–was created over decades, and it will take a long span of time to make systemic progress. Folo aims to cover every aspect of it because we think local citizens and institutions are going to have to throw everything at the problem,” Dodd wrote.

For more on Folo’s philosophy, or to read some of their recent articles, check out their website here, or stop by their office on the 7th floor!

Community Update: Whitecloud Drones

Happy Tuesday everyone! This won’t be the normal community blog post as we have written about Adam and Wes at WhiteCloud Drones before, but we wanted to give everyone a quick update on their recent landmarks and show off some of their latest footage!

The San Antonio Spurs Foundation was one of the first to sign with WCD, as they were in need of footage of the Spurs Coyote at some of the Alamo city’s famous locations to use as intro footage for the Coyote during home games. It wasn’t long before they were asking the pair to film for the Silver Stars, the Rampage, and even allowing them to operate their drones inside the AT&T center during the media day to catch players in the action!

Also, check out some footage here shot with Katt Slagle about the growing importance of STEM education in our youth and adolescent educations:

Finally, Wes and Adam recently had the privilege of collaborating on a passion project with Dodge South central Texas Viper Owners Association to create a breathtaking video of some of their finest driving on Devil’s Backbone, one of the most famous roads in the entire state of Texas, and a favorite among motorcyclists!

With several other projects in the works and other contracts  about to close, Adam and Wes are acting just like the drones they operate and soaring to new heights! Congratulations guys, and keep it up!

2017 Start-Up Weekend

It’s officially the Summer season! That means it’s time to break out the BBQ, Clean out the pool, and shotgun an energy drink because it’s time for the 2017 Start-Up Weekend!!

Starting June 2 at 6:30, participants will have a total of 54 hours to take an idea for a new start-up business from conception all the way to proposal! If you’ve ever had an idea for a business that’s been nagging at you in the back of your head, this event is for you!

Beginning with 60-second pitches, a round of voting will consolidate ideas and participants into a selection of teams that go to work on their shared idea. Teams will take over the 8th floor of Geekdom and use every resource at their disposal to research, brainstorm, analyze, and formulate a business plan that is as close to launch as possible for a final presentation on Sunday.

Food and caffeine will be provided to power through the weekend to keep your mind sharp and your brain churning. Not only that, but we’ll have a team of Geekdom mentors and veterans on-hand to help each team with any questions you might have and to give advice and tips along the way.

Of course, no good idea should go unrewarded, which is why awards will be given out sponsored by companies here at Geekdom! Here’s a quick list just to get you even more excited:

  • Geekdom
  • Biltt
  • Innocenti Jones
  • Key Ideas
  • Pear Analytics
  • Ace Screen Graphics

Each of these companies will be awarding packages tailored to your start-up weekend idea to help boost your business plan even closer to a reality. So what are you waiting for? Why are you still reading this when you could be signing up!?!

The 2017 San Antonio Tech Job Fair is Here!!

2016 was a big year for a lot of reasons. Within the halls of the Rand building, we’ve seen our community grow to include 1,400 community and office members. We also hit our fifth birthday, and we were proud to announce to the entire city that not only has the Geekdom experiment succeeded—it’s accelerating. In downtown alone, over two dozen tech companies have set up shop and brought a renaissance of new energy into the center of San Antonio.

There’s no argument that the demand for technology companies and talent is colossal here in the Alamo city. So trust me when I say there is no greater opportunity than now to get involved with the annual San Antonio Tech Job Fair, this year being hosted at the DoSeum!

On Tuesday, April 11 at 5:30, the DoSeum will be set up with 23 companies happy to answer questions, take resumes, and help hundreds of applicants take the next step in their tech career. If that wasn’t great enough, the first hour will be reserved exclusively for members of Geekdom, Codeup, and the Open Cloud Academy. Just by being a community member, you’re already ahead of the pack!

Companies will be looking for applicants in various fields from web development, software engineering, and network administration, to tech support, web design, digital marketing, and advertising. Here’s just a small sample of the companies that are going to be there, scouting for their next hire:

  • Accenture
  • Easy Expunctions
  • Swipe Track Solutions
  • Harland Clarke
  • Liquid Web
  • USAA
  • HEB
  • WP Engine

Here are some quotes from companies who have sponsored, participated in, and have hired applicants from this job fair in previous years:

  • “My advice for those looking to pursue a tech career is to build every core skill set they can – from programming to coding, networking to security – then identify a company whose corporate culture matches your values, and never stop learning.  With San Antonio’s growing tech scene, in startups and large enterprise, the upcoming Tech Job Fair is the perfect place to make connections, build your network and pitch yourself to your future employer.” –Will Gerrett, Build Sec Foundry
  • “IT jobs are starting to require broader skills than just technology.  Communication & collaboration skills are critical to a successful IT worker.  In addition, having business knowledge allows an IT person to “bridge the gap” and provide additional value to the company.” –Matt Reedy, USAA
  • “At WP Engine we offer careers, not jobs. Start out in support and choose your destiny. We train and promote from within and encourage continued learning. From development to the operations team, we support initiatives to increase your efficiency, allowing you to focus on providing an amazing experience for our clients. You are fully empowered to do your job but more importantly, ensure making the customer’s experience the best it can be.” –Roxanne Molina, WP Engine

Ready to take the next step in your career? Here’s the logistical stuff:

  1. Click on this link to Codeup if you are a job seeker and register. These spots fill up QUICKLY, so sign up yesterday!
  2. Find your way to The DoSeum (located at 2800 Broadway, at the intersection of Broadway and Mulberry) on April 11th.
  3. The event begins at 5:30 PM, but the first hour will be exclusive to members of Geekdom, Codeup, and Open Cloud Academy. At 6:30 PM, the event opens up to the public and will last until 9 PM.
  4. Business Casual attire is encouraged, but it’s never a bad thing to dress to impress. Make sure to bring at least a dozen copies of your most current resume.

The Tech wave is swelling here in San Antonio, and we here at Geekdom want you to ride the wave. We’ll see you there!

Company Spotlight: WhiteCloud Drones

Drones—no term is better suited for being called a “buzzword” for 2017. They soar, hover, surveil, and even deliver small packages right to your front doorstep in select cities (though it’s expected to expand here to the Alamo city very soon). But a lot of people don’t know that drones are having a much more influential use outside of their military connotations.

“Drones have been a huge part of my life,” said Wesley Pruitt, co-founder of Whitecloud Drones, “I operated UAV’s/ Drones in the Navy [from 2007 to 2013] as mobile UAV operator for the SEAL Teams. I deployed numerous times to Iraq and Afghanistan flying for them.”

Whitecloud Drones recently moved into Geekdom late in 2016, but they’ve been putting their aerial skills to good use for years. San Antonio has been a major hub for drone technology for more than a decade now, so it stands to reason that their commercial abilities are finding solid footing here first.

“Aside from the USS San Antonio having a UAV Site onboard at all times the city of San Antonio has supplied updates to drone autopilots, as well as produce some awesome autopilots for the commercial markets.”

Of course, no good area of expertise goes unpoliced. Considering the already growing amount of aerial traffic occurring above San Antonio (and the bustling expansion of our international airport scheduled to be completed by 2018), it’s no surprise there are some significant laws regarding civilian drone operation.

“The new license is the Part 107 license that requires a person to take a knowledge test and pass with a score of at least 70%. The red tape list is large, such as operations near an airfield, 400 feet above ground level, filming historic locations [such as the Alamo], flight over people, and flight at night.”

But this hasn’t stopped White Cloud from droning ahead of the game and gaining all necessary permissions to film in places no one else is allowed to.

“We are the only company in San Antonio that can legally film Historic Locations.”

From a technical standpoint, when an operator can utilize heights unachievable with a crane camera, and couple that with programmable flight paths and camera angles that can’t be done by human means, the results are truly one-of-a-kind.

“Our ability to capture some amazing angles has led us to work with a lot of media production companies. We have a platform that allows us to fly around any camera and still be able to utilize all of the camera functions.”

Although they’re keeping a tight lip on what’s in the pipeline for 2017, they can tease us with one major client the entire city knows and loves.

“The San Antonio Spurs and the AT&T Center hire us to capture stunning images and video clips that they play on ESPN/CBS and NBC.”

So if you happen to look up one day while leaving the downtown area or perusing the farmer’s market at the Pearl and see a drone buzzing it’s way slowly across the sky, you don’t need to fret over a surveillance scare; in fact, you should throw your hands up and wave, and there’s a chance you might be able to spot yourself on Whitecloud’s next big commercial. Until then, check out this highlight reel they recorded out on Medina lake!

The Contagion of the SA Tech Community

Every now and then, Geekdom likes to reach out to some of our alumni and fellow alamo city techies to hear their thoughts on our burgeoning culture in the downtown area. Jessica Hernandez from Grok Interactive wanted to share her perspective on this “epidemic” that everyone should want to catch!

 

I am not talking about an infectious disease. I am talking about the infectious entrepreneurial spirit. The “let’s lift each other up” culture that has developed as a result of Geekdom’s efforts. If you are a part of this growing tech scene, you know the energy, the spirit and have grabbed on tightly to see how you can be a part of this vibrant ecosystem. For those not aware of our growing tech community, let me guide you through the web of knowledge happening in this city.

The tech industry’s growth in our city has helped with job creation. The highly coveted software developer job is most often discussed, but there are also opportunities in other key areas to include sales, marketing, and customer support. Remember that business degree you paid for and don’t know what to do with it? Well, tech companies need business minded individuals to help with day to day operations. Those skills are needed for strategic initiatives to help small tech companies grow.

Geekdom member and WordPress expert, Stefanie Young, from Grok Interactive gave a great example of her experience downtown. “I can walk down the street and ask any developer a question on any topic. Everyone is ready to help each other and provide support when we are looking for help.” Stefanie has also given back to the community by speaking at many engagements to share her knowledge with up and coming WordPress developers. She is a graduate from Codeup and is one of many Grok developers actively mentoring students. This is one small example of the open sourcing of information that is happening right now in our city.

If you are a current or former Rackspace employee, a short stroll down Houston street during a lunch hour will most likely lead you into a conversation with someone you used to work with and is now telling their story about their transition from a big tech company to a smaller start up environment reminiscent of Rackspace’s earlier years. For those not familiar with the Rackspace family and friends culture, you will be delighted to find many former Rackers who are willing to mentor and share their knowledge with others interested in this tech community.

Did I also mention that local downtown businesses are benefiting from the tech community’s growth? We are a group of hungry folks and we like to be fed good food. Pinch Boil House is an example of one of the eateries that will be opening due to demand and growth from this ecosystem.

Our collective community challenge in the coming years will be how will we allow this fostering of knowledge and information between each other to continue without allowing agencies to monopolize the community and make money off the values that we hold in high regard. You could be a Grok Interactive developer, a support team member of WPEngine, a database engineer at JungleDisk, a Codeup student, or working with one of the many startups at Geekdom, but our goals and aspirations are the same: continue to grow this thriving ecosystem and make it home to many of the tech companies of our time.

If you are not participating in the scene, you should be. Come downtown, grab lunch at Moshe’s, and get a membership at Geekdom. Find that energetic group of techies and ask them how to solve that business problem you have. Better yet, ask how you can contribute.

-Jessica

Tech Central: What It Takes To Become a Startup City

SAN ANT­O­NIO—Aus­tin — home to the South by South­w­est tech and mu­sic fest­ivals, the headquar­ters for Dell, and an in­de­term­in­ate num­ber of hip­sters—is gen­er­ally con­sidered the tech­no­logy hub in Texas. But just 90 minutes south on I-35, San Ant­o­nio has been quietly es­tab­lish­ing it­self as a cen­ter for tech in­dus­tries. The Air Force di­vi­sion charged with wa­ging cy­ber-war­fare is loc­ated in San Ant­o­nio, and a grow­ing num­ber of cy­ber-se­cur­ity and bi­o­tech­no­logy com­pan­ies have set up shop in the city as well. San Ant­o­nio also claims Rack­space Host­ing, a bil­lion-dol­lar host­ing and cloud-com­put­ing com­pany that has found San Ant­o­nio’s low risk of nat­ur­al dis­asters or dis­rupt­ive weath per­fectly suit the re­quire­ments of gi­gant­ic data cen­ters.

Read More @ NationalJournal



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