Get Started Programming With Code & Supply

This Saturday, at 1PM, Pittsburgh technology community Code & Supply invites you to their latest installment of their #StarterSeries. Their #StarterSeries project promotes basic programming and coding literacy and encourages everyone to code. Their hope is to grow the Pittsburgh technology community, not just by making it attractive to existing developers, but by teaching Pittsburghers how to be great software developers.

MVC Diagram (Model-View-Controller)
This month’s installment expects a basic familiarity with programming. They intend to explore the Model-View-Controller (MVC) pattern and the fundamentals of Object-Oriented-Programming (OOP). MVC and OOP combined are the basis of nearly every program and application you interact with, and this is a great opportunity for aspiring programmers to learn the basics.

To keep up to date with the #StarterSeries and all of Code & Supply’s other events, join their meetup group.


#StarterSeries: Software Design Patterns: MVC and Object Oriented Programming

Saturday, Jul 25, 2015, 1:00 PM

The Cloakroom
5972 Baum Blvd Pittsburgh, PA

8 Members Attending

Take your code to the next level by learning about the Model View Controller design pattern. In this lecture, our instructor will present the principals of object oriented programming and then dive into making your code more organized and optimized with the MVC pattern.You’ll learn- Object oriented programming- Classes- Inheritance- Object rel…

Check out this Meetup →

Techburgh: Show and Tell with Code & Supply

This Monday, local Pittsburgh software community, Code & Supply gathered some of their best and brightest in the old Paramount Film Exchange (now a co-working space) to show off what they’re working on.

Matthew Beatty (@beattyml1) gave the developers a tour of his code generation suite called “Codgen“. This little library lets programmers speed up ShowAndTell211their development by helping them generate the same basic code architectures in a way that works on Android, iOS, the web, and anywhere else a developer wants to target, without forcing them to rewrite the same code again and again.

On the softer skills side, Marie Markwell (@duckinator) shared her new blog project, Inatri. Businesses gather personal inforShowAndTell212mation and interact with the public in ways that can rapidly become problematic. After a personal disaster involving her private information being abused to harass her, and interactions with businesses which misgendered her, Marie decided enough was enough. She assembled Inatri as a place where businesses could received guidance on how to gather personal information and use it in a way that respects and protects their users.

Her key point is that the personal biases and assumptions of developers can and does “leak” into the software they develop.

Matthew Elper (@kinographCC discovered a very different problem. While traveling in Jordan, he discovered thousands of film canisters of Jordanian cultural history- and no one knew what was on them or what how to preserve them. He put together his own home-made film digitizer, using off-the-shelf parts, and discovered lost footage of the previous king of Jordan- an act that drew the attention of the current king.

ShowAndTell213Digitizing film is expensive- it’s roughly $1,000 per reel, and standalone machines cost upwards of $250K. Small archives, universities, and libraries simply can’t do that, and so Matthew started the Kinograph project, an open-source platform that uses cutting edge computer-vision software, mixed with off the shelf (and sometimes 3D-printed) hardware. You can follow the instructable for the hardware (although Matt recommends holding off- he has a cheaper, easier to build version in the works), and the get the software from GitHub

His project’s been featured in Make Magazine, and he’s looking for collaborators who are passionate about saving cultural history before it’s forever lost.

Finally, Jackie Vesci (@JVesci) came with her startup project, Tagalong Tour. This project is a passion project among friends that offers walking tours of Pittsburgh, with audio guidance. They’re still experimenting with ShowAndTell214what makes a great tour, but they’ll help you “Meet the Neighbors” in East Liberty, find the highlights of public art in Downtown, or play the best pinball in Lawrenceville.

iPhone Screenshot 2They’re looking to expand their tours, and grow their user base- which is growing at roughly 10% a week. You can check them out at the next OpenStreets, where they’ll have a Karaoke booth, and you can download the app and try it out yourself.

It was a great night to see what’s going on in the Pittsburgh tech scene. If you want to get involved, join Code & Supply on Meetup to learn about these events. Their monthly Build Night is a great place to meet and network with technical folks, and if you’re not a technical person, don’t worry! They have a #StarterSeries event every month, which will get you started. The next one is July 25th, and will cover a key design pattern for building software.


Three weeks ago, IheartPGH was featured in the Tribune Review’s article about the #MySummerin5words – Tweets connect Pittsburghers with the world, each other in 5 words (Tribune Review, May 27, 2015).  It took me a few tries but here is how I summarized my summer in 5 words:

I also posted a tweet that sums up a Pittsburgh summer with 5 Twitter accounts:


What 5 words and/or Twitter accounts would you use to summarize your Pittsburgh summer? Share your answers with the #PGHsummerin5words.

Digging into the Data on Vacant Land on the North Side #HackforChange

Screenshot of vacant parcels from GTECH data set.

Screenshot of vacant parcels from GTECH data set.

Today, Saturday, June 6, 2015 is the National Day of Civic Hacking. Civic Hacking events are being held all over the country and here in Pittsburgh. For the afternoon we have split into groups and are working on different challenges with open data sets.  My group is working on comparing two data sets about vacant land on the North Side.  Here are some of the things we learned from the data about vacant land on the North Side.

  • Data Set 1: Survey of Vacant Land on the North Side conducted by GTECH. You can see a map of the GTECH data here.
  • Data Set 2: Allegheny County Assessment Data

Total Parcels of Land on the North Side = 23,000

Vacant Lots on the North Side:

Data Set: # of vacant parcels:
GTECH 6089
Allegheny County 8172
difference 2083





How many properties in the North Side are currently vacant but the Allegheny County Assessment file does not list that parcel as vacant?

  • 622 properties in the North Side are currently vacant but not listed by Allegheny County as vacant.


Have You Been to TechShop Yet? A Few Ways to Meet Pittsburgh’s Maker Space.

techshop-pgh-logo-gearOne of my favorite places in Pittsburgh, that I am surprised that more people don’t know about, is TechShop Pittsburgh.  Hack Pittsburgh created Pittsburgh’s first maker space back in 2009, and continues to offer programming and events for Pittsburgh makers today.  When TechShop Pittsburgh opened two years ago, it provided more opportunities for Pittsburghers to collaborate and innovate.

TechShop is community makerspace.  TechShop is kind of like a gym, but for making things instead of working out.  For a monthly fee, members can come to the shop and use any of the equipment.  TechShop has a woodshop, metal shop, 3d printers, laser cutters, sewing machines, conference rooms and much more that is available to members.

President Obama at TechShop Pittsburgh. Official White House Photo by Chuck Kennedy.

President Obama at TechShop Pittsburgh. Official White House Photo by Chuck Kennedy.

The TechShop community and the maker community has continued to grow here in Pittsburgh and beyond.  Last summer President Obama hosted an event on manufacturing and innovation at TechShop Pittsburgh.  You can read more about the event and watch the president’s remarks on the White House blog here.

Before TechShop opened in 2013, I wrote this post about why it is a big deal that TechShop opened in Pittsburgh.  Since TechShop opened, I have worked there, taken classes, participated in events and I occasionally help TechShop Pittsburgh with social media.  TechShop has provided a home, meeting space and launch pad for some incredibly innovative ideas.  If you haven’t been over to Bakery Square yet to check out the shop, take a class or attend an event, here are a few good reasons to check out what TechShop is all about…

TechShop Turns 2! Anniversary Open House  on Sunday 3/29

TechShop-Pittsburgh-2nd-AnniversaryHelp TechShop Pittsburgh celebrate their 2nd birthday with a free afternoon of family friendly events.  The open house is free to attend and will feature demos, hands on activities and birthday cake.  Tickets are free, please RSVP here.

  • TechShop Pittsburgh Anniversary Open House
  • Sunday, March 29, 2015
  • 1-4pm


Support Matt’s Millennial Trains Project Trip and Get a Month of Membership to TechShop Pittsburgh

Matt Verlinich is the general manager of TechShop Pittsburgh (he is also the guy on the left in the photo with President Obama above) and he is raising funds to participate in the next Millennial Trains project trip this spring.

I hope you will consider supporting Matt’s MTP Project and he has put together some great perks for your support including a discounted month of membership to TechShop Pittsburgh, a VIP tour of the shop and even an entire day of help from Matt at the shop.

Check out Matt’s application for the 2015 Millennial Trains Project here.  Thanks to the generosity of  many of the IheartPGH readers I was able to be a passenger on the first Millennial Trains Project trip in 2013. One of my takeaways from participating in Millennial Trains Project trip is that we need more Pittsburghers to go out and talk about this city with other young leaders from around the country. You can read more about my Millennial Trains Project experience here.  I hope you will consider supporting Matt’s MTP project and help to send another Pittsburgher out to tell others about all of the great things that are happening in our fine city.

Upcoming MeetUps at TechShop Pittsburgh

Another great way to check out the shop and meet some fellow makers is to attend one of the many monthly meet ups that take place at TechShop Pittsburgh.

Connect to TechShop Pittsburgh

Recent Press about TechShop