An Inside Look at the Google Developer Group of the Capital Region

Jun 29th, 2018

It’s a Saturday morning inside software company CommerceHub during non-business hours. The cafeteria there is filled with software developers and designers, collegiate faculty and students, startup founders, recruiters and a few people who are new to the tech world.

This is the Google Developer Group of the Capital Region (GDGCR), co-founded by Jason Rotella, who is hosting the event. Formed in 2016, the GDGCR schedules regular meetups with a focus on web, mobile, cloud, IoT and machine learning/artificial intelligence computing best practices and hands-on hacking sessions.

GDGCR emphasizes networking and collaboration as evidenced by its partnerships with local and regional businesses in the tech community. “There is certainly a lot of opportunity for growth in skills and your professional network, locally to nationally and beyond,” says Rotella.

The theme of the meeting is Building a New Horizon – the speakers make presentations around how one person’s involvement in the tech industry can have an impact on the world. At the first lightning talk, Pamela Pavliscak, founder of Change Sciences, takes a deep dive into the ways humans interact with technology.

During the second lightning talk delivered by video call, Dr. Erin-Elizabeth Durham discusses how she tackled being a mother while pursuing her PhD and ultimately giving back to the community via a hackathon organization.

The group breaks for a mini-networking session and free lunch. A young man named Josh explains this is his first GDGCR meeting. He’s a software developer who builds custom dashboards for call centers and is looking to meet new people in the Capital Region software industry.

Just a few feet away from Josh is Shimantika Kumar, founder of the startup Qwigle. She’s demoing her networking app that uses QR codes, enabling users to quickly connect and exchange contact information. Mrs. Kumar is here to spread the word about Qwigle and let others know she’s looking for help.  

After the networking session ends, Janet Carmosky, Co-founder of Albany Can Code, speaks to the group about the role her startup plays in matching technology talent with software employers. One way they achieve this is by teaching people how to code. “We want to have greater code literacy, which will help create a more diverse local workforce,” explains Carmosky.

Interestingly, about half of Albany Can Code's students have come from outside the tech industry. Of the different success stories Carmosky mentions, one that stands out is about a former forklift operator who now works as a web developer for an information management company in Troy.

When you attend these meetups, it’s readily apparent that the Capital Region is truly a hub of successful software technology companies with several ways for people to get involved.

Latest news
Latest blog posts
  • Tech Loop Hitting Road Again in September for College Job Fairs

    Take a look at a local job board and you’ll likely find openings for software-related positions in the Capital Region throughout the year. While it’s always nice to hire only experienced staff, you also need to invest in young, budding talent. Build them up and they will stay.

    Sep 6th, 2018

  • Capital Region Accelerators an Invaluable Resource for Entrepreneurs

    When you’re launching a business, most people agree the process is more enjoyable if you don’t have to do everything by yourself. That’s where an accelerator program comes into play.

    Aug 14th, 2018

  • Capital Region Shared Workspaces Gaining Appeal

    The Capital Region is brimming with successful entrepreneurs, freelancers and startup business professionals who are turning to the area’s shared workspaces in what’s becoming a popular trend.

    Aug 8th, 2018

  • SQL Saturday Conference in Albany Filled With Opportunities

    There’s a palpable buzz in the hallways outside the Lecture Centers at the University at Albany for the 5th annual SQL Saturday Conference.

    Jul 30th, 2018

  • Upcoming SQL Saturday Conference in Albany is a Hidden Gem

    The fifth annual SQL Saturday Conference is returning to the Capital Region at the University at Albany on July 28. The free, daylong event is ideal for SQL server professionals who want to level up their skills or anyone interested in learning about SQL server, business intelligence and analytics.

    Jul 23rd, 2018