How to Host a Hackathon

Hackathons are becoming extremely popular nowadays.  They’re being used for education, small business initiatives, social purposes, as well as big-corporation product development.  In fact, MIT’s medical technology group recently held a hackathon with the intent to find solutions for infant deaths caused by breathing problems. NASA even holds an annual hackathon for earth and space technology.  If you’re planning on hosting a hackathon within your business, check out these Four Principles of Small Business Teaming - you’ll realize that a hackathon would be very beneficial to you and your coworkers…

Intro to Section 508 and Accessibility

If you work for the federal government and have a role in developing documents, software, websites, and/or procuring, purchasing or maintaining hardware, you have a responsibility to meet Section 508 standards. Even if you’re not a federal employee, it’s always a good idea to be 508 compliant as it will make it easier for all your customers and employees to find content and work more easily. In this post, my goal is for you to understand what Section 508 is, why it’s important, and how to become compliant. What is Section…

Company Culture – Where Do YOU Fit In?

Most of us have to go to work every day, but unfortunately not everyone enjoys what they do. We spend so much time at our jobs that it's important to find the one that fits who we are. One major factor that determines how happy we’ll be is company culture. Company Culture Company culture encompasses the personality of a company; the company atmosphere which is built on a company’s values, mission, and employee interaction. Company culture is made up of things such as: How formal is the management structure isHow…

An Introduction to Deep Learning, Machine Learning, and AI

With algorithms driving purchases and clicks all over the internet, nationwide facial recognition systems starting to come online in foreign nations, and autonomous vehicles on the horizon, there seems to be shroud of fear surrounding anything having to do with AI. Some of these fears are very legitimate, but many of these fears may simply show a lack of understanding of the subject at hand. This article will explain some concepts and terminology of Machine Learning, Deep Learning, and Artificial Intelligence on a surface level, as well as recommending additional…

Unity Software: WHAT & WHY You Need to Know!

Game engines are software development environments for developers to build video games for mobile devices, PCs, and consoles. Unity is the most widely used cross-platform 2D, 3D, AR, MR, VR and now CG development engine created by Unity Technologies. First released in 2005 as a Mac OS X exclusive, as of 2018 Unity has been extended to support more than 25 platforms. Screenshot of Unity software engine. The Realities Augmented Reality (AR) adds digital elements to a live view using a device such as a smart phone or glasses. A common…

How We Use GIS in Our Daily Lives

Most people probably don’t know that today is GIS Day! That’s great – but why should the average person care, and what is GIS anyway?! A geographic information system (GIS) is a tool for gathering, managing, and analyzing data. It uses many types of data organized into layers and is applied to maps and 3D scenes. Sounds complicated, right? Why would anyone be interested in using this tool unless it’s their job? Well surprise – most of us are already using GIS in our daily lives. Two of the most…

The Mutual Benefits of Internships

As summer comes to an end, and we say farewell to our interns (read about Zachary and Jack and William and Kim), it’s important to note the benefits to both employers and job seekers of the internship experience. Zekiah is a company that proudly supports the local workforce. We believe that by training the next generation of workers and leaders, we can help create a qualified workforce. Zekiah accomplishes this through creating meaningful internship programs. To the outside eye, it may seem like internships only benefit the intern. It’s obvious…

Navigating Social Media in the Professional World

These days, everyone is on the internet: your grandma, your neighbor, your dog. However, the people on your friends list aren’t the only ones who can see the content that you post. If you’re job hunting, chances are that potential employers are taking a look at your profile. According to a 2018 survey taken by CareerBuilder, 70 percent of employers use social media as a way to check out potential hires, and what they find on your page can be what sets you apart from other candidates or what makes…

Why It Makes Financial Sense to Work Local

I recently offered a job candidate a position where he could work about twenty minutes from his house rather than the hour and half he was commuting currently.  The daily work was similar as his current job and I was able to offer him $65,000 per year which was a significant increase from his current pay.   Unfortunately for me, he did not take our job offer because once his current employer found he had a new job with us they offered him $74,000 to retain him at his current…

Parameter Definition/Validation in ArcGIS Tools

If you’ve read most of my previous posts, you know I’m a big fan of all things python in GIS. Specifically relating to ArcGIS, because well…that’s the software with which I’m most comfortable/proficient. Like many GIS professionals, my education and experience has revolved around ESRI products. I am however aware of, and have used, other platforms like QGIS, PostGIS, MapBox, Manifold, etc., but just do so much less frequently. I usually hand-write most of my workflows, then build them entirely as stand-alone python scripts before integrating them within an ArcGIS…