Workshop Photon Particle: Girl Code meets IOT

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Because of the enthusiastic reactions to the talks about IOT at our last Meetup in August, our September Meetup last Friday at Q42 was all about connecting our own ‘Things’ to the internet ourselves. For this hands-on workshop we’ve picked the Particle Photon Starter Kit as our ‘Thing’. And because it comes with a built-in WiFi module everybody was online in no time, building their own apps with the LED and photocell. Afterwards they took it home to keep on building the wild ideas they made up during the workshop.

As always time flies when you’re coding with other Girl Coders, so it was hard to stop when the evening was over. Several Girl Coders are hungry for more coding with their Photons in the good company of some fellow Girl Coders. If you’re too let us know you’re interested in a casual Photon evening somewhere with WiFi, so we can pick a date and a place!

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Girl Code meets IOT

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Internet of Things has become increasingly ubiquitous in our daily lives. Your thermostat is controlling the temperature based on your behavior, your smoke detector warns you through your lights in case of a fire and in the near future you’ll be buying your smart-by-itself-ordering-new-coffee-beans-when-you’re-out-coffee-machine right at the Media Markt.

IOT makes our daily lives easier and offers fun opportunities for us coders. Beyond coding apps and websites, you can bring your coding into the real world even more when you do something with IOT. Think of world-saving drones, but also of fun little projects like building a connected dress.

Last Wednesday it was finally time for our meetup at Q42 Amsterdam dedicated to IOT in preparation for an IOT workshop Kristin wants to give for quite a while now (read: at least a year). And because everybody was as excited about the topic as we are, this long-anticipated IOT workshop will be next! Keep an eye on our Meetup group, Facebook and Twitter to make sure you will be part of it.

We had a blast and want to thank you all again for coming and making Girl Code such a success. Below the slides of all of the talks. See you at the next one!

An intro on IOT – Ineke Scheffers

How neural networks can make a drone your next best friend – Tessie Hartjes and Iris Huijben of Blue Jay Eindhoven

Hooli: Building a Connected Hoola Hoop – Katja Hollaar

LoRa, IOT-projects and a poll – Kristin Rieping

Find Kristin’s slides on LessonUp

GCP NEXT World Tour: Girl Code meets Google Vision API

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Our 7th Girl Code event is a wrap! Google was in Amsterdam with GCP Next World Tour and so we hijacked Girl Googler: Sara Robinson! Sara first talked about everything what you can make Google’s Vision API do and more importantly: how. It wouldn’t be Girl Code without some coding, so after Sara’s talk it was time to open our laptops and play with it a little ourselves. We concluded the workshop with some brainstorming where the consensus seemed to be that we have to do something with Tinder and the Vision API… Very curious about those apps ;-)!

Thank you all again for coming and see you at the next one! Join us here to stay in the loop!

Techionista’s allereerste Toekomst Café

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Afgelopen dinsdag was het zover. Techionista‘s allereerste Toekomst Café bij Uber. Mannen waren natuurlijk ook welkom, maar de zaal werd gedomineerd door het sterkere, mooiere en vooral slimmere geslacht. Hell yes! En wanneer je het zonnige terras had ingewisseld voor het Toekomst Café, werd je goed beloond met vier zeer inspirerende praatjes van vier zeer inspirerende vrouwen in de tech.

De avond werd afgetrapt met een praatje van Suzanne Flinkenflögel over Mars One (kom daar nog maar eens overheen!). Hierna inspireerde Anouska Post van Salesforce iedereen de tech in te gaan. Rebecca van der Ven van Team Bluejay van TU Eindhoven kwam vertellen over hun ‘domestic drone’. En als laatst was Manon de Vries, voormalig ethical hacker, met een wake up call op het gebied van security en privacy.

Het was een top avond en iedereen bleef lekker lang plakken bij de borrel. Ik vond het supertof dat ik er bij mocht zijn om te helpen. Houd Techionista’s meetup pagina in de gaten voor het volgende event.

Smart Life: Nederlands’ eerste Computational Thinking lesprogramma door Blink, CodeUur en Q42

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Blink staat bekend om vernieuwende, digitale lesmethodes voor het voortgezet en basisonderwijs, waarbij het bereiken van de leerling het uitgangspunt is. Als medeoprichter van CodeUur hebben wij met ons streven om alle kinderen te leren programmeren, net zo’n doel. Daarom sloegen we de handen ineen om samen met Blink en CodeUur het nieuwe lesprogramma ‘Smart Life’ te ontwikkelen. En vandaag is het startsein gegeven door niemand minder dan Zijne Koninklijke Hoogheid prins Constantijn!

Het doel van het lesprogramma is het stimuleren van digitale vaardigheden, ‘Computational Thinking’ en programmeren bij leerlingen op basisscholen. In ‘Smart Life’ doen zij vijf weken lang een programmeerproject met de klas. In les één maken zij kennis met ‘Smart Life’, in de tweede les wordt er al geprogrammeerd en in de derde les is het tijd om het digiboard te hacken. Niet gevreesd, lieve leraren. Dit kan alleen als jij hiervoor een eenvoudige aanpassing hebt gedaan.

Master Lukas

Master Lukas geeft de lessen: je hoeft als leraar dus niet per se zelf te kunnen programmeren. In het lesprogramma vraagt hij namens Q42 advies aan alle kinderen over smart life en smart houses. Hoe kan hun leven slimmer worden met behulp van technologie, computers en programmeren, en hoe zouden wij daar als Q op in kunnen spelen? In de vijf lessen maken de kinderen kennis met onze enige echte eigen Master Lukas en leren zij over smart life, programmeren en de slimme apparaten die nodig zijn om hun ideeën uit te kunnen voeren. Daarna ontwikkelen ze met hun klas een ontwerp en sturen dat op. Het beste en meest creatieve idee wint een excursie naar ons kantoor, waar ze workshops zullen krijgen over smart life.

CT3000

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Tijdens de vijf lessen leer je programmeren met de programmeer-tool CT3000 die we speciaal voor dit lesprogramma hebben ontwikkeld. De tool introduceert veel concepten die je bij “echt” programmeren ook gebruikt. De status van voorwerpen wordt weerspiegeld onderin het scherm. Aanpassingen aan de code worden direct weergegeven in het preview gedeelte rechts in beeld. En je maakt ook gebruik van externe systemen als je de muziek op 3FM of Jazz zet!

Maar het belangrijkste is dat de kinderen zien dat programmeren je super powers geeft. Bedenk iets, en je kunt het zelf programmeren! Het lesprogramma wordt gratis aangeboden via de website van Blink. Waar wacht je nog op?

Q42 Founder’s letter

Q is for question. Wahlberg, Bromance & Failing is the answer.

Last year Q42 turned fifteen years old. A happy occasion for a happy place for nerds. But, with celebration, also comes realisation. Fifteen years of playing with Legos and Nerf guns at the office: it gets old being that childish. We have to start being serious if we want to compete heads-on with the leading system integrators in our country. And honestly, it was kind of an act on our part the entire time. We wanted to come across young and hip.

Kars, CTO: “We’ve been denying ourselves the desire for a professional corporate business structure for too long.”

Stef, CEO: “Suddenly, it was crystal clear: having a financial marketing and HR background and an endless love for business to business relations, this happy place for nerds never really suited me. To be perfectly fair: a suit is what suits me. Pinstriped, if it is up to me. Our 15th anniversary seemed to be the perfect timing to start thinking about a more serious relaunch of our business.”

So since our anniversary, we’ve been working on our relaunch as Wahlberg, Bromance & Failing. WBF for short. Some of you might have noticed the upcoming changes at our offices. Legos were slowly disappearing and a growing number of colleagues started to wear dress shirts occasionally. From now on, occasionally starts being continuously. All of our upper and lower staff have received a gift certificate in their inbox for a nice suit and tie at one of the biggest suit suppliers of our country. Thanks, C&A for hooking us up! Some also for the hairdresser.

Tim, Project Manager: “As a project manager you just feel really comfortable in a suit. Crazy how it works. I’m glad we took this decision.”

With this relaunch, we are not just changing our name, attitudes and outfits. We are also starting to change course of our actual business models. Of course, we will continue to work with all of our current clients, but we’d love to have an open discussion with them about how we will change the direction of their VR apps to apps that will be more appropriate in the B2B-environment we’d like to conquer.

Chris, COO: “We did one VR/drone job after another. Games, apps, a slide in the office, even a happiness committee instead of a works council. It seemed like everything was about the happiness and fun of our employees, instead of the work. I’d like to put work back on the top of our list and preferably a lot harder and serious than before.”

Kars, CTO: “E-bikes out, e-solutions in!”

This new structure will allow us to keep tremendous focus on the extraordinary opportunities that lay in the field of e-solutions. Q42’s website will be redirecting to our brand new business website from next week on. But, we’d like to invite you to read more about our new focus today already, at: WahlbergBromanceFailing.com

We hope you’re as excited as we are and we’d like to meet you at one of our offices to talk process, business and IT. You can arrange for a meeting in one of our conference rooms here.

Steam Early Access: Intergalactic Road Warriors

Good news travels fast between the galaxies. Especially when it’s brought by Cluck in his little racecar. Intergalactic Road Warriors is available on Steam Early Access right now! Go get it so TurtleBlaze can keep on developing the game. Free updates for life included.

In Intergalactic Road Warriors you enter the Intergalactic Grand Prix, a massive racing tournament that takes you to all the corners of the known universe. It’s a side scrolling speed racer combined with the chaos of a Metal Slug game.

Characters with character

So who’s this Cluck, bringer of good news? Cluck is a chicken. Actually, he’s a rooster, but we call him chicken. Fun fact: this isn’t the first game he takes the spotlight in. Benjamin and Richard wanted to build a side scrolling race game, so Richard started building a prototype and needed a character to drive the car. Cluck, the main character of one of his previous games, DuckSoup Dungeon, was still sitting on his desktop. Long story short: he used and kept Cluck. During Early Access, you can already ride with this little chicken. And good news! More characters with character are coming! Such as Juoi, the main character of Benjamin’s Ludum Dare game jam entry from back in 2014.

What happened until now?

Benjamin and Richard started out by building a prototype in just three days last fall. It was so well received at the office that they started development on the full game. 2016 started with a blast when the game was Greenlit just before Christmas. Watch Turtleblaze’s latest devlog above and if you want to see what happened over the last three months you can take a look at their YouTube channel where they keep all their devlogs.

As of now the game is playable on two racetracks with up to four players. You can make your friends’ lives miserable by using special power-ups during the race.

Help with the development

During Early Access you don’t just get the game with all future updates free of charge, it’s also your chance to take a look inside the garage and help develop the game further. On the community hub you can join the discussion, give feedback and follow updates! Planned future features include:  a tense singleplayer story, unlimited car customization, local / online Multiplayer,  galaxinous worlds to race on and even more crazy dangerous powerups.

And now it’s time to give Benjamin and Richard some love. Play the Early Access version of the game and help them create the best side-scrolling combat racer ever. Ready, set, go!