Post by: Sara Gonzalez
If you haven’t already figured out by looking at our portfolio, we are extremely passionate about creating high quality work. Technology and design are our super powers. We don’t hide behind a mask and we aren’t afraid of showing it off.
For those of you that have met our team, you might have noticed that we love talking about the projects we’re working on and the work we have done. Reason being that, well, we put a heck of a lot of work into every project and we’re making some pretty cool stuff.
Moving forward, we aren’t all about gloating, we also love to share our passion for the industry, innovation, and entrepreneurship. And so began our journey to plant the seeds of passion, interest, & curiosity for technology into the RGV community and create something that could demonstrate technology, design and creative thinking in a way that would illuminate, inspire and open the eyes of the people to all the creative and wonderful possibilities that the technology industry has to offer.
We wanted to stress that it’s not just all about features and practicality, it’s so much more because it’s a mix of creativity, abstraction, opinions, trends and just really the want and need to create beautiful things.
Moving the RGV Tech Community Forward
In major cities you might see a lot more general interest and support garnered around the creative & technology industries. Our culture and general populous in the Valley doesn’t lend itself well to the overall image of technology startup culture. They are far and few in the area, and the mindset surrounding these industries has not yet been well developed.
So in an effort to redefine that communities mind set and bring technology and design to the forefront as well demonstrate what goes into creating, designing and building some of todays amazing products we set out in search of an outlet.
During the course of my time teaching at the University of Texas - Pan American I came upon the Continuing Education resources that were offered. When the team heard about this idea, we quickly decided that this was great way for our company to do some community outreach.
When we approached the director of UTPA’s Office of Continuing Education Jayshree Bhat and after a great conversation it became evident that our goals aligned perfectly. We believe in their efforts and motto that “learning never stops”.
Our excitement over technology was mutual. This was the perfect way to be able to open our courses to the general public and not have them limited only to registered students. We wanted everyone from the small business owners to the recently graduated seniors fresh out of high school to feel compelled and drawn to the field.
The Birth of Code Factory
Now we needed to find a way to peak the interest of the public and so it began a marvelous partnership where both parties were extremely dedicated and driven to push forward. The brain storming commenced, on how exactly we could garner interest with in the community and after several meetings between Create the Bridge and the Office of Continuing Education we arrived at the event that you all now may know as Code Factory.
Code Factory’s main focus was to bring technology to the forefront as a platform for creative innovation. Through demonstration of Leap Motion / Unity game development, SVG animation, Video Editing and Web App development we offered only a sample of the interesting things that can be done through code and design software.
Using a simple and concise tagline “Imagine. Code. Create.”, we emphasized that once armed with the tools it is just that easy to take abstract ideas and make them into real functional products that can possibly go on to be used by millions. Our goal was to attract the innovators, problem solvers, and people with a deep sense of curiosity who feel the drive to create to Code Factory.
Through the vision, drive and dedication of both the Office of Continuing Education and our team here at Create the bridge, the event garnered much interest with about 100 people who pre-registered, and 4 school districts confirmed to have their students bused in. When registration was opened to the public the slots were almost immediately filled. It was truly a wonderful and exciting experience to see so many people in support of our overall efforts.
And of course the event would not have been possible without continuous support and sponsorship from the Mission Economic Development Corporation who has been pushing their efforts for entrepreneurship in the technology industry. Also a special shout out to Alex Meade and Daniel Silva for being so supportive and working with our team in the short timeline Code Factory had to go from idea to reality.
The day of the event was a success, each member of our team demonstrated their topic lasting 40 min. Boxed lunches and snacks sponsored by the Mission EDC and RGV Flip Station and Photo booth provided a photo flip book for all attendees.
Surveys were collected to determine which subjects garnered the most interest, which will help us structure the content for our summer courses.
What's To Come
Please look forward to our open source projects coming soon on this very blog. And keep a look out for more Code Factory events to come. If anyone is interested in the courses we will be teaching this summer please stay up to date, it will be announced on the UTPA Continuing Education website, or simply follow us on any one of our social media networks.
We want to thank the public for their interest and attendance, Jayshree Bhat and the UTPA Office of Continuing Education for being such great partners and the Mission EDC for all of their support.
If you'd like to see more pictures of the event check out social media feed!