Have you ever approached a set of recycling and trash bins, stood in confusion for a few moments, then just guessed where to throw your item away?

You’re not alone.

Only 9% of global plastic is recycled. And less than 20% of recyclable material in the United States actually gets recycled.

But knowing what to recycle and what to toss is not intuitive.

That’s what CleanRobotics is trying to change.

Based in Pittsburgh and Colorado, this startup is developing a smart trashcan that decides whether the item you placed in their receptacle should be recycled, go to the landfill, or…


The term Full Stack Developer can spark some immediate questions.

What does it actually mean to be a Full Stack Developer?

Is it even possible to know all the components of the modern web stack?

These are questions that Johnny Ray Austin, local technologist and thought leader, addressed at CascadiaJS 2019. We asked him to explain this topic more fully, especially in terms of working in the startup space.

In this interview, Johnny Ray Austin provides a fresh perspective on how far web development has come during the last 15 years, and lays the groundwork for realistic expectations of developers.

The conversation below has been edited for length and…


Geoff Harcourt’s team currently has zero C.S. majors. Only one of his developers is a lifelong software engineer, and she didn’t major in Computer Science — she majored in Math.

Instead, engineers at CommonLit hail from the following backgrounds:

  • Schoolteacher
  • Journalist
  • Motorcycle Mechanic
  • Graphic Designer
  • Environmental Protection Agency Employee
  • Web Project Manager (that’s Geoff)

Something else that makes Geoff’s engineering team unique: it’s half women engineers. CommonLit is a woman-lead 501C3 nonprofit where a majority of both the marketing and product teams are women as well.

According to Geoff, software developer bootcamps like Flatiron School and General Assembly are a…


Choosing a data center and network design is one of the biggest factors in a startup’s ability to grow in the future. Yet networking is one of the most overlooked areas of a company.

Until something goes wrong of course. Then suddenly everyone’s aware of it.

So how do you build a data center that allows for future growth, while also keeping security in mind?

Should you build it yourself, or is it better to go with AWS or Google?

Or perhaps you want to opt for a hybrid option?

We went to Michael Starr, the Director and Product Owner…


The first signs of spring and the increasing good news of more vaccine availability to a growing number of Americans offer a glimmer of hope that we are finally leaving 2020 behind and stepping into a brighter future.

But it is a future filled with questions: What will change with people’s comfort level around an in-office culture? For startups and the tech sector, how will these workplace changes impact the future of the workforce and company growth plans?

These key components to our pre-pandemic business operations mindset have certainly changed in the past year, but is that change something permanent…


The first signs of spring and the increasing good news of more vaccine availability to a growing number of Americans offer a glimmer of hope that we are finally leaving 2020 behind and stepping into a brighter future.

But it is a future filled with questions: What will change with people’s comfort level around an in-office culture? For startups and the tech sector, how will these workplace changes impact the future of the workforce and company growth plans?

These key components to our pre-pandemic business operations mindset have certainly changed in the past year, but is that change something permanent…


Debugging is one of those tedious, but necessary aspects of any software engineering team’s work.

Before sending a product to market, you want to make sure it’s error-free.

Granted, there’s a balance to strike between writing clean code and delivery. Perfect can quickly become the enemy of shipped (for more on that, check out this article about avoiding unnecessary performance optimization).

But to create a quality product, debugging will have to be part of the process.

We sat down with Mitch Pirtle, VP of Engineering at Morning Consult, to delve into the significance of debugging. …


Unit testing. It’s one of those situations that every engineer faces.

If you’re dealing with a downstream dependency, you’ll want to keep your unit test fast, self-contained, and reliable.

It can be daunting when you’re new to a language or framework.

We talked with Kyle Yost, a Software Engineer at CB Insights, who’s been working with Go throughout his career. His team emphasizes testing so they can have confidence in the code they ship. Along the way, Kyle found that Go provides all the tools they need to achieve mocking and accomplish their unit tests.

While third-party solutions were an…


The cloud is everywhere, and it’s continuing to grow.

According to a 2019 Cloud Report by Flexera, 90 percent of companies practice cloud computing.

As efficient and cost-effective as the cloud may be, managing cloud spending and cloud governance is proving to be a challenge across companies and workloads. Cloud costs are slowly exceeding original set budgets and cloud compliance is harder to achieve as companies look to scale or increase in complexity.

As easy as it may be to underestimate these issues, a local startup in Fulton, Maryland, cloudtamer.io, …


Product companies and engineers are making their way into the DMV tech arena. We spoke with VP of Software Engineering at VBrick to get some insight on what it really means to work at a product company, with a focus on the security realm.

VBrick is a cloud-based enterprise video management software product company. As a startup, they stay up to date with cutting edge technology like machine learning, AI, and serverless.

We interviewed Shailesh Lohiya, VP of Software Engineering, to hear about his experience working in a product company. …

Tim Winkler

Entrepreneur. Startup founder. Global traveler. #DC #DCTech Community-Builder, Meetup Organizer #Startups #DMV

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