Mapping the communities of tomorrow requires a hard look at the topographies of today. Mike Carnathan, project director at Neighborhood Nexus, synthesizes big data into visual stories that chart the social, political, and economic conditions across the city of Atlanta. Part data miner, part cultural cartographer, Carnathan creates demographic maps that local leaders, advocates, and everyday citizens use to help understand and change their lives.
We all knew that kid in high school. You know, the one who tried just a little too hard. He wasn’t a bad guy, but he was always the first to raise his hand, and maybe he came on just a bit too strong when it came to making new friends.
When you’re interviewing for a new position it’s hard not to act like that kid. Especially when you’re eager, and maybe even desperate for a new job. But interviewers can spot someone who is trying too hard from a mile away. Especially when you’re trying to sound “smart.” (By the way I’m so much better now, you guys, I promise.)
Smart is in quotes because nothing makes a candidate look worse (insecure, desperate, presumptuous, annoying) than trying too hard to sound smart.
The landscape of digital marketing continues to change at a rapid pace, and for all the right reasons. Employers are gaining a stronger understanding of what are now considered “basic” digital marketing skills that any candidate should have, and the knowledge and skills that will set you apart from the rest of the pack. For example, just being able to use the various tools of the trade is now the new level playing field. It’s expected. However, what you can do with the data that you gain using those tools will set you apart.
At your next interview for a digital marketing position, you can demonstrate that your knowledge and skills are above the rest by being prepared to answer these five questions.
More and more engineering-focused companies are trying to become design-centric. But wanting a design culture isn’t the same as creating one. It isn’t as simple as saying, “Just use design thinking.”
Companies of all sizes are realizing that software is fundamental to business and design-thinking is the tool that leads to better software. In a time when design strategy and user experience are one in the same, companies are working to become more design-centric.
The move towards design-centric cultures is not always an easy or a straight path. While there is definitely risk involved in making a priority shift, design is emerging at the forefront of many business models.
Marcin Treder, CEO of user experience design platform UXPin, knows a thing or two about creating a design culture. In conjunction with our live stream at General Assembly, Treder took some time to answer our pressing questions about building design-centric cultures.
When Nick Katz started our part-time Digital Marketing course in London, he immediately became immersed in the network of GA students that would go on to become his co-founders. After completing the course, Katz teamed up with fellow graduates to create an app, Splittable, to help anyone who lives with housemates and has shared expenses.
Splittable launched in the summer of 2015 and the team has now closed their first, seed investment round from some of London’s leading tech VCs and angels, including Seedcamp, Playfair Capital, and Lord David Young. They are also backed by the Mayor of London’s Co-Investment Fund.
Cindy Yen moved from Taipei to Hong Kong in pursuit of a finance career; but was soon diverted by the bright lights of business and design. When she decided to act upon her newfound interest, Cindy signed up for GA’s Front-End Web Development class. Now she’s using her skills to develop her first startup, a quantified-self app launching in late 2014.
John Wander and Ameet Mehta are graduates of Los Angeles’ Digital Marketing course and co-founders of CHNL, a simple and beautiful way to share content from the web that allows users, professionals, influencers and brands to collaborate and share information publicly and privately. They brought their need for a digital marketing strategy to their GA course and have graduated ready and able to drive CHNL’s growth.
What do you think about Los Angeles and General Assembly?
John: LA is important right now and content is king is pretty real right now; Ameet and I have been around the since web 1.0. And what is separating successful companies today is content, and LA plays a much bigger role than it ever has because a lot of the content creation is done down here.
Ameet: A lot of technological innovation is being done up in the Bay Area but then a lot of business is happening down here in LA. There is a need for really good developers here in LA. I am a developer and it has been a challenge finding good developers but places like GA teaching the immersive courses is huge. GA is providing a resource for LA.
Tell us about your life before coming to GA & why you took this course?
John: I’ve been an entrepreneur in start-ups in a business development role, my background is in investment banking and I’ve been involved in an angel investor network, and was doing all this until I quit it all to dive headfirst into CHNL. The reason I took the GA course was because it was important for: a. to go really deep into an understanding of the whole process and implementation of a digital marketing strategy and b. hire the right person for our company and be able to measure their success.
Meet Benji Decker, a graduate of General Assembly’s 12-week, full-time Web Development Immersive program. Before enrolling in the course, Benji served as Community Director at the coworking space WeWork, and is currently Chief People Person at Founders Bloc.
1. What inspired you to learn web development?
Not to get too Holden Caulfield, I was tired of feeling like a phony. I was reasonably tech-savvy I suppose, and had coded a little bit before, but not enough to really speak confidently with developers or have any certainty in structuring projects. I loved the idea of really knowing what I was talking about and being able to manage projects from the field, which so far I feel has totally paid off.
2. What’s surprised you the most about learning to code?
That it all makes sense. I really like Arthur C. Clarke’s famous quote that “any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.” Every day, we spend a huge amount of time browsing the web, basically abiding by this — things just kinda appear, we have no idea how. But it turns out it’s just a machine, a cleverly devised system, and if you understand the basics, you can start to see the moving pieces — modifying them, building on them. And it’s really quite cool.
Meet Ankur Patel and Param Vora, winners of our recent Supercharged sweepstakes. As part of the prize package, Ankur and Param were given the opportunity to grab coffee with three venture capitalists (VCs) and discuss their startup OpenSilo, an enterprise SaaS platform that gives employees fast access to internal subject matter experts. They recently sat down with us to share the top highlights from their experience:
1. Receiving game-changing advice for their startup
Ankur: To be honest, winning this giveaway was the most relevant surprise of all time. These meetings with VCs were extremely relevant for us as co-founders, and they couldn’t have come at a better time. Our startup OpenSilo has only been around for a few months, so getting feedback and validation on our company strategy at that stage was critical. The advice and direction we received will absolutely influence how we’ll grow long-term.