Cool Like You, Gov Private Sector Envy
Will we someday look to the government technologist as a Web superstar? An innovation idol? A technology trailblazer?
In this session we will explore how government technologists deal with the demands of meeting customer needs in a world where private industry sets the pace. Can government ever be as cool as their corporate counterparts? Are the challenges of doing more with less, attracting emerging talent and maneuvering through excessive politics and bureaucracy too much to overcome?
New and groundbreaking partnerships between government and private sector, non-profits and community groups may provide the answers to these questions. Fellowship programs like Code for America, community crowd sourcing like Austin’s OpenAustin and business partnerships may just give the government geek a shot at being one of the cool kids.
Aurelio Tinio is a 2012 Code for America Fellow assigned to the city of Austin, TX. His work profesionally has primarily been as a web developer with more than ten years of experience. Aurelio most recently worked as the Lead Software Engineer at The Bay Citizen. He received his Computer Science degree at UCLA while working at the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory. After continuing his interest in the space industry at the X PRIZE Foundation, he decided to move to San Francisco and explore opportunities that the vibrant Bay Area community had to offer. Prior to joining The Bay Citizen, Aurelio worked at Tippit as a Senior Software Engineer, helping design, then implement and manage the Focus.com property.
Emily is a 2012 Code for America Fellow working with the city of Austin. She is a designer focused on usability and visual storytelling. Emily has worked for several Bay Area groups including Banned by the Bay, Red Ink Studios, and Intersection for the Arts, where she researched and co-designed Golden Rules as part of the Prison Project. She studied at Parsons School of Design and California College of Arts and Crafts.
I was born on New Year's Day in the Texas border town of McAllen. I was not the first child born that year, so I failed to win my mom the washer and dryer a local home appliance store bestowed to the town's inaugural baby.
As a kid, I spent a lot of time around sorghum fields (specifically in and nearby combines in said sorghum fields) , military encyclopedias, and computers.
In high school, I really wanted to get rid of my accent since I sensed it would lead to people treating me poorly. So I joined the debate team at my mediocre but earnest public school and it's where I first read John Rawls and Catharine MacKinnon, which ended up having a big impact in my life.
In college I managed to somehow both have Women's & Gender Studies as one of my majors and win a seat on the local city council. By then, I had gotten pretty into social justice issues and my earlier dream of being a computer scientist had receded.
And yet...a few years out of college, while I was helping to start a community development bank during my time as the Chief of Staff to the Mayor of New Haven, I was also reading Paul Hawken's books and just getting a bit tired of slowly boring hard boards. I decided I wanted to help create neat products and thought it was a good idea to get an MBA.
Since I didn't have any money to go to Lake Tahoe while at business school, I took a lot of classes. Especially classes in IT, stats, and design. And this rekindled my passion for software.
After a series of jobs where I was repeatedly put into roles where I looked at IT folks' bloated watches and told them the time, I finally found a way to get back to actually writing lines of code. It's been great.
My professional software work also got me interested in how my local government was developing its own platform for civic applications and I wanted to advocate for the common good in this policy area. My recent work with the local band of tech civic enthusiasts culminated last year with the adoption of an open government framework here in Austin.
Kevin Curry is the Program Director for CfA Brigade. He created CityCamp together with CfA found & ED, Jennifer Pahlka. Kevin is a co-owner of Bridgeborn, Inc. and a graduate of Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University (BA History, '92, MS Computer Science, '99). He is a native of Virginia Beach, Virginia where he lives with his wife, daughter, and two pugs.
Matthew Esquibel has been working in the Government technology for over 15 years and is currently the technology manager of the City of Austin website and data portal. In this role, he helped lead the recently completed City of Austin website redesign project utilizing Open Source technology (Drupal 7), implemented the first City of Austin data portal and was instrumental in the effort to partner with Code for America in 2012. He has been active in community engagement and has worked closely with community groups like OpenAustin to try and find new and creative ways to address technology gaps in government. He has been an active advocate of Gov 2.0 initiatives and in 2011 was voted Public Servant of the year by GovFresh.com.