Archives for February 2014

Inaugural Software Developer’s Cartel Event

Last Tuesday, the Grand Stafford Theater welcomed bright minds from Central Texas for the inaugural meeting of the newly created Software Developers Cartel.

The Cartel aims to gather passionate developers from Central Texas to share their personal and professional experiences. By creating a space where hackers can interact, the Cartel hopes to grow and maintain a community of curious and passionate developers while fostering and promoting best practices.

This very first event had two local speakers lined up. Mike Abney, VP of consulting at Improving Enterprises and Manoj Prasad, doctorate candidate at the Sketch Recognition Lab from TAMU.

Mike introduced the audience to the SOLID principles, a set of architecture design principles which, when followed, help produce cleaner code that is easier to read and maintain. The SOLID principles were first introduced by Robert C. Martin, a famous character from the software community that described them in detail in his book “Clean Code” and his screencasts at To learn more about SOLID principles check out Mike’s presentation at

Manoj then took the stage for a totally different topic. At the Sketch Recognition Lab, he worked on an interactive vest that can give gps-based direction instructions through vibrators positioned at different strategic spots. The whole technology is based on the Arduino platform and interacts with Android devices. Manoj gave the audience a demo of the vest and showed some of the code controlling the Arduino part. You can read more about Manojs’ vest on the CSNet news feed (,

The event ended on a lighter note as Cartel founder, Marc Lainez, led the group in a discussion of potential future events. Different activities were proposed and attendees voted.

The vast majority voted for two specific activities:

– Meet-ups with guest speakers

– Teaching kids how to code

The two activities that came second are:

– Organizing coding dojos (

– Setting up an openhack community (

Following the result of last week’s vote, we can already announce that the next meeting of the Software Developers Cartel will be next month, March 18th at 6pm, and will follow the same mini-conference format.

Want to get involved? Let us know by filling out this online form!

The Cartel is an initiative of Innovation Underground and AdventGX, supported by local organizations such as Improving Enterprises, Capsher, TAMU Product Innovation Cellar, HTRI and the ISSA. Should you want to support the Software Developers Cartel, drop us an email at