Startup Spokane local resource highlight: Inland Northwest Technologists

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Local Resource Highlight: Inland Northwest Technologists


"The most heartbreaking thing I experience frequently is people that I like, people I've worked with and who come to our events, simply not finding work and having to move out of town." This sad reality was Zach Shallbetter's motivation for founding Inland Northwest Technologists in 2015. 


Simply put, INT's mission is to help facilitate and nurture the technology ecosystem in the Spokane region. Their holistic approach addresses a variety of needs in the tech community, including developing local talent, advocating for issues like net neutrality and privacy, and working with businesses to develop attractive, tech-focused jobs. The end goal of this work it to situate Spokane at the leading edge of the growing technological frontier.


INT carries out their mission primarily through events geared toward different groups within the ecosystem. "We give budding entrepreneurs and people leading the conversation in a variety of tech fields - coding languages like PHP, almost anything having to do with web, working on Raspberry Pi's, etcetera - a platform to run their meetup" Zach says. The help includes covering the cost, finding sponsorship, and advertising to drive attendance.  


A number of these meetups occur on a monthly basis, including: Build Guild - networking for those in all sectors of the tech industry; PHP Meetup - covers a wide range of topics related to PHP, web development, and Open Source technology; and Frontend Meetup - a gathering of web developers discussing tech, process, news, and other topics. Information about these events can be found on INT's Facebook page.


INT hosts other, larger events on an annual basis. One such event is Code in the Dark, a programming competition and party that seeks to identify the best web developer in the region.Out of 40 competitors at last month's event, Ben Hodge from 14Four took home the grand prize. An upcoming event the INT team is particularly excited about is Djangocon, a "six-day international conference for the community, by the community about the Django web framework, held every year in North America." The conference takes place August 13-18 at the RL Hotel by Red Lion at the Park. More information can be found here.