open source

WNY conference provides support to computer programmers

Aug 23, 2013
Ashley Hirtzel / WBFO

A conference aimed at providing support to computer programmers is coming to Buffalo. The Nickel City Ruby conference will bring together people from around the world to discuss the perils and pleasures of the open-source programming language called Ruby.

Husband and wife duo Nick and Amanda Quaranto are organizing the meeting. The event’s designed to providing coders with support, mentorship, and networking opportunities.

Dave Pinter / via Flickr

When New York Republicans regained control of the state Senate after last November’s election, a small subset of political observers suspected it meant one thing: The Senate’s first ever Chief Information Officer (CIO) was on his way out of Albany.

Andrew Hoppin - the former rocket scientist turned NASA web guru - was brought on as Senate CIO by a newly empowered Democratic majority in 2009. Hoppin was charged with overhauling a then-clunky nysenate.gov, and making public data more widely accessible.

Some of Hoppin's accomplishments include powering the Senate website with open source software, allowing for online public comment on Senate legislation and even rolling out the country’s first legislative iPhone app.

The Innovation Trail profiled Hoppin (with both radio and television pieces) last summer. So when we saw that he was on his way out of Albany, we thought we’d ask him a few questions.

Image of the New York State Capitol building
Image courtesy silive.com

It's plenty common to see a chief information officer in a business or even in a government - and now New York's state senate has one too. But can an open source advocate have an impact on a notoriously closed body? Zack Seward and Dan Bazile are on the case.

WMHT's Dan Bazile's video piece about the state senate chief information officer aired on Need to Know Rochester last week.