My 3 #dctech resolutions for 2016 - Technical.ly DC

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Dec. 23, 2015 12:50 pm

My 3 #dctech resolutions for 2016

A reporter's reflections on what she'd like to learn in the New Year.

Ready the fireworks.

(Photo by Flickr user Walter-Wilhelm, used under a Creative Commons license)

As those of you who have been following along closely will know, I started writing for Technical.ly in October. Oct. 8, to be exact.

In just over three months I’ve written about funding and new hires and product launches and events. I’ve spoken with founders who want to eliminate bullying or help government make better decisions or ensure that high-potential students can get college loans. I’ve seen disastrous pitches and beautifully streamline pitches and even the “pitch” of a 2016 presidential candidate. I’ve attended meetups and hackathons and parties — where I’ve had the opportunity to meet many of you, the members of the #dctech community.

Even in just over three months I’ve learned a lot.

Still, the fact remains that I’m new to this. There are new people for me to meet, events for me to attend and budding trends for me to explore. So instead of taking this time to look back at 2015 (or the past three months of it, at least), I’m going to look forward to 2016.

Here are my top three #dctech New Year’s resolutions — the top three things I’d like to learn more about in 2016.

1. Become very familiar with the layout of #dctech
  • As 2016 progresses, I’d love to be able to get an overview of the network of relationships in the D.C. tech scene. There are a lot of component parts in any tech ecosystem — hacking groups, community meetups, incubators/accelerators, the startups themselves, etc. — and D.C. is no different. It seems likely to me that there is crossover between all these different groups, but maybe there’s also potential for more. I’d like to explore both how the component groups are already collaborating and how they might interact in new ways in the New Year.
2. Explore local government’s role in supporting the tech scene
  • Mayor Muriel Bowser, who was inaugurated almost one year ago now, outlined her dedication of support for tech and innovation in D.C. in her transition plan. Accelerate DC, the two-year-old project run by the Washington, DC Economic Partnership, was launched with the goal of supporting tech innovation in D.C. by helping to fill one identified need in the ecosystem — good mentors. Earlier this month DMV Startup hosted a “town hall” event hoping to pinpoint (and thus begin to fill) other #dctech community needs. So clearly a range of players are thinking about how best to support tech in D.C. My goal for 2016 is to think about how these different actors are approaching the subject and how they might be able to collaborate towards a common goal.
3. Learn something new every day
  • This one is big and complicated and personal, and speaks to the kind of voice I’d like to be, and have Technical.ly be, in the #dctech community. As per Technical.ly’s mission, I want my reporting and commentary to help the D.C. tech scene grow and develop and improve. In order to do this, I need to be a perpetual student — listening, learning and asking the right, often tough, questions. More experience will enable me to do my job better and better, but I also want to be sure I’m putting every bit of experience to good use. As the New Year begins, I’m reminding myself to think critically about what I’m learning and what value my work is providing every day.

Is there something else you think I should add to my list? I’d love to talk about it. Say hey on Twitter, send me an email or comment below.

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Tajha Chappellet-Lanier

Tajha Chappellet-Lanier was the lead reporter for Technical.ly DC. The California native previously worked for NPR and the editorial board at USA Today. She can talk travel plans all day, and has strong opinions on the best doughnut in D.C.

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