03 8 / 2012
Baltimore Grand Prix announces Parking Panda as an Official Partner
Parking Panda Becomes Official Parking Partner of Grand Prix of Baltimore
Parking Panda is thrilled to announce that we are now the official parking partner of the highly anticipated Baltimore Grand Prix! In just four short weeks, an expected 100,000 attendees will be enjoying Labor Day weekend in Baltimore at this three-day racing event chalked full of 180mph action on a 12-turn race course beginning right in the heart of downtown Baltimore that winds through the surrounding streets. This year they’re featuring the cars of the IZOD IndyCar Series — a new racecar design for 2012 featuring turbocharged engines — and the American Le Mans Series.
So you have your tickets, booked your hotel, but have you thought about parking? The city is going to be packed. The first races start at 8am—do you really want to spend your morning driving around looking for a parking garage that still has room? Hotel parking is usually out of this world expensive and might not even be close to the course.
As the official parking partner of this event, Parking Panda has partnered with parking lots and garages all over the city available for you to reserve ahead of time and avoid the added stress of finding your spot. We have lots just a few blocks from the course with prices ranging from $3 to $30/day. Once you book, your spot is guaranteed reserved, even if the lot otherwise fills up. Just show your Parking Panda confirmation, and the lot attendant will let you right in. Your confirmation also serves as your payment. It’s that simple!
Given the high attendance of this event, parking is going to be in high demand. Garages will fill up quickly and early so don’t wait! Reserve now and make sure your weekend is completely hassle-free. Check out the link below and book parking for all three days of the Grand Prix for an incredible price!
Grand Prix of Baltimore 2012
August 31st - September 2nd
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03 4 / 2012
13 3 / 2012
Welcome Megan and Tara!
Hello Panda Lovers! Today I’d like to officially introduce Parking Panda’s two awesome new marketing interns, Megan McKeever and Tara Urso. They’ll be spending the next few months with Parking Panda helping the team maintain its social media presence (including getting regular posts up on this blog), doing research, helping create our marketing materials, and hopefully much more — all while enjoying working at a startup with a real get s#@t done kind of attitude.
Tara is a 23 year old recent graduate of The University of Baltimore. She’s passionate about new technology and the way it is used by society. She’s a problem solver and is interested in content marketing and the ways that social media continues to change the way that marketing works. Tara describes herself as a music lover, coffee drinker, amateur designer, recreational photographer and dog lover. Most importantly, she hates wasting time driving around the city looking for somewhere to park. Welcome Tara!
Megan is a graduate student at The University of Baltimore studying Interaction Design and Information Architecture. Prior to going back to school, she wrote for the Carroll Count Times, Prince George’s County Gazette and Washington Post. She graduated from Penn Sate in 2008 with a degree in journalism. Megan loves to stay active, she’s a runner and is currently training for her 5th half marathon in Annapolis. Welcome to the team Megan!
Megan and Tara have already hit the ground running and are contributing to the Parking Panda team in a meaningful way. If you think you have what it takes to be a Parking Panda intern like Tara and Megan, send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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13 3 / 2012
Parking Panda Welcomes Mark McTamney!
Parking Panda is proud to announce that we have made our first full-time hire. Mark McTamney joins the Parking Panda team this week as our Director of Marketing & User Acquisition. Mark will be responsible for building the Parking Panda brand and making sure we have plenty of parking spaces available. If you need a parking space and can’t find one — blame it on Mark.
Mark has a unique background and brings an exciting set of skills to the Parking Panda team. He graduated from University of North Carolina with a BA in economics in 2005 and went on to get a JD/MBA from the University of Baltimore. Mark graduated magna cum laude from University of Baltimore and then spent over 2 years in real estate law at Venable LLP. After a few years practicing law, Mark’s entrepreneurial spirit took over and he left the cushy corporate life behind for a more fulfilling one in the world of startups. Mark taught himself to code and has built and run several different e-commerce sites since 2008. His most recent venture, BuffTees.com is an online funny t-shirt company. Check it out and get yourself a “Never Say No To Panda” shirt.
Please join us in welcoming Mark to the team and looking ahead to an exciting 2012 with the Parking Panda team!
13 3 / 2012
Fresh Start: Must Have Programs for Developers
As I was setting up my new laptop I decided to keep a list of all the programs that I have to have as a developer. Let me know what is on your list or something that I may have forgotten.
- Visual Studio 2010 – Visual Studio is by the far the best and most complete IDE I have ever worked in. I maybe use 30% of its capabilities, but I would never use another IDE unless I was forced too. So this is one of the first programs that gets installed for me.
- Sql Server + SqlServer Client Tools – I always have a local version SQL server running as well as all of the client tools. I love working with SQL Server for a database backend.
- MySql + Client Tools – I haven’t worked on a project that requires MySql for some time now, but I also like having a local version of MySql setup as well as their client tools.
- Java – Everyone should have the Java runtime environment running on their machine, too many things are built on-top of it not to install. Including the next tool that I want to talk about that is a hidden gem!
- Rest Client – If you are doing anything that requires testing and using REST this tool is a must, and since it runs one the Java runtime it is also cross-operating system compatible :) This tool will let you do everything from forming PUT, GET, POST, DELETE statements to adding authentications, SSL and anything else you may ever need.
- YUI Compressor – Another fantastic tool written in Java is the YUI compressor. There is no reason anyone should be publishing production JS and CSS that has not been minified. I have this whole process automated as part of my deploy process using Visual Studio, which I will talk about in another post, where a lot of other really critical things take place that speed up loading time (uber important with mobile).
Let’s face it IE sucks, it always is the exception when doing web development, and nothing ever looks as good in it. I am hopeful IE 10 will fix these issues, but either way Microsoft has lost me forever on the browser front. But not matter what as a developer you need to make sure your stuff works on all browsers (to a certain extent, I draw the line at IE 7).
- Firefox – This is my go to browser hands-down, although there are some must have Firefox extension to really get the most out of it as a developer.
o Firebug – I am constantly using Firebug to inspect elements and make sure my CSS / HTML is right, debug JS as well as checking the console. This is almost as important to me as Firefox is.
o YSlow – Is another great extension then will evaluate the webpage you are on and tell why it is not preforming well.
Chrome – Chrome is another browser that every developer has to test in, and even though I like Firefox better chrome is a bit faster on the JS side of things. Plus in another blog post I will talk about how I use Chrome to do Cross Site Script testing that can only be down in Chrome, it’s a nice trick.
- WinRar – WinRar is my go to compression / de-compression utility. WinRAR supports all popular compression formats (RAR, ZIP, CAB, ARJ, LZH, ACE, TAR, GZip, UUE, ISO, BZIP2, Z and 7-Zip). Also you can split up big compressed files into separate files, so they can be saved to multiple disks.
- Filezilla – Filezilla has become my favorite FTP client (and it is FREE). My favorite feature is the ability to export all of my saved FTP connections (and settings) as an XML file for easy import onto another computer. Another nice feature is its ability to do remote file editing, which is useful for quick changes or when something as to be done remotely.
- Cyber Duck – Cyber Duck is a newer program that I have been using a bit. Although it can handle FTP, I typically don’t use it for that. Instead I use it to handle file transfers for Amazon S3 and Rackspace Cloud Files. I find using this utility to transfer files instead of the native GUIs is much faster, easier and reliable. It’s worth checking out its other features as well.
- Switcher – Love this little utility, it is basically like expose feature for the mac with the all windows feature. I got use to using this on my mac and had to have it on my windows machine.
ohttp://blog.lib.umn.edu/ayubx003/dividebyzero/2009/01/05/expose_for_windows_vista_clone.html - here is an interesting post if you want to make it acct even more like it does for the mac.
2 Finger Scroll – Another sweet utility stolen from the mac. This does exactly what its name implies, allow you to scroll by using 2 fingers.
Dropbox – Dropbox is a simple way to keep all files that are in a specific folder synced across multiple computers, devices and backup and versioned in the cloud. This is a must have for any important files on your computer. Really makes working on different computers and keeping everything up to date simple.
13 3 / 2012
Where did the name Parking Panda come from?
Parking Panda was born in April 2011 at Startup Weekend Baltimore. For those of you who aren’t familiar with Startup Weekends, they are basically weekend long events where you are tasked with building a prototype and high level business plan in two days. While we were hacking together the first version of Parking Panda at this event, we were also looking for a name. What we discovered, was that buying a good domain name is really hard. We probably tried to purchased a few hundred different domain names involving parking. Each of these was already being used, or really just parked by a domain squatter. We had no idea what we were going to do so we put the issue of coming up with a name aside. After all, building product is more important than a name.
We came back to the issue of a name later when another participant said that we just needed to get ourselves a mascot. Adam immediately followed up that comment with “Pandas know Parking”. Why he came back with this we will probably never know, but with that, Parking Panda was born. Originally, this was intended only to be a temporary name while we could figure out what we wanted. At the time we couldn’t even buy www.parkingpanda.com, we had to buy www.parking-panda.com. However, after winning Startup Weekend Baltimore with this name and realizing that we could build an awesome brand around the panda, we decided to make it permanent. In the end it was a great decision; after all, who doesn’t love a panda?