I notice you are talking about interactive projects and have listed Processing. Are you ever using hardware like Arduino or Raspberry Pi? I'm definitely interested in exploring installations for museums or art/culture orgs.
We're just getting started with Arduino and Raspberry Pi, so we might not be the best technical mentors there, but if there's a way we could guide you otherwise, it's an area we're interested in as well.
Would game development exist within the scope of arts and culture that the fellowship covers? Or would that deviate too far from the purpose of the fellowship?
Game development could be in scope, but we'd want you to make a connection to higher education, museums, or arts and culture. For instance, one of last year's fellows designed a game to be used in a museum or educational setting, based on the life of Mae Jemison. You can read more about last year's projects and fellows here: https://technical.ly/philly/2017/05/16/interactive-mechanics-fellowship-program-demo/
Is there travel assistance available to fellows travelling from outside of Philly?
There is no travel assistance, but we do provide a $100/month stipend.
Do I need to located in Philly to participate in this fellowship program?
You don't need to be located in Philly, as long as you can get to Philly once a month for the roundtable meetings.
I've got a few project ideas and am just starting out in the field of development as a career-changer. Do we apply to the fellowship for a specific field or mentor, or will we be placed based on our project proposal or portfolio?
As part of your application, you'll select your top two preferred mentors. You can read about each of our mentors here: http://interactivemechanics.com/fellowship/#mentors
There are no project proposals as part of your application -- selected fellows will work with their mentors during orientation to draft a project plan. Please see questions 1 & 2 for more detail.
Where else can I learn about the Fellowship Program?
Read what our Class of 2017 Fellows have written on our blog:
And read Technically Philly's coverage of their Project Night here:
We’ve also written about how we researched the program and how it has influenced our hiring practices on Technically Philly: https://technical.ly/philly/2016/12/05/diverse-hiring-interactive-mechanics/
What’s this about building capacity for representation and inclusion in the technology field? Do I qualify?
We love working in tech and with museums, but we know from personal experience and from lots of research* that there are some limitations in the field that can make it feel less welcoming to certain kinds of people, including people of color, women, people with disabilities, LGBTQ+, and veterans. We also know that diversity is a competitive advantage.
Anyone is welcome to apply, and we designed this fellowship specifically to remove some of the common barriers to members of groups historically underrepresented in the tech field. Key features include a small stipend for fellows’ time, a part time and remote schedule to allow for other commitments, and facilitated conversations on soft skills and workplace culture issues. If you think we’ve missed something, please bring it to our attention by asking a question here or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. Nothing’s perfect, but we want to make sure we’re headed in the right direction.
* To learn more about some of these issues, see:
What do you mean by mentorship and coaching? Are there courses?
At orientation, you’ll work with your mentor to clarify your individual goals for the fellowship. Your mentor will help you determine a project and education plan that helps you meet those goals, and check in with you weekly to make sure you’re on track and to provide ongoing guidance. We’re here to support you, and to point you in the right direction, but we don’t offer standard classes or tutoring per se. If that’s what you’re looking for, we recommend Girl Develop It (https://www.meetup.com/Girl-Develop-It-Philadelphia/), The ITEM (https://www.meetup.com/THEITEM/), or the Web Design Program at the University of the Arts (http://cs.uarts.edu/certificate-programs/web-design-essentials).
What kinds of hard skills can I expect to learn? What tools does Interactive Mechanics usually work with?
Our work includes user testing and research, website design and development, touch-based interactives on iPads and larger touchscreens, motion-based interactives using Microsoft Kinect, and native and web apps. Here are just some of the tools and languages we work with:
Amazon Web Services
Chrome Developer Tools
Git & GitHub
JSON & Ajax
Mapbox & Leaflet
To learn more about our work, check out some of our featured projects and clients on our website here: http://interactivemechanics.com/work/
What is the time commitment? Will I be able to participate remotely?
We’ve geared this fellowship towards individuals who have other full-time commitments, so the bulk of it is designed to be done remotely. You will need to join us in person for our monthly roundtables on Monday evenings, and to check in via phone or hangouts with your mentor at weekly scheduled times. You should expect to spend 20-40 hours a month on all fellowship activities. For more details, see "What We Expect From You" on our Fellowship page: http://interactivemechanics.com/fellowship/#expectations
What kinds of projects do you expect fellows will complete?
The most important things are that your project is appropriate for your skill level and is aligned with one of our areas of interest (higher education, museums, or arts and culture). Your mentor will work with you to make sure your project aligns with your learning objectives and that it has a clear deliverable that can realistically achieved within the fellowship timeline. Your project will NOT be connected to any of our client work.
We’ve thought of some sample projects to help give you a picture of what we’re envisioning, but we’re looking forward to hearing your original ideas during the interview process:
*A collection of style guides suitable for museums that serve visually-impaired and low-vision users
*An interactive map of statues on a university campus
*An online gallery of artful graffiti in Philadelphia
*An in-gallery interactive that helps visitors understand the research materials at a local archive
Do I need to propose a project as part of my application?
We want to see that you have an interest in one of the areas in which we work (higher education, museums, or arts and culture), but we’re not looking for experts, so we’re not evaluating project proposals as part of applications. We’ll talk more about projects during the interview process, when we’ll ask you to come in with an idea of what you want to work on. If you’re selected, we’ll work with you during orientation to refine your project and set some clear goals and next steps.