Let’s face it, no one likes to get sick, especially when traveling and attending conferences. One of the largest tech conferences in the world is SXSW Interactive which attracts thousands of geeks, nerds, developers,etc to Austin each year to learn, network and of course to party. Last year (2014) SXSW Interactive attracted over 32,000 thousands people from 82 foreign countries. With that many people, networking, shaking hands, exchanging business cards, in and out of bathrooms and more, unfortunately there’s plenty of germs in the air. This is what many SXSW veterans call SXSW Sars.

In 2009 and 2010 SXSW Sars was so bad it was trending on Twitter and there were sessions at SXSW on how not to get Sars. Signs of Sars start with a sore throat, lost of voice, then low energy and lastly no appetite. It’s almost like the flu but just not as bad. Some people would say that SXSW sars is a result from a lot of parting and no sleep which is part true. Regardless of the what causes SXSW Sars, getting sick at SXSW is real.

For the past two years I’ve avoided getting sick after SXSW and being that I’ve attended and have spoken at SXSW six out of the past seven years I believe I developed a good strategy for how not to get sick before, during and after, aka how not to get SXSW sars.

Before SXSW
At least three days before SXSW start taking Zinc or zicam tablets
Get plenty of rest
Drinks lots of water
Use hand sanitizer on your flights

During SXSW
Wash your hands, like every hour
Use hand sanitizer after every contact
Use hand sanitizer before eating, leaving a session, leaving a lounge
Drinks lots of water
Eat a good breakfast
Try to get at least 6-7 hours of sleep every other night
Pack snacks(protein bars, almonds, bananas )
Take cough drops every 3-6 hours
Take Zinc or zicam tablets every 3-6 hours(especially in the morning and before you go to bed)
Bump fist more than handshake
Bump elbows when eating or the use the universal sign for “what’s up”

After SXSW
Rest, take an extra day off to just sleep in.
More Zinc or zicam tablets a couple of days after SXSW
More water

This has worked for me for the past two years. It can seem a little OCD but I rather be healthy than sick. For example I was having dinner and met one of the founders of iheart radio. He was sitting next to me. We shook hands and the waitress brought our food to the table. Before I picked up my fork, I reached for the hand sanitizer for a good cleaning and started eating.

I hope this helps for any conference and not just SXSW.

Stay healthy friends!

Diversity In Tech


Which tech companies employ the most people of colour and which are more of a whitewash?

We sifted through the global employee data of 18 tech firms from Amazon to Yahoo, ranked ‘em by race and gender, then compared against the general US population.  The data isn’t exactly black and white: not all companies declare their figures and most don’t reveal the ratio of manual labourers to executives. But some interesting patterns arise and it’s clear that some races are better represented than others.

The most graphic un-equalizer of all, though, is gender. Considering that “chicks rule” on social media, it’s strange that at employee level, social networks can look more like old boys’ networks.

» Check the data behind the colour: bit.ly/KIB_DiversityTech


via Informationisbeautiful.net

Photo: #BlackMenInTech Brunch #3

Apply here.

We’re pleased to announce that we’ve partnered with Reverend Jesse Jackson and The Rainbow PUSH Coalition to provide data science scholarships for African Americans in tech. One student per cohort at GalvanizeU – Galvanize’s accredited data science program – will attend on a full scholarship. RainbowPush’s mission is to empower African Americans and people of color in technology, pursue economic justice, civil rights and racial equality, and we are honored to play a small part in their mission by making education more accessible.

There’s still a massive diversity gap in the tech industry – on average, only about 2% of their workers are African American, but more than 4% of all new computer science or computer engineering degrees were held by African Americans. We’ll work together with the Rainbow PUSH Coalition to address this disconnect by providing more scholarships for industry-integrated educational programs such as GalvanizeU.

At Galvanize, our goal is for all our students to receive an amazing job offer after graduation. Our gSchool programs currently have a 96% placement rate, and we’ll work closely with industry partners to ensure that recipients of this scholarship get placed at great companies after they’ve finished the program.

Galvanize will work together with Reverend Jesse Jackson, the RainbowPUSH Coalition, and other diversity advocates such as BUILDUP and the East Oakland Youth Development Center (EOYDC) to select students for this scholarship. Applications are being accepted on a rolling basis, and interested candidates can apply here.

To learn more about GalvanizeU and other scholarships that are available, head to GalvanizeU.com.

Datameer_29943 via Inc

More-Done-in-Less-Time-Final_jm via American Express Open Forum


BUILDUP co-hosted a Diversity and Inclusion in Tech roundtable with Rev. Jesse Jackson at Galvanize. Prior to the roundtable, BUILDUP General Partner Wayne Sutton had the opportunity to interview Rev. Jesse Jackson. During the interview Rev. Jackson discussed everything from Selma, why is he involved in tech space and Black History Month. You can watch the video interview here, Interview With Rev. Jesse Jackson On Diversity And Inclusion In Tech, Politics And Black History Month

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