Baltimore’s Tech Community: On Knife’s Edge

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Courtesy of Citybizlist – Over the past few years, it felt like the tech community in Baltimore was really growing into something magical. Lots of grassroots events, lots of passion, and consistent attendance at the Beehive co-working space were indicators.

But now, the community is on a knife’s edge and could just as quickly plummet. The few people who were affecting change in the city have moved on, or lost interest because of the bureaucracy, or personal issues.

The loudest voices made their requests known, but none have borne fruit. Baltimore’s leadership is slower and just as corrupt. As an example, New York City planned and will launch their bike share system of 10,000 bikes before Baltimore will launch its 300-bike system. What’s worse, people who care deeply about the city and making it a better place to live are apparently snubbed by the city specifically because of how outspoken they are.

Example: Baltimore’s new Chief Digital Officer position. It was publicly known that Mike Brenner, a huge champion of the local tech community, pinged the city’s CIO, Rico Singleton, about the position and heard nothing back.

In a live chat with Singleton and three (inexplicably anonymous) CDO candidates, I asked why Mike Brenner wasn’t included in the running. Singleton responded, “Mike Brenner never submitted a resume and I was not aware of his interest.”

I replied, “If the ultimate goal is to find the best person for the job, why does it matter if he submitted a resume or not?”

Read more at citybizlist

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