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Archive for March 2013

Bottle Rocket Sponsors Students for a Class at The Woodshed School

In keeping with our tradition of contributing to the community, we recently sponsored four young people, interested in improving their design skills and portfolio, for the Woodshed School Portfolio Class in Dallas. The Woodshed School is a designed for students and those in their early careers who want to take short, evening or weekend classes in Art Direction, Copywriting, Typography and Creative Thinking.

The four people we sponsored spent a Saturday with Peter Wood, the school’s Shedmaster. The focus of the session was to regenerate an existing project to create a new improved version for inclusion into the students’ portfolios.

The Woodshed School believes that thinking about a project begins with a human need and is not to be motivated by sales. The school’s goal is to teach its students how to draw on their own life and career experiences as human beings to truly understand the nature and purpose of each project. The school teaches students how to think critically and to think in meaningful and unorthodox ways while sharpening their existing talents.

The classes are not limited to students and young professionals. The Woodshed School also offers workshops tailored specifically to the creative needs of companies of all industries. These thought-provoking sessions aim to give employees a much greater idea of who their audience is and keeping them first in mind when creating a product, not unlike our approach to each and every project.

We wish our sponsored students great success! For more information about The Woodshed School, click here.

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Rocketeer Charity: Angel Flight South Central

This week, we had our second charity drawing of the month during which Angel Flight South Central was selected. Rocketeer VP of Operations, David Goldstein had entered Angel Flight South Central into the drawing as it is an organization in which he's been involved with for several years and believes strongly in their mission. Angel Flight is a charitable organization with regional offices consisting of volunteer pilots who graciously bear the expenses to fly patients to where they need to be so they can receive critical medical treatment. By providing flight transportation to patients, many are able to receive the lifesaving treatment they need and otherwise might not get due to travel expenses. 

David has flown over 20 missions, transporting patients and other medical supplies around the south central United States region. After coming across an advertisement for Angel Flight, he felt compelled to volunteer for the organization as a way for him to contribute to the community by helping those who are very ill and do not have the means to get to get a treatment facility. The experiences have proven to be highly rewarding and more importantly, those who benefited from the transportation were able to get the medicine they needed.

Angel Flight also fulfills requests on a case by case basis for humanitarian and disaster relief missions, flies children to specialty hospitals and in the summer, takes children to special needs camps. For more information or to donate, click here.

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Two Rocketeers and a Business Class

Two of our Rocketeers paid a visit to business students at The Naveen Jindal School of Management at UT Dallas yesterday. The students had put together a presentation about sales and marketing at Bottle Rocket and presented it to Lee de la Houssaye and Pete Taliancich from our Business Development department.

The presentation was followed by a Q&A with our Rocketeers during which students asked questions about how to get into business development, what it takes to have a career in sales and of course, what every college student wants to know, how much money they can make! Pete and Lee answered their questions and gave the students valuable career advice, which hopefully they'll take with them as they finish their college education and begin their careers. 

The Naveen Jindal School of Management at UT Dallas offers a variety of course options that pertain to the business world such as finance, accounting, entrepreneurship and many more. The curriculum is designed to help students transition smoothly from college to career. Who knows? Maybe we'll see some of the students from yesterday's class in our office one day.

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Rocketeers Celebrate Bottle Rocket's 5th Anniversary

Bottle Rocket began five years ago with nothing more than a few pads of graph paper and a box of pencils. The year was 2008 and Steve Jobs had just announced that the iPhone would be open to third-party developers. The announcement hit Calvin "like a bolt of lightning," awakening his entrepreneurial spirit and inspiring him to launch Bottle Rocket the very next day.

Flash forward five years...our staff, consisting of some of the industry's brightest and most talented, has skyrocketed to 130 Rocketeers (as of today!). We've also received many honors and accolades over the past five years including being listed as one of Top 100 Places to Work in Dallas, ranked #61 on the Forbes' "America's Most Promising Companies" list, received four Apple App Hall of Fame awards (more than any other developer to date) and named Entertainment App Developer of the Year by Variety. 

Each Rocketeer is extremely proud of the accomplishments we've achieved, both past and present. We look forward to the next five exciting years as we continue growing, creating and piloting the future!

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What Rocketeers Are Reading - Design For Hackers: Reverse Engineering Beauty

Are you a developer looking for a good read? Our iOS developer book club is reading one you might want to check out! They're currently reading Design for Hackers: Reverse Engineering Beauty by David Kadavy, a must-read book for programmers and developers that "takes apart design by 'reverse-engineering' Impressionist painting, Renaissance sculpture, the Mac OS X Aqua interface, Twitter's web interface, and much more". It provides a combination of theoretical and actionable advice that teaches about color, typography, proportions and design principles.

The Rocketeer iOS developers started their book club as a way to extend their breadth of knowledge. Andrew Hulsizer from the iOS development team leads meeting discussions every Thursday during lunch where Rocketeer book club members share their thoughts, ideas and experiences as they pertain to the book. It's a great way for them to spend some time together to continue learning about their craft, honing their skills and having a good time!

Previous books read by the Rocketeer developers are Learning OpenGL ES for iOS: A Hands-On Guide to Modern 3D Graphics Programming by Erik M. Buck and Pro Objective-C Design Patterns for iOS by Carlo Chung.

In addition to running the iOS book club, Andrew and his fellow Rocketeer developer, Mark Jones, host the Dallas OpenGL Group that meets at Bottle Rocket on the last Tuesday of each month. The group is open to anyone who is interested in OpenGL programming. Click here for more information or to join!

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One of Bottle Rocket Apps' latest applications has given a fast-food bird some new wings.

Chick-fil-A's latest version of its mobile app, released last week for iOS, allows customers to order and pay via their smartphone. The app allows customers to use the new features at more than 130 locations, with more expected to roll out in 2015.

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