Foursquare Hackathon Cardiff - Day 2

September 19, 2011

Wow. I thought Saturday was busy, but I was wrong. Saturday was a cake walk compared to the crazy nightmare that was Sunday. The challenge of trying to get something (anything) working before the app submission deadline was incredible. Coding was fast and intense, and required a lot of good communication and fast thinking. Unfortunately we hit a few roadblocks that slowed us down (2 hours debugging problems with django’s static file serving really didn’t help, neither did jQuery mobile being an absolute pain in the rear end), but by the end of the day we had a nice looking site with some actual working functionality. Nowhere near the level of functionality that we’d hoped for, but it’s a start. All three of us that were working on the app towards the end are aiming to carry on the development, so hopefully I’ll have another project to post about up here as the months go on.

A number of people didn’t make it to the Sunday, which is a shame, but the core teams of both projects were in early and working hard, and by the end of the day both had been declared ‘working’ enough to submit. Maybe they’ll do ok against the competition, but we’ll see. A couple more hours on our pub crawl app could really have helped as there’s some key functionality missing, but there just wasn’t time to get it working. Overall though, the event was a success. We managed to pull in people from outside our own hyper-local school development team, we all managed to learn some new things and teach some things to others, and I think most people genuinely had fun. It’s definitely an experience I’m looking forward to repeating, both as a hackday organiser and as just a participant. BOX UK have a ‘For the Social Good’ hackday coming up in November that I’ve already registered for, and I’ll be keeping my eyes open for others in the future, and for opportunities to organise more.

I think I learnt a few things about organising and participating in these sorts of events, so I’ll be putting up a post in the next few days to share the knowledge.

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