“The problem with hardware is that there is no version control” – Marcus Noble
This weekend I took part in my first ever weekend-long ‘hackathon‘, where a bunch of developers group together to create solutions to make Bath better. The event took place at the Bath Guild. We were encouraged to take publicy available data about the city and turn it into a resource that members of the public could actually make sense of.
I formed a team with two other hackathon newbies, Christopher and Cliff. Christopher wasn’t a coder but had an idea for a project, Cliff had experience as a front-end developer, and I was a recent graduate with almost no experience building a thing from scratch.
Christopher’s idea was to build a website that would help people decide who to vote for in future elections. It would list the candidates with links to various forms of social media, and give unbiased policy information. It would also look into the past, providing results of previous local elections, and also the future. An idea was to try to tackle tactical voting. The site would ask visitors who they were going to vote for, then who they would ideally like to see in power. It would then show them the summary of what other people replied. We thought it would be interesting to see if this data would affect people’s decisions.
That’s Edwin, the CEO of feedly, saying my YouFeed site is “brilliant”. He wants to integrate the functionality of YouFeed into feedly mini (the Chrome extension). He said that he was considering making feedly mini open source, to allow developers like me to add our own functionality to make feedly better for everybody.
The aim of the event was to encourage us to code properly through a variety of techniques. We weren’t expected to finish the set tasks, but the code produced during the tasks should be perfect. Emphasis was put on code quality rather than quantity – different than other hack events.
Back in January, I made a Tumblr account to provide healthy procrastination from revision. At the time I didn’t have many ideas as to what to post on it, apart from a few pictures of things I had drawn on the whiteboards in the lab.
Today, I still don’t have any more ideas. I got rid of most of the old posts, but I’ve kept the account open with the thought that maybe I’ll use it to showcase my photography. It’s taken a while, but I now understand the point of Twitter so my Tumblr use has dropped.
You can still follow my Tumblr page, but don’t expect anything new on it in the near future!