The Ann Arbor Give Camp is a coding for charity event organized by Jennifer Marsman, Patrick Steele, John Hopkins, Todd Bohlen, Bill Wagner, and Kristina Jones. Essentially it’s an event that allows software developers and designers to join forces to develop software and websites for charitable organizations. In all 15 charities were helped.
The weekend started for me on Friday afternoon. I decided it would be beneficial to meet the charity the Columbus group was to support in person. So I packed up (with my youngest child) and headed out to Ann Arbor, and arrived as the Introductions of the charities were taking place. I was able to meet the charity, find out their passions, and learn what their expectations for a new website were. I took this information back to Columbus (not arriving home until after 2am).
Woke up early on Saturday morning and arrived to meet the other volunteers at the Microsoft Offices in Columbus at 8:30am. We all worked well as a team and ultimately started project roles, design and coding very quickly. The day ended Saturday at about 10:30pm. I decided to head home and continue coding as bandwidth was an issue at the offices, and took advantage of the broadband at home until about 1:30am. We all regrouped about 8:30am on Sunday morning and pushed forth until we wrapped things up around 6pm.
Lessons learned are, have fun, no matter what, collaborate as much as you can, listen and learn from others, and sleep really isn’t necessary 🙂 … For future events, I think it would be beneficial to get the requirements at least a week ahead of time, and identify project roles before the marathon design/coding begins.
I have nothing but high praises for all the volunteers that came out to make the event a success. Everyone worked extremely hard, and constant (we didn’t use the break lounge once). The room was very quiet at times due to the amount of code throughput. Regardless, everyone was in good humor the entire weekend and we all had a blast!
The Columbus Mirror Give Camp Volunteers were:
- Myself (Developer, security)
- Jonas Phillips (Designer, Graphics Guru)
- Matt Nowack (Layout/Developer)
- Jeff Blankenburg (Master ASPX creator, Layout contributor)
- James Bender (Architect, Developer wrangler)
- Phil Presson (Developer)
- Steven Harman (Developer)
- Mark Deeter (Documentation)