Sunday, July 3, 2011

Columbus Give Camp 2011 wrap up

This is a rather late write up of Columbus Give Camp 2011. The event actually took place May 20 - 22, 2011. This was my third year volunteering as a GiveCamp as a developer. The past two years, I told them what my skills were and just hopped on whatever team they put me on. It was a good experience both times - show up Friday night, build code with lots of passionate & skilled developers that just want to help people out, and eat all kinds of good food, and demo what you built on Sunday.

This year, I decided I want to do Rails development & said as much when I applied. I ended up on a team that was developing a website to help a church camp track which families are coming. It was an existing project developed at Give Camp in 2009 and the developer team lead was also the charity rep. This was a HUGE boost for the project. Most charities have no clue what is even possible with technology. However, with someone that is a developer & charity rep, we came into the weekend and she had a list of what feature she wanted done this year, next year, and wish list for farther down the line as well as a list of bugs that needed to be fixed before any new features started.

We used GitHub for all our source code & project management. The only time I really use GitHub outside of minor tinkering is Give Camp so this took a quick refresher and unlearning some SVN habits.

It seemed like everyone got a lot done and all the charities were happy with what they got. One thing - it felt like plenty of devs showed up but only one person I know of there had graphic design skills. So graphic designers, if you want to help out charities - check out Give Camp next year! If I remember right, they are planning to have Columbus Give Camp in the fall next year - likely around October. The dates will be on whenever they are announced.

I won't bore everyone with details on the food for the weekend - if you really want to know you can just check out the Twitter stream from during May 20 - 22, 2011 and search for #givecamp. But here are the ones that stuck out:

Beignets - these are awesome. Something like elephant ears meet donuts

Creole Kitchen in downtown Columbus somewhere - heard this place is hard to find. Glad someone else went to get the food. I don't know what they put in their mac & cheese but it is VERY addictive. The other food was great too.

Just Pies - yeah, it's exactly what it sounds like. The peanut butter pie was probably some of the best I ever had.