Salt Lake City Hackathon

Tuesday, January 28, 2014


Last weekend, we were in Salt Lake City for a Humanitarian Toolbox hackathon, sponsored by our great friends at Pluralsight. We spent our time working on the crisis checkin application. 

Salt Lake City has a great developer community. I was impressed with the turnout, the skills, and the progress we made.

Everyone had the app installed and running on their machine by mid-morning. The team helped us find and diagnose some challenges for new contributors. We've updated the getting started page on the project wiki, and it should be easier for new developers to join in.

After that, the group formed four different feature teams. We added quite a few features:

  • We created a new Cluster Coordinator role. This is an important milestone for our partners in relief organizations.
  • We created the ability for an administrator or cluster coordinator to email all volunteers that are present on a given day.
  • We added a feature test project and framework. We also created some tests for the main scenarios.
  • We made lots of progress on Xamarin based mobile apps for iOS and Android
  • We made lots of progress on a WIndows phone mobile app.
  • We made significant progress on upgrading to ASP.NET MVC version 5. This will make it much easier for us to integrate OAuth into the application, and enable volunteers to register using facebook or linked in.

Richard Campbell and I had a great time with everyone. It was great to spend some time developing with old friends that we've known from conferences over the years. It was equally great to meet new friends and spend time developing our application.

Most of all, I'm thrilled that the folks who attended have continued to work on the application after the event. I've been receiving pull requests from several of the attendees that wanted to finish features they were working on at the end of day.

Thanks again to Pluralsight for helping us organize the event, feeding all of us, and having some of their development team join us and drive our application forward.