So, this weekend I attended the second Leeds Hack, which is an event organised by Dom “The Hodge” Hodgson. The purpose of a Hack Day such as this is for teams of people, usually around 4 per team to get together and create a “hack” for example a web application, a mobile app or maybe even just a simple site in just 24 hours. This year’s main sponsors; Esendex, Affiliate Window, eBuyer and Coding Futures all provided prizes for the teams to compete for which involved using the services laid on by the sponsors as a part of the hack.
I didn’t compete in any of competitions and I wasn’t officially hacking, so instead I decided I’d try my hand at learning Ruby. With much encouragement from many of the other people at the hack day, and with a small group of others trying the same thing I had a go at using Try Ruby and Hackety Hack to create simple bits like a Hello World! I really enjoyed using Ruby, but the environment wasn’t quite right for me to really learn anything as there was far too much other exciting stuff to do like chat to people about what they were hacking, and filming Dom being wrapped in bubble wrap!
The hack day was a brilliant event, which brings together so much knowledge into such a small space and encourages people to share and use it over a 24hour period. The final product of the team hacks (although a few people crept off before the presentations) ranged from a dieting/food diary web app (which I’m going to try out myself over the next few weeks) to a wire-framing app, an app that allows you to text via an interface on your computer and the hack that I contributed to by pointing out flaws and providing moral support – PleasePledge, which is an app that helps charities to get the things they need by appealing to their supporters to pledge money via text.
The hacks that came out of the 24 hours were outstanding, and as many people at the event said I hope people continue to develop them and even take some of them to market.
Huge thanks to the sponsors who provided lots of swag, as well as sweets, drinks, crisps, beer and the funds to attempt the UKs biggest take away order from Just-Eat! Thanks as well to the organisers who did a brilliant job of keeping people motivated, creating a fun and friendly atmosphere and encouraging me to go and learn something new! Finally a shout out to the venue, the Mint Hotel in Leeds who let us come back for a second year, provided some delicious food, a greate venue and have the friendliest staff I’ve ever encountered!
Edit: Here’s the link to all the Hacks submitted over the course of the weekend.