Saturday, September 27, 2014

MakerSquare Day 23: Hackathon Day Two: Getting (the Small) Stuff Done (5/5)

And... scene.

Or if you're not into improv and would rather think of web development as a school/testing environment: Pencils down, everyone.

Because today was the day when our time was up and we had to present our products to the class.

If you've never been in a hackathon situation, here's a key bit of advice I got from everyone: start small. As our friend/housemate/TA told us, when he was taking the class (because, oh yeah, he's also an alum of MakerSquare), at least half the students presented unfinished and unworking prototypes.

Which makes my class look like goddamn rockstars. Not only did everyone have a finished prototype (which seems like an oxymoron but is more an Irish bull), but every group obviously learned something through the process; and, more interesting, every group had some clear ideas about how to make things better.

And my group has some definite ideas about how to improve our web app, Eff Errands, our efficient errand organizing system. (It could also be used for efficient pub crawls, which is another statement that seems oxymoronic, but isn't really.)

Overall, it was a good 36 hours of working, thinking, experimenting, failing, trying new routes, and ultimately succeeding. (For a different POV--and some pictures of the finished(ish) prototype--see Kelsey's blog here.)

It also always interests me that a little bit of work can go a long way. Seriously: it takes about three lines of jQuery to make a list that will slide up or down if you click on it--and it makes people so happy to see that little list sliding around.

The lesson here, of course, is to use slideToggle all the time.

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