On the 11th November, I went to the JISC event DevXS. As I am a fan of the Dev8D events held every February, and this event is for undergrad and postgrad students I thought it would be a great chance to meet some very talented computer science students from all over the country.
This event was set to cover the whole weekend, and instead of a focus on teaching sessions like Dev8D, it focused purely on competitions in which teams are given 24 hours to implement their projects in a ‘code marathon’.
As there were a few of us going from UWL, I decided rather than travel to Lincoln alone, I’d go with one of my colleagues, which like me wanted to explore some of Lincoln during the day before the evening event registrations. Have to say I was fascinated with the Cathedral, Castle and Roman remains. I think that after the brief look I got, I would like to go back to explore more of the city.
After some exploring, Malte and I went to registration and then went on to get the hotel keys for the hotel room. The evening was then filled with food, socialising and drinking. The organisers created a game called bingo, which required the person to meet people and see if the statements contained in their grid fitted that person and then get a signature. Once all the grid statements were signed you shouted “bingo”, got a badge and got another drink ticket. This proved a very good way of getting everyone to talk and get to know everyone. After the food and drink, me and another of my colleagues went into Lincoln town to experience the nightlife.
Have to say I was rather hungover for the morning, but still ready to get going on one of the competitions. Because there were only 4 of us from my institution we decided to form a team named Team UWL. We decided to try and do a bluetooth system for distribution location based information and events, as part of the Freshers App competition. During the day they had an array of sweets and drink which was good, and we got a good lunch. In the course of the day there were several keynotes, but to be perfectly honest other than the magic show in the evening, I’m unsure how many people really were listening to them.
What I found amazing was the amount of people still working hard at 2am, the atmosphere was great, and proved a great way of getting help and support from lots of people. I found also the tip to use f.lux given in the midnight keynote to be fantastic. My team managed to keep programming until about 02:30.
In a somewhat funny way, the organisers put “Wham – Wake me up before you go-go” on the speakers to wake us up. There was a great breakfast, and a final rush to try and get everything working and finished in time. If you view our git repo featured in the last post you will see the amount of activity increasing closer to the noon deadline.
We then had to pitch the idea of our work to the whole hall, as a way of the everyone including the judges to see our projects explained, in 60 seconds or less. This was a great way of hearing and in some cases seeing some of the fantastic work done by everyone. Sadly my team had trouble getting both parts of the system to work together but we have agreed it would be great to continue the work.
Overall I had a fantastic weekend, met some great people and now looking forward to Dev8D 2012.
Anyone interesting in knowing more about the event, go to http://devxs.org.