This weekend, I participated in my first mass coding event ever. Even though I’ve been coding since middle school, I’d never gone to an event purely focused on coding and web design.
The event was Seattle GiveCamp, held at the beautiful Microsoft campus in Redmond, WA. Over Friday night and into the weekend, GiveCamp volunteers helped over 20 non-profit organizations with creating custom software. The majority of this custom software involved website design, but there were some excellent web and mobile apps made in the process.
More than 170 of us volunteers, 21 non-profits, and the GiveCamp team arrived Friday night and descended on the Microsoft Commons. For the next three days, we worked all day — sometimes into the night — endlessly tweaking, scrapping, and creating websites and applications for the nonprofits. By the end of these 48 hours, some organizations had made significant tweaks to their websites, others had completely scrapped the old. A handful of us, myself included, stayed at the Commons round the clock and slept on the rather comfortable couches. The Commons is truly an incredible building, and many kudos goes to Microsoft for providing this space to work, eat, and sleep.
Throughout the 48 hours of coding and design, we were well-fed with delicious food from Subway, Panera Bread, and huge amounts of caffeine courtesy of Starbucks. All the food was generously provided, at no cost. It just goes to show what an amazing and dedicated organizing team we have!
Even though I haven’t gotten the best of sleep as a result of all-night coding marathons, this was one of the best weekends that I’ve had in a while. Sure, sitting in a giant conference room with a hundred other people typing away at the keyboard may seem dull, but it was far from that. Our work made a lasting positive impression for the charities, we got to meet amazing coders and WordPress users, we were well-fed, and … Microsoft. I mean, how often do you get to spend 2 nights at a global corporation’s headquarters?
I cannot say this enough: this weekend has been one of the most gratifying experiences that I’ve ever had. If you live in the Seattle area and love to code, I highly recommend GiveCamp. I’m definitely coming back next year, and I’m already looking forward to it!
If you live in the Seattle area and have an interest in helping out, I highly recommend going to GiveCamp next year!
You can check out their website at seattlegivecamp.org.
Like them on Facebook, Seattle-GiveCamp.
Follow on Twitter, @SeattleGiveCamp.
Not in the Seattle area? GiveCamps are held in over 50 cities across the US. To find a GiveCamp near you, visit givecamp.org.