I spent the past weekend in New York for the New York Times Hack Day 2013. With great pride I can report that my team won the award for the best news-related app! Better than that, I learned how important an energized community is, even in a field as seemingly solitary as coding… no wonder GitHub is such a success.
It was amazing to be in a room full of coders cranking out countless creative products on the fly, using tools I had not been introduced to before. Out of sheer luck, @loreleikelly and I landed at a table with a full-stack wizard from avaaz.org, @paulschreiber, and front-end whisperer from moveon.org, @lpnotes. In a matter of hours we (mostly Paul and Linda) pumped out a cool prototype to display bills related to any New York Times article you’re reading. Through the process, I got my first taste of ruby, ruby on rails, and bootstrap, as well as a half dozen terminal and Python tips courtesy of Paul.
Last week @b_fung mentioned me in his Washington Post article on D.C.’s exploding start-up scene. It came as a surprise - both the mention and that we have a booming hacker community right here in town. I’ve been so deeply engrossed in my own world of Capitol Bells, I didn’t even realize what’s been going on in the city around me. Before the hackathon, I didn’t realize all the opportunities I could be missing.
I hope to remedy the situation forthwith. If you, dear reader, happen to be in DC, please invite me to go to the next startup/hacking/coworking event with you!