Tag Archives: hackathon

A Victory Lap for Noke Codes

Noke Codes worked.

I wish I could gush about all the awesome projects, but…I don’t have access to any of them, so I really can’t speak about them. I received a recap newsletter/email from the organizers, but there weren’t any links to the projects themselves.

So, here is the recap:

Noke Codes was a Great Success!

We kicked off the main event around 5 O’clock Friday evening. We had roughly 25 volunteer technologists who showed up to devote their time to bettering their community. It was just incredible to see these talented individuals form teams and take on the varied projects of area nonprofits and civic organizations. These teams worked through the night creating solutions to the technical problems of these impactful organizations.

Our extraordinary volunteers wound up taking on 6 of the 7 possible projects! Here are how things stand at the moment:

City of Roanoke Library: The Library team worked closely with Nathan Flinchum to create an application that allows people to find historic photographs that are close their current location. This project was pretty much wrapped up during the event and should be available to the public soon!

Council of Community Services: The CCS team wound up creating 2 possibilities for job boards and calendars that the Council can choose from. Conversations are now ongoing about handing these projects over the Council and they should be functional in the near future.

Healthy Roanoke Valley: Unfortunately we did not have a team take on this project. However, we are now working on several avenues that would allow this project to be undertaken quite soon. We welcome any suggestions you might have.

LEAP for Local Food: The LEAP team created a fantastic platform for sharing real time information about the location of LEAP’s new mobile market and other food trucks in Roanoke. This project is close to completion and the developers and LEAP are meeting to discuss how to finalize the project.

Ride Solutions: The team on this project went through many different iterations of what might work, but the concept of real time changes to bus route maps turned out to be a little more difficult than originally thought. However, this team wound up making significant progress and has expressed some interest in continuing to work on the project. As far as we can tell, the kind of automatically updating maps this team was working on would have been a first of its kind project in the country.

Roanoke Outside: This team completed a tremendous amount of work and have a functional prototype of an app for local hiking trails. It would provide hikers with all kinds of information that would make their trip on our iconic trails safer. Expect to see this project available to the public soon!

Williamson Road Business Association: The team working on this created a fantastic directory of businesses on the Williamson Road corridor but were not satisfied with the design of it. They are continuing work on it and will have a fantastic new resource for that area available soon.

The Inaugural Noke Codes event was a huge success! The response we got from our talented volunteers was tremendous. The community response was also great. We believe that each of these projects will be impacting the community for years to come. Now we are looking into the future and see tremendous possibilities for how Noke Codes might continue to exert a positive influence on the Roanoke Community.

Ok, back to me. As you can see, they actually pulled it off. 7 initial projects; 6 teams; 5 products; 24 hours. That is actually really impressive. And to think, a month before the event they weren’t entirely sure anyone would show up.

I hope to get some feedback from the organizations for which these products were built on the efficacy of the final products. As yet, I don’t even know if the products were handed off to the participating organizations. But even if they end up in the garbage, I think the output was noteworthy and reflects well on the tech community here in the ol’ Roanoke Valley (and Blacksburg…some of the participants drove up from down south to join the fun).

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Noke Codes Approaches…

It has been a hard summer for me, blogging-wise. Apologies to my regular readers (e.g. Mom and Dad. Hi guys!).

But Noke Codes is coming up this Friday, and it seems like it might just be a success. This is news, as I predicted something short of success (e.g. failure, as a result of indifference). Just check out their sponsors…impressive.

So kudos, y’all.

And I promise I’ll report back after the hackathon with a post-event recap smackdown extravaganza. It will be on point and legit. You’ve been warned.

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A Few Thoughts On Noke Codes

Noke Codes. Yeah. It is time to address this joint.

But why has it taken so long? I’ll tell ya, having a job is real drag, man. I really thought by now Barack Obama would have read this blog and come to my house and said, “Guy, I’ve read every single one of your posts about bands that nobody likes or has heard of, and WE NEED YOU. I want you to take this salary from the American people of one billion dollars so that you can write full time, hombre. This is important.”

RIGHT?

Anyway, Noke Codes.

Noke Codes is an effort by a group of local guys to accomplish several goals at once via a civic hackathon.

Let us first to be dispensing with the notion that hacking is bad. It can be, but it isn’t necessarily so. Kinda like how not all rectangles are squares, dig?

What then is a hackathon? It is a weekend-long sprint to a build a solution to a vexing IT problem. And a CIVIC hackathon is just applying that method to a community or societal issue.

The goals for Noke Codes (in no particular order): bring together the local tech community in a sort of nerd mixer; help local organizations that need tech help; and throw a bitchin’ local party. Being local is very, very hip right now. And Noke Codes ain’t nothin’ if not hip.

This is the kind of event that will either be Ground Zero of a Roanoke Revolution!, or a friggin’ train wreck. I don’t know which, but there doesn’t seem to me to be the possibility of a middle ground here. Either folks will come out and be astounded at the opportunity and talent that exists here, or nobody will show up.

Behind the scenes, the organizers are putting in the work to ensure that the infrastructure is in place to make this work, and they are partnering with CoLab not only for space but also for help in spreading the word. So, I think if people show up, it will work. But will anybody show up?

StartUp Weekend didn’t work here. That was almost two years ago, and I think our start-up scene is accelerating daily, but still…StartUp Weekend pretty much works everywhere. It is a franchise. And Roanoke loves franchises. Hello, Mission BBQ!

Noke Codes is a project worth supporting. There is no downside. But like most things, people will stand on the sideline until they see it is a success, and then NEXT year, it will be well attended. If they make it to next year. But if you are reading this, you are the type of person who is needed THIS year so that they can make it to next year.

So get involved, yo! Now is the time. YES! WE! CAN!

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