coderaiser experience02

It’s been nearly three weeks now since we finished our first charity hackathon, CodeRaiser. It was a 24 hour endurance challenge during which we developed a website for local charity, HomeStart Stevenage.

The four of us didn’t sleep a wink. We started with a small amount of preparation work, and a huge backlog of tasks to get this website made within the timeframe.

Our path was fraught with lapses in concentration, tiredness, and discomfort. However, we met it with enthusiasm, team work, and in the end, we did it! All of the tasks were completed. HomeStart now have a brilliant new website (to be pushed live soon) and the feedback we received at our closing presentation was overwhelmingly positive…

So, why did we do it?

We wanted to give back to our community, whilst also making a strong statement to the business world.

Giving money to charity is a good thing, and many of us do it. However, there is so much more we can do to help charities. The website we built for HomeStart will help them get more donations, and provide better support to the community.

We could have done this very quietly, and in our own time. That would gain the same results for the charity, but we also wanted to get other people pondering. Think about your skills, what value can you offer your local community other than money? Part of CodeRaiser was encouraging people to envisage their own potential.

Nowadays, there are many talented designers and developers wasting their time. Why build yet another todo list app when you can make a real difference to your local community? I recently watched Mike Monteiro’s talk “How Designers Destroyed the World” and it really reassured me that we were doing the right thing here.

Thank you!

CodeRaiser wouldn’t have been possible without all of your support:

  • Thank you to Ros, Donna, Kelly, Kimberly, Sam & Rob at the BTC Stevenage for allowing us to use their meeting rooms for both the 24 hours, and the presentation afterwards.
  • Thank you Business Buzz, to everyone who stayed behind for the presentation to support HomeStart.
  • Thank you Matthew Thomasson for popping in to take some photos of us during the early stages of the challenge!
  • Thank you Mick Holloway, Olivier Carion, Greg Davies, Paul McGuire, Debbie Glinnan, for visiting us and keeping the Twitter feed alive with supportive messages!
  • Thank you Julie Howell, Kirsty Harvey, Debbie Gilbert for your supportive tweets and words of encouragement.
  • Thanks to all our family and friends that supported us, and helped us to recover afterwards!

Next year…

We are planning to do CodeRaiser again in 2014. If you work for a charity, or know one that would like a lovely new website then please get in touch to let us know.