The St. Louis.NET User Group held its first Coders 4 Charities event this past weekend. The volunteer driven event paired teams of web developers, designers and analysts with representatives from local charities to receive "extreme makeovers" of their web sites and applications in just 48 hours. In total there were 9 local St. Louis charities seeking assistance and over 50 volunteers from the St. Louis metropolitan area who participated. The charities were:
Community Council of St. Charles County
Jobs and Employment Support Services
Warren County Council Against Domestic Violence
Senior Services Plus
Violence Prevention Center of Southwestern Illinois
Child Day Care Association
Long Term Care Ombudsman Program
St. Louis United Way
The event kicked off on Friday evening with a pizza dinner and introductions between the charities and volunteers. The first evening was spent reviewing existing applications and requirements and choosing strategies and technologies for the makeovers with the doors finally closing at midnight.
The doors opened again on Saturday at 7:30 am and teams eagerly attacked their charity projects with gusto and with the doors closing once more around midnight. Sunday was crunch time with all the teams hammering out their final features as the 5:00 pm deadline approached. At the conclusion, each team presented their solution to the group and received well deserved applause for their efforts.
Smooth execution. Event organizers were put in touch with the leaders of the Kansas City C4C event and received advice on how to best run the event. Team leads had already met with the charities beforehand and had their requirements ready when volunteers showed up. Everything ran smoothly throughout the entire weekend.
Great teams. I was proud to see the teams comes together quickly on Friday night and dig right into their projects. It’s amazing to watch dedicated professionals at work.
Excellent facilities. Washington University’s CAIT classroom facilities were ideal for the event. The four large classrooms had plenty of room for teams to work and collaborate and all had workstations preloaded with Visual Studio 2008.
I want to call out Kevin Grossnicklaus, Muljadi Budiman, Scott Spradlin, and Chris Deweese for their outstanding efforts in organizing and running this event.
More photos can be seen on the C4C Group Pool on flickr stream: http://www.flickr.com/groups/c4cstl/pool/