Random Hacks of Kindness Report
Hi guys, I recently attended Random Hack of Kindness hackathon in Prague and I wanted to share some of my experiences from the event. But before I get started let me introduce the event.
"Random Hacks of Kindness is a global community of innovators building practical open technology to make the world a better place." ... to make it a bit more approachable, this is how the event looked in Prague: On Friday evening, there was a gathering where the attendees and organizations had a chance to learn more about each other. The organizations presented their project to the developers, the developers formed teams focused on a particular project. I had a few minutes to introduce OpenShift and the general opinion was great ... I was looking forward to the next few days to get a chance to actually help. And then we went for a beer. :)
Most of the teams have been formed by Saturday morning. In the end, 6 teams were formed and then the hacking started. The developers were advised not to leave the space, but that was fine - all required essentials for a successful project were there - water, coffee, equipment. The lunch was also provided.
On Saturday evening, a mid-hackathon progress screening took place. The organizations came to see a quick presentation by teams on the progress of their projects. There was overall satisfaction, and as long the day was, it took us quite a lot of time to pack for a dinner in a not-so-near-by pub.
Sunday morning started more slowly then Saturday, it took the teams quite a time to arrive, but everybody arrived and the work went on full speed. Once again, pizza-lunch was provided.
After that the work continued towards the final point. Slowly the members of the organizations arrived. There was no stress at the end and the teams finished their projects to states that were more than suitable to the organizations.
The winning project was mobile front end for a directory of bio agricultural producers in The Czech Republic (CZ). The application allows the user to search for a producer in the nearby area and make the first contact. The classic web version is available at Najd?te si své BIO. The application is almost production-ready and I am looking forward to see it published into the Appstore and Google Play.
Technologies: Java, Objective-C
Open Society Fund
Second place was awarded to a project for Open Society Fund. The development team created an API for collecting names and addresses from publicly available sources and presents them as JSON documents. The project will be utilized in a near future.
Technologies: Play, PostgreSQL, Eclipse
The third place was awarded to a project to provide quick overview of cases in which Amnesty is participating. The project provided a map with the cases marked and details available on click. Unfortunately the application has not yet been deployed, but Amnesty is planning to use and support this project. Stay tuned and expect link to it's OpenShift deployment soon.
Technologies: Python, Google maps
To get quick overview of water pollution in rivers and water generally in The Czech Republic, the project that was awarded the 4th place can be used. The data were supposed to be taken from governmental source but the database was from the year 2009. At least the application is ready and when new data are provided it will be ready to serve its purpose.
Two more projects were developed for Hnutí Duha. Both provide web applications focused on specific cases of food production.
One of those projects provides a quick way to check whether a specific food is OK for a specific diet. The application may be accessed here. Application is written in PHP.
The second one is written in Perl (WOW!!) and provided quick lookup whether a specific food is available in the present part of the year and if not, what food can be used as a possible replacement. The application is available here.
For me it was a well spent weekend. I enjoyed the atmosphere at the event and I am very glad I had a chance to provide something worthwhile for fighting world-wide problems. In the end allow me to thank to the organizers of the event. I hope I will have chance to attend the event next time.