How I spent my weekend

Oct 29, 2013 • Karen


As my last post mentioned, I spent last weekend at the 2013 DevelopHer hackathon.

What I didn't mention was I ended up taking second place, despite being a solo team!

Me and the judging panel

My project was a web app called anniedoc, which I now finally have running on Heroku instead of just locally. (Note that there's no restrictions on commenting right now, and I'll probably have to wipe the db periodically as a result. Be gentle!)

Castle Kronborg--the real life Elsinore

anniedoc is a prototype for collaboratively annotating documents inline via the web. Inline annotation has been tried before by e.g. Commentpress, but was generally a flop. But the state of front-end dev has advanced a lot since that attempt, and now we see inline-type commenting from Medium and RapGenius!

anniedoc also tries to balance encouraging viewer engagement with providing a calm, focused, uncluttered reading environment--there are a lot of good interfaces out there for talking, and some good interfaces for reading, but few manage to do both.

hack hack hack

I was not expecting to win. I wasn't expecting to even make it past the first round of judging! You see, anniedoc was more or less an interview exercise for a job I was interviewing for/contracting with. Said job wanted to see results by Monday, and the hackathon was Friday and Saturday, so I was basically like "welp, looks like I'll be spending the hackathon doing work instead. :/" Under other circumstances I would have preferred to hack with a team, but I didn't want to make anyone else work on work stuff!

It all seems to have worked out for the best, though–people seemed to like my presentation, potential job was happy with my work as well, and a five-person team (including my Pyladies friend) won first place, forcing LinkedIn to shell out for five Macbook Airs (the top prize) instead of just one! Mwa ha ha ha.

(These hackathon photos, and many more, can be found here--licensed CC-BY-NC)