Little House on the Network

Since joining OCLC in April of 2010, I’ve had the opportunity to participate in (and, as those of you who attended the mashathon in Boston may remember, break my foot at!) several mashathon events with my colleagues on the Platform and Research teams. These get-togethers have provided a great opportunity for library coders to learn and work in a collaborative environment, and we’re planning to continue this tradition as we look ahead to 2014.

But we’ve also gotten a lot of feedback on needs that go beyond what we can accomplish via the mashathon model. We’ve all started to recognize that:

  • With the introduction of more (and more complex!) Web services, the shorter mashathon model doesn’t provide enough time to really dive deeply into the array of APIs that OCLC offers…let alone work with them to build creative solutions to library challenges.
  • There’s an interest in the library developer community in an opportunity for more extended engagement, both with OCLC staff that are knowledgeable about our APIs and with fellow coders. And my colleagues at OCLC are eager to roll up their sleeves and work with you in that way.

As a result, we want to try a new model for bringing the Developer Network community together – something we’re calling Developer House. Imagine an intensive, interactive week of coding with a number of like-minded colleagues, all in an environment that facilitates collaboration, creativity, and fun. We’re taking over a local all-suite hotel for this event (OK, technically not a “house”, but Developer Hotel doesn’t have quite the same ring!), allowing you to work how you want – in small groups, big groups, first thing in the morning, or into the wee hours of the night, whenever and wherever you find inspiration. And while we’re emphasizing a lot of unstructured hands-on work, we’re also planning to provide more formal learning opportunities that support the projects of interest to participants. We’re throwing the rule book out the window – solutions developed during Developer House can be anything from applications to tutorials to code libraries…in short, anything that incorporates one or more of OCLC’s growing number of Web services is fair game!

We’ve just opened our call for nominations for this event, scheduled for February 3-7 in Dublin, Ohio, and I wanted to personally invite your nomination – either to participate yourself or to suggest someone from the community – be sure to submit a Developer House Nomination by Dec 13th. We’re eager to begin the process of selecting and working with participants to understand and plan for their interests.