Code and Camaraderie

Show-and-Tell Time

Four days ago, one by one, 11 people from 11 libraries showed up on the doorstep of Suite 306 of our hotel and were welcomed into OCLC’s second Developer House.

Today 11 people went back to 11 libraries and took with them new friendships, new skills, knowledge of new technologies and a few cool projects.

Our week-long Developer House concluded today with a show-and-tell, a few hugs and many high-fives.

On Tuesday, we set out to:

  1. Expose relevant items that were not initially exposed in the patron’s first search
  2. Create an advanced type-ahead feature that exposed additional and relevant search options
  3. Build topical searches using third-party APIs
  4. Continue integrating the WorldCat Discovery API into VUFind

We spent some time brainstorming and planning our projects on Monday with the show-and-tell in mind. We wanted to have doable, sharable and enjoyable projects. The four teams have done that and much more. We’ll post videos of the show-and-tell very soon!

The idea for the show-and-tell was to present working code. No PowerPoint! Dumping raw JSON on the screen is perfectly acceptable, as long as that was part of the acceptance criteria for the project. Turns out, each of our teams went far beyond producing just working code. OCLC staff and Developer House attendees saw functioning Web apps and a couple whimsical page designs. Everyone did a fantastic job showing off their considerable work. I and the Developer Network team want to thank Bilal, Bill, Emily, Francis, Janina, Jason, Rachel, Sara, Scott, Shwan and Steelsen for their expertise, skill, friendship, and laughter.

In just one week, with about two and half days of straight coding, the four teams completed their projects and met their goals. Participants will now head home with applications to use at their institution. (And you can too, very soon, from the Application Gallery.)

It’s been such a great week—we’ll share more stories of what it was like at Developer House in the coming weeks. For now, let us know if you enjoyed hearing about our week, and what you’d be interested to work on in a FUTURE Developer House….