Category Archives: Events

We have a winner of the developer decathlon (nearly)…

As you all know, the finale event at dev8D was the Developer Decathlon which required project teams to rapidly build prototype apps based on real user cases (we even imported some real users into the event where they had to experience developers in the wild!). Full entry submissions and explanations by the team of the prototype are posted here:

The list of prototypes entered for the competition (listed in order of submission time):

no.1 – “STagMonger 3000” prototype by Team Flaming Hensoft
no.2 – “EntityBus” prototype by Team AZ
no.3 – “List8D” prototype by Team Bsmmmm
no.4 – “Lazy Lecturer” prototype by Team Three Lazy Geeks
no.5 – “Visual Transparency” prototype by Team OUseful
no.6 – “SpACE tool” prototype by team SpACEmen
no.7 – “AdAway” protoype by team AdAway
no.8 – “splashurl” prototype by team halfHourHacks
no.9 – “sh!” prototype by team Rangtangdingdong

The five judges who selected the winner for the Developer Decathlon were carefully picked to represent a broad spectrum of users and developers across UK. The judges had no easy task given the quality of submissions. Not only was there value in each prototype there was some very tough decisions the judges had to make in ranking the submissions, some comments from the judges on each prototype below:

“STagMonger 3000” prototype by Team Flaming Hensoft:
“Great app and would like to see this exist for real.”

“EntityBus” prototype by Team AZ:
“Neat demonstration of what a REST list service can look like…neat infrastructure app.”

“List8D” prototype by Team Bsmmmm:
“Good idea, convincing screencast, well thought out further development. I can see this being taken forward in a number of directions…I believe, this clearly demonstrates the applicability of the solution both immediately and in the forseeable future.”

“Lazy Lecturer” prototype by Team Three Lazy Geeks:
“Really comprehensive treatment of the problem and associated issues. Worth pursuing I think… As a solution this is a good idea and was produced by genuine collaboration at the Dev8D event.”

“Visual Transparency” prototype by Team OUseful:
“I like this, simple idea but well presented and very useful…The output from would be highly relevant to some users and immediately useful.

“SpACE tool” prototype by team SpACEmen (second video here):
“This is an excellent tool…I’d like to see this project getting its code out there, it looks like just the kind of thing that people would work with and contribute to… Nice idea – slick and well developed.”

“AdAway” protoype by team AdAway:
“Neat idea. I love the simplicity of the concept. Great presentation… I can’t help but to say that I love the concept behind this. Simple, anarchic, directly useful and best of all, implementable.”

“splashurl” prototype by team halfHourHacks:
“Nice, simple, does what it says on the tin…made on the day, works well and has since been updated to optionally give QR codes which might be even more useful, now that more and more people have internet enabled micro devices like the iPhone.”

“sh!” prototype by team Rangtangdingdong:
“Social networks without the need to say who is in your network are important. This is one excellent way of doing it….Supercool, Inventive and ambitious…. good prototype.”

Despite all this great works the judges had to make some decisions and so we bring the first decision to you now!

Below is a shortlist of prototypes that are eligible for winning, we will announce the winner and runner-up of the competition later this week so stay tuned!

Shortlist of potential winners for the Developer Decathlon at dev8D (IN NO PARTICULAR ORDER):

“List8D” prototype by Team Bsmmmm

“Lazy Lecturer” prototype by Team Three Lazy Geeks

“sh!” prototype by team Rangtangdingdong

“splashurl” prototype by team halfHourHacks

“SpACE tool” prototype by team SpACEmen (second video here):

Detailed programme for dev8D

There is a detailed schedule of events for dev8D available on the event wiki and code repository.

This schedule is mostly final but we may make minor tweaks in the run up to the event.

On the developer decathlon days (Tues 10th and Weds 11th). There are a number of lightning talks planned. A lightning talk is a 5-25 minute pitch for something you think is useful for developers. The talks we have so far can be seen on the wiki. We are still looking for more talks so sign up on the wiki if you have something to talk about.  

There are also further details on the python course and the mashup session that form part of the code labs on Mon 9th.

There are still a small number of places available at the event if you haven’t signed up yet.  The sign up form is on the main event website.

Competitions and prizes at dev8D

There are two competitions running on the 10th and 11th of February at dev8D. One competition will be based around developing code, the other will reward those who provide the most support to their fellow delegates. So if you are coming to the event as a blogger, a lurker or are just hoping to learn then there will still be an opportunity for you to have an impact on the event and win a prize.

The individual medley competition will seek to reward collaboration and mutual support between dev8D participants. Each delegate will be given 5 tokens when they arrive at the event. These tokens are a currency for thanking fellow delegates when they provide a useful service such as advice, tips, feedback or some code. The delegate with the most tokens by 8pm on Wednesday 11th of February will win the competition. 

Entrants to the individual medley competition could win a Dell Inspiron Mini 9 with Ubuntu installed. Full details of the individual medley competition can be read here

The other competition is the Developer Decathlon. This is a coding competition and will focus on the creation of prototypes that show the future of software for university users. There will be 10 university users at the event who will present their problems and be available to answer questions and provide feedback. Submissions will be judged on relevance to the problems that these users describe. 

The first prize for the Developer Decathlon is £5000 GBP. The second prize is £2000 GBP. Winners will be selected by a panel of judges from UK HE and will be announced within 30 days of the close of dev8D. Full details can be read here.

Free accommodation in London for dev8D participants!

One of the things we identified early with this event is that it is often difficult for novice developers to get to these types of events (especially given the current economic climate). Some on the event committee including myself had even taken time off of work and paid our own way to get to good events! Accordingly for dev8D, we wanted to make sure the barriers were as low as possible for people to attend. So in the spirit of a true barCamp we’ve hired out 50 beds at the Palmer’s Lodge boutique hostel* in central London to give out for free to anyone who wants to come to the event!

So as to make sure giving away this accommodation is as fair as possible, we’ll officially announce the sign-up form in less than one week: Monday January 19th at 9am we’ll post the link to sign up for this free accomodation. The beds will be given out on a first come first served basis so make sure you grab the RSS feed for this blog. We’ll also email all those who have signed up on the RSVP form, so get your name down there as well!

If you haven’t seen this boutique hostel do visit the Palmer’s Lodge website as it really is not your average hostel! Other than being a converted mansion (originally built by Biscuit Tycoon Samuel Palmer) it also includes a lovely continental breakfast and great fast free WiFi. All of this for free if you manage to sign up in time; and in addition you can scheme late into the night with your fellow developer (there is a very reasonably priced bar and indoor patio there as well).

Sneak peek at the event website

The dev8D website is available at:

There are some minor changes to the programme page that need to be made before we announce it more widely, but we thought we would give blog readers a sneak peek.

Much more information will be available starting next week, including information about accomodation, details of the developer decathlon event and the prizes that can be won.

Developer Happiness Days are coming soon

dev8D logo

The JISC sponsored Developer Happiness Days will take place in London on 9th-13th February 2009.

Who is the event for?

  • The event is aimed at developers in UK Higher Education, however there will also be places available for developers outside the UK and from outside HE.
  • If you aren’t a software developer but are still interested then you may want to come along to provide a user perspective for the developers participating in the event.
  • If you are more of a tinkerer then a developer then you may be interested in the pre event day designed to develop skills.
  • If your interest is community development then you may be interested in the community collaboration day of the event or you may wish to take advantage of the rooms available to run your own meeting after the event has finished.

What will happen at the event?

At the moment the agenda is being finalised but the provisional plan is for an event split into 3 parts:

  • A pre-event day that will be focused on developing skills.
  • The main event, which will be a 2 day coding session with prizes for the best code.
  • The third day of the event will focus on bringing together developers into communities based around software platforms.
  • There will be rooms available on the 4th day for people to arrange meetings or events to add on to the end of the dev8D.

For those of you who wish to register their interest at this stage please complete the form:

Entry to the event will be free. 

Further details will be announced via this blog so grab the RSS feed if you are interested.

The tag for this event is dev8D