Hack Upstate, part 1
As part of the FOSS Box, I go to a lot of events. These events, called “hackathons”, are typically crazy coding marathons that can last as long as 24 hours. Typically, the focus is on creating something unique that fits a certain theme.
This past weekend, 16 of us (as well as some FOSS Box alumni) traveled to Syracuse, NY to participate in Hack Upstate. Once there, we divided into many teams, and we were somewhat successful.
Along the way, I met up (again) with some cool people as well as met some other awesome people with some neat ideas. A friend and I had an interesting idea, but as soon as we started talking with Rounded representatives, we knew that we could have much more fun with their project, called Density. We decided to work with them on a project that was jokingly named “Mass over Volume”.
My friends and I each had fairly complementary skillsets:
- I focus on design and maintainability, preferably in lower-level systems. I naturally gravitated toward working on the existing C code to clean it up and enhance it.
- Alex is a friend who lives on the same dorm floor as me. He’s pretty good with different languages and seems to have some skill at learning about a library and APIs quickly. He wrote a server in Go to handle reading data from the Density servers
- Greg is FOSS Box alumni whom I’ve seen at previous hackathons, but never worked with. He mainly did DevOps, and also rewrote a tool written in PHP to send data to Density’s servers, so that it was more maintainable and in a nicer language (Python).
- Andrew is the founder of Rounded. He was the one who first demonstrated Density to us and talked with us about future goals and ideas, as well as the final presentation.
- Derek works at Rounded, and wrote the original backend for the Density device. I relied on him to answer questions I had about the logic or how some things worked, and he wrote the mobile app that interfaced with Alex’s code.
By our powers combined, we were Captain Density!
After winning a not-quite-insignificant number of awards for the team’s work, we decided that we weren’t quite finished yet. Alex and I have been emailing Andrew and Derek about their plans for the future. We’re all fairly excited about it, as we have some cool uses planned for them - and to help us out, Andrew and Derek gave Greg, Alex, and I each one of the prototype Density boxes so that we can continue development. We’re currently arranging times to have phone conferences about this continuing development.