I had the opportunity to participate in GiveCamp Orlando. For those who don’t know, GiveCamp is a weekend of fun, excitement and helping your community. My group worked with Second Harvest of Central Florida.

They wanted to improve the way users received information about nearby food banks. The existing process included the following steps:

  1. Send an e-mail with your location
  2. The e-mail is read
  3. A reply is sent with all the locations that can provide assistance
  4. Receive an e-mail with all the nearby locations

The process needed to be automated to distribute information quickly and release volunteers and staff to contribute in other ways. Our solution integrated Google Maps with their existing site. This required using php, which I was not familiar with. However you never know exactly what technology stack the customer already has, until you discover it.

Everyone on the team was great, and we produced valuable software that works and can be found here. I cannot thank all of the sponsors and everyone that worked hard to make GiveCamp a success. I have taken away some personal lessons from the experience about what I would repeat and avoid.

Repeat

  • Deliver working software in 3 days
  • Work with a talented and motivated team
  • Speak directly with the customer

Avoid

  • Work without source control
  • Not verifying that my wireless worked on my laptop
  • Work on an unfamiliar technology stack with a 3 day schedule

I highly recommend the experience to anyone interested, and I look forward to volunteering again next year.

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