My experiences of Dev8D 2010

Right, an update post before I lose internet connectivity before the journey back, but its coming to the end of a great 4 days at Dev8D, where I have picked up a lot of new information on what people are doing and introduction to new technologies.

As well as getting a bit of hands on with Ruby on Rails for the first time, playing around with Python and Google aps , finding out about exciting technologies such as LTI and hearing from people from the Internet Archives – one of my favourite parts overall was actually something completely separated from software development…

For the first time I was introduced to something called the Arduino, which is a small piece of hardware which allows you to mess around with electronics and program onto a small processor on the board (With only about 16k of memory – sounds familiar… 🙂 ). Really captured my imagination, and to the point where i’ll be buying a board to have a mess around with in my own free time as something that breaks away completely from what I do in my day to day job and will hopefully change how I view and think about programming software wise.

Socially it was great to meet people from other institutions and backgrounds to see what they have been getting up to and share a series of ideas. I offered expertise in Drupal and working on a large archiving project and chatted to a few people about the experiences we had and the issues we had.

The only real difficulty was to try and produce for the competitions, combined with trying to attend workshops and lightening talks and weak wifi on my machine. Luckily two of our guys have managed to enter one by quickly getting List8D into Moodle using LTI, so hopefully they have a good chance of winning. However even with the hurdles of loads going on, I managed to begin prototyping on paper a potential Moodle chat application after doing some brainstorming with Steve Coppin and came up with an idea with inspiration from Twitter and some of its ideas. Although our institution is quite loaded up on projects at the moment, its all initial thoughts and grounding for a potential tag based chat app in the future (Which in theory could use LTI to combine easily into other apps).

I’ve probably also gained a bit of weight after sampling some really awesome food over the past 4 days too. Back to lunchtime football on Monday which i’m sure will be a bit more of a struggle than usual 🙂