This year, I returned to GiveCamp, although I decided to join my friends down in Columbus rather than return to Ann Arbor. Let me tell you – once again, I had a wonderful experience overall and look forward to next year’s event. But just what made it an awesome event? Read on.

The Organizers

Carey Payette and James Bender ran the Columbus GiveCamp. From securing a location to getting the website together to picking charities and assigning teams, Carey and James (and the rest of their team) brought this successful event to the community.

The Sponsors

In addition to a great organizing team, the event couldn’t have been pulled off without the help of the sponsors. Quick Solutions allowed us to hold the event in their facilities. Microsoft, TechSmith, Telerik, eRubycon, and The Sophic Group provided funding and giveaways. DiscountASP.NET (who happens to host this site) graciously provided free hosting to some of the non-profits. Thanks also to Pei Wei and Pot Belly for providing great deals food-wise.

Not Just a Microsoft Thing

I know that many people see talk of the GiveCamps in the .NET community, but honestly, it isn’t just Microsoft technologies involved. We had a couple Ruby teams, and I was part of the lone PHP team. Some of the non-Microsoft packages that were used include Heroku, Github, Moodle, WordPress MU, and Joomla.

The Awesome Team TCO

If you were following my Twitter stream, you’d notice a lot of the #teamtco hashtag. Team TCO was the team behind TECH CORPS Ohio (TCO).

Team TCO

Joel Helbling was the one who gathered our requirements and led our team. He wanted to take the Kanban approach, and Kenny, Chris, and I worked with that. We used Github as our source control, and being my first Github experience, I did eventually git it!

Our job was to help come up with a template to unify TCO’s Moodle, Joomla, and WordPress sites – specifically Student TECH CORPS, the main TECH CORPS Ohio site, and Club TECH CORPS. You can see some of the new logos on the Student TECH CORPS site. What we came up for the main Joomla site can be seen here.

Our charity contact – Aung Nay, director of programs – was there every day, supporting us along the way. On Friday, Lisa Chambers, the state director, was out to see what we could do to help as well. The TCO organization was excited to see what we could come up with to help them.

Conclusion

I really enjoyed working with my team and all of the other volunteers at GiveCamp. Whether it was playing Rock Band, singing “Go Go Ninja Dinosaur”, or talking about projects, it was great to work with such a diverse community. It was a great turnout:

The GiveCamp volunteers

I look forward to returning to Columbus GiveCamp next year, and if we have one here in Cleveland, I’d look forward to participating in that as well!