Friday, November 22, 2013

Hackcess in Paris

TL;DR see storify.

First of all many thanks to @chhhcloe for inviting me to Hackcess:

I just came across the project you developed during the Accessibility hackathon and I really like the concept.

So, I'm more than happy to invite you the week-end of November 15th-17th in Paris where we are organizing Hackcess, a hackathon to solve accessibility and mobility challenges, in partnership with SNCF (French Railway company) and OpenStreetMap.

(the LeapMotion accessibility hack - http://bit.ly/a11yhack - just for reference)

I was greatly honoured that's for sure :) Existential digression - I'm still fairly young - at age of 28 I'm happy that someone pays for my travel (it means that I add value) and I'm still happy to explore. I believe that this an exceptional occasion to network and talk with people I wont meet by staying at home. Organizers were really helpful and we agreed that I come along with team of my choice. You won't image how difficult it was!

Very cool of you - bit short notice for me though :-)

Hey thanks for the offer, unfortunately my November is a bit booked up

One person - Bonam - founder of IrisGear.com - was keen to travel with me but as citizen of India it would be difficult to obtain visa (for non-European readers: there is EU, UK and "Schengen" zone). I was really glad @pornelski accepted the offer - he is the expert and I was extremely happy to work with him.


So here we are in Paris. Eurostar was fairly expensive. Normally I couldn't afford it or just choose mid-week departure. On this occasion I believe someone made a very good deal by inviting so many smart people under one roof.

[coding, programming, designing, discussing, little sleep]

And yet again I was there - surrounded by people who are just like me. Who come from different locations and speak different languages but have passion for creation. I love taking part in hackathons - where you work ruthlessly or just hang around with extremely smart people. So yes... After 48hrs the projects were finished and from time perspective I would like to share some final thoughts.

I'm not a codebreaker 

(simple challenge via GCHQ was far beyond my reach)

I'm not a designer

(note the toolset)

Am I a coder? 

I would rather think of me as bit.ly/more-than-just-a-developer - current job pays my bills but longer term I would like to achieve more freedom. Speaking of code see this snippet by @pornelski:
(there is beauty in here)

"autopoi" means point of interest that is autopopulated. It will make more sense if you see the finished app: bit.ly/hackcess - user can select points of interest and then traveling salesman does the rest.
You can also see in code:
- no quotes on attributes
- form / label / role
- aria-live

Clean, semantic code. And several APIs all taking to each other. On my part I did some map interactions and used jQuery mobile desktop development template - a tiny project that makes mobile apps more digestible on the larger screen.

And this my favourite project form the weekend - rarely seen open hardware shoe:


Many thanks!

PS. Initially we wanted to do some fancy stuff with latest and greatest Nexus5 but one of the features is not just there yet - see this question on Android Beam NFC... 

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