WIMPgives is a charity hackathon where a team of people get together to build websites for non-profits. This year it was held on November 1 and seven teams built seven websites for non-profits in the Bay Area. I joined the group Web and Interactive Media Professionals (WIMP) last year just after the first WIMPgives. It was one of the reasons I joined and I waited patiently as the year went by to have a chance to be part of this amazing event.
First, I had to apply to be a volunteer about a month before the event. Pretty scary but my application was accepted. Then I just waited to see what team I was on and what non-profit we would be building a site for. Two weeks before the event, a prep day was held. We met our team members and our non-profit. Angela Wooton from my non-profit, Foodies Project, was there to meet with our team and tell us her needs.
Team Drake consisted of
Angela Wooton – Foodies Project
Gabor Por – Developer and Project Leader
Danielle Foster – Designer
Stacy Duval – Content Strategist
David Hauser – Marketer
Pamela Nelson – Apprentice
After the prep meeting, our project leader Gabor set up Google Docs and Dropbox for us to start to collaborate. I worked on a content strategy document and Angela put tons of photos into the Dropbox.
On the day, we arrived early and got our instructions. I was feeling nervous and our team got a little cubicle for all six of us to sit in. At first we needed to figure out how to arrange ourselves. We were a little jealous of the people who had private offices and tables to work on. Eventually we came up with a good placement with Gabor and I in the middle, Angela and Danielle on the right next to Gabor working on the design and Pam and David on the left next to me working on the content.
And we worked! For nine hours we created the website from scratch. Gabor had set up the development site the night before, loaded with the framework and some plugins. He needed the design from Angela and Danielle so he could start programming the site structure. He was so brave and coded a custom site in PHP for the build. In the meantime, I set up the slider, while Pam started loaded content from the old site into the new site.
Pam had never worked with WordPress before but with only a few directions her fingers started flying and she was creating new pages and copying and pasting content from the old site to the new site.
Danielle was so fast. She cranked design assets into the Dropbox so fast from Adobe Illustrator. We kept asking her for more and she would do whatever we wanted in a flash.
David was amazing on SEO and went through all the content on every page, creating optimized text for every page.
The time seemed to go by fast in the morning. The work was intense and my adrenaline was high. By the afternoon though, when we did not think we would have all the kinks out by the presentation, time seemed to slow down and at 6:03, Gabor and I finished the last troubleshooting for the site.
Going into the presentation we were all sure our site was the best! But we didn’t realize that there were six copies of our team doing a fantastic job too. I loved all the sites after the presentation and was glad to be among such an amazing group of people.