Just Back From #DevXS

Just back home from #devXS, the first DevCSI student developer event held at the University of Lincoln, in which a shed load (literally!) of student developers gave up their weekend for a 24 hour code bash (and 2 minute Rememberance Sunday silence) on projects of their own design. Well done to all the teams for their hacks and apps – I’m guessing a list of prize winners will appear on the DevXS blog, but you can find a full list on the wiki

It was really encouraging to see several teams hacking out apps and services around course code data – it’s just a shame that UCAS Terms and Conditions make it so hard for folk to find an open way in to getting hold of a national catalogue of course codes. In the same way that restrictions on UK postcode data held back grass roots development for way too long until recently, access to course code data – which UCAS could help out with – is really holding back the development of grass roots apps around course choice and selection…if crappy license conditions are respected of course… (is there an “in the public interest” defence that could be mounted against respecting such terms and conditions?!)

Here’s the overall winning app, from St Andrews’ Another Team: UUG: the Unofficial University Guide

Many congrats and thanks to the local organisers Alex Bilbie, Nick Jackson, Joss Winn, Jamie Mahoney and any others I may have omitted (apols…) as well as UKOLN’s DevCSI co-ordinator Mahendra Mahey. Great stuff, chaps:-)

PS FWIW, here are my slides from the presentation I gave at the event, as well as a hack I did along the way

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