BashMash 1: The Archer Project

On Saturday morning 9 people converged on the epigenesys building, and after much caffeine, that same day a brand new website for the Archer Project was created.

This effort was the first, of hopefully a long line, of BashMash projects, an initiative launched by Jag Gill following Bar Camp Sheffield. Its intention to bring together a group of like minded volunteers for a single day, with the aim of helping a charity or third sector organisation achieve things normally unavailable to them with they help of social technology.

We started the day with a plan, some initial designs and lots of motivation; we ended it with a great website and a lot more knowledge about WordPress, widget development, php, Facebook and Twitter integration, a day well spent I believe.

The website was created using WordPress with a number of custom widgets designed and built on the day. The site acts as a focal point for the organisations charitable efforts, showing progress on fundraising, current activities and needs and how the current weather effects the homeless people in Sheffield. This information is also published via Twitter and Facebook. The site should be self sustaining with the charity driving their own content. All of the widgets will be made available as open source, I will update this post when this is done.

Personally I thoroughly enjoyed the experience, though I admit to feeling quite tired after 15 hours of developing software, it was great seeing the whole site come together at the end of the day, roll on the next one. It might even have inspired me to do some PHP before then, anyone who knows me knows this is quite a accomplishment!

I need to say a big thanks to Jag for starting the whole thing, Chris for finding the Archer Project, Tracy for putting up with a room full of developers and to Jon for tolerating my continuous barrage of silly questions about php, macs and passwords (and for calling him Chris for half the day).

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