I helped run one of the projects for Humanitarian Toolbox at That Conference the weekend of the August 10 and 11.
All three projects made significant progress:
My project, the crisis checkin reached an early alpha build. We finished the core user stories for the web based deployment. We've only got two stories to finish in order to have a first proof of concept ready to release. We have to think the folks that joined me this weekend: Phil Van Houten, Tim Hoffman, Matt Netkow, and Scott Wolters. Over the two days, we made over 200 commits to the repository. Because we were all in the same room, there were a lot of small commits as we shared interfaces, partial implementations and so on. It was a great time collaborating, pairing, working individually for a bit, coming together as a group. It was also a chance to learn from each other. I learned more about client side java script, bootstrap, and entity framework code first from our team. I taught some of the team about LINQ query syntax and azure deployments (with the help of Tony Surma).
Mobile Emergency Training
Phil Japikse runs the Mobile Emergency Training project. His team (Michael Perry, Mike Heggeseth, Todd Moodie, and Brian Plum) also made fantastic project. This project also made significant progress. Part of their fantastic progress was due to the fantastic support from Telerik. Telerik granted all the developers licenses for DevCraft Complete. That enabled them to move very quickly on the UI for their project. It saved several hours on the control and UI development.
This project is also nearing an initial release. Watch Phil's blog for more updates on his project, and on Telerik's fantastic support for Humanitarian Toolbox.
Humanity Road Link Toolbar
This is the third project we launched. This application will replace an existing legacy application created by Humanity Road They use their toolbar to provide resources for volunteers in their network who provide assistance to victims in time of need. We are working closely with Cat Graham of Humanity Road to ensure the new implementation meets their needs and addresses the shortcomings in the current implementation.
It's not as far along; development just started at this event. Chris Little is leading this project. They spend significant time on Saturday working on the definition and the requirements. This project is replacing a legacy app. The legacy app has awesome features that are used in every disaster. It also has issues and friction points that are harming users' productivity. Chris, his team (Chris Little, Jack Smith, Sean Epping, William Homer, and Emily Jones), and Cat Graham from Humanity Road worked through the features, which ones were useful, and where the pain points are. They've created a great prototype, and that project is now ready for more contributions.
Update Humanitarian Toolbox website
When he wasn't helping one of the other project teams, Tony Surma was working on a new website for the Humanitarian Toolbox. It's built on n2cms a lightweight open source ASP.NET MVC based CMS. It's not finished yet. We want to use the site to publicize information about our projects, what tasks are ready for development, where they are being used, and so on.
Humanitarian Toolbox is now at the point where we want and need people to contribute to our projects between events. You can visit our team github page here. All the git-based projects are available there. If you are interested in helping, look at the issues, make a fork, and send us a pull request.
OK, I said "all the git based projects". The Mobile Emergency Video training project team is used hosted TFS. That's working great, but hosted TFS does not provide a great way to share our repositories publicly. We're working on mirroring the TFS repository on our github page. I expect to finish that within a couple weeks. (Dear readers, if you have experience sharing code between TFS and git, please leave me a comment. I'd appreciate any help and advice you can offer).
Finally, I want to thank Clark Sell, Keith Burnell, and all the volunteers that work with them. That Conference is a great experience. They've built an event that is fun, energizing, and worth the visit. There is fantastic content, lots to do for families, and a great community. They are great hosts, and I can't wait until next year.