This past weekend was a big one for BlueMetal Boston – we had three people participating in New England GiveCamp, and six at SharePoint Saturday Boston.  All the participants donated their time on a beautiful Spring weekend to help make these events a success.

Design and Development at GiveCamp

GiveCamp, held at the Microsoft NERD center at One Memorial Drive in Cambridge, describes itself as “a weekend-long event where technology professionals – including designers, developers and database administrators as well as marketers and web strategists – donate their time and unique talents to provide software solutions for local charities and other non-profit organizations.”   Projects are scoped to fit within the weekend so that they can be completed, or be as nearly complete as possible, when the weekend is done.

What the website doesn’t convey is the relaxed-yet-focused, hardworking-yet-communal atmosphere of the Camp.  Entire families were present, tents and sleeping bags were pitched throughout the facility, and the organizers kept the volunteers happy and motivated with food breaks and hourly giveaways.  A table was set up with art supplies for attendees to create cards for the first responders at the Boston Marathon incident.  The whole atmosphere was one of fun and progress – everyone working in a dedicated way to get the chosen organizations what they needed.

Each of the three BlueMetal participants at the event was assigned to a different project; all three projects involved public-facing websites.  Common themes among the three projects:  Increase usability of the site, make the site easier to update/administer, make it device-friendly and responsive.    Here’s an example of what one of the teams was able to accomplish this weekend:

Earthen Vessels – Before:

Earthen Vessels – After:

Check out the site on your mobile device – http://www.evkids.org/

BlueMetal was also a sponsor of this event.  There’s a great condensed video here – 45 hours summarized in 3 minutes.

 

Speaking and Connecting at SharePoint Saturday Boston

A few blocks away at the Microsoft offices at One Cambridge Center, SharePoint Saturday was in full swing, with hundreds of attendees coming out to learn and network.  BlueMetal had two speakers at the event (see our presentations here) and hosted open office hours with SharePoint experts to answer attendees’ questions about the platform.  This was the event’s first time at the new Microsoft location, and the team of orange-shirted volunteers made the entire day run smoothly.

Thank you to everyone who turned out to support and participate in these community events!