Extracurricular Activities of Extraordinary Devs
In interviewing six veteran developers for our Aug/Sept BuildBetter issue, we learned a lot about the tools they use in different parts of the development process. As a bonus, we also got to learn about the extracurricular and charity work that they are involved in.
We wanted to give some extra exposure to the amazing work these developers are doing to give back and impact—not just the dev community—but the world.
Beyond Your Average DevCon
Eric E. Meyer, Author of CSS: The Definitive Guide, Co-Founder of An Event Apart and Co-Founder of Rebecca’s Gift, is not only serving his fellow developers by testing and writing about bleeding edge browsers like Firefox Nightly and Chrome Canary, he’s also helping build An Event Apart into an even greater experience. We asked him what he’s working on in respect to all his extracurricular activities.
“I’m hoping to write a case study of using CSS Shapes and @supports in a real-world deployment that we did on the An Event Apart web site. I’m also, at long last, closing in on the completion of the fourth edition of “CSS: The Definitive Guide” with help from Estelle Weyl. And I keep poking at the intersection of design and ethics, with some ideas burbling in my head. Beyond that, we have some things cooking at An Event Apart, but nothing to announce just yet. Soon!
If you’re not familiar, An Event Apart is “the design conference for people who make websites,” and is celebrating its 10th year. The conference is hosted all over the country, and you’ll likely be in the company of “the smartest people you’ll ever meet.” There are two more conferences this year, Oct. 3-5 in Orlando and Oct. 31- Nov. 2 in San Francisco.
Code that Saves Lives
Richard Campbell, Developer and co-host of .NET Rocks! spoke with us about his special project, Humanitarian Toolbox. The purpose of Humanitarian Toolbox is to “help humanitarian organizations solve technology problems with open source solutions.”
Born out of the idea that developers have a tough time donating their time to charity, as “donating software is a little like donating a puppy…there are consequences.” By donating your time to Humanitarian Toolbox, anyone can contribute in whatever capacity they want, whether planning, gathering requirements or coding. All the projects are hosted on Github at Github.com/htbox. One open source solution currently in progress is allReady, an application that helps disaster response teams utilize volunteers more effectively. Initially jumpstarted by Microsoft’s Developer Division, multiple code-a-thons and individuals from all over the world, the application went live in June. For more about how to contribute to allReady, see the github respository.
In asking Richard about how the 501(c)3 started, he commented, “I didn’t set out to build a charity, I set out to solve a problem.”
How are you using your developer superpowers for good? What extracurricular activities are you working on? We’d love to know in the comments below or @stackify on Twitter.
For more in-depth interviews and to learn about the developers we interviewed and their contributions to the community, check out v1.2 of BuildBetter eMagazine.