Last week saw over 400 young coders create apps and websites in over 40 centres across the United Kingdom. There was only one rule: use open data. On the Friday night (10th August) the young developers ventured from far and wide to the famous Custard Factory in Birmingham to take part in fireside chats and coding with wonderful people who are doing great things in dev, including: representatives from Raspberry Pi, London Zoo and Twilio, plus many more of the UK’s greatest digital visionaries. An inordinately large amount of pizza was consumed.
Friday night speakers included:
- Dr Kate Stone
- Eben Upton
- Alasdair Davies
- James Gill
- Leo Dearden
- Tim Falls
Saturday morning brought a series of heats where each centre presented in five concurrent heats, to five panels of esteemed judges (including Lily Cole and Aral Balkan), which all led up to selecting the winners in four prize categories: Best in Show, Best example of Coding, Wish I had thought of that and Code a better Country – all going forward to the Grand Finale in the afternoon. The afternoon finale was led by Dallas Campbell from the awesome TV show Bang Goes the Theory. Dallas also judged the Saturday morning.
So, who were the winners?
The first category was “Wish I’d Thought of That”, and featured some really interesting entries. But the chosen winner of the category was – Humap. The app was designed to give directions to the user based around specific landmarks – making directions a far more human experience. Think: “Second right after the Queen’s Head pub on the corner.”
“Coding a Better Country” was another category in the final. The winner in this category was Why Waste a Vote, a site designed to educating new voters and a younger audience about the political system and how voting works and why it is valuable.
Next up was “Best Example of Code” which saw Postcode Wars crowned king of the category. How does it work? Simply plug in two postcodes which will be compared on data such as as property prices, crime rates etc.
The final category of the day, simply titled Best In Show, celebrated apps that not only demonstrated a beautiful interface but backed it up with amazing code. It was an app called Smart Move that claimed victory in this category by allowing users to search for areas of London to consider when moving home. It could be filtered via specific criteria and, depending on what the weighting of importance of the criteria for each user, the app would constantly reorganise the results for the best match. It is worth noting that this group also built their own API and are making it publicly available for other developers.
“It was impossible not to be blown away while working with the next generation of do’ers participating in Young Rewired State,” says James Parton of Twilio, adding “Not only was I dumbstruck by the kids creativity and coding skills, but also their confidence when presenting to 500 people in the final pitching session in Birmingham this weekend. Just a simply inspirational week”