FAQ

Questions Everyone Asks:


Q: What are the dates for this year's event?

A: The dates are tentatively set for Friday, March 22 through Sunday, March 24, 2013. If you register as a charity or a volunteer, or you subscribe to our mailing list, we will let you know when the dates and venue are formalized. 

Q: What do I need to bring?

A: The venue we will partner with will not provide hardware for you to work on. You are free to bring in your own laptops / desktops and plug in, but PLEASE make sure that you leave your environment the way you found it.

  

Questions Charities Ask:



Q: So let me get this straight. You will devote an entire weekend with a team of developers and designers working round the clock on OUR organization's web site, database, or online application, and this is all free to us? Surely you can't be serious...?

A: Well we are serious, and don't call us Shirley. We do this to give back to our community, and make Kansas City a better place. We have the skills to bring to the table, and we're willing to demonstrate them and we want to see them used to help worthwhile organizations and make Kansas City a great place to live and work. Web teams get some great portfolio and resume material, interaction with other professionals, and a chance to improve our skills, working with people outside our normal "comfort zone." Plus, we love to see the end result put to good use. There's free food, vitaminwater, and caffeine. And Rock Band. We don't need sleep anyway!
  

Q: What is required of me (charity representative) during the weekend?

A: Availability: We need you (or a decision-making member of your staff) to be present as much as possible during the weekend, particularly early in the process (Friday night) as we work up requirements and specifics, and on Sunday afternoon (when finished sites are unveiled and the awards distributed). The more you're there, the more input you can have in the process, and the more real-time feedback you can provide.You don't have to sleep on the floor, though -- we'll let you come back into the building at all times during the weekend to work with us. The main requirement is your willingness to be available and "on call" while we work on your project, in case questions arise. You'll need to give us a cell phone number and other contact information so we can reach you as needed if you're not in the building at the moment something comes up.

Assets: if you have assets that we won't be able to pull off the internet during the event. Some things to consider:

  • Images
  • Documents
  • Any verbiage / copy that you want to be available on the web site
  • Credentials to any existing domain registration / hosting accounts 

Q: Once the event is over, what happens?

A: The work done on your behalf becomes yours. We'll give you the files and the assets from the work we complete, and you can implement your new site right away. It would be great if we could deploy your site "live" during the weekend, but that's not necessarily the way it works -- there will definitely be some work for your organization to do (dealing with hosting, email, etc.) once the code and design are complete.

 

Questions Developers Ask:



Q: I'm a beginner / I'm just learning / I'm not a powerful programmer / I don't write code in my sleep / I want to help but don't know an enormous amount about web development!


A: That's OK. We'll ask you to be honest with us about your skills as we divide volunteers into different teams. There are plenty of computers, chairs, and labs in the building -- so we'll assign you to a team and a role that best fits your level of skill. You may work on  a variety of "pieces" in your team, or you may have one critical chunk to do. Either way, we'll do our best to match you up with the project that fits you.
 

Q: I only do .NET / I only do Java / I'm a SQL Server or Oracle guru / I can't code but I can design with Adobe products like Flash or Fireworks / I'm HTML-only / I take great pictures / I edit video / I write everything in regular expressions / my life is a JavaScript function / I design valid forms / I am a great proofreader -- etc.

A: Excellent! We are not completely platform- or language-specific with this project. We will work with your skills but you have to tell us what they are! Each web site or online application may have unique requirements, so we are very flexible. A lot of this will happen during Friday night's "requirements gathering" and will be fleshed out as we draw up specifications for each team's project.
All that being said, we have partnered with Telerik and discountASP.net, so the technologies most likely to be used are ASP.net and SQL Server. We've had issues in the past where a Java developer was in a room full of .NET geeks and wasn't very happy.
 

Q: I can put in some serious hours including late Friday night / part of Saturday / Sunday late morning / etc. because I have a kids' soccer game / prior commitment / breakfast date / car malfunction / medical emergency on Friday / Saturday / Sunday. Can I still participate?

A. We'd like you to be available as much as possible. You're not volunteering your time to C4C, you're volunteering your time to a Kansas City non-profit organization, so the more you can chip in, the better off they will be. We also aren't in the prison business, and we understand you have a life. So we'll do the best we can to work with your schedule of availability. Make sure your team leader or an event coordinator knows "up front" on Friday night when you will be available or out of the building.

More questions? Ask away... info@coders4charities.org 

 

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