Doug's Blog

  • Letter from UCP of Greater Kansas City

    Below is a letter we recieved from the President and CEO of United Cerebral Palsy of Greater Kansas City.


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  • Final Thoughts | C4C2012

    Coders 4 Charities was very fortunate to help four very deserving non-profit organizations this year: Holy Trinity Lutheran Church, United Cerebral Palsy of Kansas City, Heroes and Halos, and Truman Neurological Center (TNC Community).

    The teams came in all shapes and sizes, including graphics folks, web developers, middle-tier developers, database administrators, reporting specialists, and business analysts.
    They all came together Friday night with one mission: to give the charities a web site that they could manage on their own, and that got their message across to their visitors.
    As I was walking around during the wee hours of the night, one thing was clear: the charities were happy; the teams understood the charity's vision, and the charity understood the team's progress. Never in the 5 years of C4C has everything come together as well.
    All the while, eVents was hanging in the wings, waiting to snap a picture and post it to the C4C Sharestream. This was the first year we had partnered with them, and they brought an amazing product and provided an amazing service. Facebook and Twitter feeds seamlessly integrated into eVents, creating a real-time "play-by-play" of everything going on at the event -- even some ribbing that developers gave to each other when they're volunteering for an over-caffeinated 16-hour day.
    What can I say about the folks at New Horizons Computer Learning Centers? In a word: fantastic. The space was huge, the training rooms provided everything the team needed, and the staff working the weekend were more than gracious and accommodating. Sean Williamson, General Manager at New Horizons, said it best: "we're trying to stay out of your hair, but still be there if you need us." They did exactly that.

    C4C 2012 was a strange year, very turbulent, with many ups and downs. Early on, we had issues with venues, sponsors, charities, and volunteers. There was some difficulty during database provisioning. One of the charities lost email connectivity for a spell while domains transferred across hosting companies. We weren't sure where the next meal was coming from. A lot of things went wrong during the weekend, and we've taken notes to prevent that next year. But a lot of things went right, too.

    It's amazing how things come together, sometimes at the last minute, to help you achieve your goals. I remember talking to one of the attendees about that very subject, and they said "it's karma. You put good in, and you get good out." I like that idea, but I choose to believe that it's something greater than that.

    How truly fortunate we are to have been given the ability and passion to help those less fortunate.

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Doug is the founder of C4C and co-organizer of the annual events. In his spare time he is a Principal Software Engineer with RSA, the Security Division of EMC. He is a proud husband, father, and geek.

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