The event was about giving back to the community. A few weekends ago, April 24-26, 2009, the Impression 5 Science Center held the first ever Lansing Give Camp. The Lansing, Michigan event was a weekend of coding for charities, where nearly 50 area developers and over 10 volunteers gathered to donate their time and complete projects for 13 charities.
The event, which primarily took place in one large room on the first floor of Impression 5, was full of excitement and emotion. Sponsors stepped up to offer additional assistance at the last minute, all to really make the event a success. TechSmith, DevExpress, the MSU University Club, and even Impression 5 all stepped up during the final week to sponsor a meal. The remainder of the meals were covered by collaboration between Microsoft, Wing Zone, Dominos Pizza, Guido's Pizza, Panera Bread, and Dunkin Donuts. Jennifer Middlin of TechSmith and Camron Gnass of Vision Creative also covered our late-night snacks, which included Tacos and "Insomnia Cookies." Nom, nom, nom.
The biggest drama of the weekend had to be Mother Nature's visit on Saturday afternoon. A band of severe Thunderstorms rolled through Lansing on Saturday, knocking out power to the entire facility. We didn't lose any work, since everyone's laptop battery kicked in as soon as the lights went dark, but the loss of power did kill all of the wireless access points, and with it all connectivity to the source control server and to web hosting facilities. However, within minutes, Erik Larson (Director of Impression 5) was on the phone with Eric Hart (Director of the Lansing Center), and the Lansing Center responded heroically by providing us with a temporary home with power and internet access until power was restored at Impression 5. Between three teams shipping of to local coffee houses, and the rest all taking the trip across the street to the Lansing Center, everyone was able to continue working on their projects with minimal delay. I extend a huge "Thank you" to the Lansing Center for helping us get out of a jam that could have been a major detriment to the success of our weekend.
However, it was the closing ceremony at Lansing Give Camp that stole the show. There were many emotion-filled faces throughout the staff and crowd as each project conducted a presentation of their output, demoing their wares, and each charity saw dreams achieved and went home with a year of free hosting from LiquidWeb and an "everything you need to maintain your site" bag of software and books from Microsoft. Each of the attendees even went home with one or two prizes, which included books, hardware, and software from Microsoft, books from TechSmith, and software from DevExpress, Telligent, and Telleric.
It was a great event. The charities were happy. The developers were happy. It was all a huge success. And I can't wait until next year.
The opinions expressed herein are my own personal opinions and do not represent
my employer's view in any way.