Summer of Tech (in general known as Summer of Code, but NZ expanded it to include more disciplines) is still almost half a year away for us. To shorten the time until then and to keep students and companies involved, the Summer of Tech team organized a Hackfest today.

They brought soon-to-be graduates and mentors from IT companies together to work on small programming projects in either PHP, Perl or Ruby on Rails for 5 hours and present the results at the end.

The e-learning team from Catalyst had dispatched Fran├žois Marier and Jonathan Harker to mentor students in PHP programming. Fran├žois supervised 2 students who worked on developing a block for Mahara that would display updates from Twitter and Identi.ca.

Jonathan had one student as another one had dropped out with short notice. His student created a search block for Moodle to read data from a library catalog that uses Koha.

The other teams developed a Twitter ticker, a system that would build your semester schedule according to previously defined rules, a spam protector, and a 3-player pong game to be played over a network.

The students worked closely with their mentors for the entire time. Occasionally, they had a brief break for drinks, food, Ubuntu stickers, PostgreSQL blue elephant pins, baseball caps, and shirt and bag prices.

Ruth McDavitt had the organizational hat on and made sure that everything was taken care of and that everybody was happy in general.

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