I really enjoyed Southwest Ohio GiveCamp this year. There are lots of community events where I learn stuff and have fun, but it's especially nice when we can also look back on something good done for a good cause.
I was on a small team that redid URS Dayton's website into a WordPress site. (The new version isn't online yet, so don't go clicking today and saying, "Ew, you're proud of that?") I'll say this for WordPress: despite having no genuinely experienced WordPress users on the team, we made a very presentable site in just an evening and a day. There was even enough time left last night for me to jump into another project for an hour - and being able to contribute a little bit within an hour of jumping into an unknown project says something about just how easy GitHub makes collaboration.
It's interesting: nothing stops any of us from volunteering for any of those nonprofits anytime, but something about gathering for an intense push generates enthusiasm and momentum in a way that scattered efforts rarely do. I guess that's why conference sprints exist, too. This being Sunday, it occurs to me that most churches have pitiable websites; I wonder if churchgoing geeks could do a gathering to fix some of those up. Call it a "Sprint to Emmaus" or something.
Anyway, the broadening is nice and all, but someday I'd like to be on a Pythonista team at GiveCamp. I think it would need to be preceded by an effort to convince a requesting nonprofit to ask for a Python-based project. Nonprofits always come to SWOGC requesting a specific technology, almost always something from the PHP or Microsoft universes, simply because that's what they know about. Hmm, I wonder if it would be unethical to say, "For your project, we've used a special cutting-edge version of WordPress called 'Django'..."
A great weekend. Thanks to Andrew Douglas, my team leader, and to the GiveCamp organizers!