Monday, August 20, 2007

FullCodePress - we won!!!

Jeffrey on the front page of Stuff. Woohoo!! Woohoo!! Woohoo!!

The Code Blacks won FullCodePress!

Check out the pic of Jeffrey that appeared on the front page of Stuff! Click to see a larger version. Kewl!

I'm still a bit in shock actually. Just got home - have now been awake for 40 hours (I think - my maths skillz seem to have deserted me) and I'm pretty much wasted. I keep on remembering that we won and I get a great big grin on my face.

We were doing pretty well until the wee small hours when time just seemed to speed up and we still didn't have the content loaded - but Mark's CMS was brilliant and we were able to get (most) of the content loaded and coded in about an hour.

And then with about an hour to go we pretty much had a meltdown, when the server started caching Mark's old files and somehow changed the time setting on him so he appeared to be looking at files he'd written over hours before. Chaos ensued, and for a while pretty much everything on the site was broken. Thomas was a very calming influence and got Mark through it - Mark rewrote a bunch of stuff because he was just too tired to see what had gone pear-shaped with his code and it was all up again with only minutes to spare.

Meanwhile Jeffrey and I were madly bug-fixing in IE6 (thank God for shared techniques such as sliding doors!) and we got the site looking reasonable in IE6 by about 8.30am. I have no idea how it looks in IE5...

Then with literally 5 minutes to go we were finally able to see the news section and realised that the rich text editor wasn't quite working properly and there were errors in a bunch of the pages. Steve and I rushed around trying to fix them (which is not easy when you're pretty much hallucinating through lack of sleep and you only have 5 minutes to fix 20 pages), and we ended up fixing some but not all of them.


And then it was all over. Apart from the judging, that is...

We had a couple of hours of waiting while the judges went through their deliberations - and a pretty full-on grilling from them when they interviewed us. I think at that point most of us felt we probably hadn't won.

Eventually they emerged from their enclave with the results. We were so knackered we were all flaked out on the floor and didn't even have the energy to stand up while the judges talked about the criteria they'd been marking both teams on.

It was interesting though. Maybe it was my imagination, but did I see Natasha give us a big grin as she came out of the judging room? And did the other judges seem to be smiling rather a lot in our direction? My spirits lifted somewhat as they explained that there were 10 areas that were being examined and judged - because although we knew we hadn't completed everything we'd wanted to do on the site, and there were broken things and stuff that wasn't perfect, we knew we'd done really well in some other areas...

And then they announced the winner and it was...


Yeehaaarrrr!!!! OK, so we suddenly got all our energy back and all jumped up and leaped around and hugged each other madly. Amazing! It was INCREDIBLY close - only 2.7 marks out of 100 divided the teams in the end. Wow. The Aussie team did an amazing job (and turned out to be really nice people, too!), and in some ways I feel sad that someone had to come second.

The true winners, though, were the clients. We'd formed a really strong bond with Debbie and Mr Debbie from Grampians disAbility Advocacy Association, and it was all quite teary at the end. Thomas gave a lovely speech and we presented Debbie with a thankyou card from all of us - and a promise in writing that in addition to "smoothing out the rough edges of the site" (as Thomas described it) over the next couple of weeks, we will also provide them with 15 hours per month of Code Blacks time for the next year at least - to grow the site and to show them what web 2.0 is all about. We're really looking forward to it.

The boys are going to do some initial training with Debbie in Sydney tomorrow (they are all staying an extra day - Thomas and I were the only ones to come home tonight) and we'll also put together some training documentation for them. There's so much stuff we want to add to the site (quite a bit of which we'd either finished or nearly finished over the 24 hours but just didn't have a chance to implement), and we hope we can really make a difference with this website - both for Debbie and her team, and for the people she helps. It's an awesome organisation. I'll write more about it tomorrow.

So there you go. We went to Sydney, achieved (most of) our goals, and came home victorious. Phew! Here's the website we created in 24 hours..

Thanks SO much to the organisers, the volunteers, the sponsors, the Aussie team, and all the people around the world who followed the competition on Twitter, YouTube, the FullCodePress website, and on Flickr.

Thanks to Debbie for being one of the nicest clients we've ever had - and for inspiring us all.

And thanks most of all to my fellow Code Blacks. Jeffrey, Thomas, Steve, Peter, Mark and Zef. I'm very tired, not particularly coherent, and probably way too emotional right now - but DAMN you were all so great to work with.

I think I love you. :)

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sallyt said...


That's fantastic news, Ms Weaver. I'm thrilled for you and the rest of the Code Blacks.

You clever things, you :D

webweaver said...

Hee! Thanks Sally! We had the BEST time...

Design for MySpace said...

Great news ! Must have been fantastic to get news section up at last

luggage said...

Well down. This sounds like it was a majorly hectic competition. I don't think I could do what you did under such pressure. I would no doubt flake out. But obviously you guys are like the real pros here, compared to guys like me. Maybe one day we could also enter something like this and show that we aren't too bad... one day, in like five years. By then everything's changed anyway (sigh). Well done, though!