Thursday, August 23, 2007

Media release: Code Blacks bring home the trophy

Kiwi geeks win trans-Tasman 24-hour website building competition


After an intense 24 hours in Sydney, Australia, at the inaugural FullCodePress international site in a day competition, the New Zealand team - the Code Blacks - have emerged triumphant.

The team of Thomas Scovell (project manager), Zef Fugaz (information architect), Steve Dennis (designer), Jeffrey Wegesin (HTML/CSS coder), Mark Rickerby (programmer), Peter Johnston (writer) and Alison Green (all-rounder) beat their Aussie rivals in a photo-finish - with only 2.7 points out of 100 separating the teams.

The Code Blacks and their client, Debbie Verdon.
From left to right: Thomas, Mark, Steve, Ali, Jeffrey, our client Debbie Verdon, Peter, Zef

Judges commented on how well both teams performed, especially given the nature of the competition - clients they'd never met before, 24hr deadline and incessant interruptions to be photographed, interviewed and videoed.

The competition could be viewed live as it unfolded, and was followed by members of the web industry around the world. The organisers of the competition provided a constant stream of blog posts on their website, as well as Twitter comments, photos uploaded to Flickr, and professionally edited videos of the teams in action and interviews with team members, which were posted on YouTube.

The Code Blacks' website client was a small non-profit organisation - Grampians disAbility Advocacy Association (GdAA) - who advocate on behalf of people with disabilities and their carers living in the large and relatively isolated rural Grampians region of Victoria, Australia. They've never been able to afford a website, and at the start of the competition had only a vague idea of what could be achieved by having a web presence.

The t-shirt and the trophy. 24 hours later they had a brand new website designed and built for free by some of New Zealand's top web professionals; a content management system through which they will be able to edit and add to the site themselves; and a database with which they can manage their membership list and put members with similar interests and/or disabilities in touch with each other. Here's the winning website.

Thomas Scovell (Shift), the team's project manager, says "It was certainly a challenge to build a website in only 24 hours. Most sites take weeks, if not months, to complete. Traditionally a website is built in stages, water-falling through the range of roles we have on our team on its way to completion. For FullCodePress we had to approach the process in a much more agile fashion, where we collaborated and worked on parts of the process simultaneously in order to get the end result. It was real team work!"

Flaked out at the end of 24 hours. Grampians disAbility Advocacy Association co-ordinator, Debbie Verdon, was absolutely thrilled with her new website, and sees it as an opportunity for her organisation to become leaders within their field, and to raise their profile amongst both clients and potential clients, and within the advocacy and disabled communities as a whole.

The Code Blacks will be smoothing the rough edges of the new site over the next couple of weeks and have made a commitment to Debbie that they will provide ongoing support and technical expertise for at least the next year, donating 15 hours of their time each month towards improving and developing the website.

Useful info

Code Blacks team members:

Competition location and dates:
Sydney, Australia - 18-19 August 2007

Organisers:

Sponsors:
  • Google (sponsor)

  • Adobe (Australian team sponsor)

  • Red Square (supporter)

  • SitePoint (supporter)

  • Mort Bay Communications (supporter)

Judges:
  • Gian Sampson-Wild - Manager Usability and Accessibility Services, Monash University - Melbourne, Australia

  • Derek Featherstone - Director, FurtherAhead - Canada

  • Matthew Magain - Technical Editor, SitePoint - Melbourne, Australia

  • Matt Voerman - Senior Consultant, Adobe Systems

  • Natasha Hall - User Experience, Trade Me - Wellington, New Zealand

  • Steve Baty - Director, UX Strategy, Red Square - Sydney, Australia

  • James Magill - Google Australia

Useful links:

Contact for further info:
Thomas Scovell - Code Blacks team captain


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4 comments:

Anonymous said...

From the Rugby Roundtable podcast:

http://multimedia.stuff.co.nz/rugby/rugbyroundtable/media/RRT_72_210807.mp3

Go about 29:15 in.

webweaver said...

Cool! They only laughed at us a bit... :) I wonder who sent it in? Who's the Ugly American?

TonNet said...

Mind whether you would like to share with us the procedures to install widgets in our blogs. Yours look great and I am particularly impressed and how you handle the Technorati tags!

Great blog, came in thanks to Consumer Experience.

phalkunz said...

You guys did a great job *congrat* anyways, i love the "code blacks" tee. I wish i can get one :)