This past weekend I had a new experience. Although I have frequently been involved in work for charities, I found a new opportunity. I was able to use my technical skills for a deserving group.
David Liebman organized the GiveCamp Tampa. He worked with DeVry University to supply the location and a number of sponsors to provide food and swag for the participants. He was able to coordinate with 2 groups for us to supply services. The first effort was to build a web site for the Conrad schools out of Orlando. They are a school that assists special needs kids. The second effort was a BI Proof of concept project for the FL Children’s Services Council. This group advocates on behalf of children across most of the larger counties in the state to provide assistance for kids and their families.
We split the group into teams. we had 4 developers and charity sponsor on each team. The developers who knew .Net took on the web page. They developed a site that the sponsor was extremely pleased with. When finished – they trained her on how to maintain it. They seemed to have the easy project – but I heard there was one grumble about not writing much code since they used Dot Nuke for the site.
I went with the BI team. It was an ambitious project. Just getting things set up to start work took all of Friday evening and most of Sat morning. We then hit our stride and split the ETL up so that each of us created at least 2-3 SSIS packages to transport the data into the warehouse. Jose Chinchilla then led the effort to build the cube. We started on Shore Point and reports on Sunday morning. As usual, the reports reveals issues with data and structures – but these were worked thru quickly. The proof of concept was begun – but it needs more work. The sponsor was very pleased to have such a great start of the project.
I learned a lot from the process. There are so many ways to approach any task. Pulling together a team of volunteers lets each see the approach their fellow volunteer takes and expands future options. I will definitely look forward to next year’s Give Camp.
A big THANKS to all who participated in their local GiveCamps across the US and rest the world. I hope it grows bigger next year to assist many other organizations.