Quinta-feira, 10 de Dezembro de 2009

Surveying Codebits

We launched the Codebits survey around 48 hours ago and already 350 people took the time to give us their feedback (thank you so much).

We're going through the answers now, and we'll keep looking at the new ones, but there are already a few topics we'd can/want to address (and not "abord"; duh).

Global appreciation:

We had a very small number of people who felt rather indifferent to Codebits or who didn't enjoy the event and an overwhelming percentage of attendees (92%) who claim to have had an amazing experience.

We're very pleased with this outcome; it's always expectable that not everybody loves a conference, but that number is so low that we can't help but feel that the job was well done.

But let's move on the next topics.


As we mentioned in some emails, we had several internal reasons for choosing English as the main language for Codebits. Even so, we still had lots of content in Portuguese.

Even before the event took place, we got some angry emails about this choice; just a couple, but strong enough to make us wonder about it.

But now we're seeing what the attendees (and speakers) think about this move, and it's almost unanimous: almost everyone seems to feel that either the choice of language is irrelevant or that English should be assumed as Codebits' main language.


We also had some reservations when it comes to a concert but it's now clear that this was one of the best choices for this year.

Over 70% of the attendees who took the survey claim that a concert inside Codebits does make sense (there's event a couple of people suggesting two concerts). When it comes to bringing Pornophonique back again opinions get divided, but not because of their quality, just regarding the possibility of bringing someone new to Codebits.

Attending 2010:

Can you guess how many of the surveyed attendees said were coming back again next year?

Almost all of them, and most of the ones who didn't give a simple yes as an answer took the time to write things like "if you accept me…"


Apart from the straight answers there is also very good feedback on the text fields. We haven't read all of it yet (we're working on it), but there are some very interesting points there. One of them is related to voting, and thus we think it's appropriate to describe exactly how it went.

A group of five people was discreetly taking notes about the projects. The audience was told their votes would decide the winners, and that was correct, and we also said there would be some minimal tweaks to the results.

The system in place was smart enough to remove the votes of some users following specific patterns (sorry, no disclosure here).

As soon as we gathered to decide the winners we did two things:

  • list the 15 projects with better (valid) voting; 
  • list all the other projects not on that list but that had made an impression strong enough to be on our notes.

The next step was finding which of the first 15 projects were also on our notes, and these (6 or 7) were clear winners - the audience had enjoyed them and so did we.

Next we went through the list of projects we had listed to find out how many votes each of them had received and we discussed among our small group which projects should also be distinguished.

There were a couple of projects not on the 15 most voted that got a prize, and there were a couple of projects on the 15 most voted that were not in any of our lists but that we gave a prize anyway based on the audience feedback.

It's worth noting that there were problems with the voting of one project and we did take that into consideration.

A few comments on the survey were related to the contest but not to the voting system. There were some suggestions that people working at SAPO shouldn't be allowed to participate...

Well, there were over 150 of those, and it doesn't make much sense for us to organize such a cool event if our 150 people won't be able to participate. Also, no member of the jury was part of a group and the selection of winners was made with the projects in mind, and not people; names weren't even mentioned during the short meeting we took, only projects.

As a side note, it seems (at a glance) that less than half of the prizes went to people working at SAPO, so there can't be any complaints there.

That being said, the general rules/guidelines for the contest may be just slightly tweaked for next year, but we're not expecting any major redefinition of the contest. As for the process to pick the winners, that has changed drastically every year and we're still not happy about it, so we'll probably use some of the suggestions provided on the survey.

And finally, a (more or less) random selection of comments:

"I think the people who signed up and then din't come to the event should be kindly rejected in next year. I know a couple of people, which signed up and were pure lazy to come (no day at all)."

This attendee does have a point… Kudos to all of those who dropped us an email or a twitter dm before the event letting us know they wouldn't be coming.

"some coaching done to contest presenters would be nice."

We agree and we already have a plan in this regard for next year.

There were also several comments regarding the temperature in the building, recycling bins and the possibility of having showers somewhere in the vicinity. We'll take all this into consideration for next year.

And finally, one last comment we enjoyed:

"We're almost there, only 12 months left !! ;)"

That's the spirit :-)

Soon, more information on the winning projects.


And yes, we'll take all the feedback we're getting into consideration for next year.




publicado por jac às 15:25
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Terça-feira, 8 de Dezembro de 2009

Codebits survey

Codebits attendees just got an email with the link to a survey about the event.


117 people have already replied. Thank you so much.


Next up, the missing videos and slides and more information on the projects (we're working as hard and fast as we can).

publicado por jac às 01:47
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Segunda-feira, 7 de Dezembro de 2009

Photos and videos from Codebits

An incredible number of Codebits related videos and photos have been showing online.


The videos for the talks are showing up on each talk page (just follow the link for the talk from the calendar). We're have people working on putting the ones that are still missing online.


As for photos, just look for codebits on services such as Flickr or SAPO Fotos.


We'll also be putting more content online during the next few days.





publicado por jac às 16:16
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Domingo, 6 de Dezembro de 2009

Winning projects

The 11 winning projects of the 2009 Codebits edition were (in alphabetical order):

  • All your faces are belong to us
  • cyclops
  • Cython protobuf generator
  • Math4Kids
  • Playsketch
  • Supond - Apple Time Machine-like Interface for Your Lifestream
  • TV Movies
  • Time-based OTPs
  • Truz-Truz
  • Verbatim Quiz!
  • widgetize

These were based on the votes by the attendees with a small amount of human control to account for unusual situations and other issues.

The winning teams were rewarded with several prizes, including Xboxes, MacBook Pros, Netbooks, iPod Nanos, Magic Mouses, Wireless Keyboards, Arduinos, HTCs, Chumbies, dozens of O'Reilly books, bean bags and more.

We're really proud of all the hard work the teams have put in their projects and we're very grateful to the attendees for all their votes which made our tasks of selecting the winners much easier than usual.

More details on these projects soon.





publicado por jac às 02:25
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Sábado, 5 de Dezembro de 2009

List of projects

This is the project presentation order:


92|Taxi Please!|Nelson Branco
93|BBHunter|Diogo Medeiros
94|BlindLess|Bruno Augusto
17|TravelTracker|Tiago Boldt Sousa
21|CSI - Community Share information|João Paulo Carvalho and Miguel Figueiredo
24|The robotic photographer|Pedro Moura Pinheiro and Sérgio Bernardino
27|PocketPond|Nuno da Costa Ferro
30|How to steal...eh... embezzle...eh... "relocate" bean bags @codebits|Leonel Morgado
31|TvMovies|Bruno Martins
35|Meta Numbers - Metrics for small businesses|Sérgio Santos
36|Cython protobuf generator|Cláudio Valente
100|Galaxy Taggers|Gonçalo Fortes
101|Pokerbits|João Sil
102|I owe you a beer|Nuno António Marques Lourenço
103|Pung|Luis Neves
104|Codebits em 15 Segundos|Renato Miguel Baptista Rodrigues
105|Supond - Apple Time Machine-like Interface for Your Lifestream|Nuno Morgadinho
107|Não gosto dos azuis|Tiago Pinto
108|Touch experience!|Marco Simões
109|widgetize|Carlos Santos and David Silva
111|Noise Droid|Carlos Anjos
37|Professional Videocaster Distribution Network|Ruben Fonseca
38|Taskas|Henrique Mouta
54|PapaSapo|Filipe Manuel Lopes de Freitas
55|Volta na Web|Diogo Vargas
57|Ballbly|Miguel Regedor
58|Procrasterminator|Francisco Richardson
60|GeoNudge|Tony Tam
61|Sinestesia|Guilherme Morais
42|I M X - Image Color Search Engine|Nelson Gomes
43|Got Gigs?|Rogério Vicente
44|Woot|Pedro Correia
65|SAPO Rider|Isa Costa
67|Boas Notícias|Pedro Moreira
70|Real-Time Sensing|António Cruz
73|e-Moleskine|João Figueiredo
78|Tadpole|Luis Nabais
68|doidroid widget|Bruno Costa
77|CinemaDroid|André dos Santos Cardoso
80|Beat It|Gilberto Gonçalves
81|Musipic|André Parreira Ricardo
83|Truz-Truz|Sérgio Freire
41|Simple MBNet|Pedro Sousa
45|Time-based OTPs|João Poupino and Paulo Andrade
46|cyclops|Pedro Teixeira and André Gonçalves
50|Makerbot Cupcake CNC generator|Gonçalo Silva
51|Playsketch|Luis Lucas Pereira
52|Eu ia lá|João Azevedo
84|Math4Kids|David Walter Figueira Jardim
85|Sapo Kids Controller|Flávio Carpinteira
87|All your faces are belong to us!|Pedro Miguel Pires Pereira
88|Crumbs|José Teixeira and Bruno Santos
89|Verbatim Quiz!|Luis Sarmento and Pedro Gomes
95|EncontraI|Rui Alberto Tavares Costa
99|Bookmark to MEO|Bernardo Cardoso
110|oMeuRadar|Marco Gonçalves
112|Zéclops|Nélio Nunes and David Oliveira
71|BlinkBrick - because you don't have to be a geek|Sérgio Veiga and Vitor Rodrigues
98|spammasters|Carlos Pires


publicado por jac às 16:24
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Things you need to do to present your project

Between 15h and 16h, head to the main stage to try your laptop connection to the projector.


If you need sound, test it too.


And the most important thing of all: talk to @jose_castro to let him know you are ready to present. If you don't do this, you won't be on the list.


One hour to go. Be patient with us (testing ~70 laptops in ~60 minutes) and try to speed up the process.

publicado por jac às 14:53
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Codebits at a glance

5 in the morning.


Over 200 people are still awake.


There are groups happily hacking lines of code, building cool stuff with Lego, hard at work with the Makerbot, the Enigma-E and Arduinos, people playing on the Xboxes and the Arcade machine, etc. There's also some sound of Pornophonique in the air.


Near the main stage, the lights have been dimmed and people are now sleeping on top of the bean bags, many of them in their sleeping bags.


Many of the groups are working by shifts, sleeping in turns.


In 4 to 5 hours the building will start getting more movement again.


At 10, Filipe will talk on Physical Computing for the Masses.


By 11, Paula will speak on Enigma - The Mother of Modern Cryptography.


More spontaneous talks may (and should) be announced on the flip chart by the registration desk.


Enjoy. Have fun. Good hacking.



publicado por jac às 03:00
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Taking bean bags home

Several people have already received a voucher that will allow them to take a bean bag out of the building.


The people at the exits are instructed to only let you carry a bean bag outside if you hand them one of those vouchers. Also, they are instructed to only let you do so after the Codebits wrap-up, on Saturday afternoon.


There are 200 bean bags in the building and only less than 100 vouchers are being given, which means you don't have to guard the bags; they will be available in the end, so let people use them until the very last moment.


Hope you're enjoying Codebits as much as we're enjoying your company.



publicado por jac às 00:17
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Sexta-feira, 4 de Dezembro de 2009

Enigma-E (straight from WWII)

Two electronic replicas of the Enigma machine have arrived.


They are currently with @phantas at the soldering board (aka Mitch), about to be assembled.


Talk to her if you want to join the fun and see how these machines work.


@phantas will also be giving a workshop on the Enigma machine tomorrow morning, at 11h (stage will be announced soon).


Have fun.






publicado por jac às 19:45
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Bean bags

There's several activities going on that might grant you a bean bag at Codebits.


One of them is to write the n-th direct comment to this blog post, where n is any prime number lower than 20.


Don't forget to write down your table number and how to identify you.


Also, considering the first and second Fibonacci numbers to be 1 and 1, your comment must include the 10th Fibonacci number.





publicado por jac às 16:23
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