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  • Happy to have lost a night’s sleep

    Posted on March 22nd, 2010 Patrick 3 comments

    We often work best under pressure and the things we accomplish under such conditions often make for the most enduring, meaningful memories.

    I spent over a full day working with 12 other teammates to create a new website for the non-profit organization, DesignWise Medical. In 24 hours we put together a site that, in my experience as a Web developer, could easily have taken weeks, if not months, to produce. Pending approval of some of the content, the site will be live within a week.

    The Challenge is a yearly event organized by Nerdery Interactive Labs. The goal is to match teams of developers and designers with non-profits eager to revamp, or start, their Web presence.

    The assembled nerds, or last most of them

    Our team, Full Court Press, was made up of 10 developers and designers, and 3 members from Designwise Medical. None of us had worked together previously, though many of us knew each other from the WordPress user group to which many us belong, or from other user groups.

    Throughout the following 24 plus hours, with little to no sleep, we worked together, each chipping in where we could to help others on our team. Arguments were few, and unless I was just not paying attention, never heated.

    We shared a cramped area defined by our square of four tables. A rat’s nest of cables and power cords in the center of the tables threatened to ensnare anyone who entered. As the hours wore on, and cans of Red Bull piled up, we went through waves of enthusiasm, slap-happiness, and flagging energy. The countdown clock, projected on two giant screens, constantly reminded us of the coming deadline of 9:00 AM.

    Some took cat naps in the sleeping room, or sought rejuvenation from the oxygen bar. Hours ticked by in what seemed like minutes. Lunch, dinner, dinner 2.0 (at midnight), and finally, breakfast, blurred together in a parade of sandwiches, chicken wings, burritos, pizza, and bagels. Caffeinated beverages flowed all day and night.

    There were moments of goofiness – the kind that often crop up during such times. Impromptu guitar sessions, a human pyramid, whoops and hollers when a Web page actually rendered without crashing.

    When we were done,we all had a great sense of pride in what we had accomplished. I am so grateful for the chance to work with such a talented group of people. Thanks also to the organizers and sponsors of this event. Hope to see you all at next year’s Challenge.


    3 responses to to “Happy to have lost a night’s sleep”

    1. Great post! It was fun working with you at the Challenge!

    2. You captured and compressed those 24 hours into a single post quite well. I’m going to have to train for next year so I can make it through the whole night without pulling a Toby and crashing out!

    3. [...] Happy to lose a night’s sleep. [...]

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