GiveCamp 2018: Day one

Day one of GiveCamp comes to a close. This year I’m working on a project for Rubber City Theatre. Amazingly, it’s not for their website per say, and not in WordPress. It’s a chat app for audience participation during a performance.

We have a small team of three devs, one project manager, and one (possibly two tomorrow) client contact. When I first heard the idea, I was a little worried about being able to make it happen.

Our first night was primarily researching various options to decide what is best. We looked at plugin solutions for Weebly (what their website is built in), other third party pay options, and various levels of building something ourselves.

Having gone through a few node js tutorials at meetups in the past, it was one of the suggestions I made. Though none of us had any significant experience with server side node, us devs all knew at least some javascript, so it sounded good enough to the others that we set me to playing with it to determine its viability while others looked at other options.

I followed a chat tutorial with It was quick to get their simple example working, and then I started working on the more advanced features that our product will need. Those went much slower, but I was making progress. It was fun playing with the new technology.

What I had convinced the others that this option was a better direction than the others we looked at. The third party chat services were in <iframe>s and wouldn’t allow styling, robustly at least. Pre-built options didn’t look easy to bend to our custom functionality. Building our own with a persistent database for messages would be complicated.

The node option gives us full control over everything. It makes it easy to do real time messaging with sockets. It allows us to store messages in memory, since we don’t need persistence. Hopefully, when we get the full team working on it, we’ll be able to get the desired features in place with a good day of working.

After stopping programming around 11:45, I stood out on the Lean Dog boat deck for a bit, then went and grabbed the rest of the stuff from my car. Earlier, I had wisely arrived before check-in and set up my tent. I sat by my tent for a bit. I then went for a short run around the airport parking lot.

This being my eighth GiveCamp, I finally found the shower and took one. Yay. I should smell and feel fresher this year.

Now, hopefully, I can get some good sleep. It was supposed to rain, but hasn’t here that I’ve seen. Everything is dry. It’s not too hot, a rather nice temperature, especially when the breeze blows. The wind has been a little strong at times though, bending my tent quite a bit. Hopefully it doesn’t get much stronger.

Lots of highway noises, bird noises, occasional trains and planes, and the wind are here to lull me to sleep. Or keep me awake.