GiveCamp Grand Rapids, held earlier this month, is an event combining two powerful forces: local non-profits and skilled web and software developers.
The annual event gives non-profits with little or no technology budget an entire team of developers and designers for 52 straight hours. Each non-profit defines the project, and the team works on it into the wee hours of the night.
If you developers are wondering why you should give up 52 hours of a weekend, I can offer you 6 reasons.
1. Have a completely unique experience. I promise you’ve never experienced anything like 150 developers and 15-20 non-profit organization all in an open space together working like mad people for 52 hours (some of the excitement could be the Red Bull).
2. Be a teacher and a student. Have some great skills or tips you want to share with someone? GiveCamp is full of developers of all different skill levels, talents, and backgrounds. Half the fun is just talking developer talk with old friends or people you’ve just met.
3. Learn something new. After volunteering with GiveCamp for a 3 years, I’ve found I walk away from the weekend with new ideas on many topics such as version control, testing, front-end package managers, task runners, design patterns, and more.
4. Make connections. Outside of work, it can be hard to make good connections with people with the same passion as me. GiveCamp is great for this because it’s a community-oriented event, and gives you the opportunity to meet a lot of people and make close connections with your team.
5. Consume really good food and drink. The food is always great, but this year was over the top with three awesome meals a day made by Grand Rapid’s own Storylane Catering, beer from Hideout Brewing Company, and all the Mountain Dew and Red Bull you can handle. Big shout out to the sponsors who make sure everyone is fed and happy.
6. Enjoy a new location. Spending a lot of time in an office might not sound ideal, but Open Systems Technologies graciously provided its beautiful Grand Rapids office for the weekend, which provided ample room for all.
Register for GiveCamp 2015!
There are many ways to volunteer your time, but if you’re a developer, designer, or just want to help out, this is a great opportunity to make connections and contribute in a special way! Watch GiveCamp Grand Rapid's website for next year’s signup and make sure to follow on twitter @GRGiveCamp.
Anyone else out there volunteer at GiveCamp? Tell us about it in the comments.