Google here we come!

We’re writing this blog post after we’ve had the pleasure of going to Google campus in London for a JISC networking event. The event was hosted by JISC and its partners as an opportunity for project owners to meet each other as well as to make some expert contacts in areas such as institutional embedding, design and coding. We both decided to attend this event as we thought it would be a great opportunity for us, as well as the future of our project.

After the nice 6AM start to travel from Cardiff to London, we couldn’t wait to get to the tea and coffee that was awaiting us for that much needed caffeine boost. It’s lucky we did as the day was soon off to a flying start.

The first part of the day was spent hearing from JISC about it’s vision for education in the UK and how our projects fitted into its vision. For us, this was very inspiring and made us realize the potential impact this scheme could really have across the UK. It was also interesting to hear about how the idea for the Summer of Innovation came about.

After that, we were given the opportunity to have some time to network with the people who really interested us and to get as many different opinions and contacts as we could. Although we had to describe our idea several times throughout the day, it was worth it to get some of the suggestions and comments that we had.  It was also interesting to see how many teams were facing the same challenges or using the same development process as us.

Once we’d gotten our delicious pizza filled lunch out of the way, we set about joining focus groups intended to help us with particular issues that fell into certain categories. We first of all decided to join a group that was intended for people who were looking for general help from JISC and it’s partners. This group was very helpful for us and the experts who were leading it were able to make us aware of a lot of support that was available to us because we are Welsh students. The second group we attended was a group focused on technical issues. Our main line of inquiry for that session was to find out if there was a PHP framework that would suit our project. We were lucky to find that people had many suggestions and we ended up deciding to look into CodeIgniter.

The day itself was mainly spent interacting with other people rather than sat being lectured to for the day. This proved to be a productive way of getting our idea out there and to find the right people to advise us with particular aspects of the project.

Massive thanks go out to JISC for providing us with this opportunity to meet so many great people and we are using the resources and support that we received.

More updates to follow soon.

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