This update is from Ramya Ramesh, a RapidFTR team member at the Grace Hopper Conference in December...

"Just got back from an awesome and energetic hackathon, organized as part of the Grace Hopper Conference*, in Bangalore, on Dec 12, 2012.

This was the first hackathon organized as part of GHC in India. And fitting to the context of the conference, it was an all-women one too.
RapidFTR was one of the three open source initiatives that were selected to be part of this hackathon (OpenMRS & Camfed were the other two). There were also members from Random Hacks of Kindness who presented two problem statements for the hackers to code away to.

To give a sense of how the day progressed:

We started off by introducing the founding team of this hackathon - Jagruti ,Tina Vinod, Gurpreeth & VijayLuxmi Sinha, among others - to the participants gathered. This was followed by a short introduction to the hackathon, how the idea came about and what each open source application team is trying to address.

Right after this, we had parallel streams set up - one for each RapidFTR, Camfed, OpenMRS, and two for RHOK. Participants signed up for the team of their choice and soon, dived deep into the business problem that the team was trying to solve.

The RapidFTR team had a fairly interested group showing up, with lot of focus on the problem we are trying to address and multiple ideas being pitched about to address the security, the no-connectivity and other issues.  We had freelancers, folks from Microsoft, Intuit, IIT Madras, CTS, etc. among other companies raring to go and contribute to RapidFTR.

We started off with setting up the dev machines for the volunteers. This took us a good 4-5 hours after which we got into discussing more details regarding the stories that we had lined up for the hackathon. Once the volunteers got onto the stories, there was basically no stopping them. Jumping from one story to the next is how I can describe the volunteers' enthusiasm during the event and drive for addressing humanitarian issues. At the end of the day, we not only had some bug fixes and UI enhancements in the system but also a new bunch of folks aware of and excited about RapidFTR and looking forward to future contribution. A great day it was!

* More details regarding what the conference is about and how it came into existence here(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Grace_Hopper_Celebration_of_Women_in_Computing) and here (http://gracehopper.org/2013/about/history-of-the-conference/)"



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