Last weekend saw the latest tech event to hit the city, Hack Manchester.
Museum of Science and Industry
It was hosted at the Museum of Science and Industry in the heart of Manchester. It had been several years since I'd last visited, and while I thought the location initially sounded cool I was quite nervous that it just wouldn't be up to the task of hosting this many developers.
Thankfully I was wrong. There has obviously been a lot of work to the museum in the interim, and it quickly became and phenomenal venue. The upstairs has been converted into conference facilities, which after the addition of many tables, handled the 150+ dev's with room to spare.
The only downside here was WiFi. 150+ laptops, then 150+ phones and probably a fair few tablets too - soon took it's toll on the WiFi. Most people managed to work around this by tethering to their phone (or borrowing someone else's). Thankfully the 3G reception was great.
I can't mention the venue, without mentioning the award ceremony. It was held in the downside area of them museum, and made quite the stunning backdrop. I don't know if the museum hosts many events like that, but it'd be damn shame if it didn't.
After quickly choosing a name during the initial signups (say "team berr" out load, then feel free to groan) I was left with the daunting task of actually thinking of something to build.
I decided to go with a tag-based discussion forum, and time permitting I had hoped to stick a real-time component in there and enter for the Pusher challenge.
So what is a tag-based discussion forum? Instead of artificially dividing up a forum into various topics, there's essentially just one "room" where you can post whatever you want. However, "Berr" would force you to add 1-3 tags to each new post. This means that on your home page, you can choose which tags you want to see ... and thusly avoid a great many things you don't want to see.
I think this is superior mostly because it reduces the chance of you missing an important post, especially when the board isn't particularly busy. If you want a brief introduction, feel free to check my entry video.
I'd like to take a moment to say thanks to all the organisers and sponsors of this event. It really was great, and I think they all did themselves proud. I can't wait until the next one...