Sapo Codebits Summer Call

Pos­ted by Fili­pe Cruz

Yes, It’s that time of the year again. The days are lon­ger. The scho­ol year is ending. The metro­po­lis gets deser­ted. A never ending stre­am of music fes­ti­vals get cons­tan­tly promoted.

And whi­le drin­king a cold cola with a twist of lemon and 3 ice­cu­bes at that bar near your local bea­ch; Whi­le over­powe­red by the mul­ti­tu­de of colors from all the latest biki­ni fashi­on sta­te­ments; All the nerds of this glo­ri­ous land, pushed out to the oce­an at the wes­tern point of euro­pe, all of them nerds, can think only and only think of one thing: shouldn’t the dates of this years Sapo Code­bits be announ­ced by now?


Yes, for­get about the scho­ol year that just ended, for­get the latest code revi­si­ons from all tho­se Goo­gle Sum­mer of Code pro­jects you been fol­lowing for a cou­ple of weeks, for­get about your pseu­do-holi­day plans for a few minu­tes. Nerds of Por­tu­gal, recall what’s really impor­tant if not for just a cou­ple of minu­tes: The dates of the new Sapo Code­bits have been announ­ced, 15–17 Novem­ber, the orga­ni­zers are alre­ady pushing out tea­ser pic­tu­res of the new spa­ce layout for this year. And it’s gon­na be awe­so­me again!

No, they’re not paying us to wri­te this. We deci­ded, out of our own voli­ti­on, after rea­ding one of their latest blog posts, that it was time to remind you all that the­re is an inco­ming bat­tle loo­ming abo­ve you. Yes, you, dear nerd who are thin­king of atten­ding Code­bits this year.

And why is that?” i hear you ask. Couz we pwned you hard last year with our Nucle­ar Taco Sen­sor Hel­met Gameshow pro­ject. That’s why! Our pwna­ge didn’t hap­pen out of the blue you know? We care­fully plan­ned this world domi­na­ti­on and had to car­ry it through nice and ste­ady to make sure we inde­ed had something grand we could put together in 48 hours and take the com­pe­ti­ti­on by storm. And unless you’d rather sit at home and cry your­self to sle­ep for another year you should be get­ting off your ass, right about yes­ter­day, and also get­ting ready for this years event!

We know, we know, our unsur­moun­ta­ble talent is qui­te hard to beat. But even if you’re too sca­red of get­ting your ass ser­ved again, you should be using this time to come up with cool pro­jects you could develop.

Com­mon mis­ta­kes you should be avoiding:

a) doing yet another clo­ne of something (without a sub­ver­si­ve twist). Simp­sons did it, if you can’t impro­ve on an old idea you shouldn’t be tou­ching it.

b) doing an hel­lo world of a ran­dom new tech­no­logy. Unless it’s taking full advan­ta­ge of the tech on a use­ful way, it’s dead fish in the water.

c) trying to be funny without the tech to back it up. You’ll get enter­tain­ment votes but unless it’s something over the top it’ll be just sad.

And in case you haven’t noti­ced just having a good pro­ject idea isn’t enough, you need to finish it and pre­sent it in an enga­ging way. Our public award win­ner entry is a good exam­ple on how a wtf pre­sen­ta­ti­on trumps over pro­ject specs. Peo­ple are more enga­ged when you _show_ them things ins­te­ad of _describing_ them.

I’m not saying you should turn your pre­sen­ta­ti­ons into a cir­cus, it wor­ked well for us last year becau­se no one was expec­ting something so over the top. What you should aim for is to have a good use­ful idea and pre­pa­re an enga­ging demons­tra­ti­on. Show awe­so­me­ness first, explain imple­men­ta­ti­on details later. And don’t for­get that during tho­se 48 hours that you are sup­po­sed to put your pro­ject together you will be get­ting dis­trac­ted by 4 tracks of tech talks whi­ch you may or may not cho­o­se to attend. And i also heard eating and sle­e­ping are impor­tant. So don’t aim for something unat­tai­na­ble, or if you must, at least mas­ter your wea­pon of choi­ce befo­re the event, to make sure the actu­al 48h deve­lop­ment peri­od goes smo­other. Sur­roun­ding your­self with folks who com­ple­ment your skills nicely is also a key fac­tor, don’t neglect it.

Ofcour­se all of the abo­ve is use­less if you don’t get your­self selec­ted to attend the event. Code­bits is limi­ted to 600 atten­de­es and if you want to be one of them you need to start buil­ding up your kar­ma by par­ti­ci­pa­ting acti­vely in the code­bits web­si­te and forwar­ding the infor­ma­ti­on to your blog, twit­ter and face­bo­ok con­tacts. A sure way to get admit­ted is to give a talk at the event, the­re will be a call ope­ning soon to sub­mit your talks. So if the­re is a tech­no­logy you have been busy mas­te­ring for the last few months you might want to con­si­der sub­mit­ting a talk about it when the call opens.

And why should you care about atten­ding code­bits at all? Well, even if your pro­ject fails to win anything you’ll still:

a) get some prac­ti­ce with the tech­no­logy you cho­se to explore

b) learn a lot from the talks pre­sen­ted you bothe­red atten­ding or chec­ked the vide­os after

c) check what everyo­ne else is up to

d) have some unres­trai­ned chats with other ran­dom nerds on the food queue

e) face the pos­si­bi­lity of a near death expe­ri­en­ce by nucle­ar taco

f) have fun geek’ing out

g) get an awe­so­me t-shirt!

I have atten­ded the last 3 edi­ti­ons of Code­bits and i can tell you i lear­ned new things in all of them. The­re is always something new out the­re worth chec­king out or new peo­ple to meet. I had a blast with fri­ends, wat­ched some nice gigs, sha­red my kno­wled­ge with fel­low geeks and even mana­ged to win some poofs and badges!

Every year we setup a small cor­ner for the Audi­ên­cia Zero labs, the­re we gather the folks from our 3 media hac­klabs, LCD from Porto/Guimarães, altLab from Lis­bon and xDA from Coim­bra. We show­ca­se 3d prin­ting, give some elec­tro­nic workshops and help each other out with ran­dom pro­jects. Meet us there!