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1st Code for Ireland Meetup

Posted by Dominic Byrne on Fri, 13 Dec 2013 12:19:14 GMT

Code for Ireland kicked off on 28th November, 2013 with our first Meetup in Facebook HQ, Dublin. There was a great turnout of around 50 people with a good mixture of developers, civil society and local government.

Tweets from the meetup have been collected at http://storify.com/Fingal/1st-code-for-ireland-meetup

The meetup kicked off at 6:00pm with an Introduction to Code for Ireland by Ciaran Gilsenan @buildingeye and Dominic Byrne @dominic__byrne  The aim of Code for Ireland is to be an enabler for local civic engagement via a network with local chapters of civic-minded volunteers, who contribute skills toward using the web as a platform for municipal government and community service. Code for Ireland is based on and is an international member of Code for America – see http://codeforamerica.org/ The intention is to start off by establishing a Code for Ireland chapter in Dublin, and to follow up with establishing chapters in other parts of the country.

Code for Ireland Intro

Following the introduction, participants were invited to form six groups to brainstorm ideas - each group including at least one civil society person. The groups discussed challenges facing citizens in their local areas and the potential for web technologies to address these challenges. Each group then identified potential projects, prioritised their top three and shared these top three ideas with everyone.

Code for Ireland Sitting

Following a round of voting (and some merging of ideas), the projects were prioritised as follows -

Votes Project
19 Location of NAMA Buildings - potential business locations
3D Development Plan/Community Spaces
Business Proposition App (Demographics) + Where Can I Locate My Business
17 Queuing App for Government Services
16 Lifesaver/Defibrillator App
24/7 Pharmacy/Doctor Finder
12 Match Up Community Volunteers with FixYourStreet problems
FixyourStreet (Suggested Improvements) App
Graffiti Voting App
FixYourStreet - Inclusion of Photos of Resolved Issues
11 Rolling Area Plan/Service Provision App (inc Feedback)
9 Dublinography (Neighbourhood/Place Mapping - see bostonography.com)
7 App Catalogue for City
6 Grants/Funding/Best practice App/Pack
5 Family Friendly What's Happening App
4 Safety in the City (Safe Places/Routes/Crime)
4 Historical Locations App (Tour)
Crowdsourcing Heritage/Tourism
2 Free WiFi HotSpots
1 Dublin Bikes App

Participants were then invited to work on any one of the three projects that received the most votes - Business Location/Development Plan, Queuing App and Emergency App. These three new groups started work on fleshing out the challenge, how the app or website would work, what features would be provided, what data would be required, etc. At 8:00pm we reassembled and a representative from each group gave a quick overview of their project and what needs to happen next.

Code for Ireland Standing

Ciaran then wrapped up the meetup and announced that the next Meetup and the formal launch of Code for Ireland would take place on Thursday 16th January, 2014.

The meetup finished up with Pizza and Beer and lots of great conversations following on from a great evenings work. It was a very successful first meetup, with a great attendance and enthusiastic participation by everyone.

For those who weren't able to attend the first meetup and wish to be kept informed of future events, a sign-up page for Code for Ireland has been created at http://www.codeforireland.com/

Thanks to everyone who took part, to Facebook for the Venue, and to PwC for the refreshments afterwards.

Dominic Byrne,
12th December, 2013

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