Best of Dev8D: the award ceremony (live blog)

Feb 16, 2012 by

The crowds are gathering in the auditorium at ULU, drinks tokens are being distributed, pleased-but-oh-so-humble faces prepared and thank you speeches practised. Yes, it’s time for the Best of Dev8D awards. We’ll be live blogging it, starting very soon, so follow here to discover the stars of Dev8D 2012.

Dave Tarrant is welcoming everyone and warning us that the award ceremony is going to be a little bit different this year… There’s applause for everyone who ran sessions and Ben and Chris who created the programme. There was a broad range of topics, from HTML5 and Python to linked data, search, geo and visualisation. Oooh, there’s some applause for the media team now! And even more applause for JISC, who made it all possible.

Time for the first award and it’s for Best Mentor. You’re all mentors to each other says Ben O’Steen. Your friends are the best way to find the solution, not Google. And it goes to…Jack Franklin! Well done Jack. He’s a bit knackered because of all the talks he clocked up yesterday but he’s made it up on stage and reveals that he’s been asked to come back and talk about CoffeeScript again (although he admits he’s a bit sick of it now). He demonstrates a script he made showing the sessions running. CoffeeScript is quick and easy and you should check it out. If you need any help, find Jack on Twitter or at

Next up, Best Flasher. That’s best lightning talk, ok? It goes to Peter Anderson for Fast.Q. It’s a feedback and answer system technology. It means students in lectures can use their tech to ask questions, ask the lecturer to explain something. All the questions appear in a queue on the lecturers lecturn and he or she can decide answer them. Great for shy students! A novel system to get student interaction.

Now a short interlude for one of our sponsors – JISC – to say a few words. It’s Paul Bailey’s first visit to Dev8D and he’s found it very interesting. As someone who has worked at JISC for over 10 years, he can say that he really values the work that developers are doing int he sector. There will be another event at the end of May focusing on specific educational tools that have been developed. Hope to see some more of you at the end of May!

Now, Best social network. A previous recipient, Chris Gutteridge, will present the award. It goes to a group who stayed up all night to build a social network: Bilawal Hameed, Charlie Brensinger, Alejandro Sarcedo, Anton Smyrnor, Sari Ghamloush. There will be a link to their work on the wiki (though it will stop being editable in two weeks time so get a spank on).

Now, Patrick is going to tell us about his ‘sexism in video games’ talk which was very popular. He says, “I got into computing because I was interested in technical computer games and so many of those games are about male power fantasies and there’s a feedback loop where men become the target audience for these games. And so women are put off. As a community we should be doing more to address the problem that we’re not very gender baanced and we’ve cretaed an envirnment which isn’t very friendly for women. Go and look at Coding for Kids and see how we can get girls and women more involved and be a positive role model.” Well said.

Now, badges! These have been awesome. Some people have been badgering for badges all three days. So we have an award for Most Enthusiastic Badge Collector. It goes to someone who has just collected them by being awesome. And that’s Mark Johnson. And, what’s more, badges will now follow you around from conference to conference.

Next award is for Best newcomer. Presented by Julian Cheal, who was at the first Dev8D and the best newcomer then. This year it goes to…Emanuil Tolev. Oh, and there’s another! It’s Andrew Oakley. But he’s gone home so won’t be on stage. He was the first person to approach the Newbies Czar and say “er, I’m new…”

Time for another best talk. It’s Martin Hawksey on visualising OER, tools, tips and tricks.

The rest of the best social network team have woken up and appeared on stage for their photo.

Future Trends now and there are three nominations: Emanuil Tolev, Bharti Gupta, Andrew Laughland. Tom thanks everyone who contributed to the Observatory interviews.

Another best talk now and it’s Ravi on the brainband. A device you attach to your head and it gets brainwave data out. It does some processing and shows you frequency bands and attention (how hard you are concentrating) and  meditation (how chilled out you are) data. Possible also to get blink strength. It’s really easy to get data out of it. What can you do with it? Tried to demo moving the quadrocopters, controlling the height of them, through brainwaves. The next stage is looking at what we can experiment with doing – we’re looking for interesting ideas! We got these for undergraduates to try new things with.

Awards and best ofs concluded, there are now some thank yous – the venue has been brilliant so thanks ULU and its crew. A huge thank you to DevCSI who did pretty much everything to put it all together – Mahendra, Natasha and Michelle.

The committee need a big thank you – Anusha, Charlie, Richard, Bilal, Nick, Dave C, Julian, Graham, Dave T, Alex and Nick.

Thanks to the sponsors, Jorum, Mimas, Pearson and SchoolsICT. And, of course, JISC!

Dev8D 2012 is not over. The challenges are ongoing so please do them. There is the mailing list – Use the hashtag – #dev8d. Anything else? Talk to DevCSI.

DevEd will be 29,30 May, Birmingham. DevXS will be late oct / early Nov in Liverpool. And there may be smaller events – if you think you can run a whole day, talk to DevCSI.

The future…keep 26-28 February free for Dev8D 2013. Not in Valentine’s week next year!

That’s all folks…see you next year!

Related Posts


Share This

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>