We hosted the developers of the future

In August we hosted the search for the country’s best young coders, overseeing Young Rewired State’s Festival of Code.
A thousand young people stayed, slept and hacked in Plymouth University’s Roland Levinsky Building for the 48-hour code-fest, which climaxed in a code showcase judged by leading technical minds.
“We had some awesome judges and a thousand kids,” said i-DAT’s Creative Director Birgitte Aga. “The work they did and the quality of what they pitched was exceptional”.
Teams of young coders from all over the country worked on apps in the following categories: a brilliant idea that should exist; best example of coding; community-minded apps for coding a better country; best design and best in show. The event came to a climax in Plymouth Pavilions.
Best in Show was an app called YouDraw – a crowd-sourced video animation platform allowing anybody (creator or otherwise) to submit a video for animating by the community. Anyone who wishes will be given a random frame to draw and over time, a video will gain more and more drawn-over frames resulting in a completed YouDraw project: a fresh, new, hand-crafted animation based on any fan-favourite music video.
Best Design winner was Tourify, which creates a custom guidebook just for the user – the perfect app for travellers.
Best Use of Code winner was Let’s Combine, an app for the web, iOS, Android and Androidwear which allows the user to choose a specific location and then see different datasets available at that location, combined to show interesting or funny results.
Code a Better Country winner was an app called CityRadar for users to photograph and report problems to the correct council.
Winner of the Should Exist category was Miles Per Pound which calculates how far your car can travel with a single pound, just by entering your car’s number plate.
Judges and guests at the event included Israeli musician Yoni Bloch, famed for his interactive music video work, Kerensa Jennings, the BBC’s Head of Strategic Delivery and award-winning programme-maker, broadcaster and communications consultant Tetteh Kofi, Australian entrepreneur, venture capital investor, diplomat, author and speaker Bill Liao, Katrina Roberts, acting Vice President, GNICS Technologies at American Express, and Sathya Smith, head of partner solutions at Google.
Special guest was political wordsmith George The Poet, one of the hottest names in spoken word.
In the run-up to the final weekend, i-DAT hosted a coding centre where young people worked with data and mentors to research ideas with social impact. Other coding centres were hosted throughout the UK, but i-DAT hosted the first international coding conference with young people aged from seven to 18 from the US, Germany and the UK.
Computacenter with Plymouth University arranged robust internet connections that allowed for heavy bandwidth usage throughout the event with no downtime – another first in the event’s history.
“i-DAT and Plymouth University proved that we can be the coding centre for the app developers of the future,” said i-DAT’s Operations Director Dawn Melville.