This weekend the FOSSBox sent a team to Hack Upstate, which drew attendees from upwards of 300 miles away. It was a very different feel than a lot of hackathons in Rochester, much more business- and design-type folks. Our team felt a little out of place as nearly pure programmers. This was pretty apparent during the pitches, which included farmers market awareness apps and WYSIWYG Wordpress plugin builders.

Our project is called [panstora] and it’s designed to provide a more online interface to physical stores. It’s built on Pyramid and SQLAlchemy. Users are supposed to use the app in stores to view more info about the item and to have the item delivered to them the same day, instead of buying items and carrying them home.

This would be good for clothing stores by allowing them to hold less stock in store, letting them compete with online-level variety and increase the amount of floor space in their store. This would save the store money, and make it more attractive to consumers since more variety would be available.

THe app is in a demoable state right now, even though the demos aren’t until 10am today. Unfortunately, the venue had to close for the night at midnight, leaving our team to wander the streets of Syracuse. We’ve set ourselves up at a Denny’s and are working from there, and after that we’ll either work in our cars or something. As a note to future hackathon organizers, having a 24 hour venue is definitely crucial.

Also, I’d like to give a huge shoutout to iron.io, who sent one of their employees, Patty Foran. He spent a good chunk of the time there just hanging out and chatting about FOSS, Golang. It was pretty interesting, even if it did hamper productivity slightly. We still got a demoable app out the door and I learned a ton about SQLAlchemy relationships.

I’d consider Hack Upstate a great success for FOSS@RIT and I’m already looking forward to the NASA Space Apps Challenge on the 20th.