March was a long month and a lot of things happened. At the beginning of the month, I spent 48 hours competing in a hackathon using Canadian Open Data (more on that later). Then I went down to NY for work during March Break. Surprisingly, the weather was exceedingly nice. It went up to 18°C (as my phone reported)! Then I had to fly back later that night and the next day there was a big snowstorm in Toronto. The weather was still pretty crazy but it settled into a cool Spring weather by the end of the month (still less than 10°C)
The big (at least most interesting to me) news story of the month was the Malaysia Airlines plane that went “missing”. How, in this technologically connected world, do you “lose” a plane is beyond me. It’s been almost an entire month and they’ve only narrowed their search down to a particular area of the Indian Ocean. They still don’t know the motive (if any) or the reason why the plane was diverted and ended up there. I suppose they will have a better idea once they’ve located the plane, but that doesn’t seem like it will happen soon!
In addition to the actual hackathon, I spent a lot of time this month actually improving A Healthier Commute. On the code side, I’ve been prototyping how I can track driving trips and have been somewhat successful (under optimal conditions). There’s also been a lot of work on the product side, mainly because I was one of the finalist for the event. I had to produce a bunch of videos, prepare a presentation and a bunch of other paperwork-type things. Then, I had to practice the presentation a lot (I figure I did it maybe 100 times from initial conception, through the tweaks, until I actually pitched it). It’s almost like another job!
But, it’s been fun. Mostly because I don’t really do this that often and there is a guaranteed audience (to hear my presentation at least) so it’s not like I’m doing all of this into a vacuum and just posting about it on my blog. In any case, the pitch went relatively successful and I ended up placing second in the competition. So not only was it exciting and interesting, it was rewarding!