Abstractions Reflections

Blog post by Bob Gradeck
August 26, 2016

University Center for Social and Urban Research   (Pittsburgh)

Last week, we were fortunate to be invited to organize a “Distractions” workshop at the first-ever Abstractions Conference held at the David L. Lawrence Convention Center Downtown. Abstractions was a cross-disciplinary conference designed to bring together designers, software developers, engineers, and managers, all of whom have key roles in the software development process. Abstractions was organized by Code & Supply, an organization devoted to nurturing and building community among Pittsburgh’s growing tech community. For our hour-long distractions workshop, I challenged our developers David Walker and Steven Saylor to come up with something fun to occupy the conference participants in order for us to talk to them more about open data. I learned the hard way from a presentation I made to Computer Science students here at Pitt over the winter that the best way to engage an audience of software developers is to make open data fun, and provide a hands on activity that gives them the ability to experience open data. Keep reading to see what we did!