ShedCode review for 2017

Introduction

ShedCode is the company founded in 2011 by me, James Jefferies.

I’m a Creative Technologist based in Sheffield, South Yorkshire.

Here are some of my 2017 highlights.

Deep Search

In 2016 I put together a crack team to build a prototype for the Sheffield University Multi-Faith Chaplaincy. Deep Search is a tool for thinking about change, for those with or without a faith.

The ShedCode team was Dean Vipond, Richard Jones and Liz Hnat and we delivered the prototype during the summer of 2016. It was a real privilege to work with these three!

In January 2017 we were able to do some user testing with the prototype which provided some valuable insights in to what we had built.

The next phase of the project will be to scale it up with user accounts, administration functions and to make it production ready, but we are still seeking funding to cover finishing the application. You can take a look for yourself at deepsearch.uk

The Deep Search home page

Drone Warfare

At the end of 2016 I worked on a project with Dean Vipond for The Bureau of Investigative Journalism, Dean worked on the design whilst I worked on the tech. In 2017 the project was shortlisted for the Data Journalism awards of 2017 in the News Data app of the year category. Sadly it didn’t win but it was still amazing to be shortlisted!

The Drone Warfare site in action

The Iris Murdoch Information Service

Iris Murdoch is my favourite author and I’ve been working on this side project on and off for a couple of years. I was aided with the design and build by my usual collaborators Dean Vipond, who came up with a fantastic design and Richard Jones who transformed the design in to code I could use.

In 2017 it was finally in a state where it could be launched and it took place at the 8th Bienniel Iris Murdoch conference in Chichester during September. I was a keynote speaker so spent a lot of time getting my talk right! Fortunately it went ok and the delegates really liked what I’d built.

You can take a look at the application & feel free to give any feedback. There are further developments in the pipeline, but as it’s a side project they may be some time coming!

The Iris Murdoch Information Service

Yoomee

After a number of chats over the years, 2017 was the year when I was finally able to do some work with Yoomee ! We built a prototype ready for launch in 2018 which was a lot of fun to build and also I’ve been working on some new features for Comoodle, a great way of helping you to lend and borrow things within your community.

Hopefully we can work on more projects together in 2018.

Yoomee

Octopub

One of my resolutions for ShedCode in 2017 was for me to do more collaboration with other technologist/developer/engineers. It felt like a good time to work with others to sharpen my skills a bit. A fantastic opportunity then came up which I was really pleased to be chosen for:

The Open Data Institute (ODI) does some brilliant work helping organisations and businesses to innovate using Open Data. My ‘boss’ for this piece of work was the Head of ODI Labs, James Smith and I was really excited at the prospect of working with and learning from him. The project was building some new features for Octopub a tool for publishing open data sets.

I enjoyed working though on the project and especially with James, but afterwards I knew that it could have gone better from my perspective and I learnt some good lessons.

Octopub

Run an Empire

Having done some work with Pan Studios in 2016, it was great to have the opportunity to do a little bit of work with them again on Run an Empire. I spent a week working on the new team functionality, which was really interesting. They are now (unrelated to my work!) doing a reboot of the game with a new architecture, it’s due to go in to Beta early 2018.

Run an Empire Map

Scopitones

ShedCode still look after the website and merchandise shop for Cinerama and The Wedding Present. Only a few tweaks were required this year, although the shop has been really busy with the 30th Anniversary of the George Best debut album by The Wedding Present. Total gigs attended this year: 3

The cover for the George Best 2008 re-recording

Water and Sanitation Programme

One of the main projects for the early years of ShedCode was building a reporting tool for the Water and Sanitation Programme with the brilliant international development consultancy IODParc. 2017 was the final year in which the reporting tool is due to be used, so some de-commissioning has been taking place ready to switch the service (and server) off.

BBC Research and Development

After the success of the Peaky Blinder’s Story Explorer, back in 2016 and the Home Front Story Explorer in 2015, I was happy to be approached to work on a new Story Explorer, due to be launched in March 2018. We’ve kicked off this project but can’t really say much more about it for now, watch this space for the launch information nearer the time!

Conclusion

2017 was a feast and famine year in terms of work which meant I was able to make some good progress on the Iris Murdoch project when times were quiet. 2018 is already looking to be busier with a few projects in the pipeline, keeping me busy until the beginning of summer. Exciting times!

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