This is now my second hackathon, and I'm participating virtually as it's based far, far away where their clocks are behind ours in Devon, but their internet connections are well ahead! I'm now brave enough to talk on Skype and to ask about some of the many, many things I don't understand in the hope that, one day, I may be able to contribute something more than just pictures and a few words. The technical wizzards who do the coding probably roll their eyes when conversations like this happen:
Me: Is this what you mean by an ER diagram:
Injured person -> George Cluney -> Machine that goes ping -> Fixed person?
Dev: ER is an entity relationship diagram
Other dev: ER diagram is a relation diagram showing how a database is structured.
Me: Shame, I can't use that picture in my next blog then.
But I have to learn somehow, and it hopefully saves those of you who are reading this the embarrassment of being in the same situation as me.
This morning, distaster struck! Well, more time zones did. I woke at 6am, ready to work. I logged on my laptop only to find shortly before, at 1am EST (maybe EDT, it's GMT -5 to me,) everyone had decided to call it a night and go to bed! That'll teach me to get up early(ish) on a Sunday morning! Ah well, knitting to get done.
Luckily, I didn't have to wait long for someone else to join me. Since 7am, I've learned:
- that Google docs spreadsheets can be made into a form and embedded into a website; such as the one at http://www.growers-nation.org/beta/agronomy-data-map/ meaning that anyone can add datasets for our scientists to work with; plus there's the added bonus that none of those nasty trolls who have evolved from their rightful place under bridges can delete things for fun.
- that there is structured query language built into Google docs - meaning we can make it searchable without too much trouble.