It feels so good to be writing this because it means that I have gotten further with my goal of creating Lush’s first ever hosted code jam!

In my previous blog about the code jam, I discussed how and why the idea came about for this event. In this blog, I would like to go into more detail about the chosen theme and even share a little application I wrote in order to inspire the students and aid their build.

Now, you may have already had a play with my bath bomb simulation or read my blog about how it came to be. Well, continuing with the idea of Creative Programming, I thought I would write a code jam theme that continued with this idea!

At first, I was just thinking in my head about the logical steps needed to create the event, but soon the list was growing quicker than I could complete the tasks, so I started using Trello. It keeps track of everything, from the big picture to the minute details (verbatim from their site, so it must be true!).

I won’t bore you with the details of my Trello, but it’s long! Ranging from writing an example application under the same restrictions as the students, to creating the wording for the poster to advertise the event.

However, before I could do any of that, I needed to agree on a date between Lush and Bournemouth University (BU). Luckily, that was pretty straight forward and we agreed on 12-13th June! There is no time for mistakes now, everything needs to run smoothly and it will, as I have a great team of people I can rely on.

Originally, we wanted to invite 21 students to participate, however, it is necessary to consider drop-out rates when organising an event (look at me acting like I know what I am talking about LOL). Therefore, we upped the intake to 30. I recently set-up an Eventbrite so that students could register for the event and we are pretty much at capacity without really making much effort!

Something I did organise with the Artwork Team to advertise the event was a poster – I wrote a draft outline of what I wanted on the poster, which I invited others to read and add/improve to so that collectively, we would be happy with how we were describing the event. I had a play with my fluid simulation so that we could add some interesting colours that not only looked good, but that also fit the brief of Creative Programming. I am really happy with the end results, which you can check below! I had to scrub some of the info since the tickets are still live and only BU students should have access to the details.

So, with the event set, I suddenly thought, what if I am asking too much of the students? I thought the best way to see what was possible, was to try and create something myself within the same constraints set on the students. Not only will this confirm that building something is possible (as I won’t have any team-mates), but whatever I build could be used by the students as their base code. Maybe they could improve what I have done and add to it too!

The theme of Creative Programming will link up to the idea of Lush Moods. Students will be given 3 products which will be linked to a certain category; for instance, one group might have 3 bath bombs that are meant to energise you, another group might have 3 bath bombs that are calming etc. From this, they will make colours, movement, sound or whatever else they can think of that represents the category they have been given.

I tried to do this and you can see my demo here. Little bubbles will float around your screen if no interaction is detected, however, if a mouse or touch is detected, you can control the direction of the bubbles . Depending on how fast the bubbles move, the background colours will change to match. It is a little bit of fun that shows an idea of mood creation.

Another thing needed for the day was a guest speaker! I am happy to confirm that George Corney will be attending! I mentioned George in my fluid simulation blog. He has been the inspiration for this event as he really captured my imagination with the cool stuff that can be achieved in this paradigm of programming! Not only is he considered one of the best in the Creative Programming industry, but he is also incredibly humble and kind. I couldn’t think of anyone better to be a guest speaker and take part in the event to help guide and inspire the students.

All that is left to do now is make sure the final details are nailed down and run the event! I will update my blog with part 3 of the code jam in late June, where I will look to discuss how the event turned out, so please come back then for an update!

Thanks for reading!

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