Mo­bile con­nec­tion

The Covington News - - FRONT PAGE - GABRIEL KHOULI gkhouli@cov­news.com

Busi­nesses and or­ga­ni­za­tions can con­nect with web de­sign­ers and de­vel­op­ers look­ing for work at Up­load Newton Satur­day.

Busi­nesses and or­ga­ni­za­tions need­ing web help and lo­cal web de­sign­ers and de­vel­op­ers look­ing for work have a chance to con­nect Satur­day at a first-of-its-kind event in Newton County.

Dozens of lo­cal web de­vel­op­ers and de­sign­ers will spend a full busi­ness day Satur­day com­pet­ing to cre­ate the best web­site, mo­bile app or logo for three lo­cal or­ga­ni­za­tions at Up­load Newton, a oneday hackathon, tak­ing place at The Center for Com­mu­nity Preser­va­tion (The Center), 2104 Wash­ing­ton St., Cov­ing­ton.

Or­ga­nizer Ruth Miller, her­self a web savvy for­mer res­i­dent of Newton County, said that “any and all de­vel­op­ers are ab­so­lutely wel­come” and can reg­is­ter for free at www.cen­ternew­ton.org/up­load.

The ac­tual hackathon will run from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., with de­vel­op­ers pre­sent­ing their prod­ucts at 5 p.m. and judges from the three par­tic­i­pat­ing or­ga­ni­za­tions se­lect­ing the win­ners.

Then a meet-and-greet will run from 6-7 p.m., and de­vel­op­ers will be stand­ing by their fin­ished prod­ucts ready to talk to in­ter­ested busi­nesses and or­ga­ni­za­tions.

“Some very ca­pa­ble lo­cal de­vel­op­ers know how to build rel­a­tively com­plex web­sites, hard-coded with tech­nolo­gies like Python and Java. But there’s a strong lo­cal need for very sim­ple web­sites, some­thing an or­ga­ni­za­tion can make sim­ple changes to them­selves,” Miller said. “Word­press, Wix, Wee­bly, Squares­pace, etc,. are great for that, and any­one able to as­sem­ble a sim­ple web­site with th­ese would have the op­por­tu­nity to do well at Up­load.”

Miller, who now lives in Oakland, Calif., grew up work­ing on web projects for par­ents’ friends in Newton County. She came up with the idea to pro­mote lo­cal tal­ent af­ter a Cov­ing­ton busi­ness owner re­cently sought her out across the county to build a web­site.

“’You shouldn’t have to go all the way to Cal­i­for­nia to get a web­site built,’ I rea­soned, but (the busi­ness owner) didn’t know any­one lo­cal to hire,” Miller wrote in a blog post pro­mot­ing the event. “That’s when it hit me: if you’re a new resi- dent, like about half of Newton County, you’re not as plugged into the lo­cal word of mouth as my par­ents’ friends and may not know any tech-savvy stu­dents or young adults. And even if you’ve been here a long time, you may not have had the time to get online, mak­ing it harder for new res­i­dents to dis­cover you.”

Kay Lee, di­rec­tor of The Center, said Up­load Newton is another ef­fort in the “Buy Lo­cal” cam­paign, and Hunter Hall, pres­i­dent of the Cov­ing­ton-Newton County Cham­ber of Com­merce, said he ex­pects the event to be a cat­a­lyst for more col­lab­o­ra­tions..

For more de­tails, con­tact Miller at 770-3129295 or visit www.cen­ternew­ton.org/up­load. For prize in­for­ma­tion go to Cov­News.com.

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