24 Hours of Madness (for a good cause) – The 2014 Overnight Website Challenge

Adam Richards and myself pressing all the words.
Adam Richards and myself pressing all the words.

24 hours of no sleep.

Well, it’s actually more like 30 hours or so.

No sleep.
Coding through the night.
In a mad dash to help a non-profit in need.

For the second year in a row, I participated in the Overnight Website Challenge in Minneapolis.

Last year’s Overnight Website Challenge was a disappointment for me. My 2013 team put all of our best effort and our hearts into it, but we ran into insurmountable problems that prevented us from completing the challenge in the 24 hour allotment. The few of us who had a passion to complete the project, did so months later, after a lot of additional work. I told myself “I’m not doing the OWC again,” I didn’t want to feel that disappointment all over again, and lose precious sleep to boot. But, some of my teammates from 2013 wanted to participate again, and I felt the need to support them, and do a good deed for a non-profit.

I had a damn fine team this year. Adam Richards , Brant Day, Bree Compton, Chris Bennett, Corey Stern, Jon Winton, Scott Garrison, Shane Smith, Sherman Bausch, and myself, flying under the banner of Team Raxacoricofallapatorius. We had UX, QA, front end, Javascript, and WordPress back end devs represented on the team. A well rounded, complimentary skill set, and we all worked well together. Tensions and frustration were minimal, technical glitches were few, everyone knew their role and played their part.

We gave our all for 24 hours straight. Coding through the night, until eyes were sore, blurry, bloodshot, filled with tears, with eyelids so heavy it hurt. Committing code up until the last minute, barely able to form complete sentences for git commit messages, but we carried on, doing whatever was needed. We created a fine product for a fine non-profit, and the product was “launchable” at the end of the challenge.

When the challenge was complete, I made the trek home, fell into the most comfy bed I have ever slept in, and slept for 12 hours straight. My family came home. I awoke long enough to hug each of the children, tell my wife I love her, and I fell asleep again, for another 6 hours or so.

Monday was a blur, much like the weekend, and all I could think of is more sleep.


And Batman.