YRS-2010 Roundup

Posted by Emma on August 11, 2010

A short essay on Young Rewired State 2010… If you don’t know what we are talking about, then check out the YRS page on rewiredstate.org. But as a short recap this is what we did, and why: Four centres of talented young coders (plus one young dev in Scotland and one in Reading) showed what could be done with government data. They picked their own themes and chose to find digital solutions or visualisations for things that interest or irritate them – there was only one rule: it must contain at least one government dataset. They spent the week at centres in London, Brighton, Norwich and Manchester, working with established tech teams, mentors and visiting experts, making apps, websites, games and visualisations.

We did this because:

  • The next generation needs to be able to interrogate and explore data; in many of the careers they choose it will become essential, especially media. Some are not taught code in schools and we think they should be or at least have that option. YRS is helping to showcase why and helping to boost those who are ahead of their game (often self-taught and flipping brilliant).
  • It helps those in power understand the things that interest and irritate young people into doing something about it themselves.
  • Working on projects in teams is fun and challenging, and actually quite unusual.
  • There is a lack of distinct lack of support for young people with an interest in technology - its time to change that! (But more plotting later..)

What happened at the Friday presentations event (in media)

(If you have any blogs/photos/videos/links etc - please send it to us and we’ll add it here)

There has been a LOT of twitter love over the past week, there is an awesome repository of tweets here.

Paul Clarke was our official social photographer on the day and took these staggeringly good photos (Thank you so much, Paul). There is also a gallery of all yrs2010 tagged photos: (on flickr)

Link: http://bit.ly/yrs2010-gallery

Special mention has to go to Tim Dobson, Steven Flower and the Manchester YRS team who made this rap, yes rap, about Rewired State and government data:

There are lots of videos. Also see more YRS videos on YouTube :)

The afternoon presentations were also streamed by the super FABULOUS Sam Smith – for whom we are MASSIVELY indebted: you can watch it all here (not sure how long for though!):

Link: http://www.ustream.tv/channel/rewired-state

What happened on Friday (in text)

On Friday, the young devs taking part and their host centres decended upon Transform’s offices in London to show what they did to an audience of government people, media and interested parties - as well as a judging panel made up of Andrew Stott, Ben Hammersley, Helen Milner, Mark O’Neill and Marisol Grandon (Marisol was picked out of the audience at the last minute as we had two missing judges!) Before the kickoff, an excited army of young geeks armed with their trusty laptops hung around in reception with a mixture of nerves and excitement. Five minutes before the show and tell was due to start, we let everyone in and the presentations began (after some wifi panic fun). Visit our projects page for a list of what was made. The apps are being loaded to here over the next few weeks, so you can have a look for yourself what they all are (Manchester has also loaded theirs onto a YRS page on the DFEY site):

The Presentations

Norwich @ NeonTribe
  • Gimme5 - Fred Peckett and Ben Holloway
  • Jobber - Jack Hair and James Clapperton
  • Notlate - Ryan Taylor
  • Tax Man - William Oakes
  • Better Off in Bed - Ryan Taylor
  • NatuSearch - James Cunningham
Brighton @ NixonMcInnes (all of team worked on both apps, but split the presenting)
  • Tubesmart - Harry Rickards, Lawrence Job
  • Socialibrary - Damon Hayhurst
  • Postcode Lottery - Steve Cox
London @ Osmosoft
  • Live London Leisure Locator - Dylan Maryk
  • CycleHubs - Daniel May
  • Un-Named - Sufian Hassan and Dylan Maryk
  • GovSpark - Isabell Long
  • Psych Survival Rates - David Goater
  • UniSearch - Sufian Hassan, David Goater, Harry Burty, Daniel May and Marcus Stewart Hughes
Manchester @ MadLab
  • Criminator - Ben Webb, David Kendal, Michael Mokrysz
  • E-food 2.0 - Tim Dobson
  • Cool Broadband - Rob Barry, Josh Pickett, Tim Dobson,
  • recycle.me - Josh Pickett
  • Pick My House - Michael Mokrysz
  • Pizzanator - Joe Henthorn
  • HTML5 Microdata - David Kendal
  • whatBlock - Rob Barry, Ben Webb, Josh Pickett
  • Twitter Picker - Tim Dobson
  • Manchester images through Time - Rob Barry, David Kendal
  • Bus Timetable - Josh Pickett, Ben Webb
  • Cutterama - Joe Henthorn
  • Bus Map Live - Ben Webb, Josh Pickett
Plus one manchester dev working from home:
  • hub:app - Stephen Mount

The Awards

The judges had a hell of a time choosing the winners, but they did extraordinarily ill, here goes. The winners were:

“Best coding” - James Cunningham – NatuSearch We have to say something about this over here as this completely blew the room away. James has written a little explanation here about how it works until he releases the code: http://dl.dropbox.com/u/334452/yrs/how.jpg.

This is what it does: “NatuSearch is a Natural Language Data Comparison Engine to help allow people easy access to usually large and complex data sets and also allow smart data access through comparison”. Ben Hammersley said that he actually did not know how James had done it, and offered James a job in the spot we are not sure whether he was joking or not.

What we would like to point out is that James did this on his own, as we had to disband our centre in Scotland after a few last minute drop-outs by the young devs – he had no mentor and no centre. He did get flown to London (blowing most of our sponsorship budget but WELL worth it!) and we awarded him Lego Mindstorm for his efforts – we are all a little bit in awe of James.

“Wish I’d thought of that” Ryan Taylor – NotLate

“Most likely to get you fired” Sufian Hassan and Dylan Maryk - iWanted

“Most likely to annoy a government CiO”

“Most likely to be bought” Josh Pickett and Ben Webb - Bus Timetable

“Best App” Damon Hayhurst, Harry Rickards and Lawrence Job - SocialLibrary

Runners Up:

Julia Chandler has written a detailed blog post about these winning apps, its well worth a read.

We would like to say, though, that seriously everything that was made by every young developer was astonishingly good. We are going to spend some time looking at each app and talking to all of the young developers about how we can take things forward and build on this network we have managed to cobble together – and will keep you posted on what we are doing over the coming months.

Blog roundup (so far)

  • http://baskersworld.wordpress.com/2010/08/07/young-rewired-state-2010-via-julias-blog/
  • http://blogs.gridfusions.com/lawrencejob/young-rewired-state-2-89.html
  • http://juliac2.wordpress.com/2010/08/07/young-rewired-state-2010/
  • http://ubelly.com/2010/08/young-rewired-state-young-geeks-1-week-1-use-of-govt-data-1-winner/
  • http://www.freedomdreams.co.uk/blog/2010/08/08/young-rewired-state-2010/
  • http://robbarry.blogspot.com/2010/08/whatblock-20.html
  • http://issyl0.wordpress.com/2010/08/09/young-rewired-state-2010/
  • http://madlab.org.uk/content/young-rewired-state-manchester-2/
  • http://www.blog.tdobson.net/node/422
  • http://www.blog.tdobson.net/node/419
  • http://martinbudden.wordpress.com/2010/08/09/young-rewired-state-and-government-electricity-waste/
  • http://yrsmcr.posterous.com/ (YRSManchester daily posts)
  • http://blog.jaggeree.com/post/926448419/a-tale-of-four-rewired-states-making-quick-apis
  • http://viciouz.co.uk/site/2010/08/young-rewired-state-2010/
  • http://thenextweb.com/uk/2010/08/06/teenagers-rewire-bus-timetables-the-results-are-really-useful/
  • http://dpk.org.uk/2010/08/09/young-rewired-state/
  • http://blog.openup.tso.co.uk/2010/07/21/young-geeks-mentors-1-week-yrs2010-and-new-uses-for-government-data/
  • http://www.eveningnews24.co.uk/content/eveningnews24/norwich-news/story.aspx?brand=ENOnline&category=News&tBrand=ENOnline&tCategory=xNews&itemid=NOED09%20Aug%202010%2009:13:13:010
  • http://www.nixonmcinnes.co.uk/?s=young+rewired+state&x=0&y=0 (YRSBrighton roundup and daily posts)
  • http://bobop.co.uk/2010/08/10/teen-hackers-create-buses-live-map/?utmsource=twitterfeed&utmmedium=twitter
  • http://menmedia.co.uk/manchestereveningnews/comment/blogs/s/1313741mencommentteenduomaparouteto_success
  • http://manchestertransport.wordpress.com/2010/08/07/teenagers-build-really-useful-apps-with-gmpte-data/
  • http://blog.codecomputerlove.com/2010/07/30/geek-meets-government/
  • http://iplextra.indiatimes.com/article/03IWgnzgWZ2VD?q=Time
  • http://boingboing.net/2010/07/19/uk-wide-teen-hackath.html
  • http://blog.osirra.com/2010/08/08/yrs2010/
  • http://blog.timetric.com/2010/08/13/timetric-links-friday-13th-august/
  • http://www.1800pocketpc.com/2010/08/09/windows-phone-7-apps-cycle-hub-locator-london.html
  • http://growthnict.wordpress.com/2010/07/21/something-interesting-is-happening-with-%E2%80%98data%E2%80%99/

Who’s who

If you’re missing from the list and should be there, please email your bio & twitter!



Damon Hayhurst (Brighton) - My hobbies include DJing and playing rugby. I came here to learn more about web development and design. Also as a form of work experience to improve my CV. I’m very much interested in social networking and how it affects the media as a whole. I hope what I will get out of the week will benefit my skills in web development.

Harry Rickards (Brighton) - Hi, I’m Harry. I know a bit of PHP, HTML/CSS and C, and want to learn a lot more (PHP). I signed up for Young Rewired State to get some more experience, and hopefully make something cool that’s useful to someone. I’ve had quite a bit of experience in open source projects, e.g I’m part of the Debian Multimedia Packaging Team and the contact point between that team and upstream (the developer of the program) for LiVES (a piece of video editing software).

David Kendal (Manchester) - Wizard.

Daniel May (London) - Daniel May is an 18 year old software developer from Surrey, originally beginning developing applications in PHP, MySQL and VB6 around 7 years ago - before moving to .NET. Daniel didn’t take the ordinary route into Software Development - he dropped out of college at 17 and entered his first job as a developer in June 2009.

Now working for sharpcloud, a software development company surrounding corporate roadmapping, Daniel is specialising in Silverlight and Blend. Daniel is extremely interested in the development community and has now spoken at multiple programming-related conferences around the UK - also currently in the process of seeking and working on publishing opportunities.

Lawrence Job (Brighton) - Hi there, I’m @lawrencejob. I freelance under the better known brand GridFusions, and love cloud/web development. I have attended a few Rewired State events before, and always leave wanting more – I enjoy socialising, coding and the feeling of changing the country. Albeit slowly. I attended YRS last year, and loved it, so, naturally, I’m here again.

Dave Goater (London) - 16 years old, I like to dabble in pretty much anything, coding being just one such thing. I’m really into music, play saxophone and am in a band where I sing as well as playing the sax (not at the same time!). I’m also into sport, especially swimming, I swim for a club and have recently become fully qualified as a Lifeguard. Will probably go on to University after college but am just taking life as it comes so I may not.

Dylan Maryk (London) - I am a 14 year old website and app designer with a passion for technology. I have previously run multiple websites and am now focused on iPhone application development, and would like to develop for other platforms in the future. I am also very interested in learning new programming languages in the future, such as Java and PHP.

Isabell Long (London) - I came along to Young Rewired State last year and it was great, so I decided to sign up for 2010 too. I am a 16 year old girl geek passionate about data who can code in HTML and CSS but who is learning, albeit slowly, more programming languages. I have learnt loads this week and it has been thoroughly enjoyable.

Joe Henthorn (Manchester) -

I have decided To write my biography As a haiku, yeah?

Robert Barry (Manchester) - I came to Young Rewired state last year and enjoyed coding with other people in a similar situation to me and so once I heard about Young Rewired State this year I wanted to go. I’m interested in the side of the data which is applicable to transport systems, in particular the rail and bus networks and enjoyed helping to develop the “untransport direct” project last year. I have programmed before in a number of languages, for example PHP (with MySQL), C++, Java (at a push) and my favourite of all Ruby - which I will almost certainly be using again this year.

Sufian Hassan (London) - I am a Designer and Developer who mainly leaves most of the coding to others, I usually tend to be the one who thinks of the ideas and invents the user interface and the designs. Some of the skills I have helped me in starting up my own company in the past few months.

Michael Mokrysz (Manchester) - I’m a web developer from Yorkshire, competent in PHP, MySQL, HTML/CSS and JavaScript and having experimented with many more. I’ve been into development since the age of 11, and I’m also moving into iPhone development and developing with Python.

Josh Pickett (Manchester) - Well hi there! My name is Josh, Im 15 and im a webby - techy - designery person from Manchester (yes I’m a northerner).  I’ve been messing around with tech stuff for a couple of years now but I’ve only really got any good at it since the last Young rewired State in 2009. Since then I’ve learned a hell of a lot about php, mysql, c, objective-c, css, javascript (inc. json and jquery), applescript and im planning on looking into ruby or python soon (I’m open to suggestions of which to choose).

I currently work as a freelance web designer/developer/graphic designer from my home in reddish under the studio alias http://alymbic.co.uk and have been doing so for about four months. In my spare time I play guitar, ukulele and piano, though I’m significantly worse at the latter, and read magazines about design, which I probably find vastly more interesting than most people do but that’s just me. (Hopefully I wont use as many brackets, or commas, next time I write! )

James Cunningham (London) - I am a fully self-taught coder who started out with desktop programming in languages like QBasic and VB, and then moved on to web programming in languages like PHP using MySQL, HTML/CSS and Javascript. I also dabble in C++ but I am far from fluent. I enjoy building and designing different types of web application purely for the challenge that it presents.

Jack Hair (Norwich) - I like to animate and learnt some Action Script 2 for Flash to make a few games. Since then I have been trying to learn JavaScript and messing about with templates in Dreamweaver.

Ben Holloway (Norwich) - I Like Macs. Steve Jobs is the next Messiah. My Languages are Objective C (++).

Fred Peckett (Norwich) - I have a huge interest in technology, starting at an early age. I am fairly new to the world of coding but have a passion to learn. I aim to study some kind of computer based subject at University and plan to widen my knowledge and continue with learning. I am a very heavy computer user, ranging from gaming to coding to web design. I also have a huge love of building computers and have built many over the years.

James Clapperton (Norwich) - very interested and enthusiastic about working in the IT sector. i know a little html and have created a few websites. i do a lot of study in my own time as to what is required to do well in ICT as a career. i am willing to work on most tasks and am enthusiastic to learn new things and  to give things a go that i have no experience with.

William Oakes (Norwich) - I am relatively inexperienced in coding but I hope to learn more about it from Young Rewired State.

Ryan Taylor (Norwich) - I’m 15, I can’t really code to save my life, but I am good with Photoshop. I would like to learn  how to code and learn different languages.

Marcus Stewart Hughes (London) - I am a PHP developer from Weston-super-Mare, I started computing and have been messing with programming and server related projects for about 4-5 years. Currently I work in server administration for a small company.

Stephen Mount (Manchester) - Self-proclaimed Drupal developer, ideas guy and entrepreneur.

Harry Burt (London) - I’m an amateur programmer and Wikipedia administrator. I have previously worked making Firefox addons, Adobe Flash projects, maintaining a website, and contributing to open source collaborative desktop projects. My main area of interest is political economy.

Stephen Cox (London) - 17 year old tech enthusiast from Wokingham, who enjoys game development and web design and is hoping to make a career in one of them.

Megan (Manchester) - I have created a couple of sites and write and design my own online magazine.

MENTORSThere were lots of mentors involved, its going to take us a few days to collect their details….

Ben Webb (Manchester) - I’m 19, and I like to code, And play with data an awful load, I came to YRS last year, And now I’m a ment-or, But my app writing hasn’t slowed. (Although my poetry hasn’t improved).

Glyn Wintle (London) - Software consultant and behind the Open Rights Group.

Ben Griffiths (London) - Startup escapee, consultant and coding coach.

Tim Dobson (Manchester) - ”I started school at Padfield County Primary before attending Manchester Grammar School for my secondary education and GCSE’s. I then went on to do my A levels in Applied ICT, Geology and French at the Marple Campus of the Cheadle and Marple Sixth Form College. My professional life is rooted in Information Technology, I am currently employed as both a Systems Engineer for a small Internet Telephony consultants in Manchester, as well as being a contracted part-time systems administrator for  large corporation with responsibility for their Xen Web Cluster.

My interest in computing and digital rights grew after my introduction to free software whilst still at school. From there my ambitions for and involvement with the Manchester and later the UK technology scene grew to the point that I now travel widely to attend meetings and have given a variety of talks on many issues including “”Engaging Young People in Technology”” at BECTA’s Open Source schools ‘unconference’.”


Emma Mulqueeny is one of Britain’s leading digital communication strategists and communicators. She has spent much of the last decade successfully crafting transformational digitial initiatives, at senior levels, across the British Government and in the States.

She has consulted to the Cabinet Office, Foreign Office, Home Office, Department of Work and Pensions (DWP), Central Office of Information (COI) and Her Majesty’s Revenue & Customs (HMRC), among others. Reinforcing this work is her track record as a serial entrepreneur described by Britain’s first Digital Minister, Tom Watson MP, as “simply extraordinary”.

Daniel Morris is an active web developer and social geek. Since previously working in the BBC’s youth strand Switch, he has been championing young geeks and trying to organise ways to support and promote them. As well as co-organising YRS 2009/2010, he’s also involved in Apps for Good and blogs about youth & tech.

This year apart from young geeks, he has focused on building exciting apps around socialising SMEs in the UK (as part of a team that won the O2 Incubator competition). Before moving to London, he co-organised and grew the northern tech user group Geekup.

Sam Smith was part of the team that won first prize at the first RewiredState hack day, runs the OpenTech conference, and has his fingers in a wide variety of pies.

Tiffany St James is the former Head of Public Participation (Digital) for UK GOvernment and Director of Comms for Directgov. She advises the Speaker of the House of Commons on public engagement and launched data.gov.uk working with the Cabinet Office and Sir Tim Berners-Lee.

Tiffany advises governments and industry on digital strategy, social media and digital skills and capability. She is mapping the Open Data world and connecting the private and public sector leaders to drive the world’s open data agenda forwards. Tiffany is the Head of Comms for Rewired State, the largest open data movement.

Milo Yiannopoulos is a technology journalist specialising in privacy, piracy and the UK start-up scene. He writes twice weekly for the Telegraph on technology and once weekly on culture and celebrity.

He is director of the boutique marketing and communications agency WRONG and an editorial director for hire to start-ups. He also advises media groups on online strategy and digital development. Oh, and he’s studying English at Cambridge, because he’s really not busy enough with all the other stuff.