Freeformers

Want to learn how to hack in a week or get your start up idea backed by some serious angel investors?

Freeformers Shoreditch Group TechJam

It was a cold and snowy Friday but that didn’t stop the fire-like passion of the Shoreditch group. We got so much! I still can’t believe it!

The shoreditch group was just a joy to teach, the flow of the day just came naturally and those with technical experience and those new to the internet all came out with some really great looking facebook applications and I had a lot of fun hanging out - certainly learnt a lot about the narwhal.

I should mention that the location was fantastic too. The Departure Cafe on Commercial Road is very homely and filled with unusual oddities and bizarre antique instruments.

Thanks again Shoreditch Group, it was a blast!

Freeformers UCL TechJam

Teaching during a Techjam is always a great experience, especially getting to meet new people. The experience is incredibly enjoyable with sharp, attentive and focused young minds to work with, like the ones we had yesterday at UCL in Central London.

With 48 attendees in a lecturing room with no space to move between the isles, you’d have thought teaching would be challenging to say the least.But nope, not for us. We held the first half of a two part lesson, and boy were they paying attention! When we started to engage with this large diverse group of talented students, we instantly knew we’d struck ‘Digital Gold.’

They had some interesting goals and aspirations for the future, as well as some refreshing, ‘out of the box’ ideas, and we cant wait to meet them again next week for the second installment of the Techjam.

See you soon fellow app makers!

What Freeformers Has Been Up To This February

Boy have we been busy!

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* We’ve now trained over 400 people in our ‘Digital Immersion Workshops’,  with around 200 young people receiving that experience for free. We’ve established partnerships with 15 youth centres, charities, community groups, and universities; including the Princes Trust, Paddingrton, and the London College of Fashion.

And honestly, we’ve had an amazing time: laughing, and coding, with people who never thought they would ‘get tech’ making apps and surprising themselves in the process. A true diversity of backgrounds, sexes, races, and settings. If you haven’t taken a look at the Facebook page recently, or our Twitter channel, you can see the positive and colourful responses we’re getting there! 
(oh, and why not give us a ‘like’ or ‘follow’ while you’re there ;o)

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New Challenger Enters!

A very warm Freeformers welcome to the host with the most, Lewie “Lynx”.

Lewie has only been in the office for three days but his sense of humour, confidence and warmth gives the impression he’s already an adored old timer. Yet his passion and enthusiasm for development ignites our Freeformed hearts. Lynx’s experience with blogging site Bounds Free Media and love for the mic is certainly going to shake up the Freeformer attitude and bring some funky new tricks to the community and TechJams. Check out Lynx’s interview above and keep your eyes on the Freeformer Facebook Page to keep up to date with him (and us!).

Welcome aboard bro!

 

Phew! have things been busy over here at Freeformers.
We’ve got ourselves a brand new website, brand new logo and a brand new attitude.
The extremely beautiful web genius Alice Brennan has opened the floodgates to our offices, she’s begun teaching B2C courses, two-hour programs that transform you from zero web skill newb to web design pro as you are taught to build your very own fan site to flaunt to your valentines.
I will also be loitering so if theirs any experienced coders who want to learn a few new tricks, I will lead you to the darkest corners of the internet.

Check out la youtube of some of the incredible feedback we got from last time!
And sign up to some of the classes running this week!

Two Hours to a Professional Website

21st Feb 7-9pm: http://freeformerswebsite.eventbrite.co.uk
26th Feb 7-9pm: http://twohoursefreeformers.eventbrite.co.uk

Zero to Web Hero: Making Websites for Absolute Beginners

23rd Feb 7-9pm: http://webhero.eventbrite.co.uk
25th Feb 10-12am: http://90minuteweb.eventbrite.co.uk

I love you,
Max.

Freeformers Art Hack day review

Written by Gintare Zitkeviciute (@Gintaria)

James Quarles (Facebook), Professor Helen Storey MBE, the London College of Fashion, artist Lucy Orta, the Central Saint Martins College of Art and Design, as well as young creative minds from Freeformers came together earlier for the Freeformers Art Hack. The aim was to explore opportunities for the tech and art worlds to help each other grow, innovate and deliver social good. I can tell you firsthand that it was an amazing event.

Professor Helen Storey MBE, London College of Fashion was really enthused and send this to the team: “Thank you all for such an amazing day – my head is still spinning with what could be possible.”

Gi Fernando,the Chair of Freeformers, summed up why it is so important to fuse art and tech. “It was experimental and it pushed the boundaries on how tech can be used outside of the technology sector. It brought together global brands and leaders in their field with young creative minds. We’re really excited about how we use the Art Hack to help non-tech people use the massive pool of simple and free web tools to start making their ideas a reality.”

James Quarles, Facebook, started the day with a challenging question: “So, why does the art world needs tech and why does tech need the art world?”. James emphasised that diversity is really important. In the tech world people often lack creativity and inspiration to come up with new ideas and innovate. At the same time, the art world needs to use and explore tech opportunities to create social good, reach bigger audiences and make creative ideas happen more rapidly.

We had a lot of discussions and small workshops during the day. We explored challenges, presented most interesting tools, and shared experience about previous projects.

Community engagement and social media were of interest for everyone. How could we reach bigger audiences? How could we grow communities? What are the best ways and tools to grow engagement of the community?

During the day we focused on several projects.

Antarctica - No Borders (1995-2012) is artist Lucy Orta’s most ambitious ongoing visual art project to date, which has developed from expedition to Antarctica in 2007 and through subsequent art installations and public art projects it addresses issues relating to the environment, politics, autonomy, habitat, mobility and relationships among peoples.

The project Art Square was launched in Kaunas, Lithuania in 2010. The Art Pit collective worked with an abandoned fountain from Soviet Union time and transformed it to a social activity pool for inhabitants of the city. This social space was used for various initiatives of local youth, artists and enthusiasts. More about the art projects here.

At the end of Art Hack we were all full of ideas, willing to collaborate and make amazing projects happen together! We all agreed that this type of forum is critical to generate new ideas and, importantly, make them happen.

Thank you all for coming and special thanks for Facebook London for amazing hosting and delicious lunch!

We are passionate to organise creative hacks again. Lets explore, share and learn together!

Max Blog Jan 14th

A very happy new year to all you Freeformer blog readers!

My first week back has been busy. I did a bit of work for the marvellous recommendation app LoveThis https://lovethis.com/ (click link to take you to the site). The Love This group has joined our scarily unoccupied workspace and they’re a lovely bunch of geniuses that work on better computers than us.

Also, Santa has delivered three new lovely faces to the Freeformers team!

Lucy organises event and attended the booster session Friday and was amazing. The booster session is to fine-tune our coding skills, Lucy recounts how she use to cry at the thought of coding but she is now frequently fist bumping the air.

Emma has just joined today! Although she’s been working with Gi for sometime and is a veteran COO in communications and company exposure.

She will be helping to hone the company mantra and revamp the Freeformers website - take a hard long last look at http://www.freeformers.com/ as it’s about to change!

Paul, compliment to the work of Jason and our new COO.

 So a warm welcome to all of them!

Meanwhile, I have been working on my lecture notes so hopefully I’ll be teaching you some of you lovely readers soon!

 Christmas Max

 

 

 

Here we are Freeformers starting 2013 and ready to grow rapidly, launch amazing projects and discover new talent! Our first working day of the year was dedicated to inspiration and networking with other enthusiasts! Gintare and Aleksandr visited Timberyard in Old Street today, which hosted it’s first meet up event in 2013 and invited visitors to Icarus Session.

The Icarus Sessions are a challenging new way to bring your art forward. Not to make a sales pitch, not to get customers or patrons, but to find the courage to stand up and say, ‘here, I made this’. A presentation at an Icarus Session is 140 seconds long. You can go shorter, but not a second longer. Icarus Sessions are inspired and organised by Seth Godin, who has written fourteen books that have been translated into more than thirty languages. Every book has been a best-seller. He writes about the post-industrial revolution, the way ideas spread, marketing, quitting, leadership and most of all, changing everything. Here at Freeformers we love to be inspired by Seth’s ideas, especially while rapidly iterating, shipping our projects and changing how digital influence our lives!

It was great to meet all those motivated people and hear about diverse projects which involved mentoring, children education, open source movement, project in 30 days and many other stories, encouraging to do what you love. So amazing that Seth Godin created such a strong community. Even without him in the room, on 2nd of January Timberyard had around 40 people quoting his books, telling stories about suddenly changed careers, and encouraging others to network and do something together!

We strive to create strong community at Freeformers as well! And Seth Godin is a great  inspiration to start new year and upcoming projects! And of course thanks to Timberyard team for lovely hosting and perfect Lates!

Happy 2013! 

Written by Gintare Zitkeviciute

Freeformers last week before festive season started from meetup and workshop with Jeremy  Rossmann from San Francisco. He comes from startup Make Games With Us which just recently graduated from YCombinator. It is very successful company which already got a lot of attention from media, users as well as investors. Jeremy and his co-founder Ashu Desai started their idea and teaching others to code already in high school. Now Jeremy is 21 years old, travelling around Europe, making deals and spreading their vision and mission.

Our plan for the day was to build Angry Birds iPhone app and dive into Objective C. Most of our crowd around 10 people had either web development experience or no experience in coding at all. 

I really enjoyed how Jeremy was teaching us. We started from a few tricks to make some graphics move, input sounds and just play with http://www.makegameswith.us/ tutorials. As most of new wave coders and Freeformers Jeremy was also emphasising the importance of ‘Copy/Paste’ and just ‘Google It’ when you got a problem. Seems easy, but so often forgotten! :]

It was an interesting but challenging day. Make Games With Us tutorials are very helpful and easy to use, but still without any experience in Java, Objective C syntax might be a real pain. 

However, all of us managed to build first level of Angry Birds, play with sounds and animations, and get to know one more language! I find it interesting that all programming languages have almost the same logic and the biggest challenge is always syntax. It is like listening to foreign language, when you do understand body language and context, but are not able to put your sentence on paper.

I highly recommend everyone who is interested in learning to build native iPhone games, start from http://www.makegameswith.us/ tutorials. Also, they give you advice and help for free and you can publish your apps using their service as well! 

Thank you Jeremy, I hope you will have a great time in Europe! 

Written by Gintare Zitkeviciute