BUILD 2022 was our seventh year coming together for a weekend of work, merging our tech skills with our Christian faith. This year saw the return of many people who have been with us since the beginning, and a number of new faces and ministries coming together for a weekend of cross-church of productivity, focus, community building, and worship.
How good and pleasant…
One of the joys of an event like BUILD is the time and space to join with Christian believers from all different churches across the UK and beyond. Alasdair Munday, software developer now training to lead a church, led us in a time of worship throughout our time together, digging deep into Psalm 133, “How good and pleasant it is, when God’s people live together in unity!” Alasdair led us in thinking deeply about what it looks like for us to fulfill the intentions that God has for us as the church, and one of those designs is to be united as we live and work together.
One of the ways that this works out in practice at BUILD is through all the participants joining together in teams to work on specific projects, however, avoiding the element of competition. Instead we encourage people to jump between projects as the need arises, to make sure each one was a success.
Nia, one of the designers in the room, came to BUILD for the first time this year and described the hackathon as:
…really encouraging to be surrounded and work alongside fellow Christians who want to create technology for God’s Kingdom!
It’s not a competition but…
Unity, collaboration, working and worshiping together are some of the key tenants of the hackathon, so BUILD is never a competition. However, it is right to highlight some of the exciting and impactful work that has been completed during the time together.
Each year we ask those attending to vote for particular favourites, this year’s two categories were ‘the project with the biggest potential for Kingdom impact’, and ‘the other project I’d have liked to work on’.
The project with the biggest potential for Kingdom impact was Bible Trainer, focusing on verse memorisation. The project was initially kicked on at BUILD 2018 as an android app, this year John Redeemed brought it back to explore building in voice recognition- allowing a user to speak the memorized scripture and then be corrected as they go. Another angle which they explored was using Amazon Alexa to help users listen and repeat the passage back. Both elements of the project are still being worked on and we’ll let you know when they go live.
The other project that gained attention as being the one people would have liked to work on besides their team was Upsio, a warehouse tool designed specifically for the needs of foodbanks. During the course the weekend they devised a way of categorising containers of food within a foodbank and a quick and easy method of seeing and checking the best-before dates to ensure that the food is distributed before it goes out of date on the shelf. Initially this project will be trialed in Shrewsbury, but the hope is that it will be able to be shared across many foodbanks going forwards.
We were also encouraged to be joined by ministries such as Stewardship, ChurchSuite, and Compassion who all came with different projects which are going to go on to serve the ministries in different ways. You can read more about ChurchSuite’s project and their experience on their blog post ‘Coding for the Kingdom’.
This was year seven, and we’re looking forward to year eight in 2023! Mark your calendars for BUILD 2023 on 13–14th October! Think you’d like to participate in a hackathon? We welcome all sorts of skillsets including project managers, designers, innovators, developers…. We would love to have you join us next year.
This year saw the return of many people who have been with us since the beginning, and a number of new faces and ministries coming together for a weekend of cross-church of productivity, focus, community building, and worship…
Jana is a UX designer, and part of the leadership of Kingdom Code.