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Hackathon helps redesign Ride for Roswell website

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Buffalo: Hackathon helps redesign Ride for Roswell website
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BUFFALO, N.Y. -- Stocked with plenty of coffee and energy drinks, a group of about 50 computer experts hacked into the Ride for Roswell website late Monday night into Tuesday morning. However, their intentions were good.

The web technicians, programmers, and designers embarked on a 12 hour hackathon that aimed to redesign the event's website. Each expert worked as a team and turned what would be months of planning and work, into an overnight project.

"Being in the same room at the same time instead of all the work that goes into scheduling meetings and trying to follow up and remember what everybody said, by doing this in such a condensed time frame, it's absolutely amazing what you can get accomplished," said team leader Mark Greenfield.

The group, from all over the country, was in Buffalo for the 2013 HighEdWeb Annual Conference. It featured different events centered around the computer industry.

Instead of donating money to a charity, the group gave up their time and skills.

"We probably wouldn't be able to do this on our own without a lot of money," said Ride for Roswell Director Brian Sidorowicz. "These folks have agreed to make this leap for us with all this talent."

The Ride for Roswell attracts thousands of bicycle riders to Buffalo each year to raise millions of dollars for cancer research. The 2014 version is scheduled to take place on June 27th and 28th.

Sidorowicz said over the last few years there's been a noticeable shift in the way people donate, from the computer, now to cell phones. The hackers also worked on making the new website mobile friendly.

"That's kind of our number one resource for fundraising," Sidorowicz said. "We need to make it easier for those folks to share information and right to the ability to donate."

"Giving them a really strong website is an easy way to bring people together and make a noticeable difference for this charity that really does help people going through cancer and their supporters and fans," said computer technician Alex Hosselet.

The newly designed website won't be unveiled until winter but for more information go to www.rideforroswell.org .

YNN is a proud sponsor of the Ride for Roswell.

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