I returned from RootsTech a few days ago, and my head is still spinning. The conference was just plain fantastic. I had a wonderful time attending classes, browsing the exhibits in the Expo Hall, and learning from other developers and genealogists. I even found a few minutes to spare at the famous Family History Library in Salt Lake City (where I dug into the 1915 and 1925 New York State censuses in an effort to bust through a brick wall).
RootsTech was amazing for so many reasons, but two stand out in particular for me. The first is that I got to teach a class on Saturday afternoon about building an open source genealogical search engine with Apache Solr. I know that’s quite a mouthful, but what it really means is “How and Why I Built LeafSeek”. I’m not sure if this will make much sense out of context without my lecture, but here is my PowerPoint slide deck from the class, if you’d like to take a look:
The other big thing that happened to me at RootsTech…? I am thrilled to say that LeafSeek came in second place in the 2012 RootsTech Developer Challenge! Woo hoo!
I got a chance to meet almost all of my fellow finalists, and I wish I had more time to spend with them all. All of the entries were really terrific — maybe the better word is inspiring. It was so great to talk to other people who, like me, love that little intersection of technology and genealogy, and love building new applications to make our lives easier.
Congratulations to all the entrants:
|Designation||Project Name||Submitted By|
|Grand Prize||NoteFuser||Jimmy Zimmerman|
|2nd Prize||LeafSeek||Brooke Schreier Ganz <– that’s me!|
|3rd Prize (tie)||20 Minute Genealogist||BYU Computer Science Dept. (team)|
|3rd Prize (tie)||Facetree||Ellie Rasmus|
|Finalist||Family Group Folders Online||James Taylor|
|Finalist||GEDCOM parser||Dallan Quass|
|Family History Media (iOS, Android)||Brian Moncur (AppTime)|
|Family History Notebook||Brian Moncur (AppTime)|
|GenAssist||Banai Lynn Feldstein|
|Genealogy in the Classroom|
|Genedocs Hybrid Data Entry Spreadsheet||Eric Jelle|
|GenQuiry: Manage your family history research||Helen Wright|
|Pedigree chart viewer||Stephen C Murphy|
|ProgenyLink||Kent William Huff|
|Similar-name finder for genealogy||Dallan Quass|
|Text Enhancer||Oliver Nina|