The CodeBlacks previewed
18 May 2010 | admin | 2 Comments
In the first of our team previews, we asked a New Zealand scout to assess how the CodeBlacks are likely to perform in the upcoming FullCodePress competition. For obvious reasons she prefers to remain anonymous…
FCP: How strong is the team overall?
Anonymous scout: Look, let’s make no mistake. This is a very strong CodeBlacks team! The selectors have worked hard to uncover the best web talent in New Zealand. Now, whether they’re as strong as the ‘07 or ‘09 CodeBlacks – well, that’s the question. I don’t think we’re going to see that answered until the event.
FCP: What’s different about FullCodePress 2010 from previous years?
Anonymous scout: Well, clearly, the participation of Team USA alters the whole dynamic of the event. It’s no longer a one-on-one event, the CodeBlacks are going to have to take account of two teams. A lot of people are picking the star power of Team USA as the biggest hurdle the CodeBlacks will need to overcome. I’m not so sure. Remember, both previous FullCodePress competitions saw the CodeBlacks travel to Australia to compete. There’s a lot to be said for a team traveling away to compete – the chance to bond, less distractions. I think the pressure of competing at home is going to weigh on the CodeBlacks. They’ll need to deal with the expectations of their rabid fanbase. There’ll be a lot of media attention. How they cope with this could prove a defining factor in the final outcome.
FCP: What the biggest surprise from the selectors?
Anonymous scout: Oh, it’s absolutely the selection of Wood as Project Manager. To me, this is the sort of bold, radical selection we’ve come to expect from the selectors – I’m sure Von Lampard’s pushed strongly for this selection in particular. But, getting back to Wood. She’s young, she’s untried at this level of competition. They’ve picked her on potential. I think it’s great selection, but Wood will need to stamp her authority over the team right at the start.
FCP: Sam Minnee’s been there or thereabouts for a couple of years now. It’s his time?
Anonymous scout: Definitely. Sam’s put in a lot of work over the past couple of years and thoroughly deserves this selection. Programmer – it’s a position where you’ve got to put in the hard yards. There’s no substitute for time spent coding. Sam’s kept his head down, worked hard and been rewarded.
FCP: For those who’ll be watching online, what’s some things they should focus attention on?
Anonymous scout: Keep an eye on the Matt Buchanan / Mike Harding combination. They play together at provincial level for Cactus Lab and if they can bring the combinations they’ve worked on to the international stage, we could see some fireworks. That link between designer and front-end developer is crucial and if they can spread things wide, there’s no doubt this CodeBlacks team can perform with the very best in the world.
Also, take note of how Lulu Pachuau performs. For those young user experience advocates out there, you could do a lot worse than copying her style. It’s not a classic UX approach, but as she’s proved time and time again, it’s an extremely effective one.
FCP: Finally, Hadyn Green. A risky choice as Wordsmith?
Anonymous scout: You’ve gotta pick talent! I mean, yes, Hadyn’s known as the Jesse Ryder of the competitive web scene and as we can see by his choice of photo, he’s making no apologies for that to anyone. But the boy can write! If Wood and the senior team members can keep him in line, I think we’ll see the best of Hadyn Green at FullCodePress.
FCP: And your pick for the winner?
Anonymous scout: The CodeBlacks. I know, hometown call! But I’ve seen some of their closed practice sessions. They’re hungry for this one. Still, at the end of the day, web’s going to be the winner.