Project Master Debater – Twitter Sentiment 2012 Presidential Debate

by Security Dude

Bunch of HackerSchoolers got together to build a twitter sentiment engine. One thing that was quite clear, even after two planning meetings, we were unprepared. Teams were broken into two groups. Front end and back end teams.

Front End Team

The front end team decided to investigate set up of a node.js server sitting on a linux box, serving up visualized data using Cubism.js.  This was definitely an exercise in building a server with lots of dependencies and new components that none of the project group had seen before. (Note: pick the simplest technology stack and get a POC up and running and iterate to get features and core functionality more sophisticated)

Back End Team

Back end team leveraged a prebuilt package that Corey built. It included a Twitter stream processor, spelling correcter and sentiment engine dumping to Redis.  A few of us dug into the code and learned the codebase.  Some modifications where made to testing, but one key feature of learning is “clean your data files” prior to pushing code to github. (Note: Dumb n00b == me)

Friday was a successful day overall! I did notice that each of us had some growing pains learning to work with each other. Internet, food logistics, and comfort are keys to a successful day.  Two apple charges and 3 MBP’s kept us swapping power.

It was clear there was no leader and no goals set. It was weird for me, as I come from a project management background and I have definitely seen and used structure to move a project.  Maybe this was just being AGILE. I enjoyed the randomness of our conversations and our free flow expression.

I think all of us had fun being nerdy and coding until midnight

Friday’s HackDay is a win in my books. Above is the basic flow of the application. Previous posts on this blog show secondary visualizations and the setup of our HackDay. We are hoping to get a small group together today to duct tape the stuff all together and get a working model ready for the debate.

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