What is a Code Sprint? Emma Findlow explains

Category: Blog

By Janice


Have you ever thought about running a code sprint or wanted to find out more? Emma Findlow of Wallscope explains how Wallscope's recent event allowed them to explore new ideas and further their product development.

What is a Code Sprint?

A Code Sprint is when developers and designers get together for a set period of time to focus on a particular challenge. It’s an informal and collaborative approach that allows those participating to explore ideas, learn from each other and develop new skills. Wallscope's Code Sprint focused on turning information from anonymised medical documents and NHS open data into a visual dashboard or interface. This could give a view of a particular illness or drug across Scotland, for example.

Tell us about your recent Code Sprint
Wallscope has an ongoing relationship with Amsterdam University of Applied Sciences and we were very happy to welcome a group of students to take part in the two-day data visualisation challenge.

They were joined by students from Heriot-Watt and Edinburgh Napier Universities, as well as staff from the Information Services Division(ISD) of NHS National Services Scotland, the Scottish Government, Wallscope and other organisations. There were 22 attendees in total across the two days.

The event was a great opportunity for the students to learn more about linked data technologies, develop their skills and apply them to a practical use case. We were pleased to find out that the Amsterdam students came top of the class when they presented their solution back at home!

Some exciting and innovative design approaches were explored, which we hope to incorporate into our product development as we move forward. It was also a chance for students, industry experts and Wallscope staff to meet and share ideas (and eat pizza!) in a creative and informal environment.

Any plans for more Code Sprints?
We will be running another Code Sprint later in the year, alongside work experience and student placements, as part of our programme of talent and product development activities.

The purpose of this programme is to expose our technologies within educational settings as well as creating opportunities for students to produce working outputs from our system.

This helps Wallscope to identify and work with prospective talent and to build a practical awareness of our products and services. As we are working with cutting-edge technologies it is vital that we engage with those who understand this changing landscape and are able to apply and develop their skills in a fast-paced and challenging environment.

Tell us about your work with ISD and Civtech
Wallscope’s relationship with ISD stems from our involvement in the CivTech pilot programme, when we were selected to develop a solution to their Challenge – ‘how can we make health publications more accessible and appealing?’
Our solution linked data on prescriptions, GP practices, and the NHS workforce to produce dashboards which enhanced the search, discovery and exploration of ISD’s data.

It’s now been two years since the Challenge and our Dynamic Data Discovery platform is running as a service within ISD. We’ve continued to work with them to explore potential applications of our technology. Most recently we’ve been developing a tool called Casebook to help GPs and their teams identify, prioritise and manage patients recently discharged from hospital. The Code Sprint helped us to explore techniques for extracting and visualising information from hospital discharge letters.

The next steps for Casebook will be to demonstrate the capabilities of machine learning tools and improve the interface with testing in a live environment, as well as securing funding for further development.

Please drop us a line if you’re interested in finding out more or taking part in an event!
Written by Emma FIndlow of Wallscope
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"What is a Code Sprint? Emma Findlow explains" first published on Company Connecting July 2018

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