How programming can get you into space…

In order to get the most out of your job or study, it’s all about keeping inspired all the time. So that’s what we do at BSSA. We learn new things and we make sure we stay inspired by the things that have our interest. Last week NYCDA and Le Wagon got a visit from Tim and Jasper from Q42, a technical innovative agency where creativity and technology go hand in hand.

Around 65 people where only a few don’t know how to code, work at Q42. The self proclaimed ‘happy place for nerds’ started out as a small group of people who wants to make the internet friendlier.

One of their current projects is the Rijks Studio on the Rijksmuseum website. The project is giving exposure to the stored work that is always in the depots. Because the public isn’t able to see this work, Rijks Studio has over 250.000 photographed images on the website which are copyright free. Q42 also manages the traffic income on the Staatsloterij website at New Years Eve. ‘While the most of you guys are partying, the other half of the Dutch people is checking the website to see if they won the jackpot.’

Hackatons and outcomes

But not all good things come from regular work assignments. Tim told us about a two-day hackaton where he and his team made a solar powered UVA (Unmanned Aerial Vehicle). The UVA was programmed with a Paspberry Pi to detect uncommon or moving things. Tim did this project just for fun and found out later that this could be a perfect solution for a problem he didn’t even know about. He taught us that a project doesn’t always have to run on finding a solution to a problem. The UVA is now in use for Greenpeace to spot forest fires and endangered rhino species in Indonesia!

In space

Tim ended with a story about an experiment where they attached an Android phone to a big helium balloon and programmed it to make pictures during the flight. The last pictures they received were from way up in the stratosphere, where you could clearly see the earth and space.

Q42 was not only showing us in what cool place you could work as a coder. It also showed us that you’re able to do fun projects as a coder and gain experience by functionally ‘messing around’.