Nerds build Extra Life dashboard to further mission to help kids

Extra Life logo

By Chris Tidd

Software Engineer

Since 2012, The Nerdery’s Extra Life team, Extra Life Nerds, has raised money for local Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals as part of a 24-hour gaming marathon. This year, the tradition continues on November 5, and this time, our Nerds brought a gift for every team participating. 

Keeping Track of Donations

During this annual event, it’s easy to lose track of donations coming in, goals being met and current standings among other team members (for a little friendly, internal competition). We wanted to have up-to-the-minute information and celebrate the big wins, so we started brainstorming ideas to increase this visibility.

How could we display a live feed of our progress during the fundraising event? We didn’t see a solution that fit our needs, so we built our own dashboard.

Building a Dashboard for Extra Life Nerds

As we began brainstorming what this dashboard could do, we realized it wasn’t just a backdrop to put up at fundraising events. We could display it around our offices, share it with our sponsors and help Extra Life Nerds team members stay up to date from their own computers.

We built this dashboard responsively, accounting for different use cases — pulling up our team’s dashboard on a smartphone, in a desktop web browser, as well as on a TV or larger format during Extra Life fundraising events. This is a dashboard for the entire Extra Life Nerds team, and we wanted them to be able to access it whenever they wanted – from whatever device they were using.

On the technical side, Extra Life provides JSON endpoints from which we’re able to gather information about The Nerdery’s team, participants and donations. To manage all this data, we built the dashboard to lean heavily on JavaScript, sorting through the fundraising data within a visitor’s web browser. It checks for updated data every few minutes, allowing us to get accurate stats and keep an eye on both our team and ultimate goals.

Sharing with the Community

While designing and developing this dashboard for our own team, we quickly decided it should be available for anyone to use. To do this, we made sure we were promoting Extra Life’s mission in what we built, placing emphasis on Extra Life’s brand and the hard work each team puts into raising money for Extra Life’s cause.

Starting today, any Extra Life team or spectator can click here to set up a dashboard and watch the donations roll in.

Extra Life Dashboard

We’re excited about this cause and enthusiastic about giving back to the community that supports it.

Support Extra Life Nerds and Children's Miracle Network

Love the dashboard? Want to support our team on November 5th? Consider giving us props by donating to one of our Extra Life Nerds teams:

*Jim Butts also contributed to this blog post. 

Published on 11.03.16