Wheel Reinvention Jam

August 15 - 21, 2O22

A one-week jam to change the status quo. In 5 days.

The Wheel Reinvention Jam is a one-week-long jam where we turn a fresh eye to "solved problems".

The tools we use every day are broken. Software is slow, unreliable, and bloated with thoughtless features. It disrespects the user and forces settings that no one wants. And yet, people defend the status quo, claiming that what we have is fine, and that trying to change software is "reinventing the wheel".

Screw that. Progress is only made by inventing new things. It's not "reinventing" to break new ground. Nor is it "reinventing" to take a broken thing and design something better.

This is your chance to reinvent something.

Last year's entries

We had many incredible entries last year. Here are a few of our favorites:

How to participate

The jam takes place from Monday, August 15 through Sunday, August 21. Here's how you can participate:

Pick a project and form a team.

Find a project idea that excites you! Join the conversation over on our Wishlist, brainstorm ideas in #jam on Discord, or just invite some friends to jam with you.

Jam.

After the jam starts, create a Handmade Network project to track your work. Then, build your program! Share your work in progress in #project-showcase on Discord, or directly from your project page.

Submit your work!

Your Handmade Network project is your submission. Fill out the project description, making sure to explain the goals of the project and how it improves on what came before. Also consider posting an update with video of your program in action!

Rules

  • Any tech is allowed, but we encourage you to use only use what you really need. If you want some lightweight templates to get you started, check out our app templates.
  • You may work solo or in a team. (But we encourage you to work with a team!)
  • Submit your work by the end of the day on August 21.

There are no explicit winners, but we will be selecting a few of our favorite projects to highlight in a recap stream following the jam.

Submission rules

Your Handmade Network project is your submission. We will be looking at the project's description and any extra updates you share toward the end of the jam.

  • Explain the project's goals and how it improves on what came before. Also share some closing thoughts - did it turn out how you hoped? What did you learn? If you continue the project, what will you do differently?
  • Your description must contain multiple screenshots of your software in action. You should ideally also share a project update with a demo video. We recommend Mārtiņš Možeiko's wcap for recording desktop video on Windows. On Mac, just press ⌘-Option-5 and record a video, or use QuickTime.
  • If at all possible, please provide a way for people to either build or download your program.

Make it by hand.

The Handmade ethos and Handmade community are software development superpowers. Don't be afraid to question your foundations and rebuild what needs rebuilding. The community is here to help you take on those challenges and do what others might consider impossible.

Of course, this is a jam, so focus on what matters to your project. There are many excellent libraries in the community that can save you time and help you focus on your core ideas. Don't be afraid to use them. But don't be afraid to do your own thing if they're holding you back.

Don't just rebuild. Reinvent.

This is a chance to build something truly new. Learn from previous work, but don't settle for “the same, but better”. It would be a huge shame to spend a week building nothing more than a clone of the same broken software we use today.

This is where working with a team can really help. Bounce ideas off each other, do some research, and brainstorm before the jam starts. The software you end up building might be pretty different from your original ideas.

In the end, this is a jam. Get weird and try something different.