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21 September 2013

Hackathon 4GEE

I went to my first hackathon a few weeks ago, and as I’ve made a rather late new years resolution to write more I’ve finally got around to finishing my blog post of my experiences of the weekend. As my first hackathon I was unsure of what to expect, and didn’t know whether my business development and marketing skills would come to much use. On the Friday evening before the event I met in a pub in Kings Cross, and I walked around for a good ten minutes before finding anyone. I met a guy called Krishan who had recently graduated from University and had been working for Google’s Android team on a work placement. Once we’d found where the bar tab and food were we joined Grant and the rest of the group who came along for the pre-hackathon meetup.

Day 1

The first day a number of partner companies gave presentations about what their apps and API’s do. There were three options of what project we could come up with in the 24 hours we had to do the project. The three options were 4G for businesses, 4G for public sector organisations and augmented reality app for business. I teamed up with Krishan (Android developer) and Diamond Braganza, I met the guys at the pre-drinks meet up. Between us we had the choice of many API’s and decided to use Linkedin to develop a product that helps with better matching for people attending events. We came up with the idea that many people who use Linked in don’t connect before they visit a conference so we enabled a matching system based on keywords, “what I want” & “what I have”. I’m not a developer but we didn’t have as much support for the Linked in API as we would of liked, as the development team are all in the states. We worked around the problems we had and also used a cool new API from Cloudbase which provides a cloud based server management and databases so you don’t have to faff around with servers. Cloudbase’s CEO was pretty impressed with our talented young developers skills using it and we won the prize of a years worth subscription wh

Day 2

Arriving at the Hackathon on day two there were a few red eyes from people who had stayed up all night working on their app. We had little time from 9:30 when I got there until midday when we had to present. When we came to present there was a problem with the connection between our laptop and the projector which meant we weren’t able to show a working prototype. This was a shame as we had come up with a good product, however on the day its all down to execution and showing your ideas on screen. My summary of the event is that Hackathon’s are a good way to meet new people, but I get the feeling many people who attend the event don’t follow through on their projects afterwards. We all went away with a pretty cool Huwaii mobile hotspot which has 30 days of super fast internet on their which was worth attending the event in itself! I’ve tested it out and I get 10mb download and 5 mb upload speed.

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