First time experience at hackathon.

First time experience at hackathon.

Something new to share from my life. Me and our team of colleagues created a team and spent 48 hours in hackathon Hacker Games|Open Data” challenge.

And I am proud to say that we count this as very valuable experience, which brought our minds and souls to totally different level of innovation, designing, programming and making a marketing.  

One week ago, we have selected an idea from suggested pool of ideas. We went through Design Thinking methodology by creating questionnaire and collected input from 15 random people. We defined our problem and had ideation session.   

Couple of hours before hackathon start, we validated our idea for technical possibilities, and it turned out we do not have enough open data to go with realization. Because of that a new idea for Hachathon was needed.

After short ideation session we came to conclusion with idea to have CO2 emission tracking for industry in Klaipeda. We spend hours to find out what is CO2, how can we calculate it, is there any open data for this. The development started.   

Technologies used

While choosing technologies the main criteria was fast, flexible, dynamic frontend and powerful backend along with any database.  

For frontend we ended up with React.js for multiple reasons. It’s very powerful library with a lot of out of the box functionalities. Easy integration of additional libraries. Mostly, it was a new tool that we were eager to test it out in the field.  

The choice for backend was a clear shot. Right away we have decided to go with Java + Spring Boot. Spring is a powerful MVC (model – view – controller) framework with easy integration of JPA (java persistence API) for integration with database. It’s easy to deploy in production environment.  

For database we chose PostgreSQL.  

All of our technology choices were also driven by 3 things that these tools had in common. They’re open source. Huge communities. Clear and informative documentations.

After these two days and nights of work we presented our draft web version which would spot CO2 emission of industry factories in Klaipeda. As a monetary value we presented a possibility for industry factories to compare them with others, check a trend and for green energy providers find their clients.   

Lessons learned

First of all – prepare fore an event. Validate your idea and think on monetization. All ideas should bring tangible value and be sustainable in business and execution model.

Use scrum for product development.

  • Have responsible product manager who is working on presentation, monethization.
  • Scrum master – who is picking requests from product manager and working with developers.
  • Few developers who are selecting technologies and implementing requested.

Hackathon is a lot of team work. If you want to make a team building event for small team – this is a perfect event.