Making great stuff and having fun at the same time - the very first hackathon at Synergy Codes
At the end of the July, we held our very first 24-hour hackathon in the history of Synergy Codes. We all agreed that it was mostly about having fun, but also about not being afraid to fail if we learn some new things on the way. A hackathon means nothing but a real coding marathon (typically a 24-48 hour event) for software developers and other people indirectly involved in software development. This codefest gives them a possibility to collaborate, to exchange ideas, compete and, above all, to deliver new solutions for which coders usually lack time on a daily basis. What’s the best thing about hackathons? You can have fun, challenge yourself and create really crazy stuff at the same time!
THE REAL CODING MARATHON
We opened the event at 2 PM with a reminder about hackathon rules and a short presentation of our ideas. The organizational part should have been as short as possible, because our participants were literally raring to go with their projects. After kickoff, groups rolled up their sleeves and got right to work. Believe it or not, they weren’t even interested in their favorite pizza that was delivered to our office!
As the theme of our codefest was "making our job easier", the winning team (with Paweł as its leader) proposed a "magic" board full of surprises. Its main functionalities are e.g. managing conference rooms, exchanging essential information among team members, controlling our training budgets and remaining vacation days. The project wouldn’t have been possible without our dearest Synergy Woman. However, the team had decided to show the world her true face and this is exactly how we met Halinka Synergiowicz. The project is based on a communication between Slack and our interactive board and it’s Halinka herself who’s now responsible for this information flow.
The second team, under Artur’s leadership, designed the web app that was intended to simplify the process of food ordering and money collection wthin our company. The mission has been accomplished in 100% - after 24 hours the team presented a ready-made solution that could be introduced right away.
One of the projects, that was produced during the hackfest, focused on a more effective Azure management. It was intended to help developers to visualize the actual state of created websites, control the process of deployment and generate other must-have reports. Despite some meaningless shortcomings, Kamil’s team met their expectations and fully devoted themselves which resulted in going to sleep at 6 AM!
Another team, under Asia’s watchful gaze, focused on developing an online version of one of our newest inventions, Idea Box. Primarily, it had been designed for collecting our thoughts, ideas and requests, and was placed at a central point of our office in the form of a colorful box. Actually the solution was received with mistrust at the beginning, but over time our team members started to share their opinions about working at Synergy Codes. As the Idea Box Admin, I was obliged to clear it out on a regular basis and respond to the most urgent needs. That project team decided to make my job even easier and transfer our box into a virtual space.
It’s time we talked the successes and failures of our projects. Undeniably, presentations were the most awaited part of our hackathon. Each team had about 20 minutes to show the final project and go into details with all its components. Winners were chosen by popular voting. A fierce battle was fought over this, but finally - with only one-point difference - we decided to reward Paweł’s team. The lucky winners received a voucher for a chosen team-building activity and extra 20 hours to develop their project.
We took a number of steps to help the participants keep up their focus and enthusiasm. We provided them with delicious breakfast, tons of not really healthy (but still delicious!) snacks and gallons of energy drinks. Moreover, each attendee was gifted with a sweet package full of goodness. In the evening, we gathered in the Targowa Craft Beer and Food to sum up our hackday, relax and taste some local beers.
It’s not a secret that hackathons have attracted a lot of criticism, mostly for encouraging developers to release a poorly-written code under time pressure. Well, we definitely dispelled the myth by creating not one, but four fully operational apps that would make our everyday work easier.
Still euphoric about this event, we are all looking forward to the next one. Until then, we have to get back to reality and focus on that what we do best - developing software for our clients. Would you like to be involved in the creation of our next hackathon? Great, because we’re always excited to work with aspiring professionals. Check out our careers page for details!