We’ve always known building things for pocket-sized computers is awesome, and we wanted to share our enthusiasm. In June we held a mobile hackathon and this post will walk you through our latest mobile hackathon we held this past June and the fun that was had.
A hackathon is an event where teams collaborate on software projects within a given timeframe. For ours we brought together developers, designers, and creators of all stripes to team up and build mobile apps within 10 hours. We wanted to create a low-stress environment where these people could enjoy a day of creativity, learning, and hacking.
We started early that morning setting up the rooms and snacks for everyone once they arrived. Right around 9 o’clock people started arriving to download extra resources, ask us any questions about the hackathon and to find a good spot to post up for the day.
Once the hackathon attendees arrived, our CEO, Bill gave a quick speech about what the day would look like, that we our team was here to help, and that most of all he wanted all the hackers to have fun collaborating with peers!
In an effort to keep up with everyone and continue to provide assistance not only during the hackathon but after as well, we set up a slack channel. That way we could answer any immediate questions about their apps during the hackathon and also answer development questions after the hackathon finished if anyone wanted to further their mobile app. After everyone had signed into the slack channel we jumped right into a brainstorming session for mobile app ideas!
Brainstorming and Squading Up
We’d made up a safety net of ideas incase the room wasn’t prepared but, they were! Some even came with teams and ideas all ready to go. The ideas that were brainstormed were incredibly creative. People had come with a wide variety of concepts from a 3D version of tetris to a breakup app.
Everyone gave their input on what they would like to create and after a productive brainstorming session that also acted as an icebreaker everyone felt more comfortable with their new peers.
They happily formed groups and made great use of our breakout and board rooms with even more working in the lounge/kitchen area. Who doesn’t want to the the closest to the snacks!
Those first few hours before lunch flew by and as people were finalizing app plans lunch arrived.
Lunch and Surprises
We had gotten a delicious variety of sandwiches for lunch and had decided on pizza for dinner, but to our surprise the pizza arrived 15 minutes after the subs.
Channeling our low stress atmosphere we rolled with the punches and served one of MindSea’s most elaborate hackathon. We’re nearly certain that each person may have been able to have their own personal —16” pizza!
It worked out quite well as people just leisurely snacked throughout the remainder of the afternoon until we’d finally all become mildly comatose from the large quantities of bread.
At that very moment we were greeted by Red Bull representatives who revived us with energy drinks fueling everyone into the last leg of the day before presentations began.
Everyone had worked very hard to build their apps so when presentation time rolled around everyone was excited to show off their achievements to their peers. We all gathered in the lunchroom to watch the results unfold. Our Team was really pleased with how the presentations turned out. Here’s a quick description of some of the great apps designed!
Octrika – A 3D Tetris like game that rotates on all axis with blocks of different shapes coming from all sides. You must fit the pieces together before it hits a wall on any side.
Climate Map – Uses Local open source data to show you climate all over Nova Scotia
Hacker News Sectional– Segmented hacker news into more granular channels.
The Breakup App– Gives you three different levels of breakup messages from hard to soft and then send that message to your ex.
Weatherish– Tells you the weather relative to the previous day with some witty descriptions and a optimizer bar to set how optimistic you’re feeling that way and your responses will change for your mood.
Safe Walk – A commute advice app mainly focusing on the safety of the walkers. The app fetches safe routes for a given destination considering the place and time by analyzing the crime rates at a given time.
Feed AI– The idea of this app is to allow users to personalize a news feed, initially through an on boarding process, and then through a relevance engine.
The participation levels and excitement for our first hackathon after three years was fantastic! Since we emphasized this hackathon was low pressure, we kept it noncompetitive. People felt comfortable going at their own pace with their app and presenting it at whatever stage they could get to within the time constraints. We had a total of 37 people join us on the day and came up with some innovative and fun apps.
We were all so pleased with the turnout of the hackathon we have already started planning the next. Keep up with us on Social for updates on our future hackathon date!