This is just the beginning

There’s a new Hackathon in town

Pixelgrade’s first Hackathon was quite a strike from many points of view. I’m happy I had this experience with the team I’m working next on a daily basis. In this article, I want to share with you my thoughts on how things worked out from my perspective.


The place

Which could be the best and most productive place to play with ideas and make them happen? Not an office, that’s for sure. We went to our favorite cabin in the mountains, a very beautiful and cozy place where we feel welcomed every single time. In the end, we wanted some time for ourselves for running this event, but also for socializing and sharing stories.

We kicked-off the day with a relaxed pitching session where each of us tried to convince at least one-two other folks to work for particular ideas (we were nine, so not too many options). After a round-up of presenting ideas, debating which one makes more sense to invest in, and coming to a conclusion (thanks to Răzvan, the coordinator of this entire experience), we started working. We had 36 hours to play around and make things come true.

The projects

It’s funny that, in the end, all of us pushed the boundaries a little bit and got out of the comfort zone. Some of us needed more brainstorming sessions while others were quite confident about the technology they will use to make their idea happen. However, the nicest thing was that each of us learned something new in different areas: some extended their technical skills while others boosted their soft abilities.

Let me briefly introduce you each project, and hopefully, I will come back with updates once we have them.

#1—Mirroring

Mirroring

A web app that gives you the chance to use your smartphone to something else, other than scrolling the news feed on Facebook. It should be a game for at least two players, and the rules are pretty straightforward: each player is the host at some point, and the other ones are simply competitors. The hosting puts his phone in a certain position, and the opponents need to simulate it. The player that has the most accurate reply wins the game.

After 36 hours of hard work (from research to coding) this team achieved at least two small wins: they finished almost the entire look-and-feel regarding design and founded the algorithm to create an animation depending on the moves of the phone. I must confess I was really worried about the complexity and difficulty of this project, but I was impressed with the huge progress they did.


#2—Tonus

We already know that music makes everything easier (and better). Since sharing is caring and good music can drive a positive impact, why not sharing what you’re listening to the folks next to you? Here’s where Tonus (yes, they already have a name, beat this) shows up and saves the day. Things are simple: use your phone and the geolocation service and get a sneak peek inside the playlists of those traveling with you in tram, metro or bus.

Ilinca, my teammate, spend quite a lot of time on her way to the office, so no wonder why she struggled to make Tonus up and kicking. They still have a lot of tweaks to handle, but all in all, they have some early adopters ready to try it out and provide feedback.

Tonus

#3—Scores

Scores

We have some huge Fifa fans inside our team, and we too often debate who won which game. On top of that, we also have other sports lovers around us (especially tennis), so my team and I created a simple app that helps you note down the score. At this particular moment, you can create a new account, add the score for a match between two players, gain XP, win badges and check some leaderboards. I have to be honest and tell you that there are a few things that are still not working well, but we are proud of our work.


#4—Apply. Now.

We’re always looking for meeting interesting people from the local community, both for socializing, but also for recruitment purposes. The main idea of this project was tailored to our unique needs regarding bringing new people aboard. My teammates managed to create some short video stories which highlight the huge gap between the corporate approach and our vision about how things should work out. The results were… really game-changer.

Even it wasn’t an app like the other projects, the level of finding practical solutions was a bit higher. Long-story-short: the sky’s the limit. One thing’s for sure: you shouldn’t miss the opportunity to join our crew. So Apply. Now.

Final thoughts

There were 36 hours with a lot of laptop chargers connected to the wall, coffee, fruits and some tasty traditional food. Do we have any financial benefit out of this? Not really. Is there any accomplishment for the fact that we took some days off to run this internal Hackathon? You can be damn sure. Not only that we collaborated in different ways and pushed our boundaries, but we had the chance to invest our know-how, energy, and time in something else than business as usual. This is the break that we all need to take from time to time to see what’s behind the walls.

My main takeaway is related to the fact that we can do so much more if we truly are in this together. There are almost no limits.

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