Coburgs first Hackathon CO:DE Rush – took place on November 23rd and 24th in the "Alte Pakethalle" of the main post office. For two days, the participants had dared to take part in one of three different challenges posed by regional companies. And empiriecom acted as a challenge partner!
Our Challenge had been announced on the event page of Zukunft.Coburg.Digital reading "talk to our online shop". The participants learned what had really been behind it on Friday and had a time frame (until Saturday evening) to develop a creative and innovative solution.
Our three backend developers Erik, Tobias and Christian had been on site as company experts to provid advice and support for the participating teams. What it was like and whether our challenge could be solved? Read it here in Erik's interview.
Most of the times, the process of a hackathon is pretty much the same. In the beginning, all participants meet each other. Afterwards, the different challenges are presented to them and – depending on the Challenge – X teams will be formed. They work 10, 15 or 20 hours on their prototype in order to present it the next day as a short pitch (5-10 minutes). This presentation and the result will be evaluated and at the end, a winner will be announced.
Our participation as a company in this event had actually been pure coincidence. Originally, we wanted to organise our own "empiriecom" hackathon in Bamberg. Unfortunately, there had been a problem with the location we have picked, leading us to believe that the whole idea of a hackathon would fall through this year.
To find an alternative, I contacted the managing director of Zukunft.Coburg.Digital and asked them if they knew a suitable venue in Coburg. During the conversation, it turned out that Zukunft.Coburg.Digital was planning a hackathon within the same period. Thus, instead of organising our own hackathon, we were offered to provide a challenge for this one instead.
Not at all. The participants had been students, trained developers, business economists or designers. Consequently, the teams had been positioned differently. For example, some did a better job at programming, whereas others were predominantly focused on visuals and presentation, and so on.
For instance, we had been able to support the teams of our Challenge by providing hardware (Google Home Mini, Amazon Echo Dot) or the access to our search API documentation. We also tried to ensure that there had always been a contact person on site to help with any questions.
But we have to admit that the teams also helped each other. For example, the winning team "DAFFD" had short-term help from the "Mac:Rush" guys. They even shared a part of their winnings.
Our challenge had been to communicate with the online shop. More precisely, it had been about telling a smart assistant (for example Google or Alexa) "Hey Google, look for a yellow jacket on baur.de". – in the best case, a yellow jacket had been found and displayed.
But see for yourself at the right hand side here. ;)
From a total of 50 participants at the hackathon, we could convince 4 teams (~ 20 persons) to take on our task. These teams had then been equipped with the appropriate hardware. One of the teams quit during the hackathon, unfortunately.
All in all, each team had been able to fulfil our Challenge.
(You can find the code for the solutions here hier on our GitLab account.)
We think the Hackathon had been a great event! The mood and atmosphere had been very communal/collegial. You could talk to any team whilst having a cool drink or sitting on a coach in a separate room playing with a Playstation 4. In any case, we would be happy if such a Hackathon takes place again and if we could be a part of it!
CCO:DE Rush - Coburg's 1st Hackathon had been a
complete success! The participants experienced 2 days full of fun and
excitement that made their heads spin. In the end, the teams successfully
solved our ‘empiriecom-challenge’ "talk to our online shop".
One thing is or sure: This had definitely not been our last hackathon!
You want more information about the CO:DE Rush Hackathon? Have a look at Zukunft.Coburg.Digital article