Thursday, 6 pm. Let the hackaton begin!
After a hard day’s work we all got together in our cosy red sofas here at the centre of our office to pitch the ideas that were going around the past couple of days. Everyone who had a brilliant idea had a chance to present this in one minute, tops. Afterwards, teams were put together to work for 24 hours straight on these projects. Yes, you’ve read that right: 24 hours. Non-stop, no sleep.
Our office automatically switched the lights off after 9.30 pm; so this means total darkness until the next morning. Worse: the air conditioning turned off as well. But there was also some good news: the electric outlets were still up and running to power our computers and the ambient lights we have. Anyway, developers don’t need light nor air conditioning to work. Just keep them well fed and hydrated.
After a while the non-stop ‘hacking’ was starting to take his toll. People were getting sick or too tired to work. Solution: powernapping in our offices or going home for a quick nap. Thankfully everyone was back in business in time to finish their projects. At 5.30 pm (just shy of the promised 24 hours) the finished ideas were presented to the whole company.
So, what did these 24 hours bring?
The sandwich train: everyday most of our team walks to the food court together. Because it’s hard to stop working at the same time we developed a small, playful chrome extension to indicate that you’re hungry. Once 5 people clicked the little train icon (and thereby indicate that they are indeed, hungry), the ‘train’ announces that it will leave and that everybody should get ready.
VikingFinder iPhone app: an iPhone app to check whom of your contacts are Vikings. Nice to know since you can call one hour for free each day to fellow Vikings.
Make a call to the helpdesk from the browser: a small handy button on the contact page to call directly from the browser to our amazing helpdesk.
Gmail helpdesk butler: handy extension for Firefox and Chrome for our helpdesk to quickly look up data from our Vikings directly from the gmail inbox. No need to switch to another application any longer.
SimCityLife: as you all know, we’re working very hard on a new location based platform called CityLife. Based on ‘SimCity’ we’ve build a small app for chrome with WebGL where you can build your own CityLife.
Windows phone app: we normally don’t work with Windows or programs for the Windows platform, but during these 24h we’ve tried to build a Windows phone app based on current API’s we have. It was a lot of work, but we must say everything turned out pretty OK.
Viking website: We tried out a new design for one of our websites during the hackathon to see how far we could get in a mere 24 hours.
Please note: these applications were developed in 24 hours. This means they only work internal at the moment. If we were to release any of these wonderful applications, we’ll let you know as soon as possible. If you’re a Django/Python developer, don’t hesitate to checkout or Github repositories. Pretty much of our work is open source (yay!): https://github.com/citylive
And if your want to join our forces: https://mobilevikings.com/bel/en/jobs/
You can find the liveblog here: http://storify.com/MobileVikings/hackaton/