Last week, the first ever in-house hackathon was announced in ProMobi Technologies Pvt. Ltd. It took place between 11th and 12th November for 36 hours. It was an internal hackathon. An internal hackathon was planned to motivate people to work on creative ideas outside the box and develop a product that wasn’t yet built. No theme was followed for the hackathon, so that the ideas could flow out freely. Employees from across the office had participated in the hackathon and took breaks from their regular work.
Hackathon is an event of several hours where people get together to collaborate and exchange ideas on various technical projects. Hacking is not just for coders. It is a chance for testers and others from the company to test their skills from exploring product improvements to supporting employee bonding. It simply means that hackathon bringing people together with different backgrounds to develop a software application.
Every participant had different ideas in their mind, it was decided to write the ideas on the board. The intent was to choose an idea and vote for it or give one of your own. This helps in forming teams. Innovative ideas came from all the sides, engineers as well as non-engineers. This was an encouragement to all the participants. Teams were formed after the ideas were discussed.
On the day of hackathon, all the participants started working on their product ideas. The challenge was about solving a problem within the time constraint. It was more challenging for those who hadn’t worked overnight before and those who hadn’t experienced a hackathon before, but were confidently working on their projects. Everyone had their own methods to execute the ideas in a collaborative way. The working atmosphere had become intense for all the teams as the competition was gradually increasing. This boosted the energies of the competitors.
Amit said, “I never had any experience about project management. I never knew what all efforts are needed when there is one small feature request/change and believing in the idea and what problem product will solve.” Amit has a sales background who got a chance to grow, understand and learn things out of the box. He added “ Working together as a team and understanding the limitation of resources and making most of it”.
The first day ended, participants were tired, but thrilled to complete their project as the clock was ticking fast. Next day, the competition had become intense than the previous day. The ideas were flowing in every individual’s mind which had to be implemented within the time limit. A collaborative atmosphere was seen in the office, having everyone stuck to their desks and worked constantly with their peers. Slowly, the next day also ended and so did the hackathon. All the teams worked from 10am IST on the first day till 10.30pm IST on the second day.
The projects were reviewed by the judges, which was a difficult task as each project had enough scope to compete with other projects. It was time to announce the results. All the teams were anxious to know the results.
Winners do receive prizes in hackathons, but the idea behind this event was to learn. The collaborative environment of this hackathon was about learning and learning always happens when you want to try out something different. The most important part of this event was that this hackathon wasn’t seen as a burden to the challengers’. Employees from across the office learned each others’ names, developed solid friendships, learned strengths and weaknesses, and got comfortable using each other as resources. The ideas would be put in some or the other projects, but the amount of ideas that came out of people during this hackathon also justifies the commitment towards work. Kalyani who is from the QA team had an experience to explore a developer’s side during the hackathon said “It was a great learning experience, to grasp new technology and work with colleagues other than the regular team mates.”
There were teams, that couldn’t achieve what they wanted. Hence, they realized that failing is a huge learning factor. In this event, hackathon also acted like a wrench that pulled the participants together by solving solutions. And a challenge for the non- engineers, who took it gracefully and accomplish their mission within 36 hours.
Hackathons are not about knowing programming skills or different languages of programming. It’s about taking the challenge positively and exploring other side.
The Brogrammers were announced as the winners of the ProMobi HackSquad
Thought pool were awarded as the winners for Best Teamwork
Geek Squad was awarded as the Best UI Design
Anupam is a digital marketing expert and business optimization professional and author who loves technology and its impact on business. Here to help.