How Hackdays Can Become a Source of Life Ideas and Pure Fun
11.12.2015 | 5 min read
Twice a year we host internal hack-a-thons. Referred to as Hackdays, these events have become a staff favorite and biannual tradition here at 10Clouds. On Hackdays, specialists from various areas of our software development company form teams and work together to create products such as web services and mobile applications within a limited time frame.
Just think… a room full of competitive developers on a mission, a splash of great fun and a spoon full of sparkling imagination AND that is a typical Hackday at 10Clouds. Contrary to the name, we are not hacking anything and yes, beer and pizza are included. I guess you can say, it is a real coding feast because this is not only where we indulge, but it is where creative ideas come to light!
For this year’s second Hackday, we had seven amazing power teams that impressed us with their creative and advanced ideas. Let’s take a more detailed look at their awesome projects:
Zestawiator was created to make filling out monthly project summaries, lightning fast. Our current solution works but it is inconvenient because it requires that all data be entered in manually, which sometimes causes mistakes. Zestawiator is great because it requires the minimal amount of effort. All you have to do is log in with your Jira credentials and it will automatically pull the data for you!
For the frontend, the team working on the Zestawiator experimented with the newest version of React.js . For the UI library, they used Material UI, a framework that implements Google’s Material Design for React.js components. They also tinkered around with some of the newest features of ECMAScript.
On the backend side, the team experimented with Django’s newest addition JSONField, python-jira and Jira’s Tempo servlet . JSONField seamlessly integrated with REST Framework serializers, but gave us quite a headache on filtering attempts. It really wasn’t as feature rich as one would have expected it to be. However, the other two were a pleasure to work with.
The project aimed at adapting the concept of Heartbeat dashboard to the TvOS platform.
The app shows a set of tiles that slides automatically through the screen. Each tile presents interesting data about our office in real time. Dynamic background adjusts its speed based on our github activity. This allows us to see how much is going on at our company.
With winter approaching, there are four things that would make up the perfect workplace- a Christmas tree, fireplace, wifi and hot soup. Whilst the first three can help you feel more at home, the last one is the real deal breaker. Hot soup is what provides developers with the motivation to pursue that little Grinch in their code and is what inspires designers to create that one, perfect piece of art. Hot soup is great for it has the ability to provide a little sparkle of warmth to just about anyone. Plus, isn’t it cool to have delicious, hot soup at the office?
To create the 10zups app, the team used Django and Angular. The design, with all of the great photos, should remind you of why you love soup! When maneuvering through the app, you can select your desired soup out of a list of about ten, each made of only healthy and natural ingredients. You will then be notified by slack when it arrives to the office.
10equipment aims to reduce hassle associated with tracking company devices used for development. This app saves time that would normally be spent looking for phones and tables that don’t have a designated owner. At 10Clouds, we often ended up looking for the device on Slack so instead of wasting time, we’ve created a simple app where you can check for who has the device you are looking for. The only think you have to remember is to check in when you take a device so others can find you. The app also allows for our office manager, Ola, to keep track of other non-shareable items.
For development, vuejs was used on the frontend while the backend is just a thin layer of nodejs over couchdb.
The Awesome, One and Only – PM team, had to come up with useful stuff to contribute during the hackday, while not bothering and disturbing the other teams.
The group came up with a bright idea for a small project : SCRUMBAG Scrum Crucial Retro & Unification Made By Awesome Group.
The goal was to unify the Scrum practices among the PMs so that later on, they could force their ideas and brainwash the rest of the company.
We are happy to announce that the goal was achieved, and if we were sum it up in one sentence, it would be that: “We should reestimate the unfinished stories.”
Now, we are ready to spread the word among the non believers, carrying the torch of agile high. Lack of faith will be purified.
…and now, the finalists!
3rd place – Moralion
The aim of the application is measuring and boosting morale in your team!
The goal for this application was to develop a tool to measure and help boost your team’s morale. To do this, the admin sets a question for their team to answer during a designated hour each day. People receive it with cute baby dragons to choose from that are meant to reflect one’s mood. The answers are then collected in a backend written in the freshly released Django 1.9 with a front-end with some React magic. The answers are fully anonymous and no sensitive data is gathered. The 10Clouds team wants to open source it and make it freely available to everyone for the sake of great mood!
The main characters within the app are Dragons! Look below!
2nd place – Luncher
Luncher creates a new more social way of lunching together with your peers, whether it is eating-out in a local restaurant or ordering food delivered to your office. No more running from room to room asking “who wants sushi?”. With just a few clicks you can join to open orders and enjoy your lunch with friends.
The team was working on a mobile app for both iOS and Android. Django 1.9, python 3.4, Parse, REST API ensured the backend. They also used Parse for push notifications.
And the winner is… 10C-Viz!
Recently we’ve expanded and renovated our Warsaw office, which resulted in some confusion and people getting lost trying to find places like the “Orange Room”. 10c Viz’s goal was to fix that by creating a 3D visualization of our office. This way, you could check where a certain room was located or where a colleague was currently sitting.
The web app was created using Angular.js and Three.js. During the event, the team managed to create a simple presentation of the office’s floors along with markers that showed where each person was working from. In the future, we plan to add room markers and a search feature, which will make this even more useful.
You could also explore the office model in virtual reality. Using Unity 3d and Google Cardboard, we provided a possibility to get your head in 10Clouds and walk (and jump) around the whole building.
Take a look!
It gets even more exciting in horror mode (in case you are brave enough):
Everyone at 10Clouds agrees, #6 Hackday: St. Nicholas Edition was the best one of all time! There were really thoughtful projects, very well laid out and practical for everyday usage of the 10Clouders. Summing it up, our sixth Hackday was a well balanced combination of implementation of practical use for our office, life ideas and pure fun.
At last, we can’t wait for our next Hackday, which is planned for April 2016. Stay tuned!