The Londinium MMXII hackathon was organised by the lovely folks at New Bamboo with sponsorship from a slew of awesome companies including Pusher, Datasift, and Scrapper wiki to mention a few. The event was a huge success and both Tak and I walked away with a prize. Makoto from New Bamboo has a great blog post here giving a blow by blow of the event.
Here are my thoughts on the event. A write up from Tak will also be posted soon.
As MMXII was my first time at a hackathon I wasn’t entirely sure what to expect. I was a little cautious as I still feel quite new to digital design, having joined pebble less than a year ago and designing mainly for print before that.
However I was blown away by how nice everyone was and more than that by the great atmosphere Makoto and the other organisers managed to create for the event. I was also very pleased by the amount of free sandwiches, Red Bull, pizza and beer. Of which I consumed my fair share.
After some breakfast everyone sat down to go over some hackathon basics. After a short talk by the new bamboo guys, a few people who had existing ideas got up and gave little talks about what they wanted to do. I presented my fear the IOC project from our last hack day and everyone seemed to like the idea which was awesome.
One of the other ideas that caught my attention was “Mobi-zela”. Christoph Sassenberg had the insane idea to turn a crowd of people’s mobile phones into one giant swarm of Vuvuzela sounds. I helped in my own small way by providing a responsive page for the app and a few Vuvuzela graphics.
At about 10pm I had a burst of inspiration to create an 8bit styled retro game in a similar vein to this. I created some 8bit style sprites in Illustrator and after a little jQuery hacky I managed to animate my little runner sprinting across the screen whilst mashing the “A” button on my keyboard.
After several hours of hacking till very late (we finished working at 7am) and consuming large quantities of Red Bull and beer, myself and Christoph had this little gem.
I got about an hours sleep. Then whilst still quite groggy I helped another team with some design work on an exciting upcoming rails app. This project was much larger than the previous hacks and it was really impressive to see how much two developers could achieve in just 24 hours. Hopefully I’m going to do a little more design work on this before it goes public and takes over the internet.
After all this, people presented their hacks. All the projects I was involved with went down really well. After everyone in the event voted on their favourite apps, Christoph and I took the gold medal for 8beersprints. I was pretty surprised and really chuffed to win at my first hack day.
After a few drinks, I headed home for some much needed sleep. Overall I was blown away by the event. I met a lot of lovely people, learnt a lot, and walked away with a (chocolate) medal.