Serviceplan Group gets greener thanks to Munich's Hackaton

Three of our colleagues went to the headquarters in Munich for a 2-day tech conference in the form of a hackathon. There were 30 digital experts in total from our agencies from all over the world. People from the House of Communication in India, Dubai, Russia, Germany, Belgium, France, Switzerland, … All coming together to create and develop great digital solutions to business problems.

event

WHAT IS HACKATON?

A hackathon (also known as a hack day or codefest) is an event in which computer programmers and others involved in software development, including graphic designers, interface designers, project managers, and others, often including domain experts, collaborate intensively on software projects.

The goal of a hackathon is to use software or hardware to create a functioning product by the end of the event. Hackathons tend to have a specific focus, which can include the programming language used, the operating system, an application, an API, or the subject and the demographic group of the programmers.

WHY WERE WE THERE?

In this case the theme of the hackathon was: “How can we reduce the CO2 emissions of the group and thus reduce the company’s global pollution footprint.”.

As Serviceplan group would like to leave the planet in a better state than which we found it in, we got as many experts together as possible to find digital solutions. Among our 4.000 employees we looked for our most relevant digital profiles, ranging from developers to data engineers to UX designers and the like.

The event took place over the spawn of two days from 8 AM until 10 PM and can be compared to a bootcamp. We collaborate with the other agencies from all over the world to share knowledge and way of workings.
This particular hackaton went according to the following steps:

1
Participants were asked to read up on the subject and prepare ideas before arriving at the Hackaton
2
The event started with pitch presentations of all the prepared ideas
3
The top 5 ideas were then chosen by the participants through voting
4
Participants could then sign up for a project they wanted to work on by signing up with their name and role
5
Roles could be either concepter or developer, and a 50/50 balance was always aimed for
6
Once 5 teams had been created for the top 5 ideas, every team got their own brainstorming room and started coding away
7
These teams then defined: the scope of the project, the functionalities of the end prototype and the coding language that would be used
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Over the course of the Hackaton, the concepters and developers then work together to achieve the defined scope in the form of a prototype, also known as a proof of concept
9
Every team then presents this proof of concept in a more fleshed out 15 min pitch with a working demonstration

Pros & cons

PROS :
  • A great way to transform sometimes hollow ideas into a concrete prototype.
  • The possibility to test out the craziest ideas on a short amount of time.
  • Helps you too work under pressure while achieving true collaboration
  • You avoid useless and time consuming ping-pong meetings
  • Not to think too much about extra features and focus on the core, what matters
CONS :
  • The result of the hackathon is not to be confused with a final end-product
  • Time and money investment to assemble everyone from all the House of communications.
  • No guaranty of success
Thank you for reading
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