March 18, 2020
Devs are a weird bunch. They'd take a night alone with some buggy code over a candlelit dinner any time. Making things work is part of their genetic makeup, so when they're given a task, you can bet your bottom dollar that they'll devise practical and efficient ways to achieve it. So when it was the Clickatell engineering department's turn to plan a collaborative team building event, they wanted to host something that shows that what they do amounts to more than digital alchemy and the dark arts. The result was the Clickatell Hackathon, an event that was so successful, we thought we'd share it with the Clickatell community, in the hopes that some of you might host your own and find it equally as fun and inspiring.
The rules were simple. Create a new app that is loosely related to what we do at Clickatell, in 24 hours. It had to be built entirely from the ground up, so no accessing our own code base directly. We managed to wrangle up some substantial cash prizes for the winning teams, so motivation wasn't a problem. Teams were randomly assigned and included members from every department, including sales, marketing and support. Our wunderkind coders from engineering were divided up between the teams, so that there were roughly two per team.
The teams decided on their own projects and immediately got to work. As an exercise in collaboration and as an initiative to expose non-devs to the development process, our Hackathon was a resounding success. Despite their initial reservations, the non-devs in every team found that they had essential roles to play in bringing their team's project to life in such a short period. Some immediately started creating jaw-dropping presentations of their concept, while others helped out with testing and UI design. It was fascinating and inspiring to experience such intense collaboration between people with varying skill sets, even more so when facing the harshest of harsh deadlines.
The next day, a sunny Friday, the teams had the opportunity to present their projects. The excitement was tangible, despite the bloodshot eyes of those who worked through the night to get their app working. We were genuinely blown away by the ingenuity and innovation demonstrated by the teams. It's great to have the immense talents of your colleagues showcased in such a fun and engaging way. As for the winners? Stay tuned intrepid reader! Starting next week, we'll be counting down the winning entries, allowing the teams to explain their idea and even sharing their code with you.
* Clickatell has no affiliation with this API and API's created during this Hackathon are not currently supported by Clickatell.