The first Home24 HackDay was a roaring success. At the end of the year, the tech department got together to innovate, improvise, brainstorm, hack, code, laugh and learn. Overall, we had 17 different projects, with teams made up of between 1 – 5 members. Our awesome project topics ranged from a Human Resource planning app, to Agile Games, to a facial recognition app.
In the run-up to Hackday, members of the tech team had been submitting their project ideas and rallying up support for them from their colleagues. The teams were incredibly enthusiastic and there was great excitement in the office. In total, we had around 45 different ideas pitched by various members of our tech team.
On the day, we started with a kick-off which included an overview of the day from the organisers. Then it was on to the project pitches. Anyone who was still looking for teammates had the opportunity to promote their project idea one last time in person. And anyone still waiting to find a team could choose who to join. Once the teams were finalised, they each headed off to their bases and began working on their projects. The teams were varied and many people worked with people they had never worked with before, which added to the excitement of the day.
The atmosphere was fun but intense, as the teams worked hard to make progress on their projects. Throughout the day, the HackDay organisers treated the team to snacks and drinks to keep the energy high. Santa hats and Christmas jumpers added to the festive atmosphere. The judges visited each of the project teams throughout the day giving the teams had the opportunity to explain their ideas and approach.
At lunchtime, the teams took a break to refuel and refresh with some burritos and ping pong. Then it was back to hacking for the rest of the day. Half an hour before finish time, there was a call out to remind the team to finish up and to work on their project presentations.
Finally, the time came for teams to present what they did. Every team gave their best to present the results of their work in a funny and engaging way. We had teams presenting documentation generators, a live test of face recognition algorithms, a live demo of an augmented reality mobile solution and many others…
After the presentations, the judges took 30 minutes to decide on rewards. That was their hardest task of the day. They were very impressed with the standard of all the projects and mentioned a couple of times, that everybody deserved a prize. We will provide a summary of the winning projects in a separate blog post – watch this space
So overall, organizing first HackDay in the company history is a reason to celebrate in itself. Having such a great atmosphere and engaged people during the whole day helped to make the party even more special. We spent rest of the night together listening music from our special HackDay Spotify playlist, and having a pizza and beer.