Born in the early noughties, the Hackathon has traditionally been a tech-based “competitive event in which people work in groups on software or hardware projects, with the goal of creating a functioning product by the end of the event”. However, here at AT Internet, we have taken the hackathon one step further!
For the fourth year running, this year’s Ship It was a searing, sizzling, sweltering, romper stomper of an event! It was action-packed with creativity, inspiration, perspiration(!), slamming music, moshing and enough luscious food and drink to feed an army – in short, IT ROCKED!
AT Internet started running Hackathons (a combo of ‘hack’ and ‘marathon’) back in 2016 with the aim of accelerating innovation and showcasing the dynamic and progressive nature of the company.
Ship-It gives employees the chance to let their imaginations run wild and rise to the challenge of developing and delivering new innovations in just 24 hours. It’s a great way to let teams show off their skills and generate project ideas that could be useful in the future – both internally and for our customers.
It’s also a superb way for employees from different teams to meet up and share the positive company vibe!
Feeling hot hot hot…
This year’s Ship-It coincided with Bordeaux’s first heat wave of the summer and temperatures rose to over 40°C. Luckily the re-fuel team was on hand to provide refreshments in the form of smoothies and cold drinks galore! And the survival supplies didn’t stop there… There was a regular flow of snacks and sweets throughout the day to feed the neurons of our creative teams. There was also a food truck serving burgers and chips in the car park to soak up some of the ice-cold beverages on offer at the company party.
Superkramp (AT’s home-grown band), took the Thursday evening by storm with a pumping concert on the terrace. Employees relaxed on the comfy pallet furniture had been built that very afternoon by one of the Ship It teams, and those in the mood got stuck into the mosh pit – ever seen a company CEO crowd surf?
Breakfast on day two featured rounds of sweet pastries and healthy smoothies. For those that needed a boost of rocket fuel to get through the morning, there were non-stop rounds of English bacon rolls, fried up by our resident Londoner and bubbling to the sounds of Bob Marley.
The projects – teamwork, hard graft and a touch of genius!
This was the 4th edition of our Ship-It Day and the teams were looking stronger than ever. A total of 14 groups broke sweat all hours to come up with an intriguing selection of projects. The topics covered everything from creating software that automatically generates digital charts by capturing the image of a physical one, to installing a private cloud on our on-premise infrastructure to build on-demand services for end users. There was even a project to design a new customer service chatbot!
And the winners are…
The clock stopped ticking at the 24-hour mark – 1pm on Friday. Each team then had 10 minutes max. to present their project and convince the audience why it deserved to win. The presentations were hosted by our marketing director who added his touch of je ne sais quoi…
Coming in Third…
Analytics for Green
The “eco project” looked at the impact of day-to-day actions at work on the environment and is part of AT Internet’s strong commitment to ecological issues. The team aimed to create ways to collect data and track activities such as water/electricity consumption, carbon emissions from the daily commute as well as more specific behaviour, such as which type of rubbish bins are most used, and how many bikes park up each day.
They then displayed the information in a dashboard and report that could be regularly shared with the company to track our progress. Using this data, they then aimed to use automation to act on the measured results. For example, controlling when lights/screens turn on and off using technology such as Raspberry PI, Jeedom, temperature measurements, controlled power sockets, automation scenarios, tagging, and dashboarding.
In at second was…
The Real data collection counter!
This project looked to design a physical counter that could be used throughout the company to display a wide range of information. They came up with a large illuminated display counter with 10 digits (7 segments with RGB LEDs) and displayed how it could be used to display the number of hits collected on our site, hits collected for a specific customer, as well as more specific analytics data. A truly colourful and practical idea that could be implemented straight away!
And storming in at first place!
The idea that won over the crowd in the end was Quadricolour – a way of creating colour variations in Analytics Suite, using Cascading Style Sheets (CSS). The presentation and idea were simple but game changing – to give Analytics Suite a range of colour themes that can be personalised according to the customer, personal preference, weather and specific public holidays etc. They showed off a wide spectrum of colour variations – fixed themes such as blue, green, orange, pink, red – colour personalised to individual customers – and even various event themes such as Christmas (snow theme), Halloween (pumpkin theme), and St Patrick’s day (Irish theme). The possibilities are endless, and the idea could be put into practice immediately.
The winning team received a tour of Bordeaux’s Cité du Vin complete with wine tasting, followed by dinner at the Halles de Bacalan high-end gastronomic food hall next door. A superb gift for a worthy team!
A big shout to…
…everyone involved who worked so hard to make this event a resounding success. To the events manager for organising everything, the refuelling team for keeping everyone running on all cylinders, the band who kept everyone rocking, and all the devoted and talented teams behind the wealth of projects. Above all, thanks to a certain CEO for making the company such a fun and inspirational place to work!
See you next year!