RESI Hackathon: The Man in the Yellow Hat

What is a Hackathon?

A Hackathon is defined as such: A hackathon is a design sprint-like 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. This Hackathon was held at Celtic Manor Resort, along side the RESI event.

Day I

Day I started, as most events do, with a train ride to my base for the next couple of days. Belly filled with curried noodles and Darjiling tea, I was happily brain storming on the class 802 to Newport. I felt a massive level of de ja vu, this was the exact same route that I took when I went to IMO. I took the same bus aswell, joined by some people that were soon to be my team mates.

We checked in and we got the Yellow hat that was to be legendary in the recent future. The next part was finding a team to work with, plenty of people were interesting and had many interesting ideas, it was so hard to choose a team. I got adopted by a team eventually, we were to create a web app, a type of search engine that put together health, travel and food for the older demographic.

We then got to have the first of many very, very, very nice meals and carried on trying to find teams. I had already found my team, so we started to brainstorm and think about how the program would work, although, tonight was for enjoying the expenses! So we relaxed, enjoyed the food and the good company. Soon enough, we went and checked out our hotel, we were housed in the Tŷ Hotel out at Magor. I enjoyed my usual Gin, they had Trevithic so north! and we had the first of many meetings.

Day II

At the start of Day 2, we had a delighful breakfast at the Hotel and then had a meeting and made it to the hotel for Day 2, we started up and we decided to start working on the product. So I started coding the website and thinking about all the different pieces of javascript to place upon it. As with all of my websites, it was time to open up the text editor and initialise my document and use all my lovely tags. The website involved a minimalistic UI with three buttons that lead to different types of help the app provided.
It followed the Auriens colour scheme and was called ‘Auriens Living’, there was a form that you could book Doctors appointments on, all coded on JavaScript. Throughout the event, we had a film produced and due to my Tennis Ball JASites green T-shirt and my adoption of the yellow hat, I featured prominently in it. There as a decent amount of running about this day, mainly from me trying to find disapearing teammates. I finished at 3 before the deadline, after many cups of tea.

I headed back to the Hotel and got my suit on and got back just before they took the group photograph, but unfortunately missed out on the Yellow T-shirts. Now we had the nerve-racking wait to show our product, we went into the Caerarfon Suite B and sat down, we were the second group to present, which was nice, due to the fact that we hadnt had to wait long. The presentation went very well and my website worked flawlessly, it was the perfect pitch, although it seemed the judges thought the product was less than perfect, but it was my first Hackathon, so I was happy.
There were so many very interesting products, one of my favourite was a project that involved a infra-red sensor and Raspberry Pi, so of course it was to be my favourite! Other teams created apps, watch apps and other websites. We all had different ideas but the same brief, everybody had so many different creative flourishes, including myself. So after a grilling from the judges, we headed back to our suite and awaited the networking before the formal dinner, I relieved myself of many business cards and met so many interesting people from the property industry.

We now had to relax and enjoy ourself, we had a lovely dinner from Celtic Manor and brilliant entertainment, DNA, there was also many talks from different guests, including Michelin Star Chef, Simon Boyle and Auriens Co-founder, Johnny Sandelson. After the dinner had concluded, I had the lovely oppourtunity to chat to Emma Jesson, Weather Presenter, about Rubik’s cubes, apparently she is a massive fan!

Now for the final part of the agenda, the BBQ, a final oppourtunity for networking and meeting more people. I had a chat with many other interesting people and heard many stories about people’s life in business. It was very enjoyable. Then all of Hackathon danced together, until the small hours and we returned back to the Hotel.

So, in conclusion, it was a brilliant event and I really really enjoyed it!

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