After placing at second place in Funovation Hackathon 22 a couple of weeks prior, we (team.devs) decided to compete on another level .... University hackathon (although there were primarily high school teams) and we won! This time the dream-team with the name team.devs (still very original :D) came in hot with a slightly different cast (Vojtěch didn't have time), this time it consisted of Me, Michal Vaniš, Daniel Beneš, and Jan Skládal This is the story of how we got there :D
This hackathon has been significantly more time-constrained than the previous one (Funovation 22) since we had around 5 hours to brainstorm the idea and code the prototype. But as always, we spent like 1 hour (meaning 1/5 of the whole time) thinking about the idea (reasons stated in the previous blog post).
We eventually agreed on making an application/social media site where users would be able to rate the quality of roads and upvote/downvote pictures submitted by other users. This system of voting would then affect how and where the town office spends its budget on repairing those roads. If you want to find out more about the application itself, the project's Github repository is probably your best resource. You can find showcase and development instructions in README, however, you can also see initial designs inside the RoadMapper.fig file and presentation inside the RoadMapper.pptx. You may notice the confusing naming (RouteMapper vs RoadMapper), well, basically, I made a typo while creating the Github repository and we noticed it like 5 minutes before submitting :D. It's supposed to be called RoadMapper, however, for legacy reasons, we left it called RouteMapper.
When it came to our iteration process, we basically followed the strategy we used at the Funovation hackathon 22, because it worked that well. I really recommend reading the previous article for all the details. As for our tech stack, we've learned not to use Expo, when we're going to present a website anyways, so we made it in CRA to allow faster iteration process and made it very clear during the presentation, that this would be a mobile native app (with a possibility to throw it on the web as well with wasm). For API, we once again chose Express, because of the ease of use for prototyping. The only thing that kinda bothered me was the really short amount of time given for prototyping projects and brainstorming. As I said before, we had about 5 hours to glue the thing together, which included the lunch break. This resulted in most projects being riddled with bugs and looking like really early work-in-progress prototypes in general (our project even threw an error during the presentation :D). Other than that, I think that the event was a success, to be completely honest, I kinda enjoyed the really strict time constraint, however, I feel like the projects could have come out more finished if there was more time.
Time flew by very quickly and eventually, we had to submit and present our project. The presentation went smoothly imo and to be honest, we were completely caught off guard when the judges announced us as the winners. I really liked the hackathon because it was not set around any specific theme, but more around taking already open datasets, mashing them together, and creating something that could have potential. I gotta say, that I was really surprised how much open data the Královehradecký Kraj publishes/exports online for free use. Also, unbeknownst to me, the Czech Republic itself publishes A LOT of open data, which I'm gonna totally use for some of my future projects.
As with any other event, I really enjoyed it and got a lot of promo/free stuff :D, if you want to find out more about it, I encourage you to go ahead and read the official blog post from the organizers / DELTA High School's post, or take a look at all created projects,
I hope you enjoyed this article/blog post!
If you have any questions, problems or want to start a discussion, don't hesitate and write me an email!