You may remember our last hackathon, held last November in the office gym and attended by some 30 colleagues. Since then we’ve moved to a shiny new, bigger office and there’s no better way for an IT company to christen its new digs then by organizing the first official geek-fest at the new location. Since we now have more room we decided to invite the entire IT department to join us in our day of hacking. The response exceeded even our own optimistic expectations: the two large internal conference rooms we’d reserved were barely enough for the almost 90 people that participated on the 17th of April.
Hackathons have traditionally been a developer thing but we think it is important to have all the IT disciplines participate. After all, spending a day working on a project of your own choosing (scratching an itch) or tackling a fun challenge with a few colleagues shouldn’t be restricted to those who write code for a living. Fortunately many people without “developer” in their job title heeded our call as testers, information analysts, architects, UX engineers and a fair number of our Young Professionals joined in the fun.
As usual the hackathon resulted in at lot of very cool and useful projects. Highlights included a webapp that allows our product specialists to easily enrich product information with color attributes, a reverse image search (take a picture of a product and find it on our site), an easy way to truly test web services in isolation and an automated way to generate a visual web service dependency graph.
Once again (and also as usual) the hackathon was a success. The participants had fun, pizza was eaten, management looked on in approval and bol.com as a company benefitted. We’re already planning the next one. Lets see if we can exceed the 100 attendee mark!