On the 20th and 21st of October, a team of 5 people from Vox Teneo attended Datakathon, a hackathon organized in Belgium ment to test the skills of developers.
We are proud to say that our guys took the 1st place in the competition of 10 teams, building the best application in the 24h time limit. A product fueled by no sleep, junk food, few red bulls, and stress, made by a well organized team. And here to talk about it, are the champions themselves: Jerome, Oppie, Svetlin, Stephen and Emmanuel! Congrats on the victory guys!
The Application – Beer and Me
The idea behind the application is helping beer lovers find the right beer for them. You start off by creating your profile, with your general knowledge of beer, preference in strength, bitterns, EBC / SRM (Standard Reference Method) as well as your personal details like name, age and profession.
Another parameter of the application is the situation you are in, so no matter if you are at an after work party, relaxing and home, visiting a destination as a tourist, or you just want to discover something new and exciting, Beer and Me helps you find just what you are looking for.
Since the data base of beers is huge, we used Elastic search for discovering the best beer for the user and a Tinder style user interface making the application very user friendly and easy to use.
So all you beer lovers out there, get ready, because we are expecting the full release of the application in early 2018.
Give us your opinion on the event and organization
The organization was perfect! The animators and experts were very present at all times. This was the first Datakathon in Belgium, Hackaton based on Data visualization and it was a great success. We had free food (pizza, hot dog, sandwiches) and soft drinks (coke and water) and enough energy drinks to keep us awake. And of course for an event based on beer, 3 tickets to taste the proposed beers, all selected by a beer specialist.
How did you last 48h without sleep?
In fact they were not 48 but around 40 hours. We didn’t sleep through the hackathon and immediately after the work time ended. We thought that we would have power for 24 hours more work without sleep, but 3 hours later the power immediately dropped. We saw how adrenaline gives power.
How did you find inspiration for the beer theme ?
Beer data visualization was the theme of the hackathon. So developing something about beer was a requirement. In fact some of us are not very big beer fans and consumers, but in Belgium there are a lot of beers to taste. And there is no way not liking at least one. The solution that we started developing is useful for people who are not so knowledgeable about beers, but would like to taste something new and interesting.
How did you organize the team and work ?
Jerome was organizing the work, and he did it very well.
We were following the methodology that we follow in our daily job, but with shorter intervals of time.
There were tasks that had to be done. Everybody was doing their tasks, but we were in touch with each other during the whole development process and this was very important.
We followed the Agile methodology. We were first focused on the MVP application (minimal viable product) that was only two screens then added the other screens one by one. We made 1-hour sprints followed by 10-minute breaks to share the difficulties and explain to each other what we were working on. A board was created with sticky notes and each guy took one sticky note to work on. One feature at a time and each person focused on their job.
Do you think the app could actually be developed and commercialized, and when can we expect the full release?
We expect to finish the application, hopefully by the end of this year. We think that it really can go to production and can be useful. Especially when you are a foreigner that does not know well local beers it is very useful, because you decrease the chance to drink something you won’t like for sure. Everybody wants to finish the job.
What was the coolest thing about your app?
Maybe the whole solution and the fact that we used a stack of different technologies. The technologies that were used for the development were Xamarin and Elasticsearch. The elasticsearch part was very important for the core functionality of the whole solution and Stephane and Manu did a great job there and Oppie did a great job on the UI / UX. In fact to be honest, in the beginning we didn’t have a clear idea of what we were developing, but in the end we had a solution with absolutely clear workflow.
What is your user target ?
We started with two profiles:
Valérie – 22 years old – student – loves to party, have fun and drink beer
François – 40 years old – musician – loves fine food and likes to degust a beer alone in his sofa with his guitar
But, in the end every consumer of beer, or everyone that wants to taste something new can be our target.
How was the competition? Did you expect to win?
The competition was a lot of fun. The job was well done by each member of the team. That was a great event for us. A good experience that needs to happen again.
We were expecting to win, but our philosophy was fun first, competition later.