Hackathon at MOIA — where the sky’s the limit

by Laine Bluma, Laurita Kaupaitė & Jannik Arndt

After the last Hackathon at the end of 2020 we agreed to have it more often, so that all our creative ideas can come to life. This May brought the first hackathon of the year and without further ado, here is how we did it in 2021!

Last year we had the opportunity to hold the Hackathon completely remotely and we learnt a lot along the way. One main takeaway: it isn’t about perfection, it’s about fun.

Last year we planned out every single detail, and only then did we announce the date. However, if you have ever tried to finalize all the requirements before actually starting, you know that it is a recipe for disaster. In comparison, this year we started differently — we announced the date and then began to figure out the details of the event as we went. Even more, we did it with just 2 weeks’ notice.

It all started with an announcement on Slack, where we (the organization team) reached out for support. While we were thrilled to organize and get things done as fast as possible, our team was quite small and needed some help.

The message

So, the date was set and we knew the Hackathon would take place over 2 days, what now? There were about a dozen questions left to clarify: What will the days look like? When should people share their ideas? Who should participate? Do we have a budget, or do we need a budget? And many more.

We decided that all of the ideas and the team information should be collected in the slide deck that we would then use on both days. We asked everyone who had an idea to add to the slides beforehand, but the final round of pitches and team formation happened on the first day of the Hackathon.

We met at 9 AM on Monday, where each idea owner had a chance to briefly introduce their idea, after which we split into breakout rooms so everyone could join and find out more about each idea. In addition, we invited everyone who came up with a new idea during this hour to share it on Slack and create a new breakout room for that. By 10 AM teams were formed and we went through the list one more time to see whether all the teams were completed and that they had all the necessary skills to achieve their goals.

Work in progress

With this, the most exciting part of the event started.

This time we had 9 great ideas, starting from Remote Clapper to Quantum based Route Optimization. The participants enjoyed the technical challenges as well as working together to solve and implement them.

The Remote Clapper idea was born after the Hackathon of 2020, which was also remote. Remote working at MOIA isn’t new, but during events like this we miss being physically together and seeing the reactions and smiles on each other’s faces. As well as hear the applause! Although remote setups will never fully substitute being together in person — now we have a way to hear the applause in all of our meetings 👏🏼🥳

All in all, it was incredible to see how much our teams could achieve in only 2 days! Let’s hope that some of the ideas will reach our customers soon. 🤩

You may ask yourself, why would people want to participate? Because it is fun! It allows you to learn, build something outside of your everyday work, work together with colleagues from other teams, and create something incredible.

As mentioned at the beginning — the main motivator in Hackathon is to have fun and build something new. And how cool is it that everyone can see the Hackathon trophy at any time in our virtual office, where we collect the best ideas from each Hackathon! 🥳

A real trophy will be waiting for us in the office once we are back!

Our digital office

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