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WLG Hackfest – team Silentio

By Ruth
August 21 2017

Posted in Student Stories

Our premium student skills development event for code & design students in the programme is Hackfest, a 2 day app-building challenge for teams of SoT2017 students. They’re supported by industry mentors, and the challenge this year was to use an API or dataset, and build something cool in a weekend, e.g. a web/mobile app or data visualisation.

Here’s the profile of one of the teams from our Wellington Web Hackfest, held at Flux Federation on the 12th & 13th August 2017:

Team Silentio

Team: Joshu (Designer), Te Rahui, Jacob, Hrshikesh, Nathan (Developers), Andy (Mentor)

App Name: Quiet Places

What does it do? Finding a quiet place in the city. Our idea was to create a metric from API calls and local data to find areas that should be quiet. Good for people may want a quiet work space or for people that want to view areas with less activity in general. Areas could be highlighted based on quietness on a map and have context options for additional features.

Our implementation reached the stage of MVP2 in our view. We had implemented the concept of finding places nearby and then for each nearby place check what is near. This formed a rough ranking of places that might be quieter than normal which could also be displayed on a map on the same page. This methodology could be refined to include more data, local area research (for trialling in Wellington) and API usages. Some API features are not free or widely available but the potential is there. Image data or a popular images API may yield interesting results also.

What tools did you use to build it? Google Places API, Maps API

Anything else you’d like to share about your Hackfest experience? 

70% of software development is not about the code. It was mostly about the communication and interaction that went into structuring our intent which resulted in our implementation. Splitting the work into pairs, backlog to Kanban board, timeboxing, hourly stand ups, stitched together by quick conversations was the level we reached by the end.

Picking up a more agile approach to working did take some getting used to but was very informative overall. The idea that an agile model is like a painting in the iterative sense was good because the model captures the intent at the procedural level and felt more declarative.

More photos

Some photos from the event are up on Facebook and there were a bunch of tweeted updates over the weekend too.

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