From friday to saturday Christian, Rene and myself attended our first hackathon #pfaffhack at Fraunhofer IESE.

It was our first hackathon, also our first 24 hours hackathon.

After a welcome talk by the organisators, we got a briefing about the API platform we should utilize in our application. And then, the hacking begun! We had a wide range of competitors in the hackathon, many of them with funny names like "WirsindfürdiePizzahier" (which seemed to make some layout-modifications for the badges needed).  In sum, about ~ 50 people attended the event.

After a short talk with another 2 people group, we decided to merge our groups as we realized that we had a quite similar approach and especially as we were one of the smallest groups in the hackathon.

Our group name now contained the name python, and we do not even used python.. perfect camouflage🐍

Based on the hackathon topic we developed our web app via Vue.js which allowed us to utilize our knowledge on web development without wasting too much time. But we also used the hackathon for playing around with new technologies and frameworks, in this case e. g. Bootstrap-Vue for our app's frontend toolkit.

The night and evening hours felt a bit like a Congress or even a good old LAN Party (but only with coding instead of gaming and without the guy ductaped to the ceiling). Every now and then somebody was playing around with the colors of the light (which we could control over the API)💡

The evening and night hours were quite demanding, so we deciced to go for a few hours sleep break as we feared that the increasing tiredness would cause issues on our prototypes implementation.

In the morning hours we managed to finish the prototype and it's needed API bindings to the level we could demonstrate it's key features. As the pitch deadline came closer we shifted the focus towards the pitch presentation itself. We decided to put our focus more close to the app itself and it's purpose and not to do the usual powerpoint karaoke.

After a pizza filled break the pitches started. It was very interesting to see what different approaches and stacks (yeah, I'm a dev, you know..) were utilized, we saw sensor based projects using ESP8266(ish) sensors or even an ARKit-powered one.

For our group a pleasant and really surprising news that our App "Enviro" was rated for 2nd place of the #pfaffhack 2.0.

In conclusion, it was a very demanding, but also very interesting expierience. A big thanks goes to the Fraunhofer IESE and the sponsors for organizing/ supporting such a event in a regional area, were this kind of event is not that common!


unsplash-logoMarkus Spiske