Life at the Academy with Gareth Andrews – The Hackathon


The QA Academy opened us up to many opportunities and experiences, the Hackathon was by far the most memorable. Starting in the afternoon on a Friday, teams gathered and started discussing their mobile app ideas with the intention to create the apps in 24 hours.

A few minutes in and a man-sized gorilla could be found roaming around the office spying up our ideas and getting a few laughs in the process.  A few hours later and the party is joined by a gangster, princess and Mario, all in time for the pizza and snack foods that went almost as soon as they had appeared.

The hackathon ended the next day, with a countdown ticking away the seconds before people were ready to leave the office, having lost teammates to fatigue and weekend plans alike. As we left the office with sleepy smiles I still remember thinking about how much fun we had, and how we had managed to fit an entire project cycle (staffing issues and all) into 24 hours, all before I hit the pillow and lost the Saturday to sleep.

The QA Hackathon was a great experience and will definitely not be my last,  I can safely say this is the one that will stick with me for a long time.

The NETbuilder Hackathon

Hackathon Banner

On the 24th of July NETbuilder gathered 40 consultants, divided into 6 teams for the first NETbuilder Hackathon. With the key to a good hackathon being in the food and drink naturally we had a near unlimited supply of Energy Drinks and snacks.IMG_1435

At 12pm the Hackathon officially started with the teams setting up their environments and planning their projects. Within the hour every available piece of paper and board space was consumed with diagrams and illustrations as the teams planned. A number of special guest appearances were made by a number of colourful characters including a coding Monkey, Mario and a Princess.

The teams coded through the afternoon and their ideas began to take form within the code. All of the teams had chosen to use some technology they had never used before and so, as we entered the evening, technical problems arouse. Tensions rose as they searched for solutions but the good attitudes they started with held the teams together. Beer, Cards against Humanity and pool became common activities as the night drew in and breaks were needed.


As the hackathon entered the early morning people began to give into the call for sleep and the numbers started to dwindle. Fortunately Mario and the princess stuck around to keep the spirits high.

By sunrise there were but five consultants left representing 3 teams. The first project was a mobile app that was aimed at rating banter called “Bantapp” which included a sound board. The second was a desktop application about a dungeon exploration game involving avoiding deadly traps in a text-based procedurally generated world. The third was a mobile app about collecting and fighting monsters.IMG_1436

Then at 11 am, 23 hours after starting the last 5 fell, the need to sleep became too great and, while not completed, they left happy with the state of their applications.