Hackathon, what?!

(This post will be written in English, mainly so I also can post it on my personal webpage as well)



Two weeks ago I had the luck to be one of the selected to participate in one of Spotify’s yearly hackathons, Hack Out West. Its a two day hackathon where you meet other developers, designers or music fanatics to build a product together.



So, if you are not familiar with Hackathons – I can just briefly explain that it is usually an event that’s going on for a limited amount of time (1-3 days) where you in smaller groups have the brief of developing a product of an idea. Usually there is a company hosting the event, in this case Spotify, and you usually get something in return (food, prices, festival tickets etc). Also, you usually present your product/idea/whatever you have hacked together in the end and the hosting company announce a winner. Read more here. Also, our school, Chalmers, wrote about us here.



I have always loved the concept of a Hackathons – mainly since it’s usually a win-win situation. I, as designer, get to develop my collaborative skills, my design skills and in this case also my programming skills. I get to know a lot of new people in the digital field and I can get a small sneak peak into the hosting company’s vibe and culture. The hosting company get tonnes of fresh ideas and get to know skilled people for potential future recruiting or collaboration.



During this hackathon I was lucky to get in a group with 4 developers. As usually – time is short and you really want to build something good – so I had to help out with some frontend programming. I have brief experience with coding, but its been something I always wanted to learn well but never have the chance to focus on for a longer period of time. So, during these two days we hacked together a cool product and I learned how to use Git and some more HTML & CSS.



Those words might mean nothing to you, or you are not very impressed since you use it everyday. But for me, as a designer, that usually have to deliver my mocks in sketch files (a program comparable to photoshop or illustrator) – this is a huge deal. Because now – I don’t have to ask people to change that small annoying design mistake on our webpage or application, I can do it myself!



Cheers!



And here are some pictures from the Hackathon and from Way out West music festival, enjoy!



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Spotify’s office in Gothenburg, where all hackers are developing ideas into products!



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A concert at Way out West, Elliphant!



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Here’s my best snapchat from WOW, from amazing Serinabo Sey!



unicorndeams
Out end product: an app for a party/social gathering where everyone can vote on the order of the music list. No more ”skip to the next song”.



Helena

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