You have probably heard of hackathons especially if you are in the tech industry. Hackathon is an event wherein many people gather to create working products in a short span of time. In other words, it is a coding marathon.
Few years back, I really wanted to join a hackathon due to the sudden hype in our region. I got curious on what people do, what kind of products they come up with, and how they implement their products. Before, I did not get a chance to join not only due to the lack of team members, but also the lack of hackathon-worthy ideas.
Last 2016, a close friend of my wife, who is a pharmacist, mentioned that they want to create a mobile application related to pharmacy. They wanted to materialize their concept and asked if we would be able to do it. Unfortunately, me and my wife were trying to build a different software and we could not cater it.
After some time, I suddenly received a notification about AngelHack Manila 2016. We thought that this might be a sign to consider the pharmacy application and after weighing our options, we have decided to deprioritize the application we were building and try our luck in this event.
AngelHack organizes various hackathons around the globe every year. In case you are interested in joining one of AngelHack’s upcoming hackathons, you may visit their calendar of events here. For the Manila event last 2016, it was held on August 23-24 at ASPACE in Makati City. Below is the schedule of the event.
- 09:00 AM - Door Opening and Breakfast
- 10:30 AM - Opening Ceremony and Talks
- 12:00 PM - Start of Coding
- 01:00 PM - Lunch
- 07:00 PM - Dinner
- 08:00 AM - Breakfast
- 12:00 PM - Lunch
- 01:00 PM - End of Coding and Submission
- 02:00 PM - Start of Demos
- 04:00 PM - Announcement of Winners
AngelHack Manila 2016 was a two-day event, but, I would like to clarify that teams only have 25 hours to code. Please do note that the coding time also includes the time to eat, to sleep, and to brush your teeth. That is why people tend to pull out an all-nighter due to limited time. *pressure*
We went to the event having only the idea of creating a mobile application like QuizUp for pharmacy board exam review. We have zero prepared codes, layout, assets, and features. After having some light breakfast and attending the talks from the sponsors, the game is on.
We initially defined the role of each team member and then planned the features to be delivered. Also, we decided on the technology / framework to use in developing the app. During the setup of our development environments, we encountered Internet connection issues. The network is saturated and could not handle the load of users. Luckily, my wife uses a data plan and we just connected to our own hot spot.
Tip: Best to plan ahead and prepare some things dedicated to the team. (I saw other teams bring their own power extension cords.)
While coding, other members of the team offered to buy coffee and some snacks. *hooray!* I enjoyed my usual americano while adding more and more lines of codes. After hours of coding and caffeine wearing off, we called it a day and went home around 4AM. We coded almost all of the basic features but the application still lacks the oomph for the big day.
I was still thinking on how to implement the Battle Mode feature while traveling back home. Yes, Battle Mode is a feature which I thought could give as a big plus (You will see this later on the demo). As I was very anxious and eager to finish that feature, I only slept for two hours, woke up at 7AM, and started coding again.
Tip: Ensure that you get ample amount of sleep before going to a hackathon especially if there is a high chance of pulling an all-nighter.
I’m already low on energy upon going back to ASPACE around 10AM. Eventually, I finished the Battle Mode feature! The members of the team started preparing the presentation flow and script while polishing some things. Now here comes the final and the most important phase of the event.
The Final Output
Each team was given three minutes to demo their product. Given the said limit, we have decided to produce a video presentation for the demo and packed pieces of information to showcase the full application. Below is the actual video we submitted during the demo day. Enjoy!
- Game Modes
- Bookmarks / Favorites
- Store (with PayMaya Integration)
- Account Registration (with Facebook Integration)
Meet the Team
- Angelica Tiu - Entrepreneur
- Phylicia Marie Pineda - Entrepreneur
- Grizelda Teng - Developer
- Ed Oswald Go - Developer
- Rodette Pedro - Developer
Joining a hackathon is quite an experience. Getting to the groove, learning new things, feeling the pressure, stressing oneself, solving problems, meeting new people, appreciating others’ work, and especially appreciating your own efforts. So, should you join a hackathon? Yes, try it once and just enjoy the moment.
Will I join another hackathon? Maybe, maybe not. I think once is enough for me, as I am not getting any younger *LOL*. Well, I really can’t say as there might be great opportunities ahead.
But, in case you want to learn more about the current state of the product, you may visit the website of PITCH: Pharmacy. I believe the mobile applications are available for download at Play Store and App Store.
Important Note: Me and my wife are not anymore part of PITCH: Pharmacy since October 2016.