A Hackathon in Barnsley

Cheer the Duck Up - Photo by Shaun Bellis
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Featured photo by Shaun Bellis.

On Saturday 6th July 2013 my company Make Do, held their first ever hackathon at the Barnsley DMC to great acclaim, which incidentally was the first ever event of its kind to be hosted in Barnsley.

The ‘Layershift‘ (our event sponsor) hack day brought to the borough a mixture of entrepreneurs, technology enthusiasts, designers, developers, geeks, professionals and novices alike, for a 12 hour session of idea generating, designing and coding.

To help with the day experts were on hand offering leadership and skills to the various teams that were formed on the day.

A huge variety of projects were worked on, from an app that let you order milk from your iPhone, to a website that convert’s tweets to the Yorkshire dialect.

Hack Do 2013 - Photo Board - Photo by Shaun Bellis

The idea board – Photo by Shaun Bellis

Here are some of the highlights:

Got milk?

Developed by James SheriffRichard Keys (Genius Division), Lee Redhead (Lounge Hopper), Matt Brailsford and Lucy Brailsford (The Outfield). Got Milk? Was an app that let you order groceries from local providers such as your local Milkman.

Team 'Got Milk?' - Photo by Shaun Bellis

Team ‘Got Milk?’ – Photo by Shaun Bellis

The app let you choose items to be delivered to your door the very next day (along with your milk), giving people an alternative to the hustle and bustle of large supermarket chains.

More about the Got Milk app can be read in the following blog posts:

Cheer the duck up

Developed by Craig Burgess (Genius Division), Lawrence GoldstienTim Harbour and Edward Bennigsen. This was my personal favourite app, the concept is simple. An algorithm mines twitter for tweets that are negative or depressing, and you are given the option to cheer the person that sent the tweet with a happy tweet, or a picture of a happy duck!

The more people you cheer up, the happier the duck on screen becomes, until you have cheered the duck up!

Cheer the Duck Up - Photo by Shaun Bellis

One happy duck! – Cheer the Duck Up – Photo by Shaun Bellis

Although it sounds a bit silly, the algorithm has potential for fantastic real world applications, such as finding people who are depressed and suicidal, to finding negative tweets about a particular company.

More about cheer the duck up is available in this Genius Division blog post: Make Do Hack Day

Tyke translate

Many of the apps, and ideas developed on the day got to the prototyping stage (and I promise I will update this post with links to them as and when they go live), but this app created by John CrowleyRuss BrownAndrew Deniszczyc and Maksims Mironovs is actually live and working.

The Tyke Translate app is available in the wild here: northerndiv.com/tyketranslate simply send a tweet with the hashtag ‘#tykeme’ and watch as your tweet is translated into the Yorkshire dialect.

Updated: The app is no longer online 🙁

Our winners

We gave out several awards on the day to the people who we thought made an outstanding contribution. These were:

  • Best overall hack – Team Got Milk?
  • Best Design – Jaz Kaur (for designing all the things)
  • Best Idea – Tracy Johnson (Ten Minute Tourist)
  • Best N00b – Team BOB (Katie Baugh, for developing a Ten Minute Tourist prototype in a technology that she had previously not used)
Make Do Hack Day Award

The ‘Make Do’ Hack Day Award – Spot the deliberate mistake anyone?

Thank you

Thank you to all of our sponsors, our leaders and of course thank you to all of our Hack Day attendees, we wouldn’t have had a day without you!

Final word

If you attended the hack day, and you blogged, got your app online, want to run your own Hackathon or you simply would like a mention, please get in touch or contribute in the comments below.

Matt Watson

Technical Lead at Make Do
Matt Watson is the co-founder and technical lead of WordPress agency Make Do. Matt loves writing and learning about code, and considers himself lucky to be doing what he loves for a living. Find out more about Matt, or get in touch to hire Matt for your project.

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