Hack24 hour by hour

I’ve written a proper post about Hack24 but I thought it might be interesting to also publish by hour by hour notes about what was going on. That’s what this is.

Saturday 12:00 – 13:00: Ideas generation

Because we like to live life very much ‘on the edge’ we had not formed a clear plan for the day in advance of arrival. This being the case we took the first hour to brainstorm, mind map, and generally come up with something un-rubbish to work on. We thought of potential projects based around a few of the briefs before settling on a hack that would answer both the Esendex and Broadway briefs simultaneously.

13:00 – 14:00: Planning

We thought it would be a good idea to look at the tech requirements early on so signed up for an Esendex developer account and had a quick play with the API which was, as promised, very simple to use. Hoorary! I also drew a happy tree on a postit note as I wasn’t really sure what I was meant to be doing. Greg installed things from ‘the internet’.

14:00 – 15:00: Lunch

Healthy-yet-nice food was provided in the Mezzanine bar. There were chicken things, greek salad, samosas and olives. Also there were nice fruit flavoured drinks available in plastic cups.

15:00 – 16:00: Getting down to business

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Greg installed more things from ‘the internet’. Packages and so forth. Helen told me (Pete) to do something useful so I started documenting our process which you are now reading here. Greg is currently (15:24) making a auto-updating loop which will instanltly display any SMS sent to our virtual mobile number on screen. This is surprisingly exciting to everyone in the team.

Next we met with Mathew Trivett, Broadway’s Creative Producer to see if they had any visual materials from the past which we could integrate into our project to provide context. He mentioned some old photos including one of Quentin Tarantino when he came to the Broadway for the unofficial UK premier of Pulp Fiction. (But he wasn’t totes sure where it was.) He did however have a load of Broadway programmes dating back over the past 25 years.

16:00 – 17:00: Back to Superteam HQ

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We decided to return to Derby so that we could work on computers with real-sized screens. We continued to brainstorm ideas and sketch out wireframes while on the shuddery bus.

17:00 – 21:30: First visualisations

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We used this time to pull together images and start getting things working onscreen. We discussed ideas for possible features but tried to keep everything MVP for fear of ‘shooting for the stars only to get stuck in the treetops’. If that’s not a real expression I suggest that it become one.

21:30 – Sunday 06:30: Recouperation

We decided to allow ourselves the briefest of nine hour breaks to have a beer and a sleep. It’s important to not go mad while hacking.

06:30 – 10:00: Refinement of prototype and content generation

Back at the Derby office we continued work by writing code, finding more required imagery and getting text content sorted. This thing was really starting to take shape now!

10:00 – 12:00: Back to Nottingham!

Jumping in the Superteamobile we raced (at legal speeds) back to the Broadway to finish things off. We tidied up the code and did other things and ate some pastries. Also we demonstrated our hack (or ‘installation’ as we were now calling it) to Hack24 staff who were, we thought, very nice about it.

12:00 – 14:00: Making the video

With our installation (or ‘winning entry’ as we were now calling it) finished we had a couple of hours to present it in the best possible light through the medium of video. We thought about doing something clever with editing but were a bit tired so instead just talked at the camera for four minutes. Still, I think we got the point across quite well.
Watch our video you lovely folk!

14:00 – 17:00: Nervous waiting

The feeling of having finished everything left us feeling all light and floaty, which was very nice. We decided to float off to the Nottingham Contemporary to look at art. Greg and I watched a video about drums. Or maybe war, I’m not sure. There were also lots of sweets on the floor. We wanted them but it wasn’t clear if they were complimentary or a valuble piece of art so we just left them alone.

17:00 – 18:00: Announcement of winners

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All hackers reconverged in Screen 4 of the Broadway to find out who had won in each of the six challenges. First up was the Broadway challengs. Our challenge! Despite what I said just before we weren’t really expecting to win so it was a great surprise when we saw our team name up on the screen. Unaccustomed as I am to public displays of emotion I let out a loud “Woooooo!” in what I approximated to be an enthusiastic manner. Like when the shuttle safely touches down in films and everyone does high-fives. We were inveited down to the stage to collect our prizes (a year’s membership to Broadway and an Ototo music development kit each!) before our video was shown. Lovely stuff!

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The other categories were announced and happy winners big happy faces were prominent. The non-winners (because there are no losers here) were in similarly high spirits. I’ll try to get a list of all the entrants and include it below with links to their projects.

18:00 – Late: After party at Das Kino

Everyone needed to chillax a little so we all shuffled off to Das Kino which is a trendy nightspot that, to my eyes, resembles a youth club from the 1980s complete with table tennis tables. Nothing wrong with that.